Enterprise Asset Management Systems

Published: 06th March 2012
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Enterprise asset management (EAM) is a management approach built on the lines of Lean Manufacturing; the difference is that EAM is designed to make optimum usage of all physical assets which an organization possesses. It includes areas of aesthetics, architecture, core construction, plant and equipment, operation and maintenance and facilities.

On a broader perspective, it refers to management of organizational assets spread across various business locations and multiple units. The concept is to maximize usage, increase output, and reduce fixed and floating operating costs, increase product life and thus maximize returns from assets.

Functions of an EAM

The functions of EAM are a more recognized business approach as compared to conventional business acumen. Conventional business acumen in the form a reactive approach have given way to a more proactive approach in the form of long term plans, budgeting and forecasting norms, planned operation and maintenance schedules and in-house product training programs. On the operational front, EAM exploits maximum usage of assets thereby resulting in minimal breakdown of machinery, reduces operational cost of machinery and equipment and strive to enhance equipment and labor productivity.

Enterprise Asset Management is a management approach to provide valuable information and safeguard all the fixed assets of a company. Fixed assets include the production plant, building, equipment and machinery, land, etc. The assets include items like aesthetics, research and development, operations, repairs and pre planned maintenance. Product or asset enterprise would revolve around the manufacturing plant, infrastructure, building, machinery, power and water plants and other logistical infrastructure related assets. EAM could be further broken down into areas of physical assets, fixed assets, computer driven technology and electronic media.

Management of physical assets is the organization's approach to long term planning as fixed asset management revolves around the accountability factors (acquisition, capital expenses incurred, insurance premiums, revaluation, depreciation, sales and disposal). Computer technology basically supports long term planning in the form of various work and business related programs and packages (business modules, financial modules, sales and distribution modules, etc.) The electronic media is a management approach for provision and safeguard of all digital content and assets.

Coming to a real life scenario, most companies do suffer when in expansion mode. It does become a daunting task when faced with the prospect of handling multiple sites and assets. Time and time again we come across articles related to hospitality, oil and gas, cable and mining ventures faced with similar concerns or problems. Nevertheless, solutions could be sought in the form of various software related packages specifically catering to EAM - Enterprise Asset Management Software.

These software driven solutions comprise of basic EAM, electronic media, maintenance, cellular data management and administration. Your basic EAM solution revolves around ROA (Return on Assets).

EAM Features

The EAM solution features proper organization and management (O&M) plans, record of work done, identifies grey areas of problems and provides intelligent solutions. The electronic media revolves around efficient management of all
documents and legal matters. The role of electronic media is to centrally locate and safeguard all information. Documents could range from site plans, vendor related material, computer files and images, etc. Legal matter could comprise of contracts, insurance, material test certificates and warranties, etc.

Maintenance activities revolve around knowledge and efficient management of organizational workforce. They comprise features related to knowledge of asset location, type and feature of asset, technical know-how of an asset and record of scheduled preventive maintenance plans. The object is to ensure efficient work management and productivity of assets.

Under the same solution driven package, we state the importance of cellular data management and administration. Cellular technology basically eliminates certain unwanted paper work and documentation and saves on time. It features storage applications for record of work and analysis. The administration factor enables you to have control over the entire business process.

Coming to the pros and cons of EAM systems, the challenges faced at times are tracking of data, implementation and execution. It also involves the laborious aspect of converting conventional paper material and records into system files. It involves certain financial aspects and slows down the transition process. Basic EAM systems are not part of all enterprise applications and this could result in further implementation and overhead costs if opted for. Nonetheless, the results derived from basic EAM systems are worth investing in.

EAM Benefits

A list of benefits of the EAM (Enterprise asset management) program can also be discussed. Since EAM programs are hosted on online servers, it can be accessed from within and outside the office. Hosting EAM programs on virtual machines or servers also saves money if relevant hardware infrastructure is already present with a company and the same can be utilized for hosting EAM solutions.

This results in a significant increase of management planning and operation. The cellular technology reduces unwanted paper material thereby enhancing efficiency of maintenance and repairs. It also facilitates tracking of work status and any inspections. The electronic media tool ensures centralization of documents and contracts which helps in storage of records for future reference. The EAM program generates reports of all work carried out on performing and non performing assets. Such reports do come handy during times of planned maintenance activity and compliance to all applicable safety norms and measures.

They also help asset managers in realizing ideal work ethics, practices, estimation, forecasting and budgeting. The EAM (Enterprise asset management) program also helps an organization in the unfortunate event of a plant shutdown. There are certain criteria based on environmental factors that an organization must follow and adopt to avoid a complete meltdown or a disaster and EAM programs help an organization plan appropriate safety measures and aids in disaster management.

The Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) is more than a handy option for your Maintenance Manager. It helps in working on work input requests, organizing repeated maintenance activities, RTM (Repair Tool Monitoring) issues in terms of repairs and replacements, inventory management and standard HSE (Health Safety and Environmental) norms and regulations.

To conclude, there are a host of EAM vendors that facilitate source solutions created on different verticals to cater to business enterprises. Detailed information on EAM could be downloaded from the internet and various vendors can be approached who provide EAM solutions. EAM can help you manage your enterprise more efficiently and help you streamline processes.

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