Enterprise asset management, also known as EAM, oversees the maintenance of a company’s various assets. The goal of EAM is to extend the life cycle of these assets and maximize the ROI. Mostly used by manufacturing industries, the main assets managed with EAM are large, expensive pieces of equipment. The worst thing for a company’s bottom line is high turnover for expensive equipment. If you can’t keep your equipment running, good luck growing your profits.
In addition, enterprise asset management is a type of CMMS. Both are asset management software that simplify preventive maintenance. However, EAM systems have a variety of features that your regular CMMS lacks.
To get the most out of enterprise asset management, companies turn to EAM software. The best EAM solutions not only help with preventive maintenance, but give a big-picture view of your company’s facilities and assets. They can help assess risk management and facilitate inventory management. And EAM also manages infrastructure and work orders. Point being: a good EAM system does a lot for companies.
So what types of companies use EAM software? As we mentioned earlier, mostly manufacturing companies use it to manage their facilities. But not every facility can, or should, use an EAM solution. The difference? It comes down to size.
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What Size Companies Need Enterprise Asset Management?
Mainly large companies use EAM software. The reason goes back to its ability to show a big-picture view. Small and medium-sized companies typically only have one or a few facilities, with a relatively small number of maintenance workers and managers. With less big-picture oversight needed, smaller companies are usually fine with a simpler CMMS. The extra price associated with an EAM just isn’t worth it for these companies. Not that EAM solutions are overly expensive, but let’s be honest: it’s all about the ROI and the bottom line.
Larger organizations, on the other hand, have a number of facilities with hundreds of workers. This requires much more big-picture insight, with a lot more tracking to do. In particular, these organizations need to be able to compare their various facilities. Comparing the asset performance, regulatory compliance and costs of different facilities is essential to running these companies effectively. These large organizations can use EAM software to manage assets across facilities, departments and locations.
For global enterprises especially, this capability is crucial. Using EAM, you can compare the effectiveness of preventive maintenance at facilities in North America with those in Europe. You could also compare each facility’s inventory management, to see which ones use their assets more efficiently. After finding out which facilities perform better, facility managers can take steps to improve. In the long-term, costs go down while regulatory compliance and profits go up.
The Future of Enterprise Asset Management
As time goes on and vendors continue to innovate, this dynamic may change. In fact, some believe it’ll change so much that smaller companies will soon have more accessibility to EAM. Despite not adopting EAM as much at present, any small company could use the software for their facilities. Jackie Luo, CEO of EAM vendor eQuip believes that it’s coming soon. In an eQuip blog, she discussed some of the factors leading to more accessibility. One is the reduction of peripheral EAM costs, such as expensive internet-connected scanners for reading barcodes. Nowadays, everyone has a smart phone which can be used as a scanner after downloading an EAM app. With this in mind, smaller companies can avoid the cost of the scanners while still getting the full functionality of an EAM solution.
The trend towards cloud deployment also makes EAM more accessible. Reduced IT needs and less time spent updating opens the door for companies of almost any size to use EAM software. As Luo puts it: “the need for the solution is a business discussion only, as it should always have been.”
Enterprise asset management is a game-changer for companies of all sizes, not just global enterprises. Ask any facility manager currently using EAM, and you’ll hear them praising the benefits. Although it’s fairly limited to large companies for now, small companies should soon have access to EAM. Facilities the world over will become more efficient, and continue to perfect preventive maintenance and regulatory compliance. We can’t wait to see it.