Joško Ivankov

Enterprise Asset Management – Meaning, Definition And Services

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Enterprise asset management (EAM) refers to the management of a company’s assets through the various elements that may occur during their life cycle in terms of facilities, departments, units and/or geographical areas. These so-called assets can be plans, buildings, machines, vehicles and infrastructures.

The EAM system is used to plan, control, optimize and execute the necessary asset maintenance activities according to their order of priority, the materials to be used, the tools, or the skills required, all made possible by the information made available. This includes design, commissioning, operations, maintenance and replacement. Ultimately, the objective of EAM is to optimize the life cycle of an asset in order to decrease the total cost of ownership (TCO) while maximizing the overall productivity of the asset (OPA) and the return on asset (ROA).

What Is EAM?

EAM: definition

The term EAM stands for Enterprise Asset Management. It is the management, over their entire life cycle, of all the material assets of a company (or any organization), which can be installations, buildings, infrastructures, or any other type of equipment.

The EAM covers all stages of the life cycle of these assets, it encompasses their design and construction as well as their commissioning, operation, maintenance or replacement, and their destruction or demolition.

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What Are The Objectives Of Enterprise Asset Management?

Broadly speaking, EAM aims to track the life cycle of a company’s physical assets to optimize their use. This optimization aims to:

  • improve asset-related processes,
  • facilitate more flexible and efficient use of assets,
  • reduce operating and maintenance costs,
  • improve the safety and reliability of assets,
  • ensure their regulatory compliance,
  • promote the preservation of the environment,
  • replace underperforming assets.

EAM concerns all the material assets of a company, in particular the buildings and the infrastructures linked to them: workstations, meeting rooms, facilities dedicated to employees, fleets, vending machines, etc. Regarding the EAM of buildings, we often speak of property management. To implement EAM effectively, it is necessary to use EAM software.

Who Needs Enterprise Asset Management?

Regardless of the type of your equipment or assets, maintenance should be part of your daily routine. Monitoring and managing an asset is important for any business regardless of its size. While some companies already use EAM as part of their enterprise resource planning (ERP), others require an independent version of the software. Indeed, companies heavily dependent on complex and expensive physical assets must benefit from a detailed and optimal overview of their assets. With an autonomous EAM system, these companies see a drastic increase in their power of control over their assets and associated maintenance activities.

In Practice, How Does EAM Work?

The EAM system is based on a complete and proactive analysis of the life cycle of assets allowing the implementation of predictive maintenance.

The data recorded by the sensors of the connected machines is directly collected and analyzed. Using machine learning and advanced analysis, it is possible to automatically predict when the condition of an asset will become critical suggesting a potential failure. Work orders are then sent, and a preventive maintenance intervention on the asset concerned can be scheduled before it fails completely. The EAM software can also provide information on required replacement tools or parts.

An electrician is repairing the power line

Why Is Enterprise Asset Management Essential Today?

With the progress of the Internet of Industrial Products and Industry 4.0, the digitization and integration of maintenance management systems have become a real must. A software solution such as EAM represents a perfect opportunity for companies with heavy assets to minimize their risk of failure resulting in costs and thus to significantly optimize their profits. The EAM software is accessible on multiple mobile devices and platforms (maintenance workstations, tablets, smartphones, etc.) anywhere in the world. In the era of digitalization, EAM allows you to take an active part in the optimal management of your assets thanks to an overview and transparency of their life cycle and associated maintenance operations.

As you will have understood, EAM is a systematic computerized solution, easy and simple to access, whose various indicators allow a great improvement in terms of performance, integration and visualization of data. This type of software makes it possible to avoid costly sources of instability as much as possible while guaranteeing increased quality and protection of the production process.

Benefits Of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

The right EAM solution can help your business track, manage, analyze and optimize your assets at all stages of their lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal. This can lead to notable improvements in transparency and preventive maintenance capabilities. This results in time savings, increased efficiency and reduced costs. An EAM can also help your organization to:

Streamline inventory management – Effective maintenance requires optimized inventory management. An EAM can facilitate this management by reading barcodes. Inventory tracking capabilities and visibility of parts usage and cost also facilitate this management.

Maximize asset life – The historical data, real-time data, and analytical tools of an EAM can help you extend the availability, reliability, and usefulness of your physical assets. This increases the efficiency and the ROI of the company.

Extend the life cycle of assets – The historical data, real-time data, and analytical tools of an EAM can help you extend the availability, reliability, and usability of your physical assets. This increases efficiency and ROI.

Work from anywhere – Mobile and multi-site capabilities and features can maximize remote capabilities and facilitate social distancing. The ability to read meters, capture electronic signatures, and use barcodes also expands these same capabilities.

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EAM: What Small And Medium-Sized Businesses Need To Know

Small and medium-sized businesses with a large number of installations or equipment can benefit from the EAM. EAM data can help identify asset performance issues, indicate which equipment needs maintenance, and suggest efficiencies by changing how that equipment operates.

What Are The Features Of EAM Software?

Most enterprise asset management software supports standard EAM functionality. Basic EAM primarily involves maintaining a detailed database of assets and their characteristics, along with their maintenance history and associated regulatory documents. EAM solutions also include, in most cases, a financial management tool and analytical tools.

In addition, the most popular software includes an asset life cycle management feature. This covers the main stages of this cycle, from design to dismantling, including production – or construction in the case of real estate assets or infrastructure – and management of the guarantee.

Many solutions also offer inventory, materials and supply management modules, as well as planning tools. The management of the supply chain, which plays an important role in EAM because it makes it possible to obtain the materials and components necessary for the construction, upkeep and maintenance of the equipment, is thus facilitated.

Finally, maintenance scheduling is a popular feature in enterprise asset management. It is thus possible to organize the availability of maintenance personnel according to the needs and required skills, and to manage the work orders and record the hours. With powerful software, preventive or predictive maintenance can be implemented.

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How To Implement The Resources For A Good EAM?

EAM is a professional discipline that combines services, systems and software. It controls and maintains the equipment, as well as the assets in order to be operational. Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is typically driven by management software.

This type of EAM software warns managers of an imminent failure or wear of a part of a device. It also serves as an efficient technical support for a company.

To have a good EAM, it should be associated with other software. In the age of the Internet and connected objects, technicians are including artificial intelligence and advanced analytics in EAM. The information collected is analyzed using artificial intelligence. The resulting data allows teams to:

  • to optimize investments in their equipment,
  • perform preventive maintenance,
  • improve their efficiency,
  • 24/7 stock tracking,
  • equipment and task management,
  • preventive maintenance planning,
  • requesting and ordering parts,
  • prevention of equipment failures,
  • effective prioritization of maintenance activities,
  • identification of critical states, priorities and risks,
  • tracking labor costs and reducing downtime,
  • make the best decisions.

Person using laptop

What Is The Difference Between EAM And CMMS?

Some companies use hardware maintenance software called CMMS, short for “computerized maintenance management system” but also called “computer-assisted maintenance management software”.

CMMS and EAM systems have similar goals and some of the same functionality, although EAM systems offer a wider range of functionality. What really sets them apart is philosophy and scope.

A CMMS system focuses on support, while an EAM system takes a holistic approach, integrating multiple business functions. The CMMS begins to provide follow-up after the purchase and installation of an asset. On the other hand, the EAM system can follow the entire life cycle of an asset, starting with design and installation. A CMMS system is designed to handle a single site or offer limited multisite support. The EAM system is equipped with extensive functions to manage multiple sites and companies.

An EAM system is a comprehensive tool for managing physical assets and optimizing their performance across the enterprise. EAM is a CMMS combined with an inventory management system, a purchasing management system, a document management system, an accounting system, a project management system, multi-site management tools and performance management, all in one integrated software.

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