There is a wide range of powerful maintenance management software packages claiming to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, across all industries. The challenge for businesses owners is deciding which one best suits their circumstances.
It’s a big field with lots of confusing acronyms and features. Some of the really good systems boast sophisticated graphic interfaces, track an array of metrics, and include scanning and photo imaging capabilities, all accessible from any Internet-connected device. The best place to start is by learning about some of the options.
Let’s look at Enterprise Asset Management software, often referred to as EAM.
What is EAM Software?
As the name suggests, EAM’s primary focus is extending not only the lifecycle of a company’s equipment while ensuring environmental safety but also managing other assets, including the facility itself. EAMs need to be robust systems because they are used to manage a wide spectrum of assets across departments, often across multiple locations. EAM software tracks stationary assets, such as industrial presses, as well as mobile ones, such as a fleet of vehicles.
The idea behind asset management is to not only extend the useful life of a company’s assets but also maximize their potential. In other words, the objective is to keep equipment running at maximum capacity. While a CMMS software offers asset tracking as part of its global capabilities, asset management is the main emphasis of an EAM.
Starting out with an EAM
Given its focus on asset preservation, specific data regarding each asset must be gathered and entered into the software’s database. Establishing the expected lifespan of a piece of equipment as well as its current place in that lifecycle is extremely important when setting up asset tracking. Equally important is determining if a particular piece of equipment is providing value for a company. Examining its repair history, including any associated production delay costs, against its overall efficiency has to be done first. If the cost of repairs and production operations exceed the benefits that an asset provides, replacing it may be a more economical option in the long term. Therefore, one of the great benefits of EAM is helping maintenance managers plan for updates, replacements, and other changes in equipment that when unanticipated, might otherwise cause serious delays and downtime.
EAM's asset tracking capabilities
Asset tracking is a multifocal undertaking. It involves tracking maintenance activities including costs of labor, inventory, materials and parts. In general, asset management software can track planned, ongoing, and completed maintenance activities. It can also generate a history of each maintenance task for a particular asset or all assets in total. By reviewing reports, business owners get a sense of the overall health of a specific piece of equipment or of all their assets. EAMs also provide the paper trail often required to meet voluntary or mandated compliance.
Other EAM capabilities
Asset management software also includes preventive maintenance, cost control, and work order systems. When comparing asset management software to a CMMS platform, what sets them apart is the strategic planning component. EAMs can:
- Conduct probability-based long-term planning utilizing asset performance and repair histories
- Provide lifecycle modeling and recommendations for the management of any asset
- Conduct revisions to asset maintenance programs using case analysis
- Develop multi-year forecasts for general operations or specific to any assets in question
Bottom line on EAMs
Maintenance and asset management software products have made excellent use of evolving technologies by providing companies with the ability to maximize their operations and therefore their profits. Apart from doing away with paper-and-pen approaches to operations management, these software packages save companies not only time and space; they also reduce labor costs and operations downtime, improve labor utilization and resource allocations, and increase equipment lifespans.
Asset management software takes maintenance management to the next level with its focus on preserving asset integrity while at the same time ensuring that a company’s equipment provides value in a hazard-free environment. The software offers much more than asset tracking because it gives business owners the tools needed to make long-range plans regarding their assets, which in turn, helps shape their business plans. EAMs are best suited to companies with large operations, multiple facilities and with many complex assets. They are also appealing to business owners who anticipate expansion in both their production operations and facilities.