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In the past, organizations looking to implement asset management initiatives could choose between two types of enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions. There were one-size-fits-all systems that provided a wide range of features but often delivered shallow functionality that failed to meet in-depth requirements. The second option was to deploy a group of specialized applications that could better address deeper functionality needs.
Most organizations selected the latter path to avoid the lacking capabilities of a generic solution. However, the use of multiple non-integrated applications led to separation between data and processes. Thus, the siloed mentality was born. Organizations accepted this way of thinking because it presented the best option to meet their asset management needs.
With modern developments for EAM technology, subscribing to the siloed approach is no longer necessary. Today's EAM solutions have been significantly affected by the wave of verticalization currently transforming the enterprise software space. Applications are now developed with built-in flexibility to enable easy configuration while still delivering critical basic functionality such as document and energy management, asset tracking, and the ability to manage multiple classes of assets. Organizations can purchase an EAM system and tailor it to address their specific requirements without having to rewrite any of the source code.
These new configurable, verticalized EAM solutions benefit organizations by facilitating faster implementation and ultimately helping to lower costs. With the necessary functionality to better meet industry-specific challenges, the necessity for pricey customizations is significantly reduced. Businesses now have the opportunity to utilize a consolidated, end-to-end asset management system that better supports their needs whether they are an industrial manufacturer or a wastewater treatment plant.
Verticalization has served as the catalyst for a new way of thinking about asset management. Long gone are the days when businesses simply accept the information silos and disparate workflows that slow critical processes. Companies are realizing that integrating EAM as a part of daily operations, rather than viewing asset management as a separate practice, can greatly benefit their organization.
By incorporating a verticalized EAM solution with other critical business systems, decision-makers can create a more holistic view of their enterprise. This facilitates greater visibility and collaboration across departments and allows for more in-depth analysis of resource allocation and costs. Users have greater insight into how assets are impacting and being impacted by other day-to-day activities, which facilitates better, more informed decision-making.
For example, a maintenance manager utilizes his organization's EAM application to determine how much it costs to run each individual asset. He knows which assets require more investment because of their energy use and which ones have a higher price tag because they are not functioning at optimum efficiency. However, because the organization's EAM application lacks interoperability with the accounting system, members of the accounting department only have insight into total costs. Without connectivity into their EAM application or drill-down capabilities, financial decision-makers might wrongly assume that the most costly assets are the most inefficient simply because they only have a surface-level perspective.
If a verticalized, integrated EAM solution was employed, these users would be able to see what the maintenance manager already knows – that the greatest inefficiency is not necessarily synonymous with the largest expense. This lack of insight could lead to potentially costly, ineffective business decisions.
By approaching asset management with an enterprise mentality, organizations can have greater insight into how assets are affecting their bottom line. In a time when shrinking budgets and resources have become commonplace challenges, this enables leadership to pinpoint areas where costs and environmental impact can both be reduced.