What is enterprise asset management?

Enterprise asset management (EAM) is a combination of software, systems and services used to maintain and control operational assets and equipment. The aim is to optimize the quality and utilization of assets throughout their lifecycle, increase productive uptime and reduce operational costs.

Enterprise asset management involves work management, asset maintenance, planning and scheduling, supply chain management and environmental, health and safety (EHS) initiatives.

EAM is often associated with a CMMS or computerized maintenance management system, but it’s different. A CMMS can be one aspect of EAM. It focuses on centralizing information to facilitate and automate maintenance management processes. EAM is an asset lifecycle management approach that supports asset performance from acquisition to disposal.

In the Internet of Things (IoT) era — with everything from valves to vehicles connected by sensors and systems — practitioners are incorporating advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) into EAM. Data gathered from instrumented assets is analyzed using AI techniques. The resulting insights help maintenance teams make better decisions, enhance efficiency, perform preventive maintenance and maximize investments in their physical assets.


What is the difference between EAM and CMMS?

EAM is often associated with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), but a closer look at EAM vs. CMMS reveals they are different. A CMMS can be one aspect of EAM. It focuses on centralizing information to facilitate and automate maintenance management processes. EAM is an asset lifecycle management approach that supports asset performance from acquisition to disposal.


Why is enterprise asset management important?

EAM is important because it helps organizations track, assess, manage and optimize asset quality and reliability. Organizations of all kinds have hundreds, thousands, even millions of assets. They are asset-intensive.

Assets come in many shapes and sizes — railroads, pipelines, manufacturing equipment, transportation fleets, windmills — and include virtually any piece of equipment needed to sustain production, services and operations. EAM best practices help maintenance teams gain greater control of complex environments to:

  • Centralize asset information: A CMMS, as part of EAM, tells maintenance managers where an asset is, what it needs, who should work on it and when. It automates critical asset management workflows and makes them accessible and auditable.
  • Resolve issues before they happen: Asset management software supports preventive capabilities to maintain equipment for stable, continuous operations. It helps ensure warranty compliance and preempt issues that disrupt production.
  • Monitor assets smarter: AI-powered remote monitoring delivers actionable insight into current and expected states of assets. It aggregates data across departments and information silos, allowing for fewer, more accurate alerts and enhanced decision-making.
  • Maximize asset utilization: Historical and real-time data collected from IoT devices and analytical and diagnostic tools help extend the availability, reliability and usable life of physical assets.
  • Manage aging assets and infrastructure: Equipment lifecycles are extended through more informed maintenance strategies and by embedding risk management into business processes to improve return on investment.
  • Elevate maintenance management: IoT, AI and analytics enhance equipment maintenance practices. Asset tracking and traceability meet increasingly complex environmental, health and safety requirements.
  • Consolidate operational applications: EAM helps establish a single technology system to manage virtually all asset types. Processes are unified and standardized for wide-ranging asset functions across an enterprise.

CHS evolves from preventive to predictive EAM

John Myers of CHS, Inc. has been working with IBM Maximo® for over 20 years and witnessed the shift in EAM to predictive maintenance. Hear why, with the cloud and IoT, he still sees new possibilities in working with Maximo.

 

Key features of effective EAM

Work management

Centrally manage planned and unplanned work, from initial request through completion and including the recording of actuals.

 

Phases of maintenance

Move from corrective maintenance, when repairs are made after a problem occurs, to preventive maintenance (using scheduled repairs) to predictive maintenance — repairs made because data indicates imminent failure.

 

 

 

Planning and scheduling

Graphically view work orders and preventive maintenance schedules on a Gantt chart. Intuitively navigate work order management to help dispatchers manage task and work dependencies.

 

Supply chain management

Assets and the materials used to maintain them are part of the supply chain. Effective solutions should incorporate IoT technologies that help integrate EAM with supply chain management systems.

 

Health and safety

Document and report environmental, health and safety concerns. Reduce risk using incident analysis, corrective action traceability and process change management.

 

Mobility

Accomplish more from reading meters to capturing electronic signatures to using bar codes and RFID. Take advantage of smartphone capabilities such as photos and voice-to-text to capture information and deliver tools, documentation and collaboration.

Analytics

Run extended and enhanced analytics, often powered by AI, to gain operational insights. Optimization models can be used to automate the planning, scheduling and work management processes based on analysis.

Cloud

Support SaaS, cloud-based deployment or hybrid cloud deployment to control costs, improve system flexibility and decrease dependency on IT.

EAM and SaaS

The future of EAM may be in the cloud. According to an IBM buyer’s guide (PDF, 478 KB): “When choosing asset management software, organizations are increasingly gravitating toward software as a service (SaaS) — a cloud-based delivery model in which software is hosted centrally by a vendor and available on demand.” This approach offers some compelling advantages.

Hosted in the cloud, SaaS EAM offers the flexibility to expand and contract with data demands. Users only pay for the data resources they need. SaaS requires far less intervention and support from IT than on-premises deployments. As a result, capital expenses related to IT can be converted into operational expenses and resources.

Upgrades are made by service providers in the cloud, so the latest versions and functionality are always applied. SaaS also integrates new technologies faster and with less risk.

 

IDC MarketScape: Cloud-enabled EAM vendors

IDC positions IBM as a worldwide leader for SaaS and cloud-enabled EAM.

 

Applications and industries

Energy and utilities

Transmission and distribution of water, wastewater, gas and electric power requires capabilities for linear assets such as pipelines or powerlines. These systems also need to accommodate complex crew scheduling and consider geospatial information from remote assets.

 

Chemicals, petroleum and mining

These industries place an emphasis on integrating safety, reliability, compliance and performance into workflows. EAM systems are needed to reduce costs by standardizing and improving maintenance practices and fostering collaboration.

 

Manufacturing

Manufacturing includes an array of sectors: automotive, aerospace, defense, electronics, industrial products, consumer products and more. In these contexts, EAM systems become part of overall process management methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma and complement product lifecycle management requirements.

 

Transportation

The focus for these applications is providing details about assets and inventory that enable a service or logistic function. Fuel management, driver logs, spare parts, bay schedules and other data are critical to maintaining rail, road and air traffic operations.

 

Life sciences

These systems monitor, track and manage equipment, facilities and mobile assets. Management of standards, traceability and e-signature is critical. Documentation packages are used to help meet and validate complex regulatory requirements.

 

Healthcare

Healthcare EAM solutions must manage complex relationships between facilities and equipment readiness. They track and locate critical assets, monitor facility conditions, comply with reporting requirements and integrate with operational health information systems.

Nuclear power

Nuclear organizations stress work and asset management to support regulations through detailed state management, workflows, escalations and e-signature. Solutions consider stringent regulatory compliance for health, safety and security.

EAM optimizes operations across industries

See why asset-intensive industry leaders use IBM Maximo EAM solutions.

Case studies

Cheniere

Liquefying natural gas depends on thousands of components. Gas producer Cheniere uses EAM to move towards predictive maintenance, align maintenance with asset demands and prolong the life of its assets.

 

Amsterdam Airport at Schiphol

Avoiding delays due to equipment failure is a big win in the airport business. Schipol deployed a mobile EAM solution that automatically prioritizes incidents and gets them efficiently addressed in the field.

 

Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL)

To be ready for an oil spill, OSRL manages workflows and assets across the globe. It can trace assets for maintenance, select equipment more efficiently and automate customs documentation to accelerate deployment.

 

Resources

Maximo Academy

Gain essential insights for intelligent asset maintenance and operations.

 

Asset management blog

Get the latest news, views, events and more.

 

 

Demo

See the overview of the IBM Maximo Application Suite.

IBM solutions

IBM Maximo Application Suite

With access to CMMS, EAM and asset performance management applications, teams can reach across the enterprise, unify operations and maintain business continuity, even under rapidly changing or disruptive conditions.

Enterprise asset management

Manage and maintain high-level assets by using AI and analytics to optimize performance, extend asset lifecycles and reduce operational downtime and costs.

Remote monitoring

Get advanced AI-powered remote asset monitoring at enterprise scale. Empower leaders with essential insights to act with confidence and drive digital reinvention.

Predictive maintenance

Move beyond time schedules and improve asset reliability by using insights from operational data and analytics for maintenance planning.

Workplace safety

Turn data into actionable insights to improve workplace safety. Put compliance at the center of safety, making it easier to identify and eliminate hazards.

Mobile EAM

Empower the connected technician with intelligent mobile enterprise asset management (EAM) to manage any asset, anytime, any place.