What is EAM and When to Implement it into your Business
EAM can be an effective application for any business, large or small, looking to manage and maintain their physical assets.
However, before diving in to an EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) system, it’s important to understand what your business assets are and what best way to manage them.
Planning for Enterprise Asset Management
In asset-intensive industries – such as mining, road, rail, ports and air travel – you need to be able to manage your business assets and equipment. You want to ensure that your assets perform well and last, whilst costs and quality are kept under control.
All limited companies in the UK need to record their assets in their tax return every year, including total value and depreciation.
The definition of an asset can differ from industry to industry. For a property of facilities business, their assets are the physical property and land. For IT, assets will be IT infrastructure and devices. Utilities business will class their electrical or water grid system as an asset. Councils will have buildings, roads, housing and care homes as their assets.
What are the Key Challenges of Managing Assets?
Challenges in asset management are varied and often come from problems with systems, planning and inputting. Some of the most common challenges in asset management are:
- Calculating depreciation and the value of assets
- Ensuring the longevity of the asset through time maintenance
- Monitoring and maintaining accurate records
- Managing tasks such as repairs
- Health and safety issues may only come to light after a negative event has occurred
- Quality and efficiency of assets
- Cost management and projection
- Gaining a holistic overview of an asset lifecycle
One of the easiest, most efficient and cost-effective way of managing these assets is through using EAM software. EAM provides a full, integrated overview of your business assets.
What is EAM Software?
EAM software is a computerised system to help businesses manage and maintain the physical assets that they rely on. They tend to be used by larger organisations with users across multiple sites, to help see the bigger picture.
Enterprise Asset Management focuses on managing the lifestyle of physical assets in order to maximise the length of use, reduce costs, and improve quality and efficiency.
In this context, “Enterprise” means the way that assets interact across the company. This includes input from a number of other departments and locations, even support departments such as Human Resources. EAM assets are usually fixed; buildings, machinery and plants. But can also include moving equipment like ships, vehicles and aeroplanes – so needs careful planning.
Collecting the data you need, then taking the time to analyse it can all impact on the effectiveness of an asset management strategy. This can be especially difficult if assets are spread out across locations and managed on-site by different teams. You need to be able to assess your bottom line quickly, and ensure that your assets remain profitable.
Why Should you Implement EAM Software?
One of the key reasons to use an EAM application is that it can provide a complete view of assets and infrastructure, and allow for future planning. It can let you see the tools that are available to help meet the business’ priorities – including finance, skills, materials and data.
EAM systems can also provide you with information through the entire asset lifecycle, not just a snapshot at a point in time. It can support your business in a number of ways right from the start, including:
- Design and commission
- Asset accounting and financial management
- Operation, maintenance and service management
- Asset tracking
- Stock ordering, inventory management and supply chain
- Management of documents
- Scheduling, time tracking and space management
- Assigning responsibilities and locations
- Fleet tracking and management
- Project management
- Human resources and payroll
EAM software can even support with more detailed tasks such as maintenance scheduling and warranty management. It can help you to standardise activity, and make better connections between the organisational strategy and day-to-day running.
The ultimate goal of an asset management software is to ensure that your assets remain as profitable as they can. A good system can even help you to stay one step ahead and gain competitive advantage.
How is EAM different to CMMS?
You might be thinking that this all sounds like your current computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). Whilst there are some similarities between EAM and CMMS software, they’re not the same.
A CMMS is used to manage maintenance. Whereas, EAM software manages the entire lifecycle of an asset.
By managing assets based on risk and need, businesses can prioritise their work and improve the way that they manage their assets. EAM can even help to keep assets at their best by implementing shorter response times and better maintenance.
Having access to data and real-time reporting in the field is an essential feature of an EAM system, allowing businesses to react to maintenance and inspection needs. The information is all available at the touch of a button (or two).
This access to data also means that safety issues and incidents can be reviewed and input straight away. It can even ensure that you have all of the data needed before inspections or projects begin.
Another great feature in EAM software is that they can often be managed on a mobile device, meaning that assets can be monitored on-the-go. This is particularly useful if you’re relying on field teams to input data and act on reports.
A good EAM can be the difference between being profitable and struggling to keep up with your competitors. It’s important to invest in a strong supporting tool to make sure that you stay ahead of the game.
Who should use EAM?
Simply, any person responsible for the following:
- Finance, procurement and accounts management
- Maintenance and operations teams
- Directors with legal responsibility for asset management
- IT teams with responsibility for asset management
- Security team
- Change Managers and consultants
- Customer service and support teams with links to asset management
Where do you go from here?
If you want to find out which Enterprise Asset Management Software is best for your business, try our free search tool.
Over 18,000 businesses have already used CompareSoft to find the right tool for them – we can even supply you with case studies for your industry!