The main goal of enterprise asset management (EAM) is to maintain assets and prevent premature replacement.
Completely replacing a large piece of machinery or other physical asset can be incredibly costly, especially if it comes as a surprise. Asset management software facilitates cost reduction through the following activities:
- Routine maintenance scheduling
- Preventive maintenance planning
- Condition-based asset monitoring
- Predictive maintenance
- Automating the supply chain
- Reducing unplanned downtime
- Reducing catastrophic failures
Routine maintenance scheduling is somewhat self-explanatory. It allows users to create maintenance schedules that focus on creating pre-arranged schedule slots for recurring maintenance tasks.
A preventive maintenance plan involves how frequently a business plans to perform these routine maintenance tasks, define asset hierarchies, set alerts for recurring maintenance events and more.
Condition-based asset monitoring involves advanced tools that monitor assets in real time. They watch for pre-designated signs of failure such as temperature spikes, unexpected changes in motor speed, sudden stops, etc. It allows users to create predictive maintenance plans, which hinge on replacing individual asset parts when they begin to fail based on condition-based monitoring.
By automating certain steps in the supply chain (we’ll come back to this), asset management reduces costs spent on excess inventory, emergency restock orders, additional procurement software and much more.
All these tools and strategies combined result in less unplanned downtime and fewer catastrophic failures — two of the most expensive things that can happen to your assets. Unplanned downtime costs you money in production time, emergency overtime and unexpected part replacement. Catastrophic failure can result in needing to replace the asset as a whole, an expenditure which can bankrupt a business. Asset management helps avoid these costly scenarios.
Schedule asset maintenance
Users can schedule recurring asset maintenance tasks in a calendar interface visible to the whole organization or visible to restricted users via role-based access. Some asset management software systems allow users to set alerts that will notify managers or technicians via SMS or email when a task is upcoming, reducing the chances of crucial tasks slipping through the cracks.
Administrators can also generate work orders based on these maintenance events and assign them to individual technicians, ensuring task completion and encouraging accountability.
Monitor asset health and performance
This can be performed in a variety of ways. Some solutions offer advanced condition-based monitoring software that tracks metrics and alerts users when a threshold is breached. These tools make comprehensive predictive maintenance accessible through detailed part monitoring.
If users don’t want to commit to the robustness of an EAM with condition monitoring, they can perform asset health monitoring tasks manually. These include keeping detailed records of asset maintenance, including videos and images in asset profiles so future users can quickly identify problems, enabling maintenance event alerts and other preventive tasks.
Optimize asset performance
EAM helps optimize asset performance in a variety of ways. Facilitating routine maintenance ensures that assets operate at or close to their peak performance without being hampered by faulty equipment or worn parts. Condition-based monitoring catches instances of wear and tear at the end of a part’s lifespan to further optimize asset operation while maintaining cost effectiveness.
Automate parts of the supply chain process
While supply chain management (SCM) is a software category unto itself, EAM can optimize and automate some of the supply chain process for organizations that don’t quite need an entire SCM solution. Specifically, EAM can automate operations relating to parts and materials, inventory, and procurement.
Inventory management modules generate barcodes and help users track stockroom levels so users never run out of a crucial part at an inopportune moment or order too much of any part.
Materials management helps keep sites safe by tracking hazardous substances as well as general shipments to keep everything organized. Procurement features allow users to order these materials and other parts from within the EAM interface, reducing inefficiency due to task-switching and the cost of a separate procurement solution.
Minimize risks associated with maintaining assets
Asset management software also helps keep sites and employees safe. Routine maintenance reduces the chances of catastrophic failures which pose serious hazards to worker safety depending on the asset type. This improved safety also helps protect your organization from legal action by ensuring you take necessary precautions to maintain safe equipment.
How Do I Know if I Need EAM?
The first question to tackle is, “Do I need EAM software?” This depends on your organization’s size, budget and needs. EAM is ideal for any organization that manages more than two or three technicians, and absolutely crucial for any multi-site or large, asset-heavy organizations. The best way to find out if you need an EAM is to get a consultation with an expert like the community managers at SelectHub.
What Industries Use EAM?
Asset management software is beneficial to any organization that needs to maintain physical assets. These can be facilities, infrastructure, machines, a fleet of vehicles, property and more. Some industries that benefit the most are asset-heavy industries like construction, commercial real estate, healthcare, oil and gas, government municipalities, education, etc.
What’s the Difference Between EAM and CMMS?
EAM and CMMS are often used interchangeably in the industry, and the differences are mostly semantic. To keep it simple, EAM offers the same maintenance management capabilities as CMMS with additional asset monitoring and tracking features. This graphic breaks the differences between EAM and CMMS down:
What’s The Difference Between EAM and ERP?
If EAM is a broader ranged version of CMMS, then ERP is the broader version of EAM. ERP, or enterprise resource planning, is a robust type of software that manages many different aspects of a business. It can handle accounting, human resources, distribution, sales, supply chain, customer service, business intelligence and more. EAM focuses solely on the assets with some spillover into BI and SCM, whereas ERP manages basically everything else. Most ERP systems do not manage assets to the granular degree that EAM and CMMS do, however.
How Do I Select an EAM?
Choosing the right EAM for your organization doesn’t have to be a chore. First, it’s crucial to define your requirements. This helps you determine which vendors to contact based on their delivery of the features you will utilize the most. For example, if you don’t have a fleet of vehicles, it wouldn’t make sense to choose a solution based on their fleet management module. This is the concept taken to its extreme, but you get the point.
Once you’ve identified your requirements, the selection process is much easier. Using this EAM software leaders comparison matrix, you can analyze some of the top providers of EAM in the market. Compare them based on how well they score for the features you identified in step one to ensure you create a shortlist of only solutions that meet your needs. Demos and trials help you establish user-friendliness of the remaining products, so make sure to request one from your shortlist vendors. This RFP template can guide you start to finish through this process of preparing for and procuring an EAM.