ERP software today has made great strides over earlier generations in the areas of usability and user interface. Companies have found that almost no amount of training can offset systems designed by computer scientists to be used only by computer scientists.
Leverage corporate assets with EAM for ERP (Part 4)
Today’s graphical, customizable enterprise software is not only easier to use, it results in a much higher level of its functionality actually being leveraged by the users. Look for the same qualities in EAM applications. Look for software functionality that can be understood intuitively, without extensive training. That will result in greater user acceptance and faster ROI than software that is harder to comprehend and use. EAM software that is simple and straightforward and provides a browser-like interface will result in users entering more data more accurately, and interacting with the system more frequently. The result: better, more actionable enterprise data.
Software today- including EAM applications—needs to have to usability expected by the up and coming digital generation as they come to dominate the workplace. While baby boomers were willing to wrestle with ERP systems that had usability low on their feature list, younger generations, used to their smartphone apps, consider bad software as positively rude—and to be ignored at all costs. Their workarounds will result in incomplete data, redundancies and inefficient, un-coordinated processes.
While this may be true of all enterprise software, in the case of EAM you are dealing with large amounts of mission critical data, especially when EAM is integrated with programmable logic controllers for automated fault reporting. Resulting data files can be huge, but only a tiny bit of this data is of critical importance and interest to anyone others than those responsible for equipment maintenance. That means EAM software must allow users to separate the wheat from the chaff, and zero in on issues of critical importance. Graphical dashboards and other visual representations are good ways to help users grasp the meaning of data they are looking at. In selecting EAM software, look for friendly, graphical user interfaces that promote usability. That will not only promote adoption of the software but ensure managers can actually identify the most critical maintenance tasks at any point in time.
There’s another recent advance to look for when considering EAM software. That’s PAS 55. PAS 55 is a new publically available standard for asset management created by the British Standards Institute, but being embraced globally. PAS-55 is designed to help establish for customers, stockholders, government regulators and even customers that a company is employing best practices when it comes to management of capital assets. Specifically, EAM must address all phases of the asset lifecycle, including the processes of planning and engineering of the asset, maintenance and operation of the asset and the eventual retirement or decommissioning of the asset.
While PAS 55 is not yet integrated into most EAM software, it does create an opportunity to have a dialog with prospective EAM vendors about future functionality plans.
Continued in Part 5