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What is the difference between a CMMS and EAM system?

Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) have very similar goals but they also have slightly different sets of functionality, while technology is ever evolving. A CMMS system was first developed in the 1960’s as a punch-card system used by large businesses to manage their assets and the way they scheduled their maintenance. As technology advanced over the years by the 1980’s more of a digital type of CMMS were introduced to the market to replace the more manual maintenance systems while developing work order management, spare parts inventory management, preventative maintenance scheduling and asset history.

We then look to the 1990’s when EAM software was developed. The EAM system looked to incorporate features of CMMS and more. Traditionally the EAM system included CMMS functionality as well as root cause analysis, predictive maintenance and financial costs/asset lifecycle analysis.

As technology continually advances, there is the need for businesses to adapt while keeping up with the changing industry trends. Most people would ask “But Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software have the same purpose, so aren’t they the same thing?”. Not quite.

EAM and CMMS are covered by the umbrella term “Maintenance Management Software”. Both system products have the same purpose of maintaining, managing and protecting your company assets by streamlining and automating maintenance management, inventory management, work order generation and scheduling. Both also help organisations to achieve a schedule of proactive asset maintenance rather than operating in “reactive mode”.

Scope of CMMS & EAM software

Things to consider when looking at what system might suit your organisation:

  • What are the types of assets will you need to keep track of?
  • Can the system be customised to your business operations?
  • What problems in your asset management and maintenance are you trying to solve?
  • What system features does your business need?
  • Can this system grow with your business and adapt to your needs?
  • What budget should you set to implement this new system?
  • What training will be needed for you and your staff?

The main functions of a CMMS include automating maintenance scheduling, managing company inventory and work orders plus maintaining an asset tracking database. While Enterprise Asset Management Systems are able to work with much larger sets of users from multiple areas. This software is also able to monitor all aspects of a maintenance strategy all the way from notification through to follow-up.

Along with the functionalities of a CMMS, a EAM solution will include an asset’s past maintenance records as well as financial records – This will enable better budget projections and predict replacement dates for each particular asset. An EAM will track all metrics needed to use reliability centered and predictive techniques enabling the determination of an asset’s future state and continued reliability. The EAM is able to provide a workflow analysis by tracking technician workflows from beginning to end. Overall an EAM is able to be expanded over long-term which includes all CMMS functions, while a CMMS system is focused on the maintenance systems and operations.

What does my business need?

There are many similarities between the two asset management systems. However, the EAMs’ scope is much broader by covering a wider range of asset variables and a 3D view of the whole organisation. When trying to determine which system is the right choice for your organisation, Mainpac can assist you with identifying your business needs and perform an analysis on a scalable system to suit your operations.

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