Even the largest enterprise resource planning (ERP) providers can fall short when it comes to the needs of their enterprise asset management (EAM/CMMS) customer base. Recognition of this fact is leading to greater cooperation with niche add-on solution providers that are finding new ways to augment and extend the value of EAM/CMMS tools.
Standard application interfaces (APIs) offered by the major EAM/CMMS vendors simplify the integration of add-on functionality from third parties. Viziya’s WorkAlign suite of bolt-on solutions provides real-time API integrations for all of the major EAM/CMMS brands. WorkAlign Scheduler, Budgeting, Warranty Tracker, Analytics, and Mobile for EAM improve and expand upon baseline capabilities.
“Viziya’s portfolio delivers purpose-built maintenance products that augment native EAM functionality for a complete and integrated solution,” comments Paul Lupinacci, Viziya’s VP of development. “Given our ERP-agnostic approach, we are able to support companies with multi-platform and multi-instance environments.”
Embedding is another option. MaxGrip offers two modular asset performance management (APM) solutions for designing, managing, and optimizing maintenance strategies. MaxGrip Optimizer+ can be interfaced with any CMMS, whereas MaxGrip strEAM+ is embedded in participating CMMS tools. Both APM products are designed to improve reliability data management and asset control.
MaxGrip’s strEAM+ is directly embedded in industry-leading CMMS systems, says Jeff Bonnell, VP for the Americas at the company. For users, working with only one system ensures data integrity and real-time insights, he says. The strEAM+ soution “comes with a module to prove 100% compliance,” he adds.
Add-ons tend to serve specific purposes. For example, there’s a tool that helps predict the probability of asset failure. Perficient partnered with IBM to deliver IBM’s Predictive Maintenance and Quality (PMQ) analytics for EAM users to improve and automate predictive maintenance decisions. This add-on aggregates structured and unstructured asset-related data streams from EAM and other business and plant systems. From one analytics box, it automates tasks, such as initiating work orders or sending emails or texts recommending specific actions, to mitigate or eliminate failures.
“Though the most valuable information comes from the EAM system, data is also pulled from sources such as manufacturing execution, quality, building management, and financial systems,” explains Dave Reiber, business solutions architect at Perficient. “Together, it reveals the complete asset life cycle so that better decisions about failure probability can be made.”
Oniqua’s inventory optimization and analytics solutions are tailored to the maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) space. “Oniqua Intelligent MRO cuts costs and mitigates risk,” says Cameron Singe, product manager for Oniqua Intelligent MRO. “Our cloud-based technology platform helps tame the complexity to optimize MRO materials and spares.”
Oniqua Analytics Solution (OAS), which integrates with all major ERP EAM systems, provides the capability to perform end-to-end analysis across MRO materials management and operations and maintenance. “OAS extracts data from ERP and EAM transactional systems, enriches the data, then applies integrated economic and risk models to provide business recommendations that can be uploaded back to the host system,” explains Singe.
Vesta Partners simplifies the work order scheduling process in SAP with its Vesta PMX and Vesta PMM solutions. These add-ons allow users to bypass SAP’s scheduling screens in favor of more-familiar Microsoft Office products.
“Vesta PMX is perfect for organizations who want to quickly view and update their SAP schedules from within Microsoft Excel directly,” says Peter Mobert, director of software products at Vesta Partners. “Users can assign people to operations, change dates, update user statuses, and more. Vesta PMM allows users to leverage the power of Microsoft Project to plan and schedule their SAP plant maintenance work orders by offering a bidirectional data transfer between the two systems.”
Factora links its manufacturing execution system (MES) with the EAM/CMMS to allow more timely and proactive decision-making. “The biggest value proposition for MES to EAM/CMMS integration comes from the ability to perform preventive maintenance based on actual usage rather than on a time schedule,” says Andrew Waycott, COO and CTO at Factora. “For example, in MES, we would track the number of cuts made by a saw and communicate to EAM/CMMS when it is time to perform maintenance on that asset.”
“By scheduling your preventive maintenance by usage rather than a time schedule, you can optimize the use of an asset while not running the risk of it wearing out unexpectedly,” adds Waycott.