What is Enterprise Asset Management (EAM): The Complete Guide

Enterprise Asset Management is a critical business area for any large organization that relies on physical assets for production. 

What is Enterprise Asset Management?

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) refers to the practice of overseeing the lifecycle of an organization’s physical capital investments used for production. Examples of assets include both infrastructure assets and the assets used to maintain them, as well as their digital counterparts. These physical capital assets are often critical to civilian infrastructure and daily lifestyle.

Physical capital assets are things like:

  • Upstream, midstream, and downstream pipelines
  • Offshore drilling rigs
  • Roads and highways
  • Power lines
  • Electric Towers
  • Nuclear Reactors
  • Facilities
  • Dams
  • Hydroelectric Turbines

Organizations that maintain physical assets like these for production should use an EAM system within their maintenance and operations program. EAM systems can be cloud based or on-premise technology solutions used to optimize the process, ensuring critical assets are maintained properly and can be used for production for as long as possible. Cohesive Solutions provides comprehensive business transformation and system implementation services to Enterprise Asset Management initiatives. Read more about EAM Consulting Services.

What is the difference between information management and enterprise asset management?

Information management is concerned with the infrastructure used to collect, manage, preserve, store and deliver information allowing access to the right people at the right time. This is just a small part of an EAM system. EAM includes physical assets as well and oversees the entire lifecycle of a business’ production. 

What Is Enterprise Asset Lifecycle Management?

Asset lifecycle management (ALM) is the process of overseeing and optimizing these physical capital investments through their life span - from purchase to operating through end of life. 

Asset lifecycle management is managed through an organizations EAM program, who use a combination of technology and business processes to streamline and optimize the asset lifecycle and ensure that an organization’s critical infrastructure:

  • Is maintained properly
  • Reduces downtime, increases uptime
  • Positively impacts production
  • Runs safely
  • Delivers as needed

What Is The Difference Between EAM And A CMMS?

CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management Solution. In the 1960s, CMMS programs came into light as a replacement for paper and filing cabinets in terms of managing work orders. CMMS programs are more simplistic in nature; though they have increased in complexity over time, their main goal is to manage work orders, equipment records, and spare parts.

EAM systems are more holistic than CMMS programs. EAM encompses a broader range of business and maintenance functions and key processes that CMMS doesn’t. An Enterprise Asset Management system touches all aspects of the enterprise such as operations, project management, accounting, procurement, storeroom, and maintenance and reliability.

While EAM does include the capabilities of CMMS programs, they offer more robust capabilities that track the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an asset through its entire lifecycle, across the entire organization versus simple work order tracking.

Enterprise organizations should use an EAM system v. a CMMS program due to the complexity and size of their operations. 

Are you new to EAM and IBM Maximo? 

If you are new to the EAM and IBM Maximo community, you may find the amount of information on the internet a little overwhelming. Check out this page for everything you need to know.

What are the benefits of an enterprise asset management software?

Increasing Performance and Uptime

Asset owners/operators rely on sophisticated EAM systems to help improve operational performance. With a robust work and asset management system, like IBM Maximo, maintenance tasks are automated based on a series of factors such as asset conditions and previous asset maintenance plans. With personalized work centers, insights into asset health, collaboration and work order automation, maintenance leaders using IBM Maximo have increased maintenance productivity by 10%. 

Increased visibility and streamlined operations across roles and devices enables the workforce to do the right task, at the right time, in the most efficient manner. This shift towards predictive maintenance leads to increased asset uptime and higher production performance - more efficient, profitable operations for the organization is the end result.

With Maximo, each industry benefits from industry specific solutions and add-ons that help overcome specific challenges and requirements unique to the industry. Want to see how Cohesive Solutions is maximizing reliability for the oil and gas industry? Check out our YouTube video

Extending asset life cycle

Infrastructure assets and the assets used to maintain them are a large cost for organizations. Maintaining them in such a way that asset owners get the most value and useful life out of an asset is critical to cutting maintenance cost. 

A sophisticated EAM system such as IBM Maximo and the Maximo Application Suite enables intelligent asset management, monitoring, and predictive maintenance on a single, streamlined platform. Cohesive Solutions also offers superior Maximo support that includes access to patches, upgrades, and live assistance! Check out FIRSTCall for more information.

The increased visibility gained from performance analytics, AI and IoT data enables asset owners to make better decisions for their assets, extending the useful life span, improving operations, and cutting cost. 

It doesn’t end and begin with technology. A powerful EAM solution is one part of a maintenance solution designed to cut cost and increase performance. An EAM Maturity assessment will assess how your organization is currently operating, what your goals are, and design a strategic roadmap for how to move forward. Learn more about our assessment here

Reducing Operational Cost

Smarter decision making across your organization drives down operational costs. Asset owners/operators who use IBM Maximo and the Maximo Application suite experience on average a 20% decrease in total cost of ownership (TCO). Modernized, streamlined and automated maintenance programs operate in a state of predictive maintenance, increasing efficiency in wrench time by working on assets in a manner that results in as much uptime as possible, saving the business money from down time - both planned and unplanned.  When this cycle is refined and repeated, organizations benefit from a leaner work and asset management program as well as generous cost savings. 

Boost Environmental, Health and Safety Initiatives

Asset owners/operators have a commitment to safety both in their operations and in the way their assets are maintained and run. To prioritize health and safety within their operations, asset intensive organizations are typically subject to health, safety, and environmental regulations by governing bodies. IBM Maximo offers a Health, Safety, and Environmental solution integrated right into their EAM system, IBM Maximo HSE. This solution enables organizations to prioritize health, safety, and environment by making them integrated, automated, and streamlined processes within their EAM program. IBM Maximo HSE helps organizations reduce risk, comply with best practices and regulatory compliance, and create a safe yet efficient operating standard for their organization.

Streamlined Operations

The right EAM system enables organizations to benefit from a more efficient and streamlined operation. Your EAM system acts as the foundation for your maintenance program - prompting, tracking, and managing all of your work management and asset management activities. Automated workflows increase work order efficiency by sending the right work orders, to the right personnel, at the right time. 

A sophisticated asset management solution will have native functionality available for your specific industry and operating model. This includes key business areas, like Supply Chain for example, unique industry requirements, and operating models such as Reliability Centered Maintenance.

Because the software looks at asset lifecycle management as it relates to the entire enterprise, users of a powerful EAM system benefit from:

  • More streamlined, integrated process for asset, work, and contract management
  • Automation and collaboration
  • Increased efficiency
  • Better visibility
  • Increased Savings

What are Enterprise Asset Management best practices? 

Data capture

Garbage in, garbage out is the motto referenced when it comes to data. Using inaccurate, incomplete data as the basis for maintenance and operational information results in poor business decisions that don’t drive continuous improvement. 

Tips to increase the trust you have in your data:

  1. Streamlined processes - Ensure everyone across all business units is reading and capturing the same data in the same manner
  2. KPIs and Metrics surrounding data quality - A powerful performance management tool can help organizations track and manage improvement initiatives around maintenance, including data quality. A performance management solution will help identify gaps and areas for improvement.
  3. Mobility and Offline Sync - The ability for the field work force to input data on the go and have confidence that it will sync to their EAM system when they reach wifi is critical to keeping data maintained, accurate, and consistent

Make data quality an active continuous improvement initiative for your organization. Utilizing a tool that helps you visualize, track, and manage maintenance improvement like Propel can help you ensure objectives are being met and improvements are being made across your organization.

Optimize Asset lifecycle management 

Maintenance organizations who emphasize optimizing the asset lifecycle benefit from reduced downtime, and more production time for their assets. This saves the organization maintenance dollars and helps maintenance teams to decide what the next best decision is for an asset. To optimize the lifecycle of assets, a combination of sophisticated, collaborative technology and best practice business processes is required. Want to increase reliability and optimize maintenance processes with industry expert guidance? Let us know! 

Communication across individuals and departments 

Organizational change management is critical to a successful maintenance organization. It is also where we see many organizations fall short, resulting in reduced ROI of projects, reduced success and adoption.

Organizational Change Management and Technology adoption are both embedded into Cohesive Solutions’ implementation methodology to ensure project success for the client.

Change Management efforts should involve all personnel affected by any technology and/or process changes as a result of the implementation.

Many change management methods are outdated. We focus on using in-app learning and multiple, tailored education options to ensure adoption and accountability. Read more about how Cohesive Solutions helps clients design and implement change management programs that align with your culture, structure, talent, and goals to improve performance, build capabilities, strengthen behavior, and sustain the change over time. 

Preventative maintenance

Sophisticated maintenance organizations should be working to operate in a state of preventative maintenance. Cohesive Solutions’ Reliability Centered Maintenance Extension for IBM Maximo helps prepare for the impact of failure. Controlling risk is a great area of concern for asset intensive organizations. For these types of organizations, the cost of failure has the potential to be disastrous. Having the right risk management solution in place helps your team plan for the worst. Get a holistic view of the current health of your critical assets and make better decisions with Maximo Asset Health Insights.

What enterprise asset management software do companies use?

When it comes to choosing a path for your enterprise asset management software and strategy, there are a few options to consider.

Cohesive Solutions

First, it's important to partner with an organization that can provide expert guidance around all aspects of the solution you choose, in addition to maintenance business processes. Your maintenance program operates with people and processes, technology is just one part of that. The perfect marriage of people, process, and technology will enable you to make positive business impacts. A lot of organizations in our industry install and implement Maximo; Cohesive has built an organization that transforms companies. Read more about how Cohesive is increasing safety, reliability, and sustainability of the world’s critical infrastructure. 

On Premise, Cloud, and Mobile Solutions

Maximo can be installed in location, or hosted in the cloud. Both options are secure and stable, but cloud based Maximo allows for easier management and system maintenance. Watch our YouTube video to learn more. 

Maximo can also be used on mobile devices. This enables technicians to use the system on-the-go and benefit from mobile functionality like maps and GIS / spatial integration. 

Equipment, Sensors, Hardware

To streamline maintenance process and incorporate IoT data into your system, you can ask your EAM solution provider about adding electronic components and computer products, like asset sensors and remote devices, to your EAM program. Cohesive Solutions partners with Arrow Electronics to deliver hardware products to our clients. Watch this YouTube video for more information. 

Mini Case Study: Zero Downtime Maximo Upgrade with American Axle & Manufacturing


American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) is a global tier 1 automotive supplier who designs, engineers and manufactures systems and technologies to make the next generation of vehicles smarter, lighter, safer, and more efficient. The company, which is headquartered in Detroit, serves customers worldwide, including Ford, Stellantis, and GM. Established in 1994 and operating in nearly 80 locations, AAM serves over 700 global customers and prides itself on quality, operational excellence, and leadership.

The Challenge

AAM found itself operating two separate Maximo environments with two separate databases. While its US plants had already been upgraded to Maximo 7.6 and were using a SQL server database, attempts to bring other sites live on the same instance had to be abandoned as the SQL database could not support local languages. As a result, these sites were running an outdated and unsupported Maximo 7.1, using an Oracle database.

The Solution

AAM chose Cohesive Solutions to help consolidate their two Maximo systems into one single platform; Cohesive Solutions was able to upgrade and migrate the two environments into a single, up-to-date system that would support all international sites and languages. Given the demands of the production schedule, the company needed to make the transition with as little downtime as possible with minimal risk. Cohesive used a streamlined version of its Momentum Methodology to manage the whole conversation, upgrade and migration; the upgrade was completed with zero downtime and without any unplanned issues. Download this case study or read more here

Enterprise Asset Management FAQs: 

What is enterprise asset management software? 

Enterprise Asset Management software, also referred to as EAM software, is what organizations use to automate, manage, and track the lifecycle of their physical assets, including work order management required to maintain them. 

Why is enterprise asset management important? 

Enterprise Asset Management and the combined systems and technology that surround it help maintenance organizations operate more efficiently. Optimizing the asset lifecycle and the work order processes associated enables organizations to benefit from:

  • Increased production time
  • Expanding asset lifespan
  • Decreased downtime
  • Cost savings related to asset and production downtime
  • Efficiency in work order management

What is an enterprise asset management system? 

An Enterprise Asset Management System or Enterprise Asset Management Solution is the combination of EAM technology, services, and business process for asset and work management, procurement, contract management, and inventory management. Emphasis on the business process and how you’re using the technology is equally as important as the technology itself.

What is an enterprise asset management framework? 

An Enterprise Asset Management Framework is how you are setting up and utilizing your EAM system. Your integration team may have an implementation methodology that helps your organization achieve the highest ROI on your EAM project. During this, you will develop a framework for how to use the software moving forward and what it will do for your organization.

Are there different EAM solutions per industry? 

There is a lot of value in tailoring a maintenance solution to a specific industry. Not only does Maximo come in different industry solutions, there are also multiple configurations that can be done in order to best use the system for industry related processes and regulations. 

You can use the following asset and work management solutions for your industry:

  • Maximo for Oil & Gas
  • Maximo for Life Sciences
  • Maximo for Nuclear
  • Maximo for Power Generation and Utilities
  • Maximo for Manufacturing
  • Maximo for Transportation
  • Maximo for Public Sector
  • Maximo for Facilities

In addition to using a technology solution tailored to your industry, you should choose an EAM partner who you can count on to know your industry, offering expert leadership and process guidance. This will enable your program to optimize your business processes, use the system to its fullest potential, and achieve greater business impacts as a result.

Do I need enterprise asset management for utilities? 

We understand that utilities face the challenge of balancing lean operations with the demand for highly reliable and cost efficient programs that deliver the greatest value to the customer. Our utility industry experts bring solutions that blend best practices with the latest technology innovations to enable organizations to optimize their operations and shift into a culture of continuous improvement.

IBM Maximo for Utilities enables you to manage the following areas:

  • Compatible unit estimating
  • Crew management
  • Mobile workforce management integration
  • Graphical design tool integration
  • Geospatial Work and Asset Management
  • Task Analysis Optimization
  • Labor skills and certifications testing
  • Fixed asset accounting integration

Read more about how Cohesive is improving maintenance and reliability across utility networks here


As technology gets smarter and data becomes more widely available, the scope of Enterprise Asset Management gets wider, impacting more areas of the businesses and helping organizations to decrease operational cost. Asset owners/operators should focus on aligning a sophisticated Enterprise Asset Management system with smart, efficient business process and industry best practices, overlaid with effective strategy and leadership.