A buyer’s guide to enterprise asset management software

SaaS Tools

Vendr | Asset Management
Written by
Perin Adams
Published on
November 10, 2021
Read Time

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Key takeaways:

  • Enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions have become a necessity in this tech-savvy world.
  • EAM software enables businesses to procure, manage, and utilize their assets — both physical assets and the software stack.
  • An ideal EAM system offers a ton of benefits, like asset visibility, workflow management, task automation, inventory management, predictive maintenance, field service and work order management, and actionable insights.
  • Dashboards, mobile apps, asset tracking, forecasting, performance management, and regulatory compliance are some of the must-have features in an EAM solution.
  • IBM Maxima, Infor EAM, and UpKeep are the top three contenders in the enterprise asset management software market.

Enterprise asset management (EAM) is the process of balancing multiple disciplines like finance, engineering, risk, and more to optimize asset performance. Enterprise asset management focuses on the end-to-end asset management lifecycle, covering phases from procurement to predictive maintenance and disposal. 

EAM doesn't just focus on physical assets, and it must also ensure proper management of cloud-based assets like an organization's SaaS stack. However, in a manual asset management environment, asset information is neither structured nor accurate. As a result, procurement leaders are having trouble with asset tracking and asset data management. 

This is where EAM software comes into play. EAM software streamlines all the troubles in manual enterprise asset management and makes the end-to-end process a breeze. We have crafted this blog to help you find the right EAM system in the sea of available solutions. We’ll explain what enterprise asset management software is, the benefits of using EAM solutions, what features to look for in EAM software, and a list of top contenders in the EAM space.

What is enterprise asset management software?

Enterprise asset management software automates repetitive tasks in the asset management lifecycle and bridges existing process gaps so that businesses can take control of their operational assets. It optimizes asset utilization and improves the uptime and productivity of assets while trimming down associated operational costs. 

Although enterprise asset management software is often compared with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), they are quite different. CMMS software centralizes maintenance information and facilitates maintenance activities, and this aspect is merely one part of what an efficient EAM covers. 

7 benefits of using enterprise asset management software

Entrepreneur using an enterprise asset management software

Enterprise asset management software has garnered more attention over the past decade and has now become an absolute necessity. By implementing an enterprise asset management solution, businesses can enjoy a ton of cost, time, and resource benefits. Listed below are some of the most common benefits.

1. Asset visibility

No idea where your assets are and what their current state is? Then, you need an EAM pronto. An ideal enterprise asset management system doesn't just focus on MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations); it also helps streamline asset information management. 

For physical assets, by merely entering the asset ID or scanning the barcode, maintenance teams can know when a particular asset was purchased, its real-time location, what maintenance operations were performed on it, view the asset's maintenance schedules, retrieve warranty information, and more. When it comes to SaaS and other software assets, the software can retrieve key information like SaaS contracts, renewal dates, vendor points of contact, and more.

2. Workflow management

Enterprise asset management is filled with an array of stakeholders, and an EAM solution helps map out digital workflows to keep these stakeholders informed and up-to-date while establishing accountability along the way. Businesses can set up‌ ‌guidance-based‌ ‌approvals,‌ nudge stakeholders to act with reminder notifications, ‌or‌ initiate ‌auto‌ ‌re-approvals‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌pre-defined conditions.

3. Task automation

Enterprise asset management systems automate repetitive tasks like asset maintenance, ordering of spare parts, restocking inventory, and more. With an EAM, asset managers can focus on high-impact tasks rather than wasting time on administrative activities like data deduplication, manual data entry to enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and more. 

4. Inventory management

In addition to managing physical assets, on-premise systems, and the SaaS stack within an organization, an EAM system can manage an organization's inventory. Within just a few clicks, procurement managers can know the status of their inventory and reduce the risk over or under stocking. 

5. Predictive maintenance

Preventive maintenance is reactive, but predictive maintenance is proactive. An enterprise asset management solution helps businesses move from a reactive environment to a proactive asset management lifestyle. 

The system automatically tracks key performance indicators (KPIs) and gives an early warning notification before the asset starts failing or malfunctions. This helps businesses gain the highest return from their critical assets, track key metrics effortlessly, slash maintenance costs, and improve profitability. 

6. Field service and work order management

When it comes to asset maintenance, field service management plays a huge role. Either in-house or external field technicians must take care of routine asset maintenance activities. In such instances, work orders keep the process in line and help field technicians share the progress of a repair or maintenance job. 

Enterprise asset management software comes with a built-in field service management module that helps assign, manage, and track MRO operations. Work order management is the heart of these field service management modules, which connect an MRO job with other important elements such as assets, field technicians, location, and more.

7. Actionable insights

Asset managers no longer need to collate data from overflowing spreadsheets and feed them manually into business analytics software to garner actionable insights out of their raw data. Enterprise asset management tools come with an analytics module that converts real-time data into actionable insights, which come in handy during decision-making and strategic planning. 

6 features to look for in an enterprise asset management suite

Two people working together

Selecting the right enterprise asset management system includes ensuring that your chosen software has a desirable set of features. Listed below are some of the most indispensable features that every enterprise asset management solution must have. 

1. Dashboards 

Dashboards give a bird's-eye view of critical asset data points, such as downtime hours, predictive maintenance (PM) compliance rate, open work orders, and more.

2. Mobile apps

Field service technicians are always on the move, and keeping them in the loop is hard. So, an ideal enterprise asset management solution must come with a mobile app that is compatible with all mobile devices.

3. Asset tracking

The asset tracking module must offer a means to track assets by either labeling them or adding a barcode to each asset. Scanning these asset labels should automatically fetch all information about a specific asset.

4. Forecasting

Forecasting is an important element of predictive maintenance. It uses historical data as inputs to create PM schedules and predictions that help avoid asset failures and operational downtime.

5. Performance management

Ensuring optimal asset performance is an integral part of the asset management lifecycle. This functionality keeps an eye on prominent asset performance KPIs and points out whenever the KPI drops below the desired level.

6. Regulatory compliance 

Keeping up with compliance audits can be hard in a manual asset management environment. EAM systems create an automated paper trail — automating key checkpoints and business processes associated with compliance management.

Top 3 enterprise asset management solutions

When you are evaluating enterprise asset management solutions, there are hundreds of solutions to choose from. Since the EAM system comparison process is quite daunting, we have composed a list of the top EAM software in the market.

1. IBM Maximo

IBM Maximo is a cloud-based EAM solution that monitors everything from physical assets in a business location to internet of things (IoT) devices in their manufacturing plant. It comes with a customizable facilities management system, work order management system, and asset performance management system — paving the way for streamlined administrative overheads and seamless workflows. 

2. Infor EAM

Infor EAM is an all-in-one enterprise asset management solution that digitizes the asset management process to extract maximum efficiency. In addition to showing historical data of assets, Infor EAM also forecasts whether or not an asset should be replaced. These predictions help identify unreliable assets and make a replacement plan. Its flexibility helps end users tailor business processes and screens to meet their specific needs.  

3. UpKeep

UpKeep is an asset operations management solution created to help MRO service providers with their day-to-day operations. It can also be used by all businesses to automate their asset management lifecycle. Its key functionality is predictive maintenance. UpKeep schedules predictive maintenance tasks for assets, tracks what assets have been worked on, and enforces accountability among field service technicians.

Unleash an EAM system in your business

Manual enterprise asset management is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. It's time businesses move out of their outdated enterprise asset management tools to an automated environment. An enterprise asset management solution will help businesses optimize asset utilization and unleash the real potential of their assets with real-time performance metrics.

By implementing an EAM system, you can enjoy a ton of benefits, like task automation, workflow routing, business insights, and more. Make sure that your preferred EAM software has the six indispensable features that are outlined above. Top enterprise asset management systems like IBM Maxima, Infor EAM, and UpKeep help with real-time management of organization-wide assets, be it physical assets or software.

As you get started on your enterprise asset management journey, don’t forget to focus on your SaaS stack. If you feel overwhelmed and need help managing the SaaS buying and renewal process, Vendr can help. Contact Vendr today to see how effortless SaaS purchases and renewals can be.

Perin Adams
GTM Business Systems
Perin is the GTM Business Systems Analyst at Vendr, responsible for analyzing and optimizing the company's go-to-market systems and processes.

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