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Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

 

Enterprise asset management (EAM) means the whole life optimal management of the physical assets of an organization to maximize value. It covers such things as the design, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and decommissioning/replacement of plant, equipment and facilities. "Enterprise" refers to the management of the assets across departments, locations, facilities and, in some cases, business units. By managing assets across the facility, organizations can improve utilization and performance, reduce capital costs, reduce asset-related operating costs, extend asset life and subsequently improve ROA (return on assets).

Asset intensive industries face the harsh realities of operating in highly competitive markets and dealing with high value facilities and equipment where each failure is disruptive and costly. At the same time, they must also adhere to stringent occupational safety, health and environmental regulations. Maintaining optimal availability, reliability and operational safety of plant, equipment, facilities and other assets is therefore essential for an organization's competitiveness.

The functions of asset management are taking a fundamental turn where organizations are moving from historical reactive (run-to-failure) models and beginning to embrace whole life planning, life cycle costing, planned and proactive maintenance and other industry best practices. Some companies still regard physical asset management as just a more business-focused term for maintenance management - until they begin to realize the organization-wide impact and interdependencies with operations, design, asset performance, personnel productivity and lifecycle costs. This shift in focus exemplifies the progression from maintenance management to Enterprise Asset Management and is embodied in the British Standards specification PAS 55 (Requirements specification for the optimal management of physical infrastructure assets).

 

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is a business paradigm that integrates strategic planning with operations, maintenance and capital investment decision-making. On the operations side, EAM caters to increased efficiencies of all assets including inventory, regulatory compliance and human resources by combining the salient goals of investment, maintenance, repair and operations management. Simultaneously, EAM addresses business challenges that include productivity enhancement, maximizing asset life cycle, minimizing total cost of ownership and support of the technology and supply chain infrastructure.

 

Why is Enterprise Asset Management Important?

Competitive pressures force organizations to minimize asset total cost of ownership and streamline their asset management operations (these typically involve myriad activities ranging from inventory, parts and labor management to contracts and vendor management for new works). As downtimes become increasingly expensive, both in terms of lost production capacity and unfavorable publicity, organizations are compelled to maximize their asset productive life cycles via optimal maintenance programs.

In the event of asset failure, quick response time is critical. In recent years, stringent industry-specific environmental health and occupational safety regulations are being enforced by government oversight agencies, with industrial owners and operators responsible for compliance. Asset registers, risk registers, work planning and scheduling, life cycle costing and systematic methods for problem identification, root cause analysis and continuous improvement are increasingly seen as prerequesites for a robust asset management system.

By providing a platform for connecting people, processes, assets, industry-based knowledge and decision support capabilities based on quality information, EAM provides a holistic view of an organization's asset base, enabling managers to control and optimize their operations for quality and efficiency.

 

 

 

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