CMMS vs. EAM software: The key differences and why they matter
Maybe you’re at a stressful point in your business and the maintenance team is struggling to keep up. Your team suggests purchasing maintenance management software. But what type is best for your company?
There’s a lot of different software available—from computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) to enterprise asset management (EAM)—and it can be hard to choose which one is right for you. In this article, we’ll break down the differences between CMMS and EAM software so that you can decide which will benefit your business most.
What is a CMMS?
A CMMS is a software solution that can help you manage maintenance and asset. It’s useful for many industries, including manufacturing, construction, utilities, and transportation. A CMMS can be used to track maintenance requirements and work orders.
A CMMS will also allow you to create an inventory of assets such as tools or machinery that need to be maintained or repaired. This allows you to keep track of each item’s condition so that when it comes time for them to be serviced or replaced, they will have a history regarding the cost-effectiveness of doing so, versus simply buying new ones at a full retail price every time one breaks down.
What is EAM software?
Enterprise asset management (EAM) software is a tool that can be used to track the maintenance of all types of assets, from small equipment to large industrial machines. It allows you to keep track of what your assets are, where they are located, how much they cost, and when they need maintenance. EAM software allows you to easily generate reports on this information so that you can see at-a-glance which assets need repair or replacement.
What is the difference between CMMS and EAM?
The CMMS originated as a punch-card system used to manage work orders in the 1960s. But despite its relatively low-tech beginnings, the technology has come a long way. Today, it allows maintenance teams to easily keep a centralized record of all assets and equipment they are responsible for, as well as schedule and track maintenance activities and keep a detailed record of the work they’ve performed. Generally speaking, the purpose of a CMMS is to manage all maintenance activities during the operational part of an asset’s life—all the time that it’s working as a productive part of a facility.
In contrast with a CMMS, EAM software provides a view of an organization’s assets and infrastructure throughout the entire lifecycle, from creation or procurement to disposal. So while an EAM can technically provide the same capabilities that a CMMS does, there are additional features available through an EAM that may overlap with an organization’s ERP, or may not be a requirement at all for the team purchasing maintenance management software.
CMMS vs. EAM
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and enterprise asset management (EAM) software share some similarities but are used in different ways and for different purposes. Below is a table that illustrates some of the differences:
|Definition||A CMMS automates the collection and analysis of data to optimize maintenance operations. It can also be used to manage preventive maintenance activities.||An EAM software automates and analyzes data to help optimize maintenance operations as well as provide visibility into all crucial assets across an organization.|
|Advantages||Provides a single source of truth for all assetsReduces the risk of equipment failureImproves productivity and employee morale||Provides clear asset identification and managementImproves business processes through automation|
|Features||Monitors and optimizes scheduling work orders, purchasing inventory, and asset maintenance||Monitors, tracks and locates all critical assets, as well as monitors facility conditions|
When it comes to technology it’s important to know what your options are
One of the difficulties of delineating a CMMS from an EAM software is that the gap between the two categories is more narrow than ever. Thanks to its start as a punch-card system, CMMS software is often seen as more rudimentary and less feature-rich than its EAM cousin. But when it comes to the capabilities shared between a CMMS and EAM, their quality and depth are more or less equal. The primary difference lies in scope.
Many CMMS solutions integrate with software like ERP systems in ways that allow them to perform similarly to EAM software, while still offering a user-friendly experience. The best course of action is to learn all you can about the solutions available to your team and determine which features are most important to help you hit your maintenance KPIs.