What is an Enterprise Asset Management system?

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is the entire lifecycle management of the physical assets of an organization including buildings, installations, infrastructure and real estate assets. EAM systems are important because they cover the design, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance, replacement, and demolishment of all assets, equipment, and facilities. "Enterprise" in EAM refers to the scope of assets: all asset types, across all locations, throughout the organization.

Enterprise Asset Management encompasses all policies, processes, operating models, management, economics, documentation, and sustainable aspects that relate to these assets.

Benefits of EAM

In facilities and real estate management, EAM includes buildings, infrastructure, and technical installations as well as assets such as space, workspaces, fleet, vending machines, meeting rooms, and employee centric assets and facilities. The primary goal of EAM is to optimize the full life cycle of these assets by:

  • standardizing, integrating, and continuously optimizing asset related processes
  • achieving more flexibility in usage and a more effective utilization of assets
  • operating and maintaining assets at lower cost
  • increasing continuity, reliability, and security of assets
  • complying with health and safety legislation and asset lease accounting regulations
  • reducing the sustainable impact of assets
  • replacing non-performing assets

Due to the broad scope of EAM and its interdisciplinary nature, professional Enterprise Asset Management is always supported by software technology.

More than just maintenance

Asset management is often connected to the maintenance processes of assets. In the case of Enterprise Asset Management, the scope of assets includes the challenges associated with real estate portfolio assets and the associated management process. This includes understanding the location of assets within space, identifying who is utilizing the assets, and understanding the financial impact. EAM software is, therefore, much more comprehensive than Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS).

Learn more about Enterprise Asset Management

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ERP software versus EAM software

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is business management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated processes to manage its core business activities. ERP is designed to combine all the company’s activities into a single database, eliminating incompatible and duplicate technologies. ERP is very strong in processes like finance, logistics, and procurement and can do an excellent job of managing an organization’s core business processes.

At first glance, utilizing an ERP system to support EAM processes looks very interesting; there is only one software system and data is all in one place. However, for Enterprise Asset Management and business support processes such as corporate real estate management, space management and maintenance planning, these ERP systems can be difficult to use and difficult to implement. Click here for a whitepaper to learn more about ERP in facility and real estate management.

EAM software for real estate assets

Enterprise Asset Management software solutions that support the lifecycle of buildings, its infrastructure, and real estate assets, are often labeled differently. Some commonly used labels are:

  • Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS)
  • Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
  • Real Estate Management Systems (REMS)
  • Property Management Systems (PMS)
  • Space Management Systems (SMS)
  • Computer Aided Facility Management System (CAFM).

IWMS is the most similar label to a EAM system and supports the lifecycle of all business support assets including real estate, infrastructure, technical installations, space, workspaces, fleet, vending machines, meeting rooms, and facilities. Click here to learn more about IWMS.

EAM scope of Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS)

IWMS encompasses all the functions and processes that relate to the operational and maintenance phase of any asset including:

  • Real estate portfolio planning and management
  • Capital projects and replacements
  • Space planning and management
  • Asset administration and operations management
  • Centralized call logging, processing, and monitoring
  • Maintenance planning, financial forecasting, and budget control
  • Asset integration for meter readings and just-in-time (JIT) maintenance
  • Mobile field services execution
  • Tracking and reducing sustainability impacts
  • Asset performance reporting and analyses

IWMS typically supports integration with Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems such as AutoCAD, to combine the above database information with graphical asset information and documentation. Innovative IWMS vendors offer integration with Building Information Modelling (BIM) systems such as Revit, to seamlessly connect an asset’s design and construction phase with the operational and maintenance phase. As an IWMS brings all data and processes together in one single source of truth, organizations are able to make better decisions to prolong the lifecycle of their assets, to use resources effectively and reduce overall costs.

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