Bill Kloster, CIO, Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH®) Inc.
Enterprise Asset Management is a critical capability for companies with a desire to effectively track assets and regulate maintenance records. Doing so provides opportunity to extend the life of assets as well as budget and plan for maintenance. By planning, you can plan for large investments in consecutive years versus the same year.
There are a large number of EAM software solutions available worth evaluating. The key features of EAM products include management of--materials, inventory, maintenance, contracts, work, compliance and procurement. Many EAM solutions provide business intelligence and analytics by specific industries. Follow these 5 must do activities as you begin your EAM implementation journey.
1. Define Your Critical Services and Unique Asset Management Needs
Knowing the most important services your company provides and the specific data elements required to manage your physical, IT and digital assets sets the stage for clearly defined requirements to measure vendors against during the product selection phase.
2. Expect Report Functionality that Provides Actionable Business Insights
Move beyond point-in-time reporting or look-back reporting of assets. The real benefit of EAM to your company is in opportunity to provide intelligent actionable recommendations.
EAM requires serious consideration of business needs, business process flows, and application integration.
For example, expect the EAM to provide early indicators for ordering material or scheduling maintenance events..Save your money if you’re looking for your EAM to become another report operational generator.
3. Integrate EAM with Existing Enterprise Solutions
Integrate EAM with your existing financial, e-mail and other third party applications to reduce duplicate data entry, enable alert notification and establish automation of activities. Again, save your money if you don’t plan on integrating as an EAM without integration to existing systems should be viewed as a failure, because it creates more work for your team who may already be swamped.
4. Put an Emphasis on Process Workflows and End User Training
Define the owners of your services and assets and ask them to form teams of people closest to the daily activities to develop process workflows and create training material. The process workflows are the lifeblood of the EAM success story. The people that use EAM everyday should decide how to use it. Design the training to clearly show how each EAM process works from start to finish. For extra credit, build in the benefit of the process to help improve adoption rates. Leverage video as a way to help new users visually walk each process – remember everyone learns differently.
5. Most Important: Select a Solution Based on the Quality of Capabilities
Give the owners of your service and assets—the people actually going to be using the tools and system a seat at the table when it comes time to make decisions. First, the owners need a clear understanding of the business requirements. Second, the selection criteria should be heavily weighed upon the product ability to meet those critical business requirements. If you fall prey to selecting based on price, you will most likely be disappointed and the adoption rate by your team may be low.
EAM is a critical success factor for many firms. There are many very good EAM solutions available. Many EAM solutions are tailored specific for your industry. However, EAM is not a simple plug and play solution. EAM requires serious consideration of business needs, business process flows, and application integration. These 5 Must Do’s will improve the probability of arriving at your final EAM destination with a success story to tell.