What Is Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)?

Enterprise asset management (EAM) is the process of tracking, managing, and analyzing asset performance and costs through the whole asset lifecycle to maximize asset life, reduce costs, optimize operations and more.

Accruent Manufacturing

What Is EAM?

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) refers to a suite of tools, practices and software – including an EAM software - that allows organizations to execute effective facility management. With a comprehensive EAM process in place, organizations can effectively maintain, control and analyze their physical assets and infrastructure during all phases of the asset lifecycle, including acquisition, maintenance and disposal.

This broad suite of capabilities gives asset managers full transparency into the historical and present state of assets so they can optimize asset quality and utilization, improve uptime, reduce operational costs and ultimately increase revenue and ROI.

Though often compared to a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), a robust EAM generally offers a wider range of capabilities and features, including:

An inventory management system

Document and knowledge management systems

Multi-site management tools

A purchasing management system

An accounting system and financial management

A project management system

Performance management tools

Labor management tools

Service contract management

Lockout tagout procedures

EXPLORE ACCRUENT'S ENTERPRISE ASSET MANAGEMENT SOLUTION

Maintenance Connection, Accruent's enterprise asset management software, functions fully as both a CMMS and EAM. Learn more about how it can help you reduce downtime and increase ROI for your organization.

What is the Difference Between EAM and a CMMS?

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, EAM and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are very different tools.

Most broadly, a computerized maintenance management system can be considered to be a component of a broader EAM system: an EAM will always include a CMMS component, but a CMMS will not always provide the features and capabilities of an EAM. That’s because CMMS software focuses primarily on asset management and facility maintenance during the operational phase of the asset lifecycle.

EAM software, on the other hand, provides a suite of tools and features that allow organizations to track, manage and optimize facility and asset performance through the entire asset lifecycle.

That said, many modern CMMS systems have expanded to offer EAM-level capabilities. Maintenance Connection, in particular, can be used as both a CMMS and an EAM tool.

EAM Software and SaaS

When CMMS and EAM software first appeared, all asset management systems were based on on-premise hardware. Now, there has been a significant shift to the cloud. Cloud-based SaaS solutions offer many benefits that make a SaaS solution ideal for modern asset-heavy businesses, including:

  • Maximized integrations: Modern organizations must integrate information across systems, devices and software tools. The cloud provides a connectable ecosystem in which these integrations are easily achieved.
  • More reliability: If you have a strong provider, a SaaS solution will provide fast uptimes, increased ease-of-use and more reliable availability across devices.
  • Scalability: It is difficult to scale across sites and facilities using hardware. A mobile-friendly SaaS solution maximizes scalability and flexibility across sites and devices.
  • Lower maintenance cost: SaaS EAM solutions are usually run on monthly or annual subscriptions that require significantly less up-front investment.
  • Increased security: Maintenance Connection and other EAM software automatically updates patches and other security concerns, so the burden will never fall on your IT department.

Benefits of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

The right EAM can help your organization track, manage, analyze and optimize your assets through all stages of the asset lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal. This can lead to marked improvements in transparency and preventive maintenance capabilities, which translates to saved time, increased efficiency and lower costs. An EAM can also help your organization:

Streamline Inventory Management

Efficient maintenance requires optimized inventory management. An EAM can facilitate this with barcode scanning, inventory tracking capabilities and visibility into parts utilization and cost.

Maximize Asset Lifetime

The historical data, real-time data and analytical tools in an EAM can allow you to extend the availability, reliability and usability of your physical assets, thereby increasing both efficiency and ROI.

Extend Asset Lifecycle

The historical data, real-time data and analytical tools in an EAM can allow you to extend the availability, reliability and usability of your physical assets, thereby increasing both efficiency and ROI.

Work From Anywhere

Mobile, multi-site capabilities and features – including SaaS or hybrid deployments, smartphone capabilities and the ability to read meters, capture electronic signatures and use bar codes or RFID – can maximize remote capabilities and facilitate social distancing.

Minimize Downtime

An EAM an automatically track downtime and allow users to manually log downtime during breakdowns. This can minimize communication concerns and costs associated with unplanned downtime.

Simplify Audits

Easily connect your EAM to financial software to streamline audits and sync with finance or other relevant departments.

Centralize Asset Data

The right EAM will include all information about your physical assets in one centralized system, including repair histories, energy usage, audit trails, purchase order, lifecycle costs and warranty records.

Modernize Maintenance Operations

AI-powered remote monitoring and enhanced asset tracking and traceability allows for modern operations and maximized decision-making.

Features of EAM

Work Order Management

Key EAM features – like automated purchases, part tracking and big-picture metrics – provide technicians and administrators with the information they need to effective schedule work orders, diagnose concerns, assign technicians and stay ahead of upcoming work.

Asset Lifecycle Management

A robust EAM can provide the asset information and documentation needed to decrease unplanned downtime, streamline inventory, extend asset life and move from reactive to preventive maintenance practices.

MRO Materials and Supply Chain Management

An EAM can help your team easily order, track and find the MRO items that your business needs to effectively complete repairs. This can lower costs and streamline your supply chain management.

Safety Regulation

An EAM can help you maintain your team’s health and safety by providing straightforward, easily accessible safety requirements for every job, simplifying audits and reducing safety risk using incident analysis and process change management.

Labor Management

An EAM can help you effectively assess, train and certify your employees and contractors by making safety procedures accessible, simplifying audit logs and allowing those in charge to track safety training.

Service Contract Management

Simplify contract management with your customers, vendors, partners and employees to mitigate risks, maximize compliance, increase ROI and decrease contract-related costs and inefficiencies.

Financial Management

Get a comprehensive look at your finances and cut costs by streamlining key processes like preventive maintenance, calibration management, work order management and purchase order and facility rental management.

Reporting and Analytics

If you cannot effectively gather, assess and use your equipment data, your operations will be inefficient and under-productive. EAM software can help you extract meaningful data to pinpoint preventive maintenance needs and manage KPIs.

Vendor Management

Your EAM can help with vendor management by tracking information like certificates of insurance (COIs) and activity history. It can also help you rate vendors so stakeholders can compare performance and develop a preferred vendor list.

Document and Knowledge Management

By centralizing all asset-related information and documents, an EAM can improve the quality of work from your team while simultaneously improving their efficiency and identifying any areas of concern.

FAQ: Enterprise Asset Management

What is an enterprise asset management system?

An enterprise asset management system is generally a combination of software, best practices and systems used to maintain an optimize facility equipment and asset life. The goal? To decrease costs, extend asset life and improve utilization. There are many components of a comprehensive enterprise asset management system, including: Work order management Asset maintenance Supply chain management Service contact management Employee and scheduling management Environmental, health and safety (EHS) initiatives You can learn more about an EAM here.

What is work and asset management?

Work and asset management refers to the processes and tools that are used to effectively maintain and optimize facility assets. Generally, an organization will look into new work and asset management strategies when their: Physical assets not functioning optimally Fixed asset or assets are not lasting their full lifecycles Plans are inefficient and labor productivity is low Managers and decision-makers experience lack of insight into asset and maintenance performance Inventory management is inefficient This will usually take the form of a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) or an enterprise asset management (EAM) system. When choosing the right system for your business, make sure that you consider factors like user adoption, your budget and your technological capabilities. You can learn more about how to choose the right CMMS for your business here. Work and asset management refers to the processes and tools that are used to effectively maintain and optimize facility assets. Generally, an organization will look into new work and asset management strategies when their: Physical assets not functioning optimally Fixed asset or assets are not lasting their full lifecycles Plans are inefficient and labor productivity is low Managers and decision-makers experience lack of insight into asset and maintenance performance Inventory management is inefficient This will usually take the form of a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) or an enterprise asset management (EAM) system. When choosing the right system for your business, make sure that you consider factors like user adoption, your budget and your technological capabilities. You can learn more about how to choose the right CMMS for your business here.

What is the purpose of a CMMS system?

The purpose of a computerized maintenance management, or CMMS, is to optimize facility and asset management during the operational part of the asset lifecycle. If you choose the right computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for your business, it can help you: Automate and maintain work orders. Increase equipment reliability. Streamline maintenance operations and costs. Improve inventory accuracy. Maintain industry-specific regulatory compliance.

What is enterprise asset management Gartner?

A Gartner Magic Quadrant is a representation of research in a specific market that attempts to show the relative positions of the market’s competitors. A Magic Quadrant places market participants in quadrants based on their completeness of vision (“How complete is the product?”) and their ability to execute (“Are they bringing in new customers and serving the existing ones well?”). In the Gartner’s 2019 Enterprise Asset Management software evaluations, Maintenance Connection was one of only four products whose position in the Magic Quadrant improved in both their vision and ability to execute. Significantly, Maintenance Connection was the only product to improve its position while also being rated highly for its ability to execute. Among the attributes that were rated highly by Gartner were: The enterprise asset management system’s ability to understand customer needs Maintenance Connection’s position in the Accruent portfolio and the company’s demonstrated ability to build out and integrate future new functionality. Accruent’s integration of our engineering document management solution with our EAM, allowing maintenance technicians to access asset technical documents directly from work orders, leading to improved fix times, reduced searching for current documents and improved safety of maintenance workers.

Why is enterprise asset management important?

EAM is important because it can help businesses effectively maintain, control and analyze their physical assets and infrastructure during all phases of the asset lifecycle, including acquisition, maintenance and disposal. This kind of effective asset and facility management is crucial for profitable operations, particularly for businesses in asset-intensive industries. These organizations generally manage a wide range of assets, including manufacturing equipment, transportation fleets, IT equipment, pipelines, HVAC systems, building and vehicles. Proper management and maintenance of these assets is necessary for operations and productions, and effective enterprise asset management can help: Resolve issues before they arise. Improve asset utilization. Fight concerns related to an aging asset infrastructure. Improve maintenance management practices, helping organizations meet ever-changing complexity, health and safety requirements. Consolidate operational tools for increased transparency and ease-of-use. Implement smart asset monitoring using AI-powered devices.

Who uses enterprise asset management software?

An enterprise asset management software (EAM) can be used by many employees in asset-heavy companies. As far as industries go, enterprise asset management software is often used by utility managers, energy managers and manufacturers. Within each of these verticals, an EAM software can be used by many employees, including: Operators Technicians Plant managers Decision-makers and C-suite Inventory managers Maintenance manager The ultimate goal? To increase asset-related transparency, to decrease delays, to stop reactive maintenance practices and to resolve difficulty meeting KPIs and metrics.

What should I know about enterprise asset management software?

When thinking about enterprise asset management software, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all EAM software solution. Instead, the right enterprise asset management software for your business will depend on factors like: Your budget, both short term and long term. The technological capabilities of your IT team, which will help determine whether you choose an on-premise or a cloud EAM software. User adoption and which EAM software has the features that your technicians and operators will need. Your vendor relationship, as the right vendor will provide ongoing training and support. Integrations and your existing systems

What is the top EAM software?

There are many industry-leading EAM software options – but, once again, deciding on the right solution for your business will depend largely on your team’s unique preferences and needs. You can find a complete guide to choosing the right software solution for your business here.