EAM, CMMS — what are the differences?

Recently there has been a great discussion in the LinkedIn Asset Life Cycle Management group, around the delineation among EAM and CMMS. There was a common perception that the Enterprise Asset Management solution (EAM) is more a financial application, while Computerized Maintenance and Management System (CMMS) is more an operational application, since it tracks repairs, parts, costs of parts and maintenance at the equipment level.  As a provider of both enterprise asset management and computerized maintenance and management system solutions, I think the perception was somewhat too simplified and a bit misleading. The fact is both solutions track the financial and operational information. They are different in scope. So let me try to articulate the specific differences between EAM and CMMS:

  • The Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solution organizes the physical and fiscal information of enterprise assets on one platform, follows the work flows associated with managing assets, supports the business processes of managing the receiving, assigning, deploying, and retiring assets.  From an operational perspective, it tracks the physical whereabouts of the assets, who have custody of them at any point of time, and the physical condition of the assets. It also tracks the financial information of the assets, such as lease terms and dates, maintenance costs, residual value, disposal value, and calculates the total cost of ownership of assets.
  • The Computerized Maintenance and Management System (CMMS) tracks the maintenance activities and costs for the equipment that require maintenance. It tracks the work flow of maintenance, and the cost information associated with these maintenance events.
  • The differences between EAM and CMMS include the type of assets they track and the scope of information they track:
    • EAM tracks the entire enterprise asset portfolio, including IT and physical assets, equipment and buildings, fixed assets and consumables, while CMMS tracks a subset of that.
    • EAM tracks the lifecycle total cost of ownership of assets, while CMMS focuses on the maintenance stage of equipment life.

At E-ISG Asset Intelligence, we believe that if a business wants to simplify their applications to manage enterprise assets, they should choose EAM, rather than CMMS. A good EAM solution should offer CMMS functionalities. The benefits of doing that include: built in data integration, cost savings, and streamlined business processes. Our Enterprise Asset Management software platform integrates the CMMS functionalities.  We believe our EAM solution will meet the needs for managing equipment maintenance activities in most segments like construction, manufacturing, testing labs, public works, emergency management agencies, county government, county school systems, and horizontally across all IT organizations.

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