The right EAM system can help businesses to control, measure, and optimize each of their asset’s entire lifecycle management. By doing so, they can reduce the overall level of maintenance and repair expenses, whilst avoiding unnecessary and costly downtime. But to choose a tool that best suits their processes, businesses need to be aware of their own requirements and what factors to consider.
1. Identify Your Business Objectives and Challenges
Your first consideration should be to review your business objectives and learn exactly what you need from an enterprise asset management system.
For instance, are you experiencing too much asset downtime? Are your maintenance, repair, and operational costs becoming increasingly expensive?
Perhaps you’re finding that your existing method of monitoring and reporting using spreadsheets is no longer sufficient. Or, maybe you need to integrate your asset management activities with your core business systems.
You can even ask your employees for their input on what would make their work routines easier and more productive. You can observe and monitor their struggles to learn what features should be included within your EAM system.
2. Does the EAM System Have the Features You Need?
When researching EAM tools, consider the features you need now and in the future. The last thing you’ll want to do is invest in a costly enterprise asset management system that will need to be replaced in a few years.
Most of today’s EAM solutions cover main functions, such as:
- Asset lifecycle management
- Supply chain management
- Maintenance planning
- Project management
- Work orders
Also, consider whether the software can be adapted to your industry and company size, and whether it’s user-friendly and mobile-friendly. Choose a vendor that clearly demonstrates a commitment to embracing new industry and technological trends.
Finally, be sure to get input from users again once you have a preferred EAM system in mind. You’ll want to make sure that they will be able to utilise the features it provides and that they can be adapted to your business.
3. Is Enterprise Asset Management Software Cloud-Based or On-Premise?
How you want your EAM software to be deployed will have an impact on what type of system you choose.
Cloud-based software can be more mobile-friendly, which helps if you need field service workers to access the system. Data is stored in the cloud, so if you experience a power outage or natural disaster that affects your site, your records will be safe.
If your business holds sensitive classes of data or has a vast amount of assets, you may need to keep your EAM data on-site for compliance and regulatory reasons. In that case, an on-premise solution would be the best option.
You can also find hybrid solutions, which can be deployed both in the cloud and on-premise.
4. What are the Technical Requirements involved?
Another consideration is how much technical expertise will be needed to implement, integrate, and continually update and maintain your EAM system.
Then there’s the technical support your system users will need from time to time. You may need to bring a dedicated I.T. technician or team on board to help with these activities. Particularly if you have a complicated or bespoke configuration.
With a cloud-based EAM system, you can effectively outsource the need for technical expertise. You’ll find that your vendor will take care of any upgrades or updates automatically with minimal disruption to your employees and day-to-day operations. They should also have a dedicated support team available to contact by phone or email.
5. Is an EAM System Cost-effective?
The amount you pay for EAM software will depend on your specific requirements. For example, if you need a customised system that integrates with other applications, such as your in-house ERP system, this will cost more than an off-the-shelf EAM solution.
If you opt for an on-premise EAM system, you’ll have to invest a significant amount of money upfront, plus licensing fees.
Whereas, a cloud-based SaaS solution would involve a lower, more manageable, recurring subscription fee, but may end up costing you more in the long run.
How many system users you need may also impact the price.
It’s important to note, however, that the right EAM system can save your business a lot of money and time. By establishing a preventative maintenance schedule for your assets, you can reduce the chances of equipment failures and downtime from ever happening and maximise your physical asset lifecycles. And, because you’ll have access to all your asset management records digitally, with the ability to run reports in seconds, your administrative operations will become more efficient.
Bonus: Do Your Research
Start by addressing your business objectives. Then, dissect the operational challenges you’re experiencing so that you have a clear idea of what your chosen EAM system needs to deliver.
It might be that an off-the-shelf EAM system is all you need, but do consider what features are required now and in the future, to ensure you choose a solution that will stand the test of time.
Other factors to think about include how much budget is available, the level of technical expertise you’ll need to source and whether a cloud-based, on-premise or a hybrid model would be best.