From what we see - there is very little managing of enterprise level assets in most EAM systems and a great deal of maintenance accounting.

Examples of Maintenance Accounting include:

  • Labor hours
  • Labor cost
  • Parts used
  • Part cost
  • Time between failures
  • Time to repair
  • Failure code

What we often do not see is anything related to life cycle cost, operating cost, including energy, design, development and commissioning details, and after the asset is depreciated and used - decommissioning and disposal. In addition we usually see no indications of asset health or asset performance in these Enterprise Asset Management Systems.

So while asset owners may think they are getting full Enterprise Level Asset Management with an EAM System - what they are usually getting is failure historian and maintenance cost tracker.

So why are they called Enterprise Asset Management? In one word - Marketing.

How much management support would be generated by a request for a new $10 million Maintenance Accounting System? The M word is a "dirty" word in most companies and most vendors steer clear!

Marketers sell the dream of using EAM to manage assets when it mostly manages maintenance - and really does best when used for maintenance transaction tracking and recording.

The great news is that there are many plug in application for most of the elements lacking from an EAM however it is important to have an understanding of Asset Management prior to a leap into a new EAM system.

Tip by Terrence O'Hanlon, CMRP

Learn more about managing assets at Reliability 2.0 (

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