Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is the treatment of the entire life cycle of an organisation’s physical assets in order to maximise their value, covering all processes from incorporation (design and acquisition) to disposal. This approach, although broader than maintenance management, still has a large reactive component.

Incorporating a strategic vision into asset management allows managers, CEOs and CFOs to decide where and how to best invest business capital to achieve the company’s strategic objectives.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

Any company with a large number of assets can find that a failure in one of them can result in downtime, which, in addition to the cost of repair or replacement, can lead to a loss in production (profit) or even poor customer service, which can eventually result in financial losses.

This is just one example of the impact that assets have directly on the income statement and therefore on the achievement of business objectives. Enterprise asset management enables you to reduce costs and improve productivity, to extend the life of assets and generally to maximise the return on investment of each asset.

Unlike maintenance management, enterprise asset management is not limited to one phase of the asset’s life (useful life), but affects the entire life cycle. Similarly, it is not predominantly reactive. An MEA allows all maintenance activities to be planned, executed, analysed and optimised.

At each and every point, asset management has to consider human resources: it is designed and built for people and, ultimately, however much automation exists, operation and maintenance are done by people.

Asset management serves to control and prevent all assets, but it can also be used to make continuous improvements in management that result in lower costs, less downtime or more efficient use of assets.

EAM linked to the strategy

Strategic Asset Management works to design and align physical asset management policies with the overall strategy and objectives of the company. It facilitates decision-making in the management bodies, but requires information from the assets in the area of operations.

The information provided by the EAM tools not only allows the improvement of the productivity of the assets, but can also generate changes in the company’s own strategy or even alter the business models. If executed correctly, asset strategy management can, in addition to producing significant savings, assist in the generation of direct and indirect income.

To have a real impact on the strategic decisions of management bodies, strategic asset management tools must be able to translate the technical information extracted from the exploitation of assets into financial terms: impact on the balance sheet, the profit and loss account or cash flow.

Risk management is also an important part of strategic asset management: inactivity, security, environmental or legal risks. These risks can affect the profit and loss account through loss of productivity or even financial penalties. A legal risk map makes it possible, for example, to avoid requirements and sanctions, but also to know the real value of the company.

Technology for strategic asset management

Asset maintenance is often confused with the management, and strategic management, of business assets. As we have mentioned, there are differences between these concepts and, therefore, the tools and technology used in each case also vary. The main differences between EAM and CMMS stem from the scope of the concepts: EAM has a more holistic approach to the entire life cycle of the asset, while CMMS has a much more operational perspective.

A strategic enterprise asset management system must include comprehensive management applications, integrating with the design and construction phases of the assets and including tools from construction project management to maintenance management, safety, energy efficiency and many others.

The incorporation of new technologies, such as powerful data analysis, artificial intelligence, mobile applications and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies make it possible to improve data collection throughout the life cycle in real-time, to visualise it in a comprehensible and actionable way and to use it to make digital models, simulators and predictive analyses.

Finally, the BIM methodology makes it possible to integrate the different actors and disciplines involved in the asset life cycle, interacting with them through IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) exchange files.

Retain EAM: efficiency in asset management

Retain is a comprehensive strategic business asset management platform that puts assets at the centre of the management model. The AIE+TI 4-layer model allows the strategic management of assets to be addressed around 4 main axes:

  • Value chain
  • Processes
  • Risks
  • Sustainability

Modelo AIE+TI



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