What Is an Asset in Enterprise Asset Management?

Everyone most likely has a general idea of what an asset is, but not everyone knows what an asset is in the context of enterprise asset management.  

Generally, in enterprise asset management, you will only be focusing on one type of asset – the physical assets that make your business money.  

At Prometheus Goup, we speak to customers every day about ways they can improve their enterprise asset management processes to improve their efficiency, maximize resource utilization, and cut down on costs.  

In this article, we will cover what an asset is in enterprise asset management (EAM), categories of assets in EAM, examples of assets, and why it is important to maintain enterprise assets.

What Are Assets in Enterprise Asset Management?

The assets you manage in enterprise asset management are physical assets and infrastructure that support the production of your goods or services.  

For instance, if you run a frozen food manufacturing facility, you are not only concerned with the machines that produce and process food, you are also concerned with how well the HVAC/R (heating, ventilation, AC, and refrigeration) systems of your facility are performing.  

If you are a maintenance technician, you repair these physical assets to keep them running for production. If you are an enterprise asset manager, you coordinate resources to maintain these assets (machines) to extend their usable life.  

If you are an executive of a manufacturing company, how well your assets are managed directly impacts your costs of goods sold (COGS) and ultimately your company’s profit.

Categories of Assets in Enterprise Asset Management

The physical assets you manage on a daily basis can fall into a variety of categories:  

  1. Fleets and mobile assets (vehicles, barges, etc.)  
  1. Production assets/ equipment (machines, assembly lines, etc.)  
  1. Operational assets (computers, tablets, etc.)  
  1. Infrastructure assets (land, buildings, etc.)  

Depending on the size of the company and how many assets need to be managed, an enterprise asset manager may be responsible for overseeing the management of all or just a specific category of assets.  

Examples of Assets at an Oil and Gas Company

Depending on whether an oil and gas company focuses on upstream, midstream, or downstream, they may have slightly different assets.  

For instance, for an upstream oil and gas company, asset managers may manage assets like offshore oil rigs, FPSOs, etc.  

If an asset manager works for a midstream oil company, they may be responsible for managing processing machines, pipelines, storage tanks, and any fleet assets involved in transportation, storage, and processing.  

Examples of Assets in a Food and Beverage Manufacturing Plant

The type of assets in a food and beverage company may differ depending on the type of product being produced. However, food and beverage companies will usually have the following assets:  

  • Processing machines
  • Emulsifiers
  • Industrial mixers and vats
  • Conveyor belts
  • Peeling machines
  • Meat slicers
  • Injection machines

While this is not a comprehensive list of all the assets a manufacturing facility will have, it provides a good idea of the variety of assets food and beverage asset managers must maintain. Each of these assets is responsible for a different part of the production process and has different maintenance requirements.  

Examples of Assets for a Mining and Metals Company

Just like for an oil and gas company, the assets managed at a mining and metals company will differ depending on if they mine metals, process metals, or perform both functions. Between these activities, you will usually come across some of these assets:  

  • Draglines
  • Drills  
  • Weighfeeders
  • Loading machines
  • Rock breakers
  • Mining trucks

These are just a few of the assets that an asset manager could be responsible for maintaining at a mining and metals company.

Why Is It Important To Maintain Enterprise Assets?

Each asset a company purchases is a large investment. To ensure that they get the largest return on their investment for each asset, companies employ skilled asset managers.

Asset managers get the right teams in place to maintain assets on a regular basis. The maintenance of these items can be based on preventative maintenance recommendations or a reactive maintenance basis as machines fail.  

For companies to get the highest return on their investment, asset managers will need to keep maintenance in a preventative or predictive maintenance state, rather than a reactive one.  Staying proactive with your asset maintenance helps avoid break-in work. This allows machines to last longer, fail less, and require emergency repairs less often.  

How to Properly Maintain Enterprise Assets

There are many steps and processes involved with managing your company’s asset, but here is a high-level overview of the steps that companies can take to start managing their assets:  

  1. Identify all of the assets your company owns (starting with those most critical to execution of work)
  1. Create a work priority index of your assets
  1. Identify risks and permits associated with each asset  
  1. Track asset information and maintenance history
  1. Manage inventory of spare parts for asset repair
  1. Plan and schedule maintenance ahead of time
  1. Track employee and contractor availability  
  1. Create a maintenance budget and track costs
  1. Plan shutdowns, turnarounds, and outages in advance
  1. Track key maintenance metrics and analytics (so that you can track and improve your progress over time)

To streamline the process of managing assets, many asset managers will implement enterprise resource planning systems like SAP, IBM Maximo, or Oracle.  

Since these systems can be complex for entry level users, some asset managers might take their systems a step further by implementing enhancements such as Maintenance Planning and Scheduling, Mobile asset management, and Environmental Health & Safety.  

Get the Most Value Out of Your Company’s Assets With Enterprise Asset Management

Maintaining your assets well is crucial to the success, safety, and profitability of your company. If your assets are mismanaged, your assets don’t last as long and your machines fail more often, causing production to come to a halt.  

Fortunately, there are ways to structure your asset management strategy to maximize production uptime, decrease maintenance costs, and improve safety.  

To learn about how the Prometheus Platform can help streamline your enterprise asset management in SAP, IBM Maximo, Oracle, and other EAM systems, reach out to us today.