With current economic conditions increasing revenues has become more difficult making it imperative that companies get a handle on their expenses in order to maintain profit margins and maintain or increase cash flows. Organizations can choose between a cross of cutting headcount to investing in their future success using Computerized Maintenance Management Software or the more evolved Enterprise Asset Management systems.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

refers to the total management of an organization’s physical assets. EAM systems have rapidly become the tool of choice for operations management across industries such as Healthcare, Lodging, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Building or Lodging Management, Sports Complexes, Mining, and any business that has the need to enhance their inventory control through better monitoring, maintenance, and capital purchasing.

Don’t be last of the adapters! According to Researchandmarkets.com 65% of EAM revenues are currently being generated by small and medium size businesses that are adapting the technology to stay competitive by tightening up expense controls enabling them to lower costs and maintain profit margins. Waiting will only put you at a competitive disadvantage that you may not be able to recover from.

What will an EAM do for your business?

An Enterprise Asset Management system will enable your company to organize your asset operational issues and transform them into opportunities to enhance your bottom line. Here are 10 ways an EAM will add value for you:

10 Ways An EAM Will Add Value

  1. Better inventory control, management and disposal
  2. Actionable preventative maintenance planning and execution
  3. Better management of asset life cycles
  4. Enhanced capital expenditure control
  5. Faster response to compliance issues
  6. More effective inspection processes
  7. Effective work order systems
  8. Reduction of paper flow – “Go Green”
  9. Better asset utilization
  10. Enable proactive management decisions versus the traditional reactive fire fighting

To paraphrase an old commercial “This isn’t your father’s asset control system”

“Previously we had a Preventative Maintenance system that did some asset management, now we have a Total Asset Management system that does preventative maintenance”
Source: Kevin McConnell (Mintek Mobile Data Solutions)

What type of EAM is best for your company? (Making the Right Choice)

Once upon a time, there were simple asset management programs, then came an array of methodologies such as Kaizen, Six Sigma and JIT to better utilize processes and assets. The integration of technology was the next step starting with software programs designed to organize and track inventory. Technology has continued, increasing effectiveness through the introduction of barcodes and the use of handheld mobile devices. New technology applications such as RFID applications are on the horizon but have yet to be truly accepted into integration.

When choosing an EAM it is important to first understand what your pain is. Follow these 8 steps to map your path:

8 Steps for Better EAM CMMS Implementation
  1. Map out your current work flow in great detail.
  2. Upon review you should be able identify the areas needing improvement.
  3. Determine the level (scope) of change that will occur (specific location, divisional, corporate wide)
  4. Implement appropriate “Change Management” plans (see Change Management – and EAM Systems)
  5. Review systems that may meet your needs and ask lots of questions.**
  6. Look for products from established companies (> 5 years in business) as you will want to have a comfort level regarding how long they will be around.
    • Many solutions come with a hosting alternative – this is a good thing!
    • Make sure the SaaS is scalable
    • Make sure the architectural solution is compatible with your current systems
    • Reference check with their customers to ensure the company can deliver as sold
    • Ask how knowledgeable their support staff are (product and technical)
    • If using integrated technologies – make sure their channel partners are viable and reliable
    • Avoid “bleeding edge” technology
  7. When ready, then begin negotiations
  8. Execute “Change Management” plan

** EAM systems come in many shapes and sizes from off-the-shelf packages that are self installed to tailored software solutions involving substantial integration and training time. There is no one package/product that will fit every company.

Can you think of any steps that you would add?