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Overview: 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 equips businesses with several tools aimed to boost productivity and transform a business digitally. The tool does this by bringing data, entrepreneurs, as well as processes together. 

With continuous organic investments in such tools, Microsoft aims to accelerate innovation and assist businesses in acquiring strategic solutions. 

In October 2019, Microsoft introduced several advanced capabilities in the existing Microsoft 

Dynamics 365. One of these tools was Asset Management. 

Thanks to the EAM solution, businesses will now be able to predict asset maintenance and therefore plan their asset maintenance schedules. 

This allows enterprises to make the most of their assets by maximizing their lifespan, which, in turn, brings down production costs. 

If you look at the big picture, EAM solutions make maintenance execution, planning, and analysis highly efficient. 

But what exactly is Enterprise Asset Management? 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the management functions that increase efficiencies in production and some of the best EAM software in 2021. 

What is Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)?

EAM combines tools to manage and control operational assets and equipment. This involves software, services, as well as systems that are used for asset management. 

Each of these solutions is developed to optimize the quality of assets and manage asset maintenance schedules. It brings down operational costs while enhancing productivity simultaneously.  

Enterprise Asset Management comprises work and supply chain management, planning and scheduling, asset maintenance, and health and safety initiatives. 

EAM solutions ensure all assets run optimally, whether it is equipment or fixed assets. 

Not only does it track material and equipment costs (including labor), but it also provides data on the type of equipment, product group, age, and location. 

This enables businesses to come up with efficient plans to manage and prevent asset maintenance. 

Key Features of Microsoft Asset Management Software

Some key features of Microsoft Asset Management Software that businesses will be able to benefit from are listed below:

  1. Tracking Asset Lifecycle: Manage assets used in production processes from the beginning of production to the end. Track the locations of equipment, labor, and machinery and manage their whole lifecycle. 
  2. Preventive Maintenance: Controlling and tracking the maintenance needs of assets. Maintenance management is done on the recommendation of the manufacturer. 
  3. Predictive maintenance: Microsoft EAM uses EAM data for preventive maintenance with the help of tools such as machine learning.  
  4. Integrated Planning: Production job scheduling and integrated planning provide businesses with data that enables them to come up with more effective machine repair schedules. 
  5. Management and Scheduling of Work Orders: Allows businesses to plan either automatically or manually, considering key constraints such as work order cruciality, capacity, and the workability of labor.  
  6. Tracking Spare Parts: Managing inventory levels and asset usage over a specific period. 
  7. Cost Control: Helps businesses manage their actual costs based on their estimated costs of production. 
  8. KPIs (Out-of-the-box insights): Data provided by the EAM solution helps measure how effective an asset is. This consists of uptime and downtime data, mean repair time, average duration between failures, and between stops. 

EAM and CMMS: What’s the Difference?

Choosing the right kind of software is essential when it comes to managing your assets. 

Since EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) and CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems) are both asset management and maintenance solutions, people tend to get confused between the two. 

However, the key differences between an EAM solution and a CMMS solution lie in their functionalities which means both have different common uses. 

Let’s start with what exactly CMMS is: 

The main differences between the two software are highlighted in their names. The focal point of CMMS, or Computerized Maintenance Management Systems, is ‘maintenance,’ which is evident from the solution’s name.

Maintenance tasks are streamlined and automated through CMMS, a solution that also provides its users with communications for maintenance-related activities. 

Communication and coordination are the main aims of CMMS solutions. The software aims to automate maintenance schedules along with the capability of maintaining databases with detailed information on asset information. 

An EAM solution, on the other hand, is a superset of CMMS. Managing asset lifecycles is a feature specific to EAMs. However, CMMS solutions offer a diverse set of solutions that are now common with both types of systems. 

In other words, some CMMS solutions are offered by EAMs, but that is not the case with CMMS since they don’t always have the EAM capabilities. 

To summarize, a CMMS solution is something that a business might utilize initially. But as companies experience growth, they tend to switch to an EAM solution because of the sophisticated features and the comprehensive and diverse capabilities it equips them with.  

Why Enterprise Asset Management Software is Ideal for Businesses:

For maximum efficiency, machinery, equipment, and labor must be functioning to their full capacity, which is impossible if the equipment is down. 

This not only increases waste but also does not generate the revenue it could have otherwise created. 

Poorly functioning assets don’t just adversely affect a business’s revenues but also negatively impact the product quality, which contaminates consumer experience and damages the brand’s reputation. 

EAM system doesn’t just aim to prevent this negative situation, but it is also designed in order to avoid any catastrophic damage that might arise unpredictably and might turn out to be costly. 

Such damage also poses the risk of labor injury or death, which makes EAM the best solution to counteract HSE (Health, Safety, and Environmental) concerns. 

Other benefits of using an EAM solution include: 

  • Centralization of Asset Information:

A CMMS is part of an EAM software which means EAMs are equipped with the ability to give rich insights into the assets of a business. 

This means businesses have access to information on where an asset is, what its requirements are, who specifically should work on them, and at what time.  

It makes asset management workflows more accessible and auditable by automating them.

  • Prevent Issues Before their Occurrence:

Stable and continuous operations are the key to success for any business. 

Thanks to Asset Management solutions, businesses can predict issues that might disrupt production and take counteractive measures to resolve any problems before they arise.

The preventive capabilities of Dynamics 365 EAM help maintain assets, ensuring they function optimally and to their full capacity. 

  • Smarter Asset Monitoring:

With EAM solutions, businesses get real-time insights on the current as well as the predicted state of their assets. This is because of the AI-powered remote monitoring capability of EAMs. 

Data from all departments are gathered and brought together from information silos. This means accurate alerts are sent to business owners, which enables them to make effective and informed decisions regarding asset management. 

  • More Effective Asset Utilization:

The lifespan, usability, and capacity of physical assets of a business can be maximized, thanks to Enterprise Asset Management software.

In addition to real-time data, historical information is also gathered on the state of assets which, when combined with the diagnostic and analytical tools, allows a business to make the most of its physical assets. 

  • Smarter Asset and Infrastructure Management:

EAMs provide current insights on assets that allow a business to take quick action and prevent any catastrophic events. 

It also helps businesses develop effective asset management strategies that increase equipment lifecycles, enhance the return on investment, and prevent greater damage. 

  • Enhance Maintenance Management: 

With an EAM solution, businesses can enhance their equipment maintenance practices through the IoT, analytics, and AI solutions that the EAM software provides. 

The concerning environmental, health and safety requirements are met by the asset tracking features of the EAM, combined with traceability. 

EAMs are an ideal solution since a primary system manages every asset type that a business utilizes in its production processes.

In other words, enterprises can standardize asset functions across all departments, which improves productivity. 

Best Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Software 2021

Selecting the right kind of Asset Management Software is the key to success for asset-intensive industries.

At its core, each of these solutions offers the same capabilities. However, some features may vary. It all comes down to your business challenges, scalability, and how much you are willing and can afford to spend on EAM solutions. 

Here are 5 of the Best Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Software 2021:

  1. IBM Maximo:

  2. IBM Maximo is a leading CMMS/ EAM platform that takes asset management a step further with its hybrid, cloud-based integrated suite. 

    With its monitoring and maintenance functions combined on a single platform, Maximo transforms the asset management of organizations with advanced and rich analytics and AI solutions.  

  3. UpKeep:

  4. UpKeep is equipped with tools that help manage everyday asset maintenance. In addition to providing real-time updates on performance, UpKeep assists reliability and maintenance teams with the efficient management of assets.

    The solution is designed to maximize productivity and help businesses get more done through a singular technological solution. 

  5. Fracttal One:

  6. As one of the most powerful CMMS/ EAM solutions in the market, the tool is designed to promote innovation and optimize the productivity of a business’s team.

    With Fracttal One, planning, assignment, and the execution of tasks can be reported directly to suppliers from a single platform which means the solution monitors every aspect of asset management. 

  7. Infor EAM:

  8. New levels of efficiency can be achieved through Infor EAM through the digitization and optimization of asset maintenance operations. 

    The scalability of this software is exceptional, which means it can cater to the needs of all sizes of asset-intensive businesses and help them achieve a higher level of efficiency. 

  9. IFS:

  10. Designed specifically for companies that manufacture and distribute goods and build assets, IFS provides real-time updates and rich insights.

    This enables users to make decisions regarding asset management beforehand, preventing any catastrophic issues in equipment or machinery, for example, that could hinder the entire production. 

5 Vital Factors When Choosing EAMs

Finding the right EAM solution for your business can be quite a challenge. Especially considering the plethora of EAMs available in the market.

The right EAMs can boost productivity, efficiency and boost maintenance management of a business.

Here are five vital factors to consider when choosing an EAM solution for your business:

  1. Your business challenges: 

  2. Ask yourself why you considered upgrading to an EAM solution in the first place? 

    Each business faces unique challenges, and identifying these can go a long way in defining the features your business requires specifically to boost efficiency in production processes. 

  3. User input:

  4. By user input, we mean understanding why a strategy needs to be implemented. This means you need to take the staff’s point of view that is affected the most by the strategy.

    Doing passive observations of work routines or even conducting feedback sessions can give you insights into how your staff is coming along with EAMs and their challenges. 

  5. Vendor support and services:

  6. The EAM provider determines what EAM solution you will select. 

    Working with a company that is well aware of how its product works mean implementation will go as smoothly as possible thanks to the specialists you have access to. 

    This means, whenever you require assistance with the EAM, the vendor is always available to help you overcome the challenges you are facing. 

  7. Cost:

  8. When selecting an EAM, it is crucial to consider your budget. The prices of every EAM solution will not be the same, but you can get an estimated cost from the vendors. 

  9. Scalability: 

  10. When implementing an EAM solution, one important thing is that your business will grow with the solution. 

    This means you must select an EAM software that grows with your business and seamlessly caters to the growing requirements of an expanding business. 

Conclusion: 

An EAM solution will transform how your business functions. It will save additional costs while maximizing the productivity and efficiency of a business. 

D365 asset management is an exceptional solution for asset-intensive industries. Not only does it boost productivity, but it also prevents any asset damage that could be injurious to labor, damage the reputation of your business, or hinder productivity. 

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