Enterprise Asset Management (EAM): What It Is and Why It Matters

Defined as the process of managing the maintenance and lifecycle of physical assets to plan and optimize their use, track maintenance activities, schedule replacement and manage disposal, EAM is integral to refining operational efficiency, minimizing risk, and reducing costs.

While it is possible to handle EAM without specific technology, utilizing specialized EAM software is effective, efficient, and reliable.

What are the objectives of EAM and how do I know if I need it?

In a nutshell, enterprise asset management will help you improve your products and services while delivering them faster. If your company relies on a physical infrastructure with complex equipment, you should consider EAM.

You can rely on EAM to manage the entirety of your assets’ life cycles:

  • Acquisition
  • Installation
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Disposal

How do I choose the best EAM software for my company?

While there are many different software options available, the EAM software solution you choose will organize, track, and record…

  • Asset hierarchies
  • Inventory
  • Asset allocation
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Compliance with safety and environmental laws
  • Asset tracking across business units
  • Monitoring costs
  • Management of work orders and service requests
  • Asset tracking via barcodes and geographic information system (GIS) mapping technology
  • Asset analytics

EAM software can vary based on size of organization and/or primary objective:

  • Asset performance management software
    • Focuses on asset optimization
  • Asset lifecycle management software
    • Tracks fixed assets from acquisition to disposition
  • Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS)
    • For small to medium-sized businesses or large businesses with small maintenance teams, less advanced but more affordable
  • Facility management software
    • Focuses on the safety, cleanliness, and compliancy of buildings
  • Plant management
    • Maintains the infrastructure of complex chemical plants, defense manufacturing facilities, aerospace, or oil and gas refineries
  • Asset tracking
    • Allows companies to quickly locate fixed assets
  • Predictive maintenance
    • Enables businesses to implement proactive maintenance operations to prevent problems

So how do I choose the one that’s best for me?

In order to choose the software that’s best for you, it’s important to consider the following:

  1. Focus on both present and future needs. While choosing an EAM software that meets your short-term needs is obviously important, it’s even wiser to choose one that will meet your needs for at least the next three years— i.e., find a system that will allow quick and easy configuration – like the ability to redefine maintenance processes.
  2. Look for a software that enables you to analyze data quickly and easily. Analysis tools are imperative to a good EAM software because they inform your management decisions and provide insight into your maintenance operations— e.g., find a system with a business intelligence dashboard that displays configurable key performance indicators.
  3. Choose a software with comprehensive support services. This will enable you to get the best ROI by making sure that you can implement the system correctly.
  4. Find a software that generates work requests and/or work orders. This allows for immediate communication and instant response times.
  5. Consider finding a software with barcoding technology. Barcode labels will minimize the amount of time your technicians have to spend on data entry while decreasing errors.
  6. Look for an EAM system with inventory management. This enables your maintenance technicians to automatically order parts for work requests, record data about inventory received and perform counts and adjustments.
  7. Lastly, allow the employees that will be directly working with the EAM software to help you choose it. These workers understand the needs of the business best; therefore, their input will highly impact a successful implementation.

Final thoughts:

When making an implementation decision on EAM software, with long term impact, consider engaging an expert to consult on your unique needs to get the perfect fit. Your EAM software choice aligns with your overall business strategy.

About OptiAM®: OptiAM® EAM software is a secure, web-based application, designed to address unique customer requirements. Originally developed for the US Military by experienced maintenance personnel, OptiAM® is applicable to a wide range of asset types in any environment. Configurable and intuitive, OptiAM® applies to users in any industry.

About ASI: Andromeda Systems, Incorporated (ASI) is an ISO-9001:2008 company committed to superior technical performance and excellence in customer satisfaction. Our mission is to assist asset and fleet managers in achieving optimal levels of economy, availability, and safety by developing and applying leading systems engineering tools, processes, and expertise. We are headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, with offices in Lexington Park, MD; Arlington, VA; Jacksonville, FL; Havelock, NC; Oklahoma City, OK and San Diego, CA.

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