What Is The Difference?

What is the difference between CMMS and EAM, and which maintenance management system is ideal for my business?  These are very good questions that we will explore within this document.

CMMS and EAM software applications are used worldwide in a wide range of industries.  Modern CMMS and EAM systems share some similarities, and both are evolving.  However, each has their own unique objectives.  CMMS providers are offering more robust features which were once thought of as EAM attributes only.  For example, multisite management tools and purchasing modules are now being included in some CMMS packages, along with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Inventory Control.

Not all CMMS and EAM packages are alike.  Thus, it is important to work with your account manager to discuss your needs and objectives to come up with a solution that best fits your requirements.

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CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) is a software solution whose purpose is to manage the maintenance work necessary to extend an asset’s usefulness and, hence, its profitability.  CMMS objectives include streamlining and automating maintenance tasks and activities; eliminating unplanned downtime; increasing productivity; extending asset lives; helping maintenance and technical workers be more effective and accountable; supporting Operations Management with decisions about preventative versus reactive maintenance; and ensuring internal and external occupational and environmental safety and regulatory compliance with work order audit trails.

EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) originated from CMMS, but over time, its role has become more of a planning, design, and reporting tool for managing capital over its lifecycle.  Its objective is to minimize cost and risk while maximizing ROI.  EAM also supports GS&A departments such as Finance and Human Resources.  EAM is used in asset lifecycle planning from concept, build, turn-up, operations, and eventually decommissioning and disposal.  This also includes the financial and human aspects.  EAM systems have retained some CMMS functions, but their focus is on Financial Statements and Capital Planning.  An EAM may be lacking in customer service features.

What is a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)?

Between the late 80s and early 90s, companies began to convert to computers and move away from tracking maintenance tasks with pencil and paper.

• A CMMS solution helps companies quickly track work orders, produce efficiency reports, and finally decide which assets need preventive maintenance.
• Implementation of a CMMS solution expands asset life cycles, cuts costs, increases productivity, boosts profits and helps meet safety and regulatory compliance standards and audits.

The primary function of CMMS software is to provide a “control center” for maintenance management activities.  The software provides automated tools to streamline, track and report on maintenance tasks and activities.

CMMS is ideal for maintenance operations that need a simple way to manage work orders; sustain property, plant, and equipment (PPE); record assets; maintain documents and manuals; and track inventory and spare parts.  CMMS systems are offered at a smaller price than EAM systems.

What is an Enterprise Asset Management System?

EAM systems offer a different set of CMMS features.  EAM system solutions are used by asset-intensive organizations that need to manage large portfolios of physical assets across multiple locations.  However, the popularity of these systems is increasing across small and mid-size organizations that need to manage system performance while adding the ability to plan and control budgets.  Depending on your requirements, your provider will be able to recommend the best solution to fit within your organization.

Today’s CMMS vendors design and structure their own CMMS and EAM software packages and pricing.  The chart below reflects some of the features included in the respective eWorkOrders packages, and it is a good baseline to help you determine your specific needs.

Standard vs Enterprise Subscription




Work Order Module

Asset Management Module

Preventive Maintenance Module

Employee Management Module

Materials Management Module

Document Management Module

Customer Service Request Module with Unlimited Requesters

Reporting Module

Reporting – Enterprise-Wide


100 MB of database storage


250 MB of database storage


2 GB of monthly data transfer

Your own subdomain (i.e.,

Regularly scheduled database backups

Regular system upgrades

Technical phone, web and email support

Dedicated Account Manager

Inventory Control


Geographic Information System


Mobile Interface


15 GB of Online File Storage


25 GB of Online File Storage


Secure server HTTPS access to site


Signature Capture


Single Sign-On


Application Programming Interface (API)


Advanced Filtering


Choosing The Right Solution

Choosing between CMMS and EAM can be confusing.  With the overlap of CMMS and EAM, some CMMS providers now are expanding the functionality of their CMMS software, which makes it more difficult to choose between CMMS and EAM.

Below are some comparisons of what some providers are offering today:




Asset Management
  • Total Lifecycle Asset Management
  • Optimal asset performance and reduced downtime
Key Features
  • Asset Lifecycle Management
  • Supply Chain Management
    • Inventory & Materials Management
    • Planning
    • Asset Procurement
  • Workflows
  • Analytics
  • Maintenance Compliance
  • Monitoring
  • Maintenance Planning & Scheduling
  • Capital Planning
  • Planned and Preventive Maintenance
  • Reactive Maintenance
  • Asset Management
  • Inventory Control
  • Workflows
  • Analytics
  • Maintenance Compliance
  • Timekeeping
  • Some EAM functions are included in CMMS Software Solutions
  • Maintenance
  • Operations
  • Production
  • Compliance Teams
  • Field Technicians
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Maintenance
  • Operations
  • Production
  • Compliance Teams
  • Field Technicians
  • More comprehensive system than CMMS and implementation may be in phases
  • Implementation can be done quickly and in one phase.
Primary Application
  • Managing asset lifecycle
  • Asset intensive organizations
  • Organizations managing and monitoring asset and employee performance


Choosing the right CMMS or EAM solution has become increasingly difficult.  As more providers enter the market and offer different features and product bundles and price their services uniquely, it is critical that you understand your goals, what the true final cost will be, and to then work with your provider to choose the best solution for you.

Want to know more about CMMS and EAM? 



GetApp Category Leader Award for CMMS, Preventive Maintenance, Fixed Asset Management, Work Order, Fleet Maintenance, and Facility Management      #1 Rated Maintenance System for CyberSecurity      Capterra Shortlist Award for CMMS, EAM, Asset Tracking, Fixed Asset Management, Fleet Maintenance, Facility Management, Field Service Management, and Preventive Maintenance