CMMS vs EAM

Which solution do you need?

You know you need a better solution for tracking and maintaining your equipment—but should you invest in a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) or enterprise asset management (EAM) software? Both CMMS and EAM offer greater transparency into your assets and maintenance activities, and there is some overlap in their functionality. Sometimes the terms are even used interchangeably.

If you’re trying to decide which solution is right for your organization, we’re here to help.

What is a CMMS?

CMMS software replaces outdated, inefficient systems that rely on paper files and spreadsheets.

It offers an integrated, accessible and automated system to store information such as:

  • Types of assets, ages, and locations
  • Lease or ownership information
  • Service requests and work orders
  • Parts inventory
  • Maintenance activities
  • Inspection schedules and reports

Moving this crucial asset data onto a digital, cloud-based platform improves efficiency and allows you to take a more proactive approach to maintenance and work order management.

Who uses a CMMS?

Facility managers and maintenance professionals from a wide range of industries rely on CMMS software to more efficiently manage inventory, work orders, and more.

Pegasus Manufacturing is a world leader in specialized contract manufacturing services, providing new technology for everything from military planes to submarines.

Facilities manager Glenn Suprono, realized he needed help keeping track of all the equipment at the company’s 52,000-square-foot facility, which serves over 70 customers globally. Investing in Hippo CMMS significantly reduced the time he spent submitting and organizing work orders.

“Being a one-person maintenance department, the challenge was to be organized enough to keep things running,” he said. “We noticed a significant savings in both the time to organize a work order and the scheduled maintenance automatic tracking. Having all this data streamlines the maintenance process.”

Read the Pegasus Manufacturing case study

Why invest in CMMS software ?

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The market for CMMS software is expected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2024, a 9.8% CAGR jump from 2019.
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Many maintenance professionals make the decision to invest in a CMMS after recognizing their system of spreadsheets and paper maintenance logs is failing them.
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In a 2018 Nintex survey of 1,000 US employees across industries, 49% reported having trouble finding critical documents when they need them.

A CMMS helps organizations overcome this challenge by placing critical maintenance data at their fingertips. It also reduces communication errors by putting field service professionals in direct contact with the information they need—rather than relying on memos, scribbled notes, ambiguous emails, and other inefficient means of assigning and describing maintenance tasks.

Perhaps you had been running maintenance programs on your own for years, but now you’ve added several other technicians to the team. You need greater transparency and visibility into your maintenance activities. You also want the ability to schedule preventive maintenance and be assured that someone has been assigned to complete those tasks. CMMS platforms track and enforce preventive maintenance schedules, so nothing falls through the cracks.

Here are a few other reasons why maintenance professionals choose a CMMS:
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A need for better asset tracking

Assets have to be tracked meticulously not just for maintenance and performance but also for auditing purposes. CMMS software helps teams find all the information they need quickly.

A need to improve equipment uptime

The average cost of unplanned equipment downtime can be as much as $260,000 per hour. With a CMMS platform, managers can streamline maintenance and work order processes to achieve maximum equipment uptime.

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A need to reduce maintenance costs

A well-organized maintenance strategy quantifies manpower, parts, and downtime against the cost of asset replacement. CMMS platforms balance the equation to ensure maintenance expenditures always make business sense.

A need to extend asset life

Getting the best return on investment means getting the most life out of every asset. By mining the data stored in a CMMS platform, managers can discern how the overall maintenance strategy impacts the longevity of their investments, then adjust accordingly to maximize equipment lifecycles.

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A desire for greater efficiency

Maintenance concerns must be addressed quickly to minimize costly downtime. The power of a CMMS platform lies in its ability to immediately alert managers who can deploy the appropriate repair teams and then track the progress of work orders in real-time. The end result is a faster fix with greater accountability.

What is EAM software?

Enterprise asset management software offers a unified platform for leaders to track all information related to their physical assets throughout the lifecycle, from the point of purchase until their disposal.

In addition to tracking assets, managing work orders, and scheduling preventive maintenance, EAM software allows managers to:

  • Calculate the total cost of ownership of every asset
  • Determine asset capitalization
  • Track equipment inspections to ensure compliance
  • Better manage supply chains
  • Predict equipment failures before they occur
  • Track key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Analyze critical data to make better decisions for the organization

Enterprise asset management software consolidates data from many sources, geographical locations, and assets into one place, allowing your team to access data anywhere. It also connects the information gathered on assets to your organization’s strategy and performance.

Who uses EAM software?

Like CMMS software, EAM software is frequently used by maintenance managers. However, because EAM offers greater visibility into KPIs across your organization, it’s also used by procurement, materials management, and accounting departments. Accounting teams, for instance, use asset details to plan budgets.

Data analysts use EAM software to analyze asset lifecycles, improve processes and workflows. Business leaders who want to make timely, informed decisions with real-time data also use EAM software and its dashboard and reporting features. EAM software is particularly useful to organizations with a large number of assets and complex maintenance or compliance needs.

For instance, Gas Field Specialists provide a wide range of services to the oil and gas industry, including well construction, equipment rentals, and transportation services. The company needs to ensure its equipment is in good working condition at all times while complying with strict government regulations. The GFS team performs thousands of maintenance services, inspections, and certifications at regular intervals. For instance, to ensure its pipelines meet required specifications, it must regularly calibrate 140 pieces of measuring equipment, including ultrasonic thickness gauges and hydraulic torque wrenches.

Using ManagerPlus EAM software, GFS can schedule these calibrations and maintain a record of each one. The company also used the software’s barcoding and inventory solutions to perform a full inventory audit, which led to the discovery that its 1,700 parts had been undervalued by as much as 70%.

Read the Gas Field Specialists case study

Why invest in EAM software ?

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The global market for EAM is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2024, a 16.2% CAGR jump from 2019.

Enterprise asset management takes a broader approach to the way assets are managed and maintained. It encourages leaders to look at the network of assets in their organizations and make informed decisions on how to optimize their performance.

Leaders who make the decision to invest in EAM recognize they need to manage more than work orders and preventive maintenance. They need a 10,000-foot view of all their assets, lifecycle and costs—as well as the ability to drill down to get detailed information on a single part.

Some common reasons driving EAM investments include:

The need to improve supply chain management

By closely tracking and managing your assets, you gain key insights that can revamp your asset landscape and improve operations. For example, you may figure out that a particular type of equipment requires more maintenance than others and then choose to replace it.

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A need to comply with regulations

Whether you need to comply with oil and gas regulations, Department of Transportation regulations, or others, EAM software makes it easy to manage related activities and records.

A desire to anticipate equipment failures before they happen

When a critical piece of equipment fails on the manufacturing floor, it can take weeks to receive the replacement parts. While the cost of repair can be significant, the cost of halted production can be even greater. EAM software helps plant managers and other maintenance professionals take the pulse of their plant so they can anticipate failures before they happen.

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A need for greater collaboration

Often, the “tug-of-war” over equipment and parts leaves worksites without the resources they need to function at an optimum level. Using EAM software’s asset-tracking functionality, you can easily see detailed information about every part, as well as who is assigned to each task. This improves collaboration and accountability.

What are the key differences
between CMMS and EAM?

Both asset management solutions aim to improve efficiencies, increase equipment uptime and reduce costs. Both focus on reporting, transparencies, and business growth. Both are often packaged as cloud-based solutions that can be accessed remotely from any location.
However, their perspective, scope and objectives vary. Here are some important differences between CMMS and EAM:

Limited vs. lifecycle approach

While a CMMS platform continuously aims to increase the asset life, EAM also focuses on leveraging the asset to its maximum potential throughout its lifecycle. EAM reports contain metrics that go beyond maintenance.

Preventive vs. predictive maintenance

While both CMMS and EAM platforms handle preventive maintenance, many EAM software solutions take this a step further, enabling predictive maintenance through advanced technologies such as IoT sensors. EAM software uses data analytics to detect anomalies like excess heat or vibration so you can identify potential failures before they occur.

Automation vs. strategic analysis

The origin of CMMS platforms is closely linked to the goal of replacing manual maintenance records with automated software. Even as the scope of CMMS has continued to evolve, it still centers around bringing down maintenance costs through automation.

EAM’s later origins placed its focus on interdependencies between assets and how their collaboration affects the strategy of the enterprise. EAM software recognizes the role of asset management in the big picture and uses consolidated data for root cause analysis, lifecycle cost analysis, and more.

While CMMS platforms elevate asset performance by efficient handling of service requests and work orders, and tracking assets, EAM software can help answer more in-depth strategy questions, such as:

  • How can we bring down the floor production costs by designing equipment better?
  • How can we conserve more energy by optimizing equipment usage?
  • How will our current asset utilization impact our future budget?

CMMS vs. EAM: Which one
should you choose?

CMMS and EAM are both excellent solutions for managing assets and maintenance. When it comes to choosing between the two, it really depends on your needs.

Here are four questions that can help you decide

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What is the size of your company?

If you are running a large-scale enterprise with multiple entities—assets across multiple geographies or a combination of assets such as manufacturing equipment, IT infrastructure, and design technologies—EAM works in your favor. However, if you are a small or medium sized business, a CMMS platform should be sufficient.

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What is your budget?

EAM software is typically more expensive than a CMMS, so assess your budget and return on investment before making the call.

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What do you need your software to do?

EAM typically has broader functionality than a CMMS, so if you are primarily managing work orders and maintenance activities, EAM might be more than you need. However, if your objectives are more diverse and you want to make informed decisions by monitoring assets throughout their lifecycle, EAM is a better option.

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Who are your target users?

If you are a facilities manager or a maintenance professional who is currently using spreadsheets, a simple, user-friendly CMMS might be your best bet. If you have others involved—such as procurement engineers, finance professionals and senior leaders—you may want to consider enterprise asset management software.

Here’s the good news!

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Our parent company, iOFFICE, offers a full range of asset management solutions to support your fixed facility asset needs.
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Ready to ditch the spreadsheets but keep it simple? Hippo CMMS is easy-to-use and trusted by over 1,300 companies, including Square, The Boston Globe, and Rolls-Royce.
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Looking for a more robust solution that will support your growing enterprise? ManagerPlus offers powerful, lightning fast enterprise asset management software.