EAM Software solutions are typically utilised by industries that rely heavily on the use and availability of their physical assets. The overall goal of deploying an EAM system is to control and measure asset performance. By doing so, businesses can maximise asset usability, reduce expenses, improve maintenance processes, and enhance the overall quality and efficiency of their workflow. In this guide to Enterprise Asset Management software, we’ll cover:
What Is Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Software?
Enterprise Asset Management Software (EAM Software) allows businesses to view, control, maintain, and manage their entire asset register of physical assets and infrastructure. By doing so, they're able to achieve a holistic view of all mission-critical assets. As well as monitoring each asset’s entire lifecycle from planning and procurement through to operations, maintenance, and disposal.
Enterprise assets are usually fixed and include buildings, heavy machinery, plants, and facility equipment. But they can also include moving assets such as ships, vehicles, and aeroplanes. Typical users of EAM software include industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing, utility, and aerospace.
The functionality of an EAM system aims to control and measure asset performance in a bid to maximise an asset’s usable life. As well as reducing reactive maintenance costs and avoiding equipment downtime through preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance programs. The loss of production caused by downtime can be harmful to a business’s bottom line. So much so that, in 2016, manufacturers faced a loss of up to $260,000 per hour through unplanned downtime alone.
Although similar in aspects to Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software, Enterprise Asset Management software goes further. Not only does EAM offer the tools for effective maintenance management of physical assets, but it also provides the functions necessary to achieve:
- Asset management and tracking
- Work order management
- Asset analytics and reporting
- Purchasing and procurement management
- Labour and inventory management
Collecting, managing, and analysing asset performance data through EAM software can have a positive impact on a business’s overall asset management strategy. It also allows businesses to assess their bottom line quickly and ensure that assets remain profitable.
What Are the Typical Features of an EAM Software Solution?
As well as providing the tools necessary to collect performance data and improve overall maintenance management, the robust and analytical approach offered by an EAM software solution opens the door to many other possibilities.
Work Order Management
Through work order management, asset managers are able to schedule work for employees and assign the right technicians to the right assets through a preventative maintenance strategy. EAM systems also allow managers to track the status of current work orders and view upcoming planned work.
Management of Asset Lifecycles
The features found in most Enterprise Asset Management software allow businesses to track the entire lifecycle of an asset from when it enters the workplace to when it leaves. All of this data is stored into one centralised system.
Maintenance Planning and Scheduling
Arguably the most common feature of an EAM software tool is the ability to build and implement a proactive maintenance schedule to increase the usability of valuable assets and reduce unplanned downtime.
MRO Inventory Management
In order to keep equipment and infrastructure in working order, maintenance teams need to have a constant stock of the right materials and parts. By offering effective MRO (materials, repairs, and operations) inventory management, EAM tools improve the efficiency of acquiring and storing inventory that is used for maintaining mission-critical assets.
Reporting and Analytics
A key part of being able to plan and create maintenance schedules is by collecting data and analysing the performance of assets. By tracking KPIs, analytic tools can spot issues before they occur.
Supply Chain and Inventory Management
EAM tools enable businesses to form an accurate understanding of the acquirement of inventory such as materials and spare parts. With this, they can analyse the demand for inventory throughout the workplace and begin to manage it accordingly.
What's the Difference Between EAM Software and a CMMS?
Whilst there are some similarities between Enterprise Asset Management Software and a CMMS, they’re not the same. For instance, a CMMS is used primarily to manage the maintenance of equipment and machinery. Whereas EAM software enables businesses to manage the entire lifecycle of an asset from procurement and operation to maintenance and disposal.
Although a CMMS may share the same features, the functionalities of EAM software are vast. These extra capabilities not only enable businesses to effectively manage asset maintenance but they help to maximise the management of mission-critical assets through tracking, collecting, and analysing asset performance data.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Enterprise Asset Management Software
When it comes to finding the best enterprise asset management software for your business, there are various factors that should be considered. As well as budget and software type, you should consider:
Usability of the Product
The single most important factor in executing your asset strategy is how well your EAM software is used by your team. There are two types of usage; passive usage, which is when your team members have no choice but to use the software, and active usage, which is when your team members enjoy using the software. With active usage, all of the data is entered easily and accurately. This means your software gets used comprehensively, and you get useful reports and actionable insights. Generic product demos and images are a good way to understand the usability of enterprise asset management software.
Choosing an enterprise asset management software that is well adopted by your industry or a relevant industry ensures that you are not re-inventing the wheel. Software features, implementation, data import, and reporting are some of the key areas where industry-relevant software vendors can substantially reduce adoption costs and positively influence usage.
Reporting and Real-Time Alerts
Collectively, data and reports drive most businesses and their decision. While usability controls the accuracy of data entered in your EAM system, the accurate configuration of reports ensure you monitor and execute your asset management plan. The key here is to look for the depth of easiness to configure and fine-tune your reports. Most business dynamics change bi-annually, if not quarterly. Your management software should be able to easily address your ongoing reporting requirements.
Product Features and Tools
The speed and quality of new features can be underestimated. Businesses use software to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of assets, so it is vital that new software features help to get more out of the software investment and assets. Version release cycles of software should be closely understood before you sign on the dotted line. A 6 to 9 months release cycle is considered a good release cycle. Anything beyond 18 months should be closely understood.
Implementation Time Scales
There are two elements here; one is how long a typical implementation takes and the second is planned Vs. actual implementation success rate. Software that is well adopted by your industry should be quicker to implement. A long implementation cycle sometimes is necessary if your business processes are unique. But, sometimes, long implementation cycles can also be a sign of difficult software customisation or data import procedures. Your EAM software vendor should be able to supply planned Vs. actual success rates from previous implementations during pre-sales discussions.