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A look into the evolution of EAM software

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solutions have come into their own in recent years. By taking full advantage of technological developments, EAM systems have evolved to become vital business tools that many organisations simply could not do without. EAM systems add real strategic value on a daily basis and provide tangible cost and efficiency savings at a time where all businesses are challenged to do more for less. But what exactly is an EAM solution and how are they benefiting businesses today?

Born in the 90s

Enterprise Asset Management systems came about as an extension of the Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) that arose in the 1980s. They were designed to replace manual maintenance systems, but also to fulfil a need to establish robust asset management procedures as the numbers of assets utilised by organisations grew. As technology boomed in the 1990s, so EAM solutions emerged. Suppliers and businesses realised that maintenance and asset management would be best served by being business-wide rather than handled on a departmental basis. EAM solutions enabled significant benefits through enterprise-wide asset management, affording a 360° view of the business and the increased control that this brings.

Initially successful in asset-heavy industries such as the power and transport sectors, industries where productivity and profitability were largely dependent on the effectiveness and reliability of their physical assets, other sectors soon saw how they too could benefit from having an effective EAM solution in place. As technology developed, so the amount of assets employed by businesses increased. Soon, businesses realised that manual, paper-based systems simply weren’t delivering the competitive advantage that they needed.

A definition of EAM

Put simply, an effective Enterprise Asset Management solution takes care of the management and maintenance of an organisation’s physical assets. This provides a holistic view of the business’s assets through their entire lifecycle, across all departments, locations and facilities and spanning all business functions. The right EAM system creates a framework of assets, enabling the business to know where things are and what condition they’re in. This, as well as planning, optimising and tracking required maintenance schedules in line with strategic priorities, available skills, materials and tools. In short, the best systems optimise assets, minimising downtime and maximising profitability.

The evolution of EAM

The ability of EAM systems to improve asset utilisation while extending asset life and reducing emergency repairs and downtime is the perfect fit for businesses. In our fast-moving digital economy, improving organisation performance while keeping costs down is absolutely imperative. While the underlying EAM principle remains the same, today's EAM systems can deliver so much more. Taking advantage of technological developments, they not only deliver deeper insights into asset utilisation and performance, but also deliver quicker more effective proactive maintenance programs.

The advent of working from mobile devices has lead to real-time access to business information where and when it's needed. Insights into equipment performance is automatically generated by the equipment itself, with the abundance of data generated by modern and smart devices feeding straight into EAM systems for real-time performance information. In-built intelligence capabilities analyse these huge amounts of data for in-depth asset insight, informing a comprehensive predictive maintenance schedule, identifying issues before they occur and minimising costly downtime.

The EAM of tomorrow

The Internet of things (IoT) is broadening EAM capabilities further. Data that was previously collated manually now comes directly from sensors, and connected smart devices enable increased automation - all creating even more valuable efficiency savings. The combination of mobile working, automated workflow management, the Internet of things and proactive maintenance has given businesses unprecedented insight into how their assets are performing. This is only made possible by the power of modern EAM systems, which combines these transformative technologies. Not only does it enable organisations to optimise asset efficiency, but it gives businesses the ability to remain agile. And as we know, agility is hugely important in dealing with the ever-changing business challenges that are part-and-parcel of doing business in a digital economy.

EAM systems of today use the latest technology available to optimise the alignment of skills, equipment and resources to maximise asset reliability and performance while making a real difference to the bottom line. In our current business climate, where nothing can be left to chance, the right EAM system can make all the difference, putting you one step ahead of the competition and maximising your business performance.

For more information on how an intelligent Enterprise Asset Management system could make the difference to your business, get in touch with Sapphire Systems.

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