INDUSTRY INSIGHT

Infusing intelligence into enterprise asset management

Enterprise asset management is nothing new to the public sector. In fact, systems have been in place for decades that allow professionals to easily monitor and track their assets, including maintenance schedules, repairs and time in the field.

While the foundational approach to asset management practices has remained unchanged, what has changed is the ability of modern EAM systems to deliver more comprehensive intelligence on asset data. Professionals now have access to unprecedented amounts of quality data, and the ability to monitor and evaluate key asset dependencies, efficiencies, common issues and more are all just a click away.

I recently spoke with a number of government IT professionals about their experiences working within modern EAM frameworks who identified three key benefits they found with modern platforms: the integration with geospatial information systems, the improved mobile-based capabilities and the adoption of automation and internet-of-things technologies.

Integration with GIS is key to managing widely distributed assets

Because of their advanced analytical capabilities, modern EAM systems are taking GIS integrations to new levels, giving users more defined insights into the location and status of thousands of assets scattered across a service district. With newer systems allowing for real-time status updates, inventory management teams have unprecedented views of which assets are functioning well, which need repairs/maintenance and which must be replaced.

In fact, GIS capabilities go beyond tracking fixed assets and extend into the mobile workforce. Managers can locate, assign and distribute their field-based workforce more efficiently than ever. By knowing the whereabouts of field staff through government-issued fleet vehicles and mobile device tracking, maintenance teams are assigned to work sites more efficiently and can complete their tasks -- and the accompanying digital paperwork -- while on the go.

Mobility provides improved efficiencies, user experience

Since the most up-to-date EAM systems operate in the cloud, they are fully capable of meeting the needs of today’s mobile workforce. Specifically, these systems provide the anywhere accessibility and customization that define the modern user experience.

By extending the functionalities of a desktop-based system into a mobile platform, users on both ends -- whether in the office or the field -- work smarter than ever. And while newer EAM systems are accessible by thousands of end users within a municipality, custom operational dashboards allow them to quickly find what they need without digging through the system for their assignments.

Such capabilities are redefining task assignment and management operations. With dispatchers able to efficiently assign jobs based on location, and field managers able to access all relevant details from their mobile devices, mobility has completely redefined asset workforce operations.

Automation and IoT drive proactive asset management

As modern EAM systems are beginning to integrate automated workflow management processes, they are becoming more proactive, rather than reactive. While proactive management processes have existed for years with fleet vehicle maintenance and fixed-life assets, today’s systems are using advanced analytics and IoT capabilities to extend proactive operations to new areas. They are now exploring the benefits of using data such as temperature ranges, pressure thresholds, traffic patterns and more to accurately evaluate asset performance, identify potential issues before they arise and automatically deploy resources to assess the situation.

The combination of these two technologies is proving beneficial both in fixed asset and mobile workforce management. Asset managers are now empowered with analytics that allow them to develop finely tuned maintenance schedules so equipment can be maintained before issues arise. And automated workflows are ensuring that jobs are quickly assigned to the teams that can most quickly and efficiently respond to the request.

As a result, these modern EAM technologies are allowing teams to reduce downtimes, minimize asset replacement costs and improve overall city services.

Is it time to consider a modern EAM for your city?

As city needs continue to evolve, so will the technologies that service them. The right EAM system uses GIS data to track and better manage fixed assets and field staff, provides employees the mobility to work more efficiently while completing work orders and automates workflows for proactive management of the entire inventory.

If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your EAM system, I encourage you to explore today’s solutions. Ask the questions you need to better understand the benefits and operational improvements they can bring to your municipality. You might be surprised at the changes they can bring to your city and the savings they can deliver.

About the Author

Tom Amburgey is senior vice president and general manager, public administration, with CentralSquare.

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