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Running a restaurant is not for the faint-hearted. It is a risky and low-margin business. And your restaurant’s performance depends on several factors. One of them is the top-notch management of assets.
Many restaurant owners are now using enterprise asset management, or EAM, to manage their physical assets. Leveraging it, you can monitor your assets throughout their life cycles. And that can enable you to mitigate risks, minimize operating costs and disruptions, and optimize your profits.
Here is a restaurant owner’s guide to EAM to help you understand how it can help you.
What is EAM?
Your restaurant is an asset-intensive business. Without tangible assets such as refrigerators, ovens, cooking equipment, chairs and tables, groceries, you cannot serve your customers.
And keeping track of all these and other assets can be a real struggle. The EAM simplifies this task.
With the help of EAM, you can determine the location of each asset, who is using it, and which asset needs maintenance, and when.
You can also cost-effectively manage your perishable and expensive raw materials such as vegetables, dairy, raw meat, seafood, as well as finished products, as EAM makes it easy to track the inventory from production, supply chain, distribution to procurement. It also enables you to predict future risks.
So, you can make the necessary corrections to prevent that. All these ensure no shortage of supply, no downtime, and optimal performance of assets.
Some people use enterprise asset management and CMMS, short for the computerized maintenance management system, interchangeably. Both of them are different.
A CMMS focuses primarily on the management of the maintenance processes. EAM, on the other hand, manages the entire lifecycle of each asset, including procurement, installation, performance, compliance, and disposal. It also comes with maintenance and risk management capabilities.
Features of EAM
EAM’s work management capability lets you manage planned and unplanned maintenance effectively. For example, the temperature and climate of your restaurant have to be pleasant for your customers to enjoy their food.
And for that, your restaurant’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system (HVAC) needs to work optimally. EAM enables you to ensure that, as using it, you can easily plan its routine maintenance. Such preventive maintenance will save you from experiencing unexpected HVAC failure.
In case of unplanned maintenance, for example, when your refrigerator suddenly stops working, you can quickly generate a work order. It will enable the completion of maintenance work in a timely manner to minimize asset downtime.
EAM also enables you to track your maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) inventory, which you use for the repair, maintenance, and operation of your restaurant.
Using scannable barcode labels, RFID, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and GPS, you can find the current location of a specific asset, its condition, and who is using it.
Chuy’s, a Tex-Mex restaurant chain, leveraged EAM to gain the ability to track equipment history and repairs, which helped it to reduce equipment downtime across its business by 25 percent.
Supply Chain Management
You can improve your restaurant’s competitive edge by effectively managing and optimizing its assets.
The supply chain management feature of enterprise asset management will help you do that. It allows you to secure materials, components, and equipment needed to maintain and repair a wide variety of assets.
Planning and Scheduling
Your restaurant is likely to have tons of assets. And it is an ordeal to track each asset’s maintenance schedule using pen and paper. The Planning and Scheduling feature of EAM frees you from that complicated task.
It makes planning and scheduling of asset maintenance, replacement, modernization, and disposal less time-consuming and more effective. This and other features of EAM have enabled Margaritaville Caribbean to experience faster completion of repairs. Its team’s efficiency has improved as well.
Raw materials used in your restaurant—also finished products—usually have a limited shelf-life.
The shelf-life management feature of EAM will keep your restaurant’s food storage organized, and you can easily follow the first-in, first-out (FIFO) system. It allows you to use the old stock or soon-to-expire materials first, which will help you tackle the scourge of food waste effectively.
An analytics solution helps you make an informed decision regarding planning, scheduling, maintenance, and procurement.
It offers you an accurate assessment of your asset’s condition. Based on that, you can take key decisions – such as repairing an oven or replacing it – and optimize your maintenance plan.
Benefits of Using EAM
Below are some advantages of using EAM:
- Helps maximize asset performance
- Helps comply with safety, quality, and regulatory standards
- Enables first-in, first-out (FIFO)
- Predicts potential future issues and schedules checkups
- Helps improve operational efficiency
- Helps lower the total cost of ownership
- Helps offer a better customer experience and satisfy customer demands
- Prolong the value of assets
- Enables you to make informed decisions
Challenges and Future Trends of EAM
The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the restaurant industry. Thousands of restaurants have shut down permanently as well. And, the ones that have opened are facing a labor shortage.
Some restaurant owners have enlisted the help of robots to keep their businesses running. A robot called Flippy is frying wings in a restaurant kitchen. Some robots are working as food runners, making it easier for servers to serve food to customers.
Staff shortage is also posing a real challenge to asset management. A huge asset monitoring and maintenance team is not needed if you are using EAM.
Earlier, restaurant owners were reluctant to adopt it due to several reasons, including lack of IT capability, not-enthusiastic staff, and system integration issues. But, in the post-Covid world, advanced technology has gained their acceptance.
Today’s EAM is mostly driven by cognitive insights from internet of things (IoT) data. As sensors are used to keep track of assets, you do not need many people in your asset management team.
And there is also no need for them to work from the restaurant. They can install the app on their mobile device and start monitoring your assets from anywhere in the world. Let’s take a look at the top three trends that are changing the way you maintain your assets.
The powerful combination of IoT and EAM is set to facilitate digital transformation, provide a clear insight into the performance of your assets, predict issues, and automate the maintenance scheduling process.
IoT-enabled EAM sends you alerts and notifications about the performance and condition of your asset in real-time.
For example, you will get an alert if there is a sudden drop in the temperature of your oven. This allows you to do preventive maintenance of the oven.
Role of augmented reality (AR)
AR, the technology that superimposes computer-generated graphics on your physical world, is going to act as a bridge between your physical assets inside the restaurant and EAM located outside.
With AR-enabled EAM, a remote expert can see crucial information about your assets and guide a technician, present in your restaurant, step-by-step through the whole maintenance process.
Rise of Mobility
It is already reshaping the future of EAM. It is significantly reshaping the future of EAM. Anyone from anywhere equipped with a mobile device can install the EAM app and plan and predict asset maintenance.
You can do real-time inventory management and facilities management by leveraging mobility.
Many restaurant owners have a hard time turning a profit. Enterprise asset management can help your business thrive, as it enables you to maximize the performance of your assets.
Enterprise POS systems can help you impress your restaurant customers with efficient operation, fast service, and better services than your competitors.
About the Author
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy-to-use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.