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EAM and CMMS: Enemies or Allies?

April 7, 2021

Acronyms have taken over the business world. While some of them work and help develop, remember, and follow helpful frameworks, others add to the confusion that numerous companies have about the products they need in terms of business requirements, investment, and bottom-line effects. The software market is crowded with hundreds of systems trying to position themselves as the best maintenance and asset management solution. But they all serve different purposes. In this blog, we’re answering the question, “What’s the difference between EAM and CMMS?”  

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Basic Definitions: EAM and CMMS   

In one of our previous posts, we covered the benefits CMMS can bring to your facility. In short, everything from scheduling preventive maintenance tasks to managing documents can be covered by CMMS. However, there’s some overlap regarding the functions both EAM and CMMS have to offer. Let’s have a closer look at what makes them different.  

Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) systems first appeared not so long ago, in the mid-1960s, as a tool for large manufacturing companies. Fifty years of changes, improvements, and growth, and now numerous industries rely on CMMS systems to streamline maintenance, work orders management, and workflows. Today, CMMS systems offer a variety of features to support a wide range of business needs: preventive maintenance, asset tracking, mobile applications. However, the heart of any CMMS system is maintenance management, so providing much functionality outside of maintenance isn’t the primary focus.   

Enterprise asset management (EAM) software usually includes some of the same features as a CMMS, adding many more related to asset management. As the name suggests, EAM systems were designed as unified platforms for managing assets across the enterprise, no matter how many sites it includes. While numerous modern CMMS systems also have asset tracking features today, EAM systems cover Maintenance, Repair, and Operations supplies (MRO) inventory, MRO procurement, accounting, operations, project management, and many more.   

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All these functions working together allow a company to benefit from comprehensive information about its physical assets: energy usage, lifecycle costs, warranty and repair records, audit trails and more. Maintenance team, accounting and management departments, and whoever else in an organization share access to the same single system that stores data aggregated from multiple sources and updated in real time. EAM systems are often the best choice for asset-intensive companies that manage a multitude of physical assets across different locations or the businesses that want some particular features EAM systems can offer, like added performance optimization and cost management.   

Drawing the Fine Line  

While both EAM and CMMS products have a bit overlapping goals regarding maintaining, managing and protecting assets, it often gets confusing as to which your business needs since there seems to be a blurry line separating the two.   

The most substantial difference between these two types of software products is the end result, the solution being offered. EAM systems focus on optimizing physical assets management across the whole organization to maximize the value. Such products provide detailed financial reporting and additional management functions important to consider the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of the asset. EAM tools aim at establishing a predictive model for each asset from the financial perspective. CMMS solutions, in their turn, focus on keeping track of maintenance, repair costs, etc. When it comes to a CMMS, preventive maintenance is crucial since it’s considered vital for keeping operating expenses down and prolong the life of assets.   

CMMS solutions can support your business in keeping better track of scheduling preventive maintenance to help protect your investment in assets that are essential to your company. That’s why relying on a CMMS solution that focuses on maintenance but still allows for asset tracking will give you the best of both worlds. Finding a successful CMMS that can be used as work order software, preventive maintenance tool, etc., is the key that removes most of the teams’ obstacles and provides enough information to make strategic, well-informed decisions. Book a Maintenance Care Demo today to find out how our CMMS can fit your business!

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Topics: preventive maintenance software, asset tracking software