CMMS Versus EAMS: What’s the Difference?

Company leaders know how critical asset management is for business, and they know how important it is to have the right tool to manage it. Enterprise Asset Management Systems (EAMS) and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are both widely used types of asset management. So, how can leaders know which one is best? 

Here we take a deep dive into these two types of systems to help sort out what makes the most sense for an operation’s asset management needs. We will examine the operations of two companies that deal with elevators in different ways. Elevators R Us (ERU) will serve as an example of a CMMS application, and Elevators Plus (EP) will serve as an example of an EAMS application.  

As we do so, it is important to know that many jurisdictions, including countries and states, regulate maintenance on this type of equipment, which is why riders always see a card posted inside each elevator that shows when it was last checked and certified for use. If an elevator does not meet the appropriate standards, the building owner can be fined or even have their elevator shut down. So, the services of ERU and EP are critical to their success.  

CMMS Tracks Maintenance, Repair, and Operations

Let’s start with the example of Elevators R Us, a fictional elevator maintenance and repair company. The company employs skilled technicians who are responsible for inspections, maintenance, and repair. ERU’s service offerings apply to assets – elevators – that are already installed. Customers include apartment complexes, office parks, and shopping malls, and have a myriad of different assets. From older elevators — you know, the type with manual doors — to computerized modern lifts from a variety of manufacturers. Based in a large metropolitan area, the company has plenty of business. It is doing well and enjoys a good reputation for reliable work.  

A major factor in their success is their adoption of a CMMS that is built into their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). The system creates and tracks inspections, automatically updating technicians — who can use almost any smart phone or device to access to the system. They know where to be and when, and what to do when they arrive with a complete history of prior work at their fingertips. Each day, every technician has a list of customers they will see as well as checklists needed to perform the work on each type of elevator. Technicians can even upload photos of their work, and this feeds into their automated service reports. Customers can “see” what the work was completed with a highly detailed report that includes signatures, photos, and documentation of all work.  

EAMS Tracks the Full Asset Life Cycle

But what happens if you are 100% responsible for the entire life cycle of an elevator? Elevators Plus manufactures, installs, services, and repairs their highly sophisticated and very secure elevators. Their customers require that only qualified factory technicians with relevant security checks can access the equipment they install. 

Imagine a highly secure casino. They choose EP because they can trust the company to provide end-to end-service and maintenance for the entire life of the asset. These elevators have access to penthouses for high rollers, not to mention the vaults full of cash in the lower levels. The company is liable for the reliable functioning of its products, and the security of casino’s cash and guests. Other examples of their customers include medical research companies, government agencies, and military buildings. Nobody should be able to access a floor without the right room key or swipe card. 

To ensure EP can deliver this level of service to all its customers, they use an EAMS to track and manage every elevator throughout its entire lifecycle, from design to decommissioning. The system also records every part and circuit as well as the sale, installation, and location of each elevator, which is critical in recall situations where parts need to be immediately replaced. Finally, the EAMS tracks the details of every maintenance job performed, ensuring each one is completed strictly to the asset’s specifications. That is, only qualified employees or contractors trained (and recertified each year) may install and maintain the elevators.  

NextService Does Both 

NextService uses NetSuite as a platform to provide both CMMS and EAMS functionality.  For CMMS, it tracks all field service activity, as well as prior inspections and maintenance visits. It also includes the ability to set up a maintenance schedule, such as for an elevator that must be inspected every three months and uses that information as part of the job assignment function.  

The CMMS functionality of the NextService platform also helps trained technicians remember the steps to perform to ensure the accurate inspections that keep people (including end users and technicians) safe. This function removes the burden of relying on hard copy manuals and memory to do the job right. It also enables customers to keep people safe from a security standpoint, contributing to the solid reputation of these businesses. 

Used for EAMS, the platform provides a locked down, full life cycle system. Post-manufacture, install, and service teams can see manuals and bill of materials (BOM) on their smart devices. They can assign parts and components from their trucks as well, allowing manufacturers to account for all costs, especially where an asset is under warranty. It also ensures these companies can guaranty parts, safety, and security. Such information is critical for potential customers to know, especially those with strict rules about which companies they can buy from, such as casinos and government agencies. 

Additionally, NextService is 100% native and built into the NetSuite ERP. This provides valuable data to help company operators understand the true costs of installation and warranty. A 360-degree view of everything on a single platform with end-to-end lifecycle control ensures a solid return on investment for companies using that data to fine-tune their installation processes and pricing.  

The Bottom Line  

CMMS and EAMS are both important components of asset management. In fact, it would be hard to imagine any field service enterprise functioning without this critical software in today’s demanding business environment.  

Companies that deal with complex machines, either manufacturing and installing or maintaining, should understand the difference between the two and which one they might need. Typically, a company that manufactures, installs, and maintains machinery requires a robust EAMS, while one that only provides maintenance can do well with CMMS. If a business is looking to grow, company leaders should know their options and select a solution that can scale with their business, ideally with both types of systems within one solution. Such a solution ultimately reduces capital and operating expenditures for businesses that implement it. 

NextService customers find tremendous value in our solutions, knowing they grow and scale effortlessly within the NetSuite platform. And knowing they can reliably guarantee the safety of every machine they build or maintain. 

Want to learn how NextService FSM software can help you scale your business? Book a personalized demo today.