TechTarget defines enterprise asset management (EAM) as; “a broad term vendors use to describe software that provides managers with a way to view company-owned assets holistically. The goal is to enable managers to control and pro-actively optimise operations for quality and efficiency. In earlier years, EAM was simply called maintenance scheduling software. EAMs facilitate operations by automating requests for upgrades, regular maintenance and decommissioning or replacement.”
As such, EAM delivers optimal lifecycle management of an organisation’s physical assets, including the management of its facilities. While EAM software is essential for managing asset performance and maximising resources, this crucial component of a company’s IT infrastructure requires long-term considerations. The software tool itself is only part of the equation; the relationship with the vendor is of utmost importance if the organisation is to experience ongoing improvements.
To maximise the life and performance of equipment and machinery, companies should deploy an EAM solution that provides six key elements: advanced scheduling capabilities; notification and workflow features; maintenance optimisation; health, safety and environmental safeguards; mobility; and analytical tools.
Software solutions which feature advanced scheduling capabilities deliver the power to prioritise. These cutting-edge tools aid the organisation in developing long-term maintenance programmes while facilitating short-term scheduling. This is the key to making the most of limited resources and empowers the organisation to plan effectively, act proactively and promote reliable production schedules.
The best way to increase asset productivity is to automate processes. With preset notification and workflow features the right EAM solution alerts supervisors when maintenance is required, notifies management of impending warranty lapses and significantly decreases downtime.
Maintenance optimisation features allow the user to determine the right mix of maintenance approaches. From failure-based maintenance (run to fail) to use-based maintenance, preventive maintenance, and condition-based maintenance, EAM ensures that the right asset is on the right maintenance schedule at the right time.
In most industries, health, safety and environmental safeguards are critical components of ongoing operations. To facilitate a safe environment, asset management software delivers a lockout/tagout function. This safety procedure ensures that dangerous machines are properly turned off during maintenance or servicing. To be competitive, EAM solutions must also offer real-time safety checklists, safety priority fields and material safety data sheets.
Innovation isn’t innovative without mobility features. With a global shift towards digital transformation, and the rise of the smartphone and mobile applications, a modern EAM system must allow users to view data on demand. The data must be up-to-date and responsive, available in real-time. This is usually achieved with the use of, and compatibility with, a mobile device.
Lastly, when shopping for an effective EAM solution consider its analytical tools. High level, shallow analytics and reporting will not have a beneficial effect on the business. The tool must go deeper than a Pareto analysis. It is essential that the solution delivers root cause and trend analyses, presented on a role-based dashboard. With access to these sophisticated analytics in an understandable format, better business decisions can be made faster.
By Heilet Scholtz, Executive at Softworx, Infor’s Master Partner in Africa