In this article, we share an overview of EAM systems, explain how they work, and the ways to maximize the value they can bring to your business. This article is derived from a previously broadcast webinar titled ‘Maximizing your CMMS/EAM Potential‘, which covers the topic in more detail. 

What is an EAM?

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems use an organization’s entire operational infrastructure to manage and maintain assets needs, including maintenance, safety/environment, inventory, and worker training.

Due to its broad capabilities and modularity, an EAM can help asset-intensive organizations get a top-down view of their maintenance organization and operational management to help them make better business decisions.

Difference between a CMMS and an EAM

A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) focuses primarily on centralized maintenance management by allowing maintenance teams to streamline maintenance-related activities. Its capabilities include maintenance scheduling, work order management, resource planning, and field service management.

An EAM’s capabilities are broader and, aside from maintenance management, covers several additional categories. One of the most significant benefits of an EAM is that it helps unify the management and maintenance of an asset throughout its entire lifecycle.

image showing a comparison between a CMMS and an EAM.

For this article, we will discuss EAM systems specifically. However, the fundamentals of these insights apply to a CMMS as well.

How an EAM Works

An EAM helps organizations track all aspects of an asset throughout its lifecycle, from when it is first purchased through its design, construction, installation, operation, repair, and disposal. One of the benefits is that it can be used cross-departmentally, including material resource planning, finance, and HR.

EAMs help organizations by:

Increasing efficiency. By providing real-time information about an asset, you can make informed decisions based on current conditions. Real-time asset data also means both the equipment and organization are more efficient.

Improving cost-effectiveness. An EAM can help reduce costs associated with managing an asset because it tracks everything related to that asset.

Providing more profound insights into asset’s health. With detailed records of an asset’s history, you can identify trends or patterns that may show potential problems before they occur. Thereby, it can reduce unexpected downtime and its impact.

Realizing Industry 4.0 ambitions. Since EAM technology is on the cloud, it can cross-collaboratively with other tools and technologies in real-time. That allows for predictive analytics using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and machine learning. It can also collect and transmit live data from assets to provide business insights that can help drive digital transformation ambitions.

An EAM can provide tremendous value for an organization when used to its full potential.

How does one realize full EAM potential?

5 Keys to Maximizing your EAM Potential

At MaxGrip, we work with clients across the full APM maturity spectrum with various goals and ambitions related to their EAM implementation process. If one thing is sure, one approach or solution does not apply to all. We will help you with your specific EAM implementation guide.

We have found that these five keys, when executed correctly, maximize your EAM potential.

  • Training and Standardization

    A key to maximizing EAM potential is to ensure that employees are adequately trained and that this knowledge is sustained throughout the organization. That requires a system for continued staff support with up-to-date and relevant training programs. Many organizations recently felt this impact due to COVID-19 or the rapidly shifting job landscape.

    For example, what happens when a senior or more experienced member leaves or retires? What are the systems in place to ensure that their specific “tribal knowledge” isn’t lost? The loss of this knowledge due to staff changes is a scenario where standardized job plans, routes, and inspections help ensure that whoever joins the team can execute the job safely and correctly.

    Further, if there is a need for an audit in the future, the documentation can be produced with exact information.

  • Accurate master data

    Ensuring accurate master data helps improve EAM usage by making the data usable.

    A key value of an EAM system is that it holds data that can be dissected to build insights and influence decisions. That includes gaining visibility into which assets are critical and a clear picture of the asset hierarchy. It can also help visualize how assets relate to each other, particularly as it relates to downtime.

    Hence the importance of clean and accurate master data.

  • Culture and adoption

    A critical key to maximizing EAM potential is supporting the usage and adoption of the people that work with it. This narrows down to the culture of an organization.

    Critical to this is ensuring that the EAM isn’t seen as an administrative burden. That starts with clearly defined roles and boundaries unique to your organization to ensure that information flows across the department.

    Another challenge to adoption is a culture of viewing an EAM as a “black box,” which could mean not having a clear picture of the entire EAM work order. The better that an EAM system is integrated into the everyday workflow of staff, the higher the probability of regular adoption.

  • Comprehensive data analysis

    Critical to comprehensive data analysis is establishing an organizational strategy that appropriately manages its data. This entails examining which data is being captured and how it is organized and making these easy to analyze to form KPIs.

    Maintenance data can be broken down into three phases:

    1. Data capturing. Includes standardizing the data fields (PNIDs, Work IDs, etc.) and ensuring that the quality and input of this information are not being neglected. It also helps to organize this information into different data sets to provide insights into the varying strategies’ effectiveness quickly.
    2. Data management and analytics. This helps to understand a PM plan’s effectiveness, inventory needs, work management, and overall cost tracking. A common one is failure history and failure metrics, such as Mean Time to Repair (MTTR).
    3. Applying data to the maintenance strategy. With the right analytics and KPIs in place, this data is now used to apply to your decision-making and maintenance strategy. This will help with labor forecasting, budget allocation, work process optimization, spare parts management, and maintenance strategy.

    Using the EAM to create work management KPIs will help identify areas of improvement, such as where work is getting hung up. It is all about the business value of maintenance and reliability.

  • Experienced guidance

    The last key to realizing your EAM potential is experienced guidance. We’ve found it helpful for clients to take a “snapshot” of their current processes to understand where they are today to be then able to establish goals and KPIs. This will help to reveal what resources and expertise are already in-house and which areas may need external support.

With this knowledge, you can seek experienced guidance, such as a MaxGrip maintenance and reliability engineer, to help build the roadmap to achieve sustainable success.

Keeping the human in mind

A key focus at MaxGrip is cultural transformation. Focusing on culture helps to enable the natural usage and adoption of EAM systems, which improves the streamlining of processes and the quality of data capturing. One directly impacts the other.

Maximizing your EAM potential goes beyond a process, technology, or fancy software. Full potential is reached by understanding the humans impacted by these tools and setting up a sustainable, impactful culture to have a more proactive maintenance mindset. These are critical factors in the broader picture of realizing Industry 4.0 ambitions.

Learn how MaxGrip’s Asset Improvement Program looks at these key areas when building a sustainable EAM/CMMS success roadmap.

🖥 Watch the recorderd webinar: Maximizing your CMMS Potential

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