Unlocking the Full Potential of Your EAM

Katherine Sanchez, MaxGrip

Managing physical assets and equipment efficiently is crucial for organizations across industries. Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) provides a comprehensive approach to optimize asset quality, utilization, uptime, and costs throughout the entire asset lifecycle. Unlike Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) that focus solely on maintenance management, EAM covers the broader spectrum of asset management, from acquisition to disposal.

Implementing an effective EAM system brings several benefits that directly impact maintenance operations and contribute to organizational success; the system can significantly increase a maintenance department’s efficiency, reduce downtime and improve cost-effectiveness. We can discern five keys to maximizing your potential and realizing business success: training & standardization, accurate master data, culture & adoption, comprehensive data analysis, and experienced guidance.

Key 1: Accurate Master Data

Accurate master data is the foundation of realizing the full potential of an EAM system. One key aspect of accurate master data is ease of use, as it significantly improves the overall utilization of the EAM system. This involves ensuring that data capturing processes are streamlined and user-friendly, allowing maintenance managers and technicians to input and access information seamlessly.

Additionally, understanding asset criticality is essential, as it helps prioritize maintenance activities based on the significance of assets to overall operations. Establishing a well-structured asset hierarchy further enhances the organization and accessibility of data, enabling the maintenance team to efficiently manage assets. Correctly grouping preventive maintenance activities based on asset criticality and other factors is critical for reducing downtime and maximizing maintenance effectiveness, as it allows maintenance teams to proactively address potential issues and minimize disruptions to operations.

Key 2: Data Analysis

Data analysis is another key factor in making the best use of the system. However, the effectiveness of data analysis relies heavily on the quality of the data being captured. The adage "Bad In = Bad Out" holds true in this context, emphasizing the importance of clean data capturing processes including the use of mandatory fields and using conventions strictly.

Accurate and reliable data is crucial for making informed business decisions and driving strategic initiatives. Effective data management and analytics enable the maintenance team to translate raw data into actionable insights that can shape business strategies. By leveraging these insights, organizations can optimize maintenance operations, allocate resources effectively, and align their asset management practices with overall business objectives. Data-driven decision-making not only enhances maintenance and reliability but also contributes to the overall success and competitiveness of the organization.

Key 3: Training and Standardization

Training and standardization are critical components in maximizing the benefits of the EAM system. By providing training on the proper use of the EAM system, maintenance managers can ensure that their teams are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to utilize the system effectively and in a uniform way.

Regular training sessions should be conducted to refresh and reinforce these skills, enabling maintenance personnel to stay on top of the system's functionalities and getting the most out of its usage. Furthermore, the implementation of standardized job plans, routes, and inspections streamlines maintenance workflows. This promotes consistency and efficiency across the organization.

In addition to optimizing maintenance operations, training and standardization also contribute to maintaining a safe working environment. By ensuring the enforcement of health and safety regulations, such as lockout and tagout procedures and the right registration in the EAM system, organizations mitigate risks. Moreover, by capturing data related to regulatory compliance and inspections, the EAM system provides valuable documentation that can support audits and demonstrate adherence to industry regulations.

Overall, training and standardization play a vital role in optimizing EAM utilization and fostering a culture of safety and compliance within maintenance operations.

The 5 Keys to Better EAM

"Unlocking the full potential of an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses accurate master data, data analysis, training and standardization, culture and adoption, and experienced guidance. By focusing on these five keys, organizations can optimize their maintenance operations, reduce downtime, improve cost-effectiveness, and align their asset management practices with overall business objectives."

Key 4: Culture and Adoption

While the technical aspects of the EAM system are important, it is the people who play a pivotal role in maximizing its benefits. To unlock the full potential of the EAM system, organizations must work towards changing the perception of EAM as a "Blackbox" by promoting transparency, understanding and active involvement among employees. Defined roles, responsibilities and boundaries help establish clarity and accountability within the organization.

Addressing workflow and usage issues ensures that the EAM system is aligned with existing processes and workflows, maximizing its integration and effectiveness. Work management Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) provide valuable insights into the usage of the EAM system, helping identify areas for improvement and driving continuous enhancement. It is crucial to identify internal champions who can advocate for the system and inspire others to adopt and embrace it.

Celebrating successes and showcasing the positive outcomes of EAM implementation can generate internal buy-in quickly and foster a culture of enthusiasm and engagement. Ultimately, cultivating a culture of adoption and garnering widespread support among employees is essential for extracting the maximum value from the EAM system and achieving long-term success.

Key 5: Experienced Guidance

For most people and businesses change is not easy; changing to a new system is a big leap for many maintenance teams. Therefore, the importance of expert guidance cannot be overstated when it comes to deploying a new EAM system or when wanting to adopt a new way of working to get more out of your current system. Engaging an external expert with domain expertise and experience across various companies and industries brings a fresh perspective to the table.

These experts can conduct a thorough assessment of the current utilization of the EAM system and identify improvement opportunities that may have been overlooked internally. By leveraging their knowledge and insights, they can guide organizations towards optimizing their EAM system and processes, ensuring they align with industry best practices and standards.

Moreover, the external expert can act as a coach and provide support to internal champions, helping them navigate challenges and drive successful implementation. Their experience in following up with EAM solutions providers ensures effective communication and collaboration, bridging the gap between the organization and the solution provider. Overall, the expertise and guidance of an external expert play a crucial role in unlocking the full potential of the EAM system, driving continuous improvement, and maximizing its value to the organization.

Case: Materials Manufacturer Realizing Results

One client success story that shows how important the five keys are for realizing the potential of the EAM system involves a materials manufacturer who needed to make the transition from a legacy Enterprise Asset Management system to a new system. The client faced several challenges, including inaccurate foundational data, difficulties with EAM adoption on the shop floor, and a lack of maintenance data reporting. To address these issues, a comprehensive EAM implementation process was undertaken.

This process started with applying MaxGrip’s proven Asset Improvement Mapping (AIM). The holistic assessment includes stakeholder interviews, data and information analysis and a plant walkdown among other things. This AIM results in key findings, recommendations for improvement and a deployment roadmap. The key support areas for this materials manufacturer were the improvement of data management, maintenance strategy analysis and optimization, process mapping and workflow integration, EAM usage training and coaching, and KPI development.

The results of the deployment were highly impactful. In just the first month of the EAM launch, there was a remarkable 75% increase in data reporting. Additionally, 13,511 man hours were successfully programmed for preventive maintenance into the new EAM system. Furthermore, 500 work orders were updated and transferred from the legacy EAM system to the new one, and 468 plans were carefully analyzed based on load and frequency before being migrated to the new EAM system.

Finally, the entire maintenance team was trained in EAM usage, workflow management, and maintenance data reporting, further enhancing the organization's capabilities.

Embracing the Five Keys

In conclusion, unlocking the full potential of an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses accurate master data, data analysis, training and standardization, culture and adoption, and experienced guidance. By focusing on these five keys, organizations can optimize their maintenance operations, reduce downtime, improve cost-effectiveness, and align their asset management practices with overall business objectives. Accurate master data serves as the foundation for effective EAM utilization, while data analysis enables informed decision-making and strategic initiatives.

Training and standardization promote consistency and efficiency, contributing to a safe working environment and compliance with regulations. Cultivating a culture of adoption and garnering widespread support among employees enhances the system's integration and effectiveness.

Finally, engaging an external expert brings valuable insights, guidance, and experience to optimize the EAM system and drive continuous improvement. By embracing these five keys, organizations can unlock the full potential of their EAM system, realize business success, and achieve long-term maintenance excellence.

This article was a featured learning session at the 2023 Reliable Plant & Machinery Lubrication Conference & Exhibition. To learn more about our upcoming 2024 Reliable Plant & Machinery Lubrication Conference & Exhibition, visit the conference website.

Subscribe to Machinery Lubrication

About the Author

Katherine Sanchez is a Managing Consultant at MaxGrip. She is a maintenance and reliability professional with more than 12 years of experience in engineering, asset reliability, and continu...