Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Integrating your EAM for Competitive Advantage

By Kim Custeau, Director, Product Marketing, Asset Management and Mobility Solutions, Invensys Operations Management

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solutions are finally coming of age. Leading organizations worldwide view EAM as critical tools to gain and sustain competitive advantage.

What is EAM? EAM focuses on Asset Performance Management. EAM incorporates maintenance, repair and operations solutions bringing maintenance management, spares and inventory management and a complete procurement capability to users. An APM solution set helps customers to realize outstanding return from all their assets—people, processes and equipment, thereby enabling true Asset Excellence.

So what’s changed with the perception of EAM?  In the past, EAM’s were typically tactical departmental systems.  They were purchased, owned, and operated by a company’s maintenance organization and were used as a tool to manage their day-to-day activities.  Unfortunately, many early EAM implementations had poor success rates. The applications lacked the functionality and flexibility to make them high performers.  EAM engineers spent their time fighting fires to keep the systems operating, instead of a more planned strategic approach.

Senior management rarely saw the strategic value of integrating an EAM to other enterprise applications.  When companies did integrate, it was typically to connect to the general ledger so corporate accounting could keep tabs on the money the maintenance team spent.

Times have changed.  Today, the maintenance personnel aren’t the only people involved in purchasing and operating an EAM.  What has caused this change of interest?  In an age of global competition, organizations are looking for ways to enable resources to be more efficient, to provide access to information for accurate decision making like never before. Companies are paying more attention, realizing that a high performing EAM tool and team will have a direct impact on the bottom line. 

Integrating EAM’s with enterprise systems and best practice business workflows will maximize its strategic value.  Leveraging these capabilities becomes a means of gaining a competitive advantage.  Companies can assemble the applications that best meet the needs of their enterprise, rather than changing their business to fit the tools.  Gaining a competitive advantage means using the right EAM software integrated to your enterprise applications with the flexibility to operate within your defined best practices – with no compromises.

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