The need to effectively manage your organisation’s physical assets is clear, but are you asking the right EAM questions regarding the need to implement a software solution? While an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system has been highlighted as a necessary purchase, many solutions can differ in the features that they offer to a business. So, before continuing to the purchasing-stage, you’ll want to understand your need for EAM software in relation to the needs of the company.
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1. What Are the Key Reasons for Choosing an EAM Solution
EAM is seen as the process of managing a business’s physical assets to maximise its lifecycle. In turn, this can reduce costs and improve the overall health and quality of assets.
An EAM solution is most commonly considered the next step once an organisation has outgrown its current CMMS system. In fact, your organisation may have hundreds of physical assets and multiple facilities to maintain. You may even have the right employees in place to manage asset lifecycles; commonly referred to as an asset manager and responsible for making cost-saving decisions.
Overall, the idea of managing key assets is to reduce needless expenditure such as unplanned downtime. With organisations losing an average of $260,000 per hour in 2018 through unplanned downtime, the need for effective management and maintenance of assets is more critical than ever.
2. How Can EAM Software Help Reduce Unplanned Downtime of Revenue-Generating Assets?
Although some forms of downtime can have their advantages, such as necessary upgrades and maintenance to improve output, unplanned downtime can be extremely damaging to a business. Having the ability to significantly reduce this overhead can be a vital feature of the right EAM software.
If unplanned downtime is costing your company thousands of pounds then an effective EAM system will reduce that amount. This can be achieved by effective data gathering and having a more cost-efficient maintenance plan in place to reduce asset failure, such as a preventive maintenance program.
A preventive maintenance plan sits between a reactive approach and a predictive one. Essentially, it is the process of regularly performing checks on equipment to reduce the likelihood of failure. This type of maintenance is performed while equipment is still in working order, with the aim to identify and prevent downtime before it happens. As opposed to a reactive maintenance plan, which means waiting for equipment to fail and then fixing it with spare parts that you may or may not have in the workplace.
3. How Can an EAM Tool Improve Asset Life Cycle Management Processes?
It is a common feature on all modern EAM systems to collect and analyse essential data that can streamline the management of an asset’s lifecycle.
This includes the four key stages; planning, acquisition, operation and disposal.
By having access to this data and understanding each segment of an asset’s lifecycle, you can plan how much value each asset can offer your business. This can relate to both operational value and in terms of cost-saving.
4. Do I Need EAM Software, or a Less-Complex Tool Like a CMMS?
As CMMS software continues to improve, the difference between the two types of maintenance management software becomes hazier.
However, if you’re managing an organisation with hundreds of assets spread across multiple sites, an EAM system is the best choice. The features and functionalities of EAM software open it up to being a much more practical use for larger companies. Such effective features can include asset tracking and budget management.
Whereas, a CMMS solution can be much more beneficial for small to medium-sized companies that are looking to design and implement an effective maintenance program.
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5. What Type of EAM System Do I Require? Cloud-Based, On-Premise, or a Hybrid?
Whereas only a decade ago most EAM solutions were specifically on-premise, it is extremely common now for all EAM systems to be a cloud-based SaaS. Although some vendors can offer a hybrid version of the two.
Although you may have decided on a cloud-based solution to have more manageable upfront costs, there are still many features that can be helpful to a business.
For example, a cloud-Based system can offer user-friendly apps for all employees. This mobile solution can be of great assistance to field service workers that require easy and instant access to your database system. Important asset data can also be stored safely in the cloud. This means if you experience a power outage or natural disaster, your records will be safe.
6. What Specific Features Are Required to Improve the Uptime of Enterprise Assets?
In analysing over 60 EAM Software products, we uncovered a common theme. That is, EAM systems can come across as similar products, yet they are different. The differences are often subtle, yet can influence a data-driven asset management plan. EAM tools will have several features surrounding areas such as:
- Asset planning
- Budget approval
- Asset register
- Hierarchy of assets
- Asset tracking
- Maintenance management
- Service management
- Asset disposal
Teams from finance, procurement, maintenance, production, and operations tend to have focus areas that benefit their immediate line of business. The area that gets overlooked is agreeing and communicating (ideally documenting) the key product features that every team is going to use to improve their KPIs.
We highly recommend developing EAM adoption clarity. Identifying specific features that you are collectively and individually going to use improves the probability of a successful selection. More importantly, accelerated the adoption of a system and ultimately helping to drive asset uptime.
7. How Cyber Secure Is the Operational Architecture of EAM Software?
Cyber security is still somehow just the responsibility of the IT team. Members from production, operations, maintenance, and procurement teams tend to rely on their IT colleagues to take a call on the cyber security aspect of a system.
IT teams are highly equipped to evaluate and understand the network security and software security of EAM systems. But when it comes to asset data, knowing how cyber secure the operational parameters of an asset are is a step that can drive cyber safety confidence. Particularly if asset data is collected via IoT devices or from an asset that is internet enabled.
It is highly recommended to evaluate the IT cyber security and operational assets cyber security architecture offered by your shortlisted EAM system. Especially in scenarios where hacked operational assets can have revenue-changing effects on businesses.