When one of the biggest budget items of your company is physical assets, it is essential to efficiently manage their lifecycle and ensure that their potential is fully used.
Here, enterprise asset management (EAM) comes in handy and enables a structured approach to asset usage, procurement, and maintenance. Enterprise asset management software induces the value of this practice and digitalizes the process of asset tracking.
The market offers different options for those who want to acquire EAM software. The main question concerns the form you should choose to implement this software piece. Should it be a separate application, or should it be a part of your ERP system?
In this article, we will talk in detail about different enterprise asset management software and analyze what option can generate the most value for your business.
What is Enterprise Asset Management?
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is a set of practices to ensure the reliability of assets and optimize their operational performance. This process relies heavily on asset lifecycle management which helps gain better control over asset health.
EAM plays a great role for enterprises that own a big number of complex and expensive physical assets, such as vehicles, heavy equipment, buildings, etc. It is especially relevant for such industries as manufacturing, construction, energy, space, defense, and others. Lack of asset management for these sectors leads to high expenses on asset support and maintenance processes, as well as adds a certain degree of chaos to the operations.
Asset Lifecycle Management
As we have already mentioned, asset lifecycle is a basis used by enterprises to structure their asset management. It consists of several stages.
The first and most important stage, as it is a step when you design the concept of your asset utilization. Analyze what assets you lack, what requirements they should have, and how they should supplement and synchronize with the assets you already use.
Don’t rush through this step, as here you should build a clear vision of a new project. It is a great time to research new technologies (for example, digital twins which gained popularity in the last few years) and run a digital transformation of your business, assess your needs, analyze current performance and optimize business processes.
At the same time, don’t forget about essential organizational aspects, like budgeting.
When you have created a plan, your next steps include purchasing and delivering the aforementioned assets to the facility they will be used in.
At this stage, you will take care of the set of activities: contract management, quality inspection, storage of the asset, spare part management, and others.
This stage implies the assembling, installation and preliminary checks of the assets acquired and delivered. To succeed here, you should take care and think through the aspects like asset tracking and ownership, documentation, qualifications, future maintenance, and support strategies.
It’s the longest stage when the assets generate a return on investments, and for you, a person interested in multiplying the revenues, enterprise asset management is crucial.
During this phase, EAM software will schedule planned work activities, as well as track unplanned. Another important role of the EAM system is to monitor asset health to gather a sufficient amount of data for you to plan and schedule maintenance activities and prevent untimely failures.
You can’t avoid asset maintenance, but you can manage it and implement maintenance strategies that would optimize it, and decrease downtime and disruption in the manufacturing cycle.
Asset maintenance can be divided into two types: planned and unplanned.
Planned maintenance is typically scheduled ahead and is preventive in its nature. Unplanned is more disruptive, as it’s required when the equipment gets broken or performs poorly. It may cause unplanned downtime that will affect the productivity of the enterprise and impact profits.
Hence, it makes sense to focus on planned maintenance or even implement cutting-edge technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or artificial intelligence (AI) to enable predictive maintenance and amplify the monitoring process with real-time data on assets state.
Every asset life comes to an end, and it is also a task for a company to leverage this experience instead of simply writing it off.
The main reasons why the asset might be disposed off usually are:
- the life of the asset has come to end, and it can’t be used anymore;
- the asset isn’t fit anymore for your company’s needs and requirements;
- supporting the asset is too expensive;
- the asset can be replaced with more modern technologies.
To get the most here, the company should take two actions: analyze the data about asset life (and EAM software is your helper here) and evaluate what value you can get from asset removal.
EAM as a practice vs. EAM software
Enterprise asset management (EAM) stands for a set of practices designed to manage assets and maximize their efficiency and lifetime, reducing expenses on their support and improving their quality.
In turn, EAM software is a tool that helps you perform asset management and guides you through the lifecycle of every asset.
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Benefits of Enterprise Asset Management Software
An enterprise asset management solution is a software piece that will simplify your life and the life of your company. Let’s contemplate why and what results in you can expect from EAM software implementation.
Real-time Asset Monitoring
EAM software enables real-time asset tracking, so companies can allocate their physical assets and gain full control over equipment wherever it is based. It is especially relevant for asset-intense enterprises when it is hard to manually follow every asset and evaluate its state.
Real-time data allows adopting more efficient strategies for asset usage, scheduling, and planned maintenance. It also reduces asset shortage or excess, as well as helps you to detect asset theft, loss, or misplacement almost immediately.
Enhanced Operational Efficiency
Delays and inflated costs on assets support are the main reason for headaches for maintenance and facility managers. Outdated workflows and process management based on spreadsheets and paperwork create an environment for disruptions and missteps.
EAM software digitalizes your processes and hence, relieves your employees from repetitive and time-consuming data entry and gives opportunity to show their best. EAM software easily removes bottlenecks that can create challenges for efficient operations.
Improved Asset Reliability and Uptime
High uptime is a goal for every enterprise, as it maximizes the production and profits you might generate with the help of acquired assets.
Adequately planned maintenance management, preventive in its nature, will help to prolong the life of your physical assets and reduce the number of sudden and inconvenient breakdowns that will bring block the manufacturing cycle.
Like many other examples of business solutions, enterprise asset management software allows for generating and storing of operational data within one space. It enables shared access between your employees and different departments, which, in turn, enhanced collaboration and communication inside your company.
Access to In-depth Analytics
Wise business decisions come when quality analytics is available. EAM solutions help you to track the cost and their stream, from the moment the enterprise assets were bought to the total price of their maintenance over the whole asset lifecycle.
This data will grant you an understanding of the total cost of ownership (TCO). It will help you optimize your investments, and expenses and leverage the in-depth reports for future growth.
Main Features of Enterprise Asset Management Software
What features should your EAM software have? We gathered the main functionality you should pay attention to.
We have already talked about asset lifecycle being a basis of the whole enterprise asset management. Your EAM software should reflect all its stages and processes, including planning, procurement, installation, operation, maintenance, transfers, disposal, storage, etc.
A great enterprise asset management platform will allow you to properly track enterprise assets, their documents, and costs.
Work Order Management
Work order manages the asset maintenance requests inside your enterprise. Instead of assigning tasks manually and tracking them with spreadsheets, you can leverage an EAM system to simplify the process of task creation and completion.
This feature will also help you navigate easily through the dozens of tasks and employees and ensure that every process is streamlined, and every order is assigned to certain specialists and not lost among a variety of other requests.
Maintenance, Repair, and Operation (MRO) Inventory Management
MRO Inventory usually takes a big part of the budget, and hence, its improper usage may cost a lot. Inventory management within EAM software will help to track resources and parts procured for asset maintenance.
Through inventory transparency and constant tracking, you will be able to reduce losses, prevent theft, and hence, eliminate excessive expenses on this part of asset management.
Your employees responsible for asset management processes have even bigger value than any equipment or inventory you can acquire. Hence, we would say that labor management is one of the must-have features of your enterprise asset management software.
This feature will not only contribute to managing employees’ working hours and workloads but keep track of their certifications and keep a schedule of necessary training.
We talked about the efficiency of EAM software for financial analytics and transparency. Usually, it is implemented through financial management feature, which is designed to analyze and calculate all essential financial data like the cost of production, the cost of downtime, emergency scenarios, etc.
Adequate and detailed reporting and analytics enable adequate decision-making, based on data and predictions, instead of assumptions. Dashboards, charts, and other visualization tools will show you your progress and state of equipment in detail.
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Why EAM Solution Should Be Part of Your ERP System?
Enterprise asset management software is a must for plants, manufacturing, supply chain companies, etc. We have already mentioned that this type of solution helps to optimize asset management and control operational assets, enable preventative maintenance, and overall improve asset performance.
However, the question arises: should enterprises choose a specialized enterprise asset management software piece or integrate an EAM solution into their ERP application as a module.
We suggest you the second option. ERP integration with an enterprise asset management solution allows better collaboration and data streamlining than these two software pieces would provide separately.
Here are the main benefits that integrating EAM with ERP will bring you:
- no data duplicates and data centralization not only within the asset management department but with other unties;
- streamlined processes, enhanced collaboration within the whole enterprise, which leads to less miscommunication and tasks being stuck or delayed;
- deeper insight into financials, as an EAM solution, will give you a better understanding of asset costs, and ERP will handle financial costs, depreciation, and capitalization as a whole within your company;
- easier and cheaper IT support, as the efforts of your IT crew, will be directed to the one system instead of being scattered over several;
- easier adoption for the team, as your employees would need to master only one system; it will make the implementation easier psychologically and reduce the time your team will lose while switching between interfaces.
Hence, integrated ERP and EAM software is a key to maximizing the value enterprise asset management can bring to your company.
ERP Development with Altamira
Altamira is an experienced software development vendor. We specialize in custom ERP development and deliver business software designed for your needs, requirements, and goals.
Choose us to develop and implement your enterprise asset management software and benefit from:
- a custom-designed solution that will enhance your processes instead of disrupting them;
- a fully-staffed development team interested in delivering quality, self-sufficient products that will generate value for your company for years;
- established development process built on 10 years of experience in software development;
- a high level of ownership over the project and product quality;
- highly qualified client success and delivery teams;
- transparent and regular reporting on project progress and budget spent;
- a strategical approach instead of reactive decisions.
Our ERP development services will cover everything you need to acquire and adopt a custom ERP system with an enterprise asset management module. We provide:
- discovery stage and preliminary researches to power the whole development;
- full cycle of development based on Scrum methodology;
- data migration to help your adoption of the system;
- a long-term development strategy to deliver the most value with minimal possible delays and expenses.
We have created several ERP systems that generate revenue and optimize processes for our clients. Here are the most interesting cases we would like to share with you.
Soljets: Enterprise Resource Planning System for Jet Brokerage Company
Soljets is a jet brokerage enterprise that searched for the most optimal ERP solution to enhance its productivity.
We successfully managed to deliver such a software piece, and within 18 months, the client’s team has noticed significant improvements, including 2-fold growth in revenue.
Learn more about Soljets case in our latest interview with our partner.
Leo: ERP System For a Construction Company
Leo is the name of the ERP system designed for the construction company. The application was delivered within 6 months and covered the main aspects of clients’ production cycle, as well as enabled data management automation.
Learn more about Leo ERP Functionality in this case description.
Enterprise asset management software is one of the tools for asset-intense enterprises that will make the biggest change in the operational approaches. Asset tracking, maintenance management, and supply chain management become more and more efficient while being automated through EAM systems.
Integrating an enterprise asset management module in your ERP software will be the wisest move if you really want to get the most from this type of solution.
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