Enterprise Asset Management Software (EAM)
January 12, 2022
What Is Enterprise Asset Management Software (EAM)?
Enterprise Asset Management Software (EAM) is a type of maintenance software that collects, houses, and analyzes asset data from design to disposal. It helps organizations manage every phase of the equipment life cycle by tracking the acquisition of new assets, active asset activity, and the removal of unusable assets.
EAM software is best suited for large organizations responsible for monitoring hundreds of assets across multiple facilities. The software is most frequently used by procurement departments, asset managers, and financial teams.
Most maintenance leaders begin their digital asset tracking journeys with a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). These commonly used work order platforms allow managers to schedule recurring preventive maintenance (PM) tasks, better manage supply counts, and catalog equipment information. CMMS also can provide users with insightful Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that reveal opportunities for increased maintenance efficiency, decreased downtime, and decreased costs.
However, most large companies reach a point when CMMS no longer adequately serves their needs. Due to the staggering number of assets under their care, these organizations require more robust systems capable of tracking warranties, downtimes, and asset depreciation. Here is where an EAM software comes into play—it allows managers to document each phase of an asset’s life cycle for full transparency.
It’s worth mentioning that the line between CMMS and EAM is becoming increasingly blurred. Many modern CMMS platforms include all of the features that were previously only found within EAM systems.
Key Features of EAM Software
EAM software is often customized to meet individual organizational needs. However, most standard platforms contain these features:
- Asset Lifecycle Management: As previously mentioned, one of the primary functions of EAM software is to maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of an organization’s assets from acquisition to disposal.
- Work Order Management: Managers can create, assign, and monitor work orders after a problem has been diagnosed. Similar to typical work order management software, operational leaders can maintain a bird’s eye view of a department’s upcoming PMs.
- Inventory/Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) Materials Management: MRO commands a large portion of the annual procurement budget within many organizations. In such instances, the software allows for full control of and oversight into the inventory procurement process.
- Labor Management: HR departments can manage the assessment, training, and certification of personnel. Additionally, EAM software often provides labor management solutions such as talent management and scheduling capabilities.
- Contract Management: Managers can create and manage service contracts with employees, partners, vendors, and customers.
- Financial Management: Organizations can quickly access data regarding their asset-related financial activities. This supports tighter accounting, budgeting, and spending, especially when integrated with company financial software.
- Reporting Analytics: EAM software can be used to create comprehensive reports cross-referencing data from different departments. Reporting analytics helps analyze asset performance, spotting deviations in breakdown trends, and fixing problems before they escalate.
What separates EAM software from basic CMMS solutions is an emphasis on complete tracking from asset acquisition to disposal AND integration with financial data from other company departments to reduce long-term, asset-related expenses. Conversely, traditional CMMS solutions almost exclusively focus on monitoring asset conditions to help improve asset servicing decisions. However, many modern CMMS platforms like MaintainX provide the same functionality as an EAM.
What’s the Difference between EAM and CMMS?
The chart below summarizes the difference between EAM and CMMS:
|Incorporates multiple business functions from accounting to HR.||Focuses on maintenance tasks and work order assignments. Newer CMMS solutions offer standard operating procedures and safety inspections as well.|
|Tracks assets from procurement.||Tracks assets after installation.|
|Designed for managing hundreds of assets within multiple locations.||Originally, built to manage a single location with limited multi-site support. However, newer, cloud-based CMMS can handle multiple locations.|
|Usually includes wider integration capabilities across different business units.||Limited integration capabilities, compared to EAM.|
The 4 Phases of Asset Lifecycle Management
As previously mentioned, EAM software enables organizations to manage every phase of an asset’s life cycle. The four phases of asset lifecycle management are:
- Design and Specify: You can review performance and maintenance reports for all your assets on EAM software. The reports are handy in designing an asset acquisition strategy that gives you the best utility at the lowest price. You can then document specifics of the ideal asset for your procurement department.
- Procure and Build: EAM software includes a purchase order feature for facilitating the procurement of new assets. It then builds data about the new asset after delivery and installation. This includes the date of commission, asset value and location, its preventive maintenance schedule, and the primary technician.
- Operate and Maintain: The software also records and analyzes an asset’s activity as recorded by users and the maintenance personnel. Barcodes can be attached to the assets and then scanned by the software for easy work request creation in the event of a breakdown. Maintenance technicians can then easily view an asset’s historical and present work orders on a mobile device while on site.
- Decommission and Dispose: At the end of its lifecycle, financial departments and asset managers review useful information such as depreciation and maintenance costs to decide whether to keep an asset operational or decommission it. The software archives records of disposed assets for future audits.
What’s an SAP EAM Module?
SAP EAM module refers to a popular maintenance management learning curriculum used to maximize the value of mobile and stationary plant devices over time. SAP stands for Systems Applications and Products in terms of data processing. According to DIN 31051—Fundamentals of Maintenance, the SAP EAM module includes a:
“Combination of all technical administrative and managerial actions during the life cycle of an item intended to retain it in, or restore it to, a state in which it can perform the required function.” The framework addresses asset commissioning, design, construction, operations, maintenance, replacement, and decommissioning. SAP EAM also helps to:
- Streamline processes by eliminating paperwork and shortening work cycles
- Establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) to reduce maintenance costs
- Improve analytics by capturing information and data in real-time
- Ensure peak performance by suggesting maintenance in a timely manner
- Enhance workplace safety by providing reminders for safety checks
Enterprise Asset Management Software (EAM) is used by large organizations to gather, store, and analyze data throughout all stages of asset life cycles. While traditional CMMS platforms focus on maintenance scheduling, modern software options include many of the same asset management features as EAM software. Consider your organization’s specific needs before evaluating both EAM and CMMS options.