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The difference between CMMS and EAM

Computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software—also known as an enterprise asset management (EAM) software—improves the way leaders manage maintenance operations, teams, inventory, workflows, compliance, and other processes or activities.

What is the difference between CMMS and EAM software?

When searching for maintenance management systems, these terms—CMMS and EAM—are often used interchangeably.

CMMS software packages maintain electronic databases of data about the maintenance operations of an organization. CMMS is traditionally used to schedule and dispatch work, improve efficiency, help management make more information decisions, to support regulatory compliance, and more.

EAM is the optimal life cycle management of an organization’s physical assets. EAM includes aspects of business such as operations, maintenance and decommissioning/replacement of a plant, equipment and facilities, design, and more.

At one time, CMMS and EAM were considered vastly different solutions for maintenance management. However, with the modern systems on the market today, the lines between the two have blurred. To help explain the primary differences between CMMS and EAM, let’s quickly rewind 30 years to the inception of CMMS and EAM, and then discuss how the differences have evolved from software functionality to a maintenance “state of mind.”

History of CMMS

In the 1980s when CMMS systems were first introduced on the market by eMaint and other providers, they were working to replace manual maintenance systems and to develop:

On the heels of the technology boom of the 1990s, EAM software was developed. It was intended to offer a superset of CMMS features for enterprise organizations with global maintenance initiatives. Organizations began to see that maintenance was not just limited to one department but required a 360-degree view. Traditionally, these systems included CMMS functionality as well as:

  • Root cause analysis
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Financial costs/asset lifecycle analysis
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CMMS and EAM today

The early 2000s saw the mainstream adoption of the internet. During this time, as technology improved and best practices about asset health and governance shifted, the landscape demanded a change in software. CMMS providers such as eMaint rose to the challenge, incorporating more robust reporting and analytical tools to offer a more complete asset management solution.

As a result, the distinction between CMMS and EAM faded even more. In today’s technological environment, enterprise asset management is viewed as more of a business approach than a uniquely different software solution.

Maintenance plays a vital role within companies across all industries, and assets are considered corporate entities. With EAM as a maintenance ideology, CMMS is the method to successfully disseminate standards and global initiatives across an entire organization.

eMaint from Fluke Reliability is both a CMMS and EAM. It can deliver a wide range of functionality to facilitate maintenance success for small, midsize and enterprise clients. It can be deployed quickly, with lower upfront costs than a traditional enterprise-strength system.

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To recap, the difference between CMMS and EAM used to be about the enhanced functionality of EAM for larger, enterprise organizations looking to standardize, manage financials, perform root cause analysis and more. As the technology advanced and best practices concerning maintenance evolved, innovative CMMS providers expanded the functionality of their software, effectively blurring the lines between CMMS and EAM.

As corporations come to understand and identify the importance of maintenance on a global scale, enterprise asset management has become more of a corporate approach or business philosophy, while CMMS helps organizations realize asset management on an Enterprise scale.

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What is a CMMS used for?