EAM vs CMMS: Picking the Perfect Platform for Your Business

EAM vs CMMS: Picking the Perfect Platform for Your Business

Machines and equipment are the backbone of all manufacturing facilities. In modern times, technology is rapidly advancing to bring these organisations the right tools for effective asset maintenance management.

Two important platforms emerged in this regard: computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) and enterprise asset management (EAM). While they both have some overlapping functions, there are considerable differences between CMMS/EAM software.

In this article, we focus on what each one is and determine whether EAM vs CMMS is ideal for your organisation.

EAM vs CMMS: Picking the Perfect Platform for Your Business

What Is CMMS?

A CMMS/EAM definition should be considered separately because, despite their similarities, there are also important differences that make each software applicable to different manufacturing operations. We explore what a CMMS is first.

Developed over 60 years ago, CMMS management software emerged as a technologically advanced way of managing work orders. These were previously defined by punch cards and paper/filing cabinets.

However, when they entered the scene and became even more advanced in the 1980s, they were considered computer software. Over time, CMMS maintenance management systems became more sophisticated, adding further features and functionalities to their offerings to support a wider range of business needs.

Today, they may include features that focus on:

  • Work order management
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Asset management
  • Mobile functionality
  • Project management
  • Multisite support
  • Vendor networks
  • Spare parts and inventory management
  • Data analytics and reporting


One core function that remains central to CMMS, however, is maintenance management. This is a structural process that aims to help organisations minimise downtime and reduce the costs associated with it through undertaking preventative maintenance efforts. As such, a CMMS is specifically focused software and does not aim to look at the broader organisational asset management needs.

Perfect for small and medium-sized enterprises, a CMMS is a great and affordable option for maintenance teams that need a simple way to manage work orders, equipment records and spare parts.

In short, a CMMS automates maintenance strategies and management to boost asset performance and increase its lifespan. By helping teams communicate and coordinate more effectively, it is well-suited to the goal of maintaining databases on asset information while also helping manage work orders.

For a more detailed understanding of what a CMMS is, you can read our article.

What Is EAM?

Next up is an EAM/CMMS definition. Once again, the two cannot be looked at as one and the same thing. That’s why we focus on EAM below.

Although EAM asset management software was developed around the 1990s after the CMMS software solution, it has emerged with more specific asset targeting features and is used for a broader and more unified organisational platform. Therefore, they are used for managing physical assets across the entire enterprise or overall asset lifecycle management.

Examples of some of their capabilities include maintenance management and tracking, asset tracking and managing and analysing asset performance and costs. Consequently, EAM looks at the overall or total cost of ownership (TCO) for the entire asset lifecycle, which starts with asset acquisition and ends with asset decommissioning.

Enterprise asset management software focuses on every aspect of asset management to help meet an organisation’s strategic objectives. It often includes aspects such as:

  • Maintenance
  • Inventory
  • Procurement
  • Engineering
  • Project management
  • Accounting
  • Operations
  • Reliability management
  • Safety and compliance
  • Business intelligence


Because of its unified nature, multiple teams can access the same data, aggregated from various organisational sources, in real time. For example, teams can include maintenance, materials management, procurement, accounting, compliance, etc. In short, EAM offers a holistic view and focuses on optimising the overall performance of assets across an organisation. This can help with planning for updates, replacements and other changes that may disrupt organisational processes.


As mentioned earlier, CMMS and EAM software might be considered similar, but they are not the same, and there are some key differences. EAM looks at the overall asset value and lifetime, including intermediate usage, costs, repairs, etc.

CMMS maintenance management software, on the other hand, introduces automation in maintenance strategies. This aids in prolonging asset performance and increasing asset health. The scope of an enterprise asset management system's functionalities is therefore broader and more holistic than that of a CMMS solution.

Difference Between EAM and CMMS: Table Comparison

What is the difference between CMMS and EAM? For a better understanding, a visual representation is helpful.

Take a look at the table below.

The differences between CMMS and EAM

Criteria and parameters




Not all CMMS tools have EAM capabilities; a CMMS focuses on maintenance management

Most capabilities of EAM solutions have CMMS capabilities; therefore, EAM is broader, more comprehensive and more sophisticated


Primarily maintenance management for increased asset uptime

Entire asset lifecycle and portfolio


A more narrow focus on maintenance and its related functions

A holistic and broad variety of business functions through the lens of assets


Limited multi-site support

Manages multiple sites and businesses simultaneously


Tracks assets after they’ve been purchased and installed

Starting from design and installation through to decommissioning

Company size and structure

More suitable for small and medium-sized businesses

Best suited for large organisations with over 100 maintenance personnel and with over two physical facilities

Used by

Technicians, maintenance workers and operations teams in a maintenance department

C-level users, accounting, production, compliance teams, maintenance teams, etc. for maintenance and asset use and optimisation

Primary functions

  • Reactive, proactive, preventive and preventative maintenance management workflows
  • Work orders
  • Inventory management
  • Customisable configuration
  • Capital planning
  • Asset procurement
  • Asset installation
  • Workflow layouts
  • Production load management
  • Asset maintenance
  • Compliance management
  • Asset risk management
  • Asset decommissioning and disposal
  • Fleet management
  • Work orders
  • Warranty claims and tracking
  • Maintain, repair and overhaul (MRO)
  • Interactive schematics
  • Inventory management
  • Energy monitoring
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Customisable configuration


Single implementation cycles

Phased implementation cycles

Decision making

Maintenance and operations teams

C-level suite as well as maintenance and operations teams


Having covered the differences between the two, it's time to determine whether you should consider an EAM or a CMMS. This maintenance and asset management software can help with maintenance schedules. CMMS can also be used in a variety of production settings.

EAM or CMMS: Which One to Choose for Your Business?

A CMMS and an enterprise asset management system are generally not used interchangeably. That’s because choosing a CMMS vs EAM requires careful consideration of your organisation’s size and needs. The larger the operation, the more likely it is that you’ll need an EAM. However, a CMMS will be the ideal choice if you have a small to medium-sized organisation.

Below, we outline when to use an EAM/CMMS and when EAM can help organisations vs when CMMS solutions may be a more worthwhile choice.

When to use EAM

Organisations should choose to use an EAM software system when they need to:

  • Manage and track a machine’s entire lifecycle: An EAM tracks and helps maintenance teams and decision-makers manage the entire lifecycle of machinery and assets, from purchase and installation to decommissioning.
  • Improve equipment performance and decrease downtime: When maintenance crews have access to broad insights into their equipment’s performance, they can better evaluate its functionality and contribution to the organisation while ensuring that downtime is minimised.
  • Keep track of operational and purchasing costs: EAM tools are also a wise choice for larger organisations with multiple assets where every penny counts and can make a difference to the organisation’s bottom line. Through an EAM system’s digital models, businesses can optimise how they use each asset and also how they invest resources, centred around the asset’s use. As such, they can improve predictions around asset depreciation.
  • Determine asset value and assist with planning purchasing decisions: Looking at a machinery’s overall life cycle, it’s also possible to continuously monitor and determine the asset’s value, which can help decision-makers plan purchasing decisions.
  • Gain access to technical and informational data for each asset: Lastly, an EAM system may provide insights into data for each asset, enabling decision-makers to make more informed choices about the performance and reliability of each asset. Furthermore, they can explore aspects such as an asset’s environmental performance, gain help with asset audit trails and provide environmental impact reports.


When to use a CMMS

When it comes to the question of CMMS or EAM software, a CMMS system dominates in the following areas:

  • Reduce machinery downtime: Machinery downtime significantly affects organisational production processes and, therefore, productivity. The better the equipment uptime, the higher the operational efficiency the manufacturing facility can expect to achieve.
  • Reduce repair and emergency breakdown costs: Every time a machine breaks down unexpectedly, it leads to unbudgeted costs. These can add up and affect the organisation’s performance over time.
  • Keep reactive maintenance tasks to a minimum: Reactive maintenance tasks are carried out after a machine breaks down. These often halt organisational productivity as repairs are often unplanned. Consequently, a CMMS helps teams keep these tasks to a minimum to strengthen operational efficiency.
  • Boost workplace and worker health and safety: Operating machines and maintaining them can involve a certain level of health and safety risks. However, when machines are maintained properly through a CMMS, these risks are minimised, ensuring a safer operating environment.
  • Improve communication processes for work orders: A CMMS may send out instant notifications to technicians. When they receive these via their smart mobile devices, it becomes faster and easier for a team member to respond to a maintenance task and perform the work order, even if they are not at the primary location where the work order was issued. This centralised space for issuing and receiving work orders alleviates confusion and improves efficiency.
  • Extend asset operation: Machines typically have warranties and require a certain level of maintenance to ensure that their full lifespan is utilised to the maximum extent possible. As such, when a maintenance team uses a CMMS, it helps with improving asset longevity and, thus, the length of time each machine is operational.
  • Reduce high asset disposal rates: To avoid decommissioning machines before their full lifespan is over, a CMMS assists with keeping asset disposal rates to a minimum. 
  • To drive maintenance KPIs: Finally, every maintenance team has key performance indicators (KPIs) that they aim to achieve. A CMMS system is capable of helping with accurate record keeping of whether these KPIs are being met or not. This enables maintenance managers to make more informed decisions about the machines under their care and control and optimise their efficiency.


We encourage you to further explore the key feature-specific differences using CMMS and EAM requirement checklists.

Fabrico CMMS: The Right Choice for Any Manufacturer

fabrico website

For those in the manufacturing sector looking for an extensive and rigorous CMMS, the industry-leading answer is Fabrico’s CMMS. Among the comprehensive benefits and functionalities you can expect from this leading CMMS vendor and software product are the following:

  • Preventive maintenance
  • Task management and work cards
  • Smart notifications
  • Emergency repairs
  • Inventory management
  • Analytics and Reporting


To discover the full functionality of this CMMS, which is used for asset maintenance, and to implement it in your maintenance operations, feel free to get in touch or schedule your free demo today!


Some of the key considerations when it comes to choosing between EAM and CMMS systems include the size of your manufacturing operations, the number of assets in your portfolio and the primary purpose of usage.

Choosing between CMMS and EAM systems can be a difficult task, but with Fabrico’s CMMS, you’re well on your way to optimising your production operations while reducing costs and downtime.

It’s essential to evaluate your maintenance requirements and make an informed decision based on the type of software your organisation needs. We are more than happy to help you choose the right CMMS, so reach out to us today.


Is CMMS a part of EAM?

A CMMS is often considered an integral part of EAM functionality. Although CMMS and EAM are both types of software that help with maintenance management, EAM systems offer a broader solution than CMMS platforms. However, CMMS products are less expensive than EAM and provide in-depth functionalities. Through such software for your organisation, you can take advantage of the primary idea behind computerised maintenance management software, which is to streamline work orders and maintenance and repair tasks.

Is CMMS a part of ERP?

Yes, CMMS’ functionalities, focusing on maintenance management, can be considered a part of enterprise resource planning (ERP). ERP is  broad maintenance software. This software includes a broad focus on assets organisation-wide as part of their maintenance and asset management.

For a deeper comparison between these two systems, check out our article on CMMS vs ERP.

What is the difference between CMMS and AMS?

An asset management system (AMS) focuses on improving the overall maintenance of an organisation’s asset registry and maintenance activities. A CMMS offers in-depth usage and issuing of work orders, inventory management, preventive maintenance and emergency repairs, among others.

What is the difference between APM and CMMS?

An asset performance management (APM) system differs from a CMMS in that it reduces risks and increases asset availability by tracking operational asset performance. Meanwhile, a CMMS manages maintenance to reduce downtime and costs and to increase asset lifespans.

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