The EAM Strategy

Enterprise asset management (EAM) is a strategy that combines tools, sensors, software, and services used to optimize assets throughout their lifecycles. The goal of EAM is to maximize asset performance, availability, and longevity. Effective EAM increases asset capacity and uptime while reducing expenses.

Enterprise asset management is a strategy that includes:

  • Asset lifecycle management
  • Work order management
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Supply chain and inventory optimization
  • Safety initiatives
  • Financial management

As the industrial internet of things (IIoT) grows, organizations should include connected reliability principles in their enterprise asset management plans. Connected data, systems, and teams allow for advanced analytics, increased communication, and expansion of IIoT initiatives.

When teams make data-driven maintenance and management decisions, they improve asset efficiency and performance. This transforms maintenance into a business value driver.

EAM software includes features like parts management, work orders, and labor scheduling, plus business tools like reports, financial management, and hardware and software integrations.

What is an EAM System?

EAM is a holistic network of controlled systems, software, and services dedicated to the maintenance of physical assets and infrastructure throughout their entire lifecycle — from asset procurement to disposal. An EAM system ultimately lets organizations optimize the performance and efficiency of their physical assets and infrastructure while reducing operating costs and ensuring compliance with relevant standards. An EAM system also centralizes asset management across multiple sites so that maintenance teams can more easily monitor and maintain assets — no matter where they are located.

Why is Enterprise Asset Management Important?

Organizations have assets by the hundreds, if not thousands or millions.

EAM best practices enable maintenance and reliability teams to strategically manage their complex, asset-filled environments by tracking asset health, performance, and efficiency. An EAM system gives organizations a comprehensive view of their operations and assets, giving them the visibility they need to identify bottlenecks, improve efficiencies, and ensure maximum uptime for all assets. In addition, an EAM saves time and reduces errors by automating workflows, such as issuing work orders and reordering spare parts.

Another capability of EAM is asset tracking, which provides real-time reports on the current status and expected state of each asset and generates alerts when actions are needed. The AI-powered system further enables predictive maintenance by gathering real-time condition data about each asset and using machine learning algorithms to determine when and where maintenance is needed.

IoT devices also gather both real-time and historical data that can be used to estimate the lifespan of a physical asset and diagnose parts that require repairs. This is essential for knowing when to replace aging infrastructure, allowing managers to mitigate their risks and develop more effective business processes. Equally important, an EAM system and IoT devices enable visibility into all assets, even in remote locations, so they can be monitored from any location. This minimizes the risks of frequently sending technicians to remote and hazardous locations.

An EAM system can also be used to automatically create work requests and display the progress of each work order. The system also enables users to optimize work schedules for employees and contractors to ensure maintenance activities are completed at the right time and by the right person.

Furthermore, an EAM system facilitates a more efficient supply chain by placing the spotlight on undervalued MROs. EAM solutions encompass all kinds of inventory and stock controls, whether it’s procuring spare parts, predicting the demand for materials, and even automatically reordering stock that is running low.

What are the Advantages of EAM?

Compared to on-premise software, an EAM system is deployed on the cloud and provides a wide range of capabilities and advantages. For example, an EAM:

  • Is compatible with critical applications used for enterprise collaboration
  • Provides accurate and up-to-date information that is centralized, not siloed
  • Combines preventative, condition-based, or prescriptive maintenance strategies
  • Standardizes and automates documentation
  • Fosters communication between different roles such as issuing an emergency order or coordinating technician work items
  • Creates automated reports to identify asset management goals and measure KPIs
  • Provides visibility into top-performing sites so best practices can be replicated across all facilities
  • And much more

Let us put our tools, sensors, software, and services to work for you.

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Enterprise Asset Management Systems Support OEE

Enterprise asset management systems (EAM) effectively maintain and manage all of your organization’s assets and equipment throughout their entire lifecycles–from procurement to retirement. In addition, EAM systems help your teams manage your supply chain, spare parts inventory, and shipment arrival dates to keep production and maintenance schedules running as efficiently as possible. EAM typically refers not to just one software, but to a strategy that combines multiple software, systems, and solutions that work together to provide a comprehensive approach to asset management.

An EAM system is a major step up from manual asset and facilities management approaches. Instead of using manual, error-prone spreadsheets to keep track of all of your assets and related activities, an EAM system continuously captures this information in a centralized digital location.

EAM exemplifies the act of collecting data from all the interlocking operations taking place inside a plant. Everything is documented and accessed in one place: registering equipment, assigning maintenance tasks, budgeting expenses, documenting processes, and other essential functions.

An enterprise asset management system also supports overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) by flagging poor-performing assets and using sensors to increase the precision of data so you can respond proactively to calls for repairs before they lead to failure and unplanned downtime. Simply put, an EAM system enables best practices for ensuring asset availability, reliability, and longevity.

What is the Difference Between EAM and CMMS?

Enterprise asset management is an asset lifecycle strategy. Computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software is a tool that centralizes and optimizes the information integral to EAM.

A maintenance team conducts fleet maintenance using an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software.CMMS is a software solution that automates tasks, streamlines processes, and increases communication and transparency. CMMS software helps maintenance teams effectively manage assets from machinery to fleets to facilities.

Both EAM and CMMS systems have overlapping capabilities. For this reason, the terms are often used interchangeably. However, there are some important differences between EAM and CMMS. In short, an EAM is a much more holistic system that touches every aspect of infrastructure and asset management. Meanwhile, a CMMS can be part of an overall EAM strategy, but the CMMS itself specifically focuses on maintenance management during the time that the asset is operating within the facility.

A CMMS serves as a control center for keeping records on spare parts, measuring continuous asset health, and planning a maintenance agenda. Conversely, an EAM system builds upon that with additional functions designed to provide a complete view of the entire lifecycle of your assets and infrastructure. This includes additional capabilities related to accounting and expense management, asset procurement and disposal, planning and scheduling, reporting and analytics, supply chain and inventory optimization, management of safety initiatives, and much more.

To learn more, visit our What is a CMMS guide.

What is the Difference Between EAM vs. CMMS vs. ERP?

Enterprise resource management, or ERP, is the practice of integrating and organizing business data in one centralized system. An ERP software covers core organizational functions such as production, inventory, sales, accounting, and more. The visibility that comes from centrally collected, managed, and shared data can drive efficiency and improve the decision-making process.

Enterprise asset management encompasses many of the same core functions, but it is an asset lifecycle strategy — not a software. Computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software is a tool that centralizes and optimizes the information integral to EAM.

CMMS is a software solution that automates tasks, streamlines processes, and increases communication and transparency. CMMS software helps maintenance teams effectively manage assets from machinery to fleets to facilities. A CMMS is specifically responsible for overseeing equipment already in use and the maintenance required during its run cycle. Most of the tracking occurs by the way of work orders and scheduled repairs or replacements, with some reports thrown in here and there.

Enterprise resource management, also known as enterprise resource planning, or ERP, is the practice of integrating and organizing business data in one centralized system. An ERP software covers core organizational functions such as production, inventory, sales, accounting, and more. The visibility that comes from centrally collected, managed, and shared data can drive efficiency and improve the decision-making process.

Enterprise asset management encompasses many of the same core functions as a CMMS software and an ERP software, but EAM refers to the overall strategy and systems used to execute these capabilities throughout the entire lifecycles of your assets.

How do EAM and SaaS Work Together?

Cloud-based, SaaS (Software as a Service) EAM programs let organizations put their EAM strategies into practice and customize their experiences. Cloud-based applications also allow teams to connect with EAM actions from anywhere. Meter readings, electronic signatures, work order processing, and more can be accomplished from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

A maintenance worker evaluates an asset on her route using a mobile EAM software.Today’s workplaces are highly mobile, with fewer workers sitting at desks and more workers on site getting things done. An enterprise asset management strategy fits into predictive maintenance practices.

When everything is tracked and monitored from inception to completion, leadership can gain better insights into business value. Providing reports and dashboards shows the benefits of enterprise asset management actions.

Learn how to put SaaS into your CMMS or EAM system.

What is EAM Software?

A focused enterprise asset management software is a specialized solution that allows users to put EAM strategies into practice to extend asset life.

With EAM software, teams can track asset health, gauge risk and expenses, and gain visibility into equipment performance across their entire organization. For example, one EAM software feature to look for is the ability to digitalize an entire facility. Gain a full view into asset health and performance with 2D and 3D renderings of facilities and assets, including details such as schematics or historical records.

Thoroughly track and monitor critical assets in EAM software helps companies boost productivity, optimize processes, and promote sustainable, safe practices. Preventing asset breakdown using integrated condition monitoring improves worker safety. When assets don’t reach critical levels, work environments are safer.

Most organizations contend with several layers of regulations. OSHA, EPA, GMP, ISO, FDA, and others can all impact EAM software decisions. EAM solutions should help organizations comply with strict quality, environmental, energy, safety, and other regulatory standards. Using EAM software, organizations can:

  • Compile detailed documentation on work performed
  • Attach SOPs, instructions, LOTO, and other safety information to work orders
  • Capture start/stop times of inspections, attach inspection sheets, and track pass/fail

EAM software can also connect with other departments within an organization, such as finance. From commissioning to decommissioning, including all of the documentation generated in between those stages, EAM software helps organizations make data-backed capital spending decisions.

How is Enterprise Asset Management used in Manufacturing?

Manufacturers need to optimize asset health so that production losses from downtime don’t hurt the bottom line. Leveraging the principles of EAM keeps production lines up and running.

Using real-time data and analytics, teams can act to maximize asset availability and extend asset life. An EAM strategy also makes it easier to optimize parts inventory management, scheduling, and more. Tracking contracts, supply and inventory costs, and labor provides insights into expenditure management. Finance departments and maintenance teams can work together to improve an organization’s bottom line.

Which Other Industries use Enterprise Asset Management?

Any asset-intensive organization can use enterprise asset management to improve its operational effectiveness. EAM can help different industries address their specific challenges.

A food and beverage manufacturing facility that utilizes an enterprise asset management (EAM) system.

Food & Beverage: An EAM solution can help prepare food & beverage facilities for FDA audits, make meeting compliance standards simpler, and decrease budgetary burdens.

Automotive: Implementing an EAM software can help standardize operations across production lines and facilities and meet strict International Automotive Task Force (IATF) regulations.

A man working in an automotive manufacturing facility where an enterprise asset management system (EAM) is being utilized.
A fleet of trucks parked at a distribution facility. Companies can utilize enterprise asset management (EAM) for fleet maintenance.

Fleet Maintenance: Leverage an EAM to manage fleet asset repair and maintenance, while also tracking key metrics such as total cost of ownership (TCO).

Healthcare: An EAM strategy streamlines and digitizes recordkeeping, which helps teams keep healthcare facilities safe and healthy, meet compliance regulations, and more easily pass audits.

A nurse wheeling a bed down a hospital hallway. Enterprise asset management (EAM) is used in healthcare facilities to help meet compliance regulations.

How Can I Find Out the Cost to Implement Enterprise Asset Management?

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Enterprise Asset Management FAQs

1. What are the top five benefits of Enterprise Asset Management?

  • Digitization of assets: By combining your EAM strategy with a CMMS, you can centralize information and monitor assets through a single screen. The best solutions offer condition monitoring, automated work orders, and mobile-friendly software to keep your workers on the go.
  • Maximizing asset life: Historical and real-time asset data can be used to improve decision making, boosting asset efficiency and longevity.
  • Aligning maintenance and operations: Maintenance teams use data to determine when actions are performed, while operations and reliability engineers gain meaningful insights from metrics. An effective EAM strategy considers other departmental needs that support MRO and business goals.
  • Moving toward predictive maintenance and IIoT: An EAM strategy aligns with the expansion of IIoT technologies. More teams see the value in connected condition monitoring to gain real-time insights.
  • Maintenance as a business value driver: Leveraging an EAM strategy in your operations will ensure that you’re ready for anything. When maintenance is planned and controlled, operations run more smoothly, safely, and efficiently.

2. How does Enterprise Asset Management help maintenance teams optimize their operations?

Having a centralized location to manage the scheduling and execution of work boosts transparency and efficiency. EAM is also about balancing asset needs with labor availability. Tracking, scheduling, and organizing employees and contractors, including their training and certification, is vital to a robust EAM strategy.

Assets, parts and components, and materials used to maintain equipment are all supply chain or contracting efforts. Effective EAM solutions integrate supply chain and contract management.

3. What departments or business functions benefit from Enterprise Asset Management?

EAM can draw on and impact all departments. For example, improving asset data can give finance better information on spending, helping align maintenance with organizational goals.

Analytics are the backbone of data-driven decisions. Providing analytics in dashboards and reports allows stakeholders to gain insights into tasks, track maintenance KPIs, and more.

EAM Solutions

Get the Most Value out of Enterprise Asset Management Systems

To keep up with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), organizations should be sure to include connected reliability principles in their enterprise asset management strategies. Connected data, systems, and teams allow for advanced analytics, increased communication, and expansion of IIoT initiatives. When teams make data-driven maintenance and management decisions, they improve asset efficiency and performance. This transforms maintenance into a business value driver.

EAM Resources