CMMS vs EAM: What’s the Difference & Why You Need to Know

CMMS Software / August 2021

When it comes to finding the best maintenance management solution, there are two options; a CMMS and EAM. One focuses more on optimising asset performance. Whereas the other encourages automation of preventive maintenance strategies. But, depending on asset type and operations, each solution can be suited for different requirements.

CMMS and EAM: What Does a CMMS Do?

CMMS Software is a tool used to automate maintenance management tasks of physical assets. Hence why it is short for a Computerised Maintenance Management System. An industry that relies heavily on using a CMMS is manufacturing. CMMS in manufacturing has evolved over time. From the mechanical boom at the end of the 18th century to the use of production lines in the 20th century. Over the past few decades manufacturing processes have been supported by software systems. Helping to transform raw materials into finished goods. One of which, was a CMMS.

CMMS tools have been around for more than 35 years. Before a CMMS made it easy to manage work orders, punch cards were used. Reminding factory technicians to complete tasks.

Mainframe computers and an emphasis on automation introduced CMMS tools. This automated manual maintenance processes in core areas such as work orders. As well as inventory control, and proactive maintenance. The primary functions of a CMMS are to:

Maintain Asset Registers

Basic and advanced asset details and maintenance records are recorded in a CMMS. Also known as an asset register. Along with service management schedules, work plans, and details of service engineers. Typically, businesses have an opportunity to link relationships between engineers and assets. As well as their maintenance history.

Drive Proactive and Preventive maintenance

A key area of CMMS and EAM Software is creating maintenance plans. Maintenance costs can be optimised by 12 to 18% by controlling maintenance cycles. CMMS provides the platform and the workflow to manage maintenance cycles. With reactive, predictive, or preventative maintenance cycles. 91% of manufacturers who deployed a predictive maintenance program saw a reduction in repair time.

Streamline Work Order Management

Maintenance management involves internal and external work orders. These can be resource-oriented and/or material-oriented. A CMMS provides the workflows to manage and report on all work orders. Whilst being able to track work order statuses in real-time.

Provide Visibility for Inventory Management

A CMMS keeps track of details such as part numbers, descriptions, suppliers, and spare parts. Helping to improve inventory management processes. It can also provide alerts if the inventory falls below a pre-defined threshold level. This helps automate the ordering process to make sure stock levels are kept replenished. As well as help to avoid unplanned downtime.

CMMS and EAM: What Does an EAM System Do?

A CMMS and EAM vary when it comes to the management of assets. Enterprise Asset Management Software (EAM) takes a holistic view of the complete asset lifecycle management. That includes planning, procurement, operations, and disposal of assets. Whereas a CMMS is used primarily to manage the maintenance of equipment and machinery.

EAM systems are used by industries that rely heavily on the use and availability of their assets. The overall goal of EAM is to control and measure asset performance. By doing so, businesses can maximise usability and reduce expenses. As well as improve maintenance processes and enhance the quality and efficiency of workflows. The main function of an enterprise asset management system is to:

Plan and Analyse the Asset Life Cycle

EAM offers ‘financial planning to disposal’ lifecycle management of assets. It maintains information at every stage of the asset life cycle. Including procurement records, maintenance management records, compliance, and asset disposal details.

Configure Asset Workflows

An asset is viewed differently by various teams. Production teams view assets as a means to drive production. Maintenance teams to optimise asset uptime. Finance teams for asset profitability and compliance teams to ensure safety. EAM offers asset perspectives based on a role/department. One can plan inspections, track warranties, and track high priority work order statuses. As well as note reasons for delays and overdue notifications amongst other features.

Link Asset Uptime with Profitability

Since EAM has a 360-degree view of an asset, it is equipped to link asset uptime profitability. The value of assets needs to be recorded/updated continuously for accounting purposes. EAM provides a vital framework to value assets across their useful life.

Side By Side: The Difference Between CMMS and EAM

As a trend, both EAM and CMMS vendors are adopting capabilities to understand machine to machine connections. A CMMS and EAM could be connected with plant equipment using SCADA or Data Historian. Now, the contemporary trend is to derive intelligence from the data rather than just collect the data.

The real difference between CMMS & EAM

CMMS and EAM are the two solutions that offer maintenance-oriented solutions. Often they are perceived to be the same thing, which they are not.




Fundamental ConceptDesigned to address total asset lifecycle managementDesigned to drive asset uptime
Key CapabilitiesCapital Planning, Asset Procurement, Asset Installation, Workflow Layouts, Production Load Management, Asset Maintenance, Compliance Management, Asset Risk Management & Asset DisposalReactive, Proactive, Preventive and Preventative Maintenance Management Workflows. *Some CMMS software options include EAM capabilities
UsageUsers from Finance, Maintenance, Operations, Productions and Compliance teamsUsers from Maintenance and Operations teams
ImplementationSince they are enterprise-wide systems they tend to have Phased Implementation CyclesSingle Implementation Cycles
Decision MakingC-Level Suite, Maintenance and Operations TeamsTypically Maintenance and Operations Teams
Ideal ApplicationAsset-intensive industries focused on managing the asset lifecycleAsset-intensive industries focused on driving asset-uptime.

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