CMMS Vs EAM: Know How CMMS is Different From EAM

Yogesh By Yogesh

Let’s start with a real-time example: Picture a sprawling manufacturing plant buzzing with activity, where the smooth functioning of machinery is crucial for productivity. In this scenario, a CMMS is much like precision monitoring equipment, diligently tracking the operational health of the factory’s assets, issuing alerts for maintenance interventions, and scheduling preventive care to optimize performance. However, as the facility expands and its machinery inventory grows, managing the intricate web of factors demands a more comprehensive approach.

In such scenarios, an EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) comes into the picture. Analogous to an advanced control system, an EAM meticulously monitors every aspect of production, from raw material intake to finished product output. Just as a CMMS offers real-time insights and proactive maintenance planning, an EAM extends its reach, methodically documenting the entire lifecycle of each piece of equipment, from procurement to decommissioning.

Beyond preventive maintenance, EAM systems incorporate features like financial audits, inventory management, and comprehensive maintenance histories for retired equipment.

However, in the evolving contemporary times, both CMMS and EAM solutions have complementary functionalities, yet understanding their enduring differences is key to making informed decisions. Join us as we unravel the distinctions between CMMS and EAM, equipping you to select the optimal solution tailored to your manufacturing needs.

What is CMMS?

CMMS, or Computerized Maintenance Management System, is a sophisticated software tool designed to streamline and automate various maintenance management tasks related to physical assets such as machinery, tools, and vehicles. Its functionality spans a wide range of tasks, including work order management, asset tracking, inventory control, and preventive maintenance scheduling.

As manufacturing processes have evolved over time, so too has the role of CMMS. The roots of CMMS trace back to the late 1960s and early 1970s when businesses started recognizing the need for efficient maintenance management. Initially, maintenance tasks were tracked manually, often using pen and paper or rudimentary spreadsheets. However, as industries grew more complex and the volume of equipment increased, these traditional methods proved inadequate.

The first rudimentary computer-based maintenance systems emerged in the 1980s, laying the groundwork for modern CMMS. These early systems were typically standalone software applications installed on individual computers, offering basic functionalities such as work order management and equipment tracking. The true proliferation of CMMS occurred in the 1990s with the advent of more sophisticated software and the widespread adoption of personal computers. This era saw the development of web-based CMMS solutions, which allowed for centralized data management and remote access to maintenance information.

As the new millennium dawned, CMMS continued to evolve rapidly, incorporating advanced features such as predictive maintenance analytics, mobile accessibility, and integration with Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Cloud-based CMMS solutions emerged, offering scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness for businesses of all sizes. Today, CMMS has become an indispensable tool for maintenance professionals across industries, from manufacturing and healthcare to hospitality and transportation. Its ability to streamline maintenance workflows, prolong equipment lifespan, and minimize downtime has made it a cornerstone of modern asset management strategies. As we now have a fair idea of the origin of CMMS, let us now understand its features.

Maintenance Scheduling and Tracking

Maintenance Scheduling and Tracking functionalities within CMMS empower maintenance teams to automate and manage maintenance activities effectively. With CMMS, organizations can create and schedule maintenance tasks, assign them to specific personnel or teams, and track their progress in real-time.

This capability ensures that maintenance activities are executed on time and in an organized manner, minimizing equipment downtime and maximizing operational uptime. This proactive approach fosters optimal operational efficiency and extends the lifespan of assets. Additionally, organizations can identify and address potential issues before they escalate into costly failures, ultimately extending the lifespan of assets and optimizing operational efficiency.

Maintenance Inventory Management/Inventory & Supplies Management

CMMS also offers robust Maintenance Inventory Management or Inventory & Supplies Management features by offering real-time visibility into inventory levels and stock movements. By centralizing inventory data and automating inventory-related processes, CMMS helps organizations maintain the right balance of inventory, reducing carrying costs while ensuring parts and supplies are readily available for maintenance tasks.

Additionally, CMMS ensures that parts and supplies are readily available when needed for maintenance tasks, reducing the risk of delays or disruptions in operations. This proactive inventory management approach enhances operational efficiency and enables organizations to allocate resources more effectively, ultimately improving overall productivity and cost-effectiveness.

Preventive Maintenance and Inspection

Another critical aspect of CMMS is its support for Preventive Maintenance and Inspection activities. Preventive maintenance involves regularly scheduled inspections, servicing, and upkeep of equipment to prevent failures and ensure optimal performance. CMMS facilitates the implementation of preventive maintenance programs by enabling organizations to create and manage maintenance schedules, track asset maintenance histories, and generate maintenance reports and alerts.

With an emphasis on a preventative approach to maintenance, organizations can minimize the risk of unexpected equipment failures, reduce maintenance costs, and enhance equipment reliability and safety. This proactive maintenance strategy not only extends the lifespan of assets but also contributes to improved operational performance and customer satisfaction.

What is EAM?

Have you ever wondered how businesses keep track of their valuable assets, such as machinery, vehicles, or office equipment? EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) holds the key to that puzzle. You can think of it as the ultimate organizer for everything your company owns that’s essential for its operations. It is a sophisticated system that encompasses not just maintenance activities but also procurement, lifecycle costing, operations, and disposal of assets, providing a holistic view of asset management. From manufacturing plants with heavy machinery to fleets of delivery vehicles crisscrossing the country, EAM keeps tabs on it all.

However, before the digital age took over, asset management was a completely manual affair. Organizations functioned with stacks of paperwork, filing cabinets overflowing with maintenance records, and endless spreadsheets tracking equipment lifecycles.

Consequently, in the 1980s and 1990s, as computers became more mainstream, businesses began to realize the potential of managing assets digitally, thus the evolution of the early versions of EAM software. These systems were like digital filing cabinets, organizing maintenance schedules, tracking inventory, and keeping a watchful eye on equipment performance. As technology advanced, so did EAM. By the early 2000s, cloud-based EAM solutions started to emerge, offering companies the flexibility to access their asset data from anywhere with an internet connection. Suddenly, maintenance teams could monitor equipment health in real time, whether they were on the factory floor or halfway around the world.

Today EAM has become a cornerstone of modern asset management strategies. With features like predictive maintenance, IoT integration, and mobile accessibility, it is easier than ever for businesses to optimize their assets and minimize downtime. With advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, EAM systems can analyze vast amounts of information to predict equipment failures before they happen, saving companies time and money. EAM is a vital tool for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve in asset management, and some of its crucial features are something we will discuss in the following part.

Asset Lifecycle Management

EAM systems excel in providing a comprehensive overview of assets throughout their lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal, centralizing asset data, and tracking lifecycle stages. Organizations can optimize asset performance, maintenance, and disposal processes.

Activities like scheduling preventive maintenance tasks to prolong asset lifespan, tracking asset usage to ensure optimal utilization, and determining the most cost-effective time for asset replacement or disposal help businesses manage assets throughout their lifecycle effectively. Furthermore, organizations can enhance profitability and efficiency by minimizing downtime, reducing maintenance costs, and maximizing asset ROI.

Asset Performance Management (APM)

EAM systems leverage data and key performance indicators (KPIs) to optimize asset performance and drive better decision-making. By collecting and analyzing performance data, organizations can identify trends, predict potential issues, and make informed decisions to improve asset reliability and productivity. This proactive approach to asset management enables organizations to maximize the return on their assets by ensuring optimal performance and minimizing disruptions.

Additionally, APM functionalities in EAM systems empower organizations to prioritize maintenance tasks based on asset criticality and performance metrics, further enhancing asset reliability and efficiency.

Regulatory Compliance and Safety Management

EAM systems streamline compliance with industry regulations and safety standards, helping organizations manage documentation and safety protocols to mitigate risks of violations and enhance workplace safety. The system provides a centralized platform to manage compliance-related information and automates compliance processes. This helps organizations to meet regulatory requirements and industry standards by performing various functions such as managing documentation, implementing safety protocols and procedures, and tracking compliance with regulatory deadlines.

The system also allows organizations to store inspection reports and certifications, ensuring that they have easy access to compliance-related information to help minimize the risk of costly penalties and safety incidents, ensuring a safer and more compliant work environment.

Differences Between CMMS and EAM

Core Functionalities


Maintenance scheduling and tracking

CMMS enables organizations to schedule and track maintenance activities, ensuring timely execution and minimizing equipment downtime.

Work order management

CMMS facilitates the management of work orders, from creation to completion, streamlining communication and collaboration among maintenance teams.

Inventory control

CMMS systems help organizations manage spare parts and supplies inventory, ensuring that necessary parts are readily available for maintenance tasks while minimizing carrying costs.

Preventive maintenance

CMMS supports preventive maintenance by scheduling regular inspections and maintenance tasks to prevent unexpected equipment failures and ensure asset reliability.


Asset lifecycle management

EAM systems provide comprehensive visibility into assets throughout their lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal, enabling organizations to optimize asset performance, maintenance, and disposal processes.

Asset performance management

EAM systems leverage data and analytics to optimize asset performance, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to improve asset reliability and productivity.

Regulatory compliance and safety management

EAM systems help organizations streamline compliance with industry regulations and safety standards, managing documentation and safety protocols to mitigate risks of violations and enhance workplace safety.

Procurement and inventory management

EAM systems support procurement and inventory management processes, ensuring that organizations have the right assets and resources available to support their operations.

Financial management

EAM systems include features for lifecycle costing, budgeting, and financial analysis, enabling organizations to make informed decisions regarding asset investments and resource allocation.



Minimized equipment downtime

CMMS systems help organizations minimize equipment downtime by facilitating timely maintenance activities and preventive maintenance scheduling.

Improved maintenance efficiency

CMMS streamlines maintenance workflows and processes, improving the efficiency of maintenance teams and reducing the time and effort required to complete maintenance tasks.

Extended asset lifespan

By implementing preventive maintenance strategies and effectively managing asset maintenance, CMMS helps organizations extend the lifespan of their assets, reducing the need for costly replacements.

Enhanced inventory management

CMMS systems provide visibility into inventory levels and usage, enabling organizations to optimize inventory management processes and reduce carrying costs.


Optimized asset performance

EAM systems enable organizations to optimize asset performance through proactive maintenance strategies, data-driven decision-making, and continuous improvement initiatives.

Reduced maintenance costs

By identifying trends, predicting potential issues, and prioritizing maintenance tasks, EAM systems help organizations reduce maintenance costs and minimize the risk of unexpected equipment failures.

Improved regulatory compliance

EAM systems streamline compliance with industry regulations and safety standards, reducing the risk of violations and penalties and enhancing organizational reputation and credibility.

Enhanced decision-making

EAM systems provide organizations with actionable insights and data-driven analytics, enabling informed decision-making regarding asset investments, resource allocation, and strategic planning.



CMMS systems are commonly used in industries with a heavy reliance on machinery and equipment, such as manufacturing, utilities, and facilities management. They are used for day-to-day maintenance operations and tasks, including preventive maintenance scheduling, work order management, and inventory control.


EAM systems are widely used across various industries, including manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and utilities. They are used for strategic asset management, including asset lifecycle planning, performance optimization, and compliance management. EAM systems are often integrated with other enterprise systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), to provide a comprehensive view of asset management and support organizational decision-making.

Which is the Best Pick for Your Business Requirement?

When it comes down to it, only you can decide which system is right for your business. The distinction between CMMS and EAM lies in their scope and functionality. CMMS is tailored for managing the day-to-day maintenance and operations of assets, making it an essential tool for ensuring operational efficiency and reliability. EAM, on the other hand, extends beyond maintenance to offer a comprehensive view of an asset’s entire lifecycle, from procurement to decommissioning.

EAM and CMMS are both asset management solutions or maintenance systems. EAM systems are ideal for large enterprises with several locations and extensive assets. They combine robust maintenance and asset management capabilities with advanced features such as life cycle cost tracking and analysis, enterprise-grade support for multiple locations and businesses, and functionality for non-MRO departments such as accounting and engineering. EAM systems connect your company, from BI practices at the top through supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and building automation systems (BAS) processes at the bottom, providing a larger range of integration choices than computerized maintenance management systems.

However, for small businesses, the decision isn’t always so straightforward. Most computerized maintenance management systems can handle maintenance and MRO inventory requirements for smaller operations. They’re usually less expensive than EAM systems. A CMMS may be the optimal choice if you just want to implement a preventive maintenance program.

When You Require a CMMS

Your business primarily focuses on maintenance management: If your primary concern is to streamline maintenance operations, manage work orders, and optimize preventive maintenance schedules, then a CMMS would be the ideal choice. CMMS systems are tailored to meet the needs of maintenance departments and are highly effective in managing day-to-day maintenance tasks and workflows.

You have a large inventory of equipment and machinery: If your business relies heavily on machinery and equipment for its operations, a CMMS can help you manage your equipment inventory efficiently. CMMS systems provide features for inventory control, spare parts management, and equipment tracking, ensuring that necessary parts are readily available for maintenance tasks, thus minimizing equipment downtime.

You need to extend the lifespan of your assets: If asset reliability and longevity are critical to your business operations, implementing preventive maintenance strategies through a CMMS can help you extend the lifespan of your assets. By scheduling regular inspections and maintenance tasks, you can identify and address potential issues before they escalate into costly failures, thus maximizing asset uptime and performance.

When You Require EAM

Your business requires a holistic approach to asset management: If your business needs to manage assets throughout their entire lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal, then an EAM system would be the best choice. EAM systems provide a comprehensive view of asset management, encompassing maintenance, procurement, compliance, and financial management aspects.

You operate in a highly regulated industry: If your business operates in an industry with stringent regulatory requirements and safety standards, an EAM system can help you ensure compliance and mitigate risks. EAM systems provide features for regulatory compliance management, safety protocols, and documentation management, helping you maintain compliance with industry regulations and standards.

You need to optimize asset performance and minimize costs: If your business aims to optimize asset performance, minimize maintenance costs, and maximize asset ROI, then an EAM system can provide the tools and insights you need. EAM systems leverage data and analytics to optimize asset performance, identify cost-saving opportunities, and support data-driven decision-making processes.

Ultimately, the best pick for your business requirement depends on your specific needs, objectives, and operational priorities. If your primary focus is on maintenance management and optimizing asset uptime, a CMMS may be the ideal choice. However, if you require a holistic approach to asset management, compliance management, and performance optimization, then an EAM system would be more suitable for your business.