Glossary of EAM & CMMS Terms

The Future in EAM is Now

Mintek has seen over 20 years of evolution in the CMMS EAM industry. During that time some of the names we call things and some descriptions of industry terms have evolved due to technological and use adaptations. Our favorite terms listed below are followed by a short definition allowing you to better understand the features of Transcendent and our blogs.

New terms will be added regularly and if you see a term missing please contact us and let us know.


The term is used to describe items controlled by a company from which a benefit is derived. For industry purposes these items are considered non-human fixed assets and represent the core data to be used in an asset management system. Examples include: Buildings, Computers and Furniture etc.

Asset Lifecycle

The asset lifecycle covers the time span from when the asset need is determined through its eventual replacement or disuse. How the asset’s lifecycle is managed is dependent on the strategies and goals of its management. These strategies normally include training, maximizing utility, preventive maintenance, evaluation and when use will stop.

"The life of an asset, from when a need for it is first established, through its acquisition, operation and any maintenance or upgrading, to its disposal. It describes the natural evolution of an asset in terms of the increase and decrease in its use and value from inception to retirement"

Source: Queensland Government Glossary Definition of Asset Lifecycle


CAFM is an abbreviation for Computer Aided Facility Management

See Computer Aided Facility Management


CIFM is an abbreviation for Computer Integrated Facilities Management

See Computer Integrated Facilities Management


CMMS is an abbreviation for Computerized Maintenance Management Software.

See Computerized Maintenance Management Software

Computer Aided Facility Management ()

Computer aided facilities management uses personal computers to provide facility managers with the ability to track and maintain facility layouts including floor plans, building information, ergonomics, furniture and fixtures and safety information.

"Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) is the support of facilities management by information technology. The supply of information about the facilities is the center of attention. The tools of the CAFM are called CAFM software, CAFM applications or CAFM systems."

Source: Wikipedia

Computer Integrated Facilities Management ()

Computer integrated facilities management uses personal computers to provide facility managers with the ability to track and maintain facility layouts including floor plans, building information, ergonomics, furniture and fixtures and safety information.

"Also known as Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM).
A term identifying the use of a computer system for measuring, managing, and analyzing the space, furniture, fixtures and equipment and associated drawings of a facility. Includes move management, lease information, reports, telecommunications, labor and material cost accounting, and maintenance management issues."

Source: CFI

Computerized Maintenance Management Software ()

A computerized system designed to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance activities. Also known as CMMS, typical features include planning, scheduling and monitoring of work orders and maintenance needs.

Contracts ()

A written legally binding service maintenance agreement that defines what is to be worked on, how often, the costs, hours of service, what is covered (parts and/or labor), emergency service and limitations. Contracts are necessary as a method of managing your vendors and costs. A contract also provides for standing if pursuing legal remedies. For example, if a vendor refuses service and causes a shutdown you may be able to reclaim a portion of your losses. All agreements should be reviewed by an attorney or experienced contract administrator before signing.

Documents ()

Documents refer to the paper trail to support EAM functions. These may include blueprints, receipts and contracts as well as PDF, pictures and other computer based images.

EAM ()

EAM is an abbreviation for Enterprise Assets Management

See Enterprise Asset Management

Enterprise Asset Management ()

Enterprise asset management (EAM) differs from Asset Management because it treats the asset from a company (enterprise) perspective. It refers to the management of assets to the benefit of the organization as a whole and not limited to a specific area such as a department, location or division. It includes the entire process from initial planning, designed use, installation, training, operations, maintenance and eventual retirement/replacement.

"When the entire asset portfolio of the organization is considered, EAM takes over. As business and market requirements are dynamic, the output specifications for the organization’s assets change constantly (e.g., increase in output capacity due to new customers). EAM provides the framework for capital and labor allocation decision processes across the competing categories of equipment addition/ reduction, replacement, over-hauling, redundancy setup and maintenance budgets in order to meet business needs."

Source: Wikipedia Definition of Enterprise Asset Management

Engineer ()

A person who is trained in the art and profession of a specific discipline. An engineer in terms of EAM, applies scientific and mathematical knowledge to the design, application and use of equipment and facilities.

Facility Management ( )

Facility Management is a professional encompassing many disciplines and its primary function is to make sure buildings operate at maximum efficiency through the optimal integration of people, processes and technology. Responsibilities may range from HVAC, electrical, plumbing, lighting, cleaning and security.

Facilities Management Information System ()

Is a newer term describing a model that integrates computer assisted design programs and electronic document management systems on a network to manage and track software solutions designed for facilities management.


FMIS is an abbreviation for Facilities Management Information System

See Facilities Management Information System

Geographic Information System ()

The term represents the merging of cartography and database technology. Once mapping data is collected the information can accessed, transferred, manipulated, overlaid, processed and displayed with various software.

"A geographic information system (GIS), or geographical information system captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that is linked to location."

Source: Wikipedia

Geospatial ()

Geospatial is a term most often associated with advanced mapping techniques by merging imagery, maps, charts, and environmental data into sophisticated 3d images.

“Geospatial Technology is defined as an information technology field of practice that acquires, manages, interprets, integrates, displays, analyzes, or otherwise uses data focusing on the geographic, temporal, and spatial context.”

Source: National Geographic

GIS ()

GIS is an abbreviation for Geographic Information System.

See Geographic Information System

Global Positioning System ()

The Global Positioning System is a U.S. space-based worldwide radio navigation system made up of three parts (satellites, control stations and receivers). End users (GPS receivers are then able to provide a three-dimensional location (latitude, longitude, and altitude) plus the time.

GPS ()

GPS is an abbreviation for Global Positioning System

See Global Positioning System

Inheritance ()

The term inheritance is a term used inside Transcendent to describe the assigning of identical information across multiple levels within the asset hierarchy. For example, if automobiles are one of your asset groups, cars, trucks and buses become the child categories. Since all of these auto types have a VIN #, then the VIN # becomes the inherited field of reference. This allows for powerful system configuration and customization to fit the unique needs of complicated asset types and subtypes.

Inspections ()

An inspection is the act of examining assets in order to determine their condition by checking on known issues, answering checklist questions, observing and documenting changes and making recommendations or scheduling maintenance. Inspections are a form of preventive maintenance.

Integrated Workplace Management System ()

The term Integrated Workplace Management System refers to a performance management systems that integrates and optimizes overall corporate strategy for operations, asset and real estate portfolios.

"An enterprise platform that supports the planning, design, management, utilisation and disposal of an organisation’s location-based assets. IWMS systems assist organisations in optimising the use of workplace resources, including the management of a company’s real estate portfolio, infrastructure and facilities assets."

Source: Steven Hanks IWMSnews


IWMS is an abbreviation for Integrated Workplace Management System

Lock-Out Tag-Out ()

A safety method (procedure) used on with dangerous machines to ensure machines are properly shut down and started. to prevent injury or death.

"Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities."

Source: OSHA Control of Hazardous Energy (Tagout/Lockout) in compliance with 29 CFR 1910.147


LOTO is an abbreviation for Lock-Out Tag-Out

See Lock-Out Tag-Out

Maintenance Repair and Operations ()

Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO) also known as Maintenance Repair and Overhaul is the fixing of broken or damaged physical items. This includes any mechanical or electrical device.

"All actions which have the objective of retaining or restoring an item in or to a state in which it can perform its required function. The actions include the combination of all technical and corresponding administrative, managerial, and supervision actions."

Source: Wikimedia – Quoting original source – European Federation of National Maintenance Societies

MC-55 ()

The MC-55 refers to the Motorola Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA). The MC-55 is a compact handheld mobile computer with multiple functionality including cell phone, bar code reader, and digital camera.

See MC-55 Details. It is the device of choice for use with Transcendent.

Mobile Computer ()

The use of a computing device while in transit. Mobile computers with EAM systems generally refer to the use of handheld devices (handheld computers).

MRO ()

MRO is an abbreviation for Maintenance Repair and Operations which is also known as Maintenance Repair and Overhaul.

See Maintenance Repair and Operations

Predictive Maintenance ()

Predictive maintenance (PdM) programs are based upon the actual condition of the equipment and a determination of when maintenance should be performed to minimize costs. New technology techniques such as ultrasound, infrared and vibration online testing make predictive maintenance a viable alternative in certain circumstances. However, for most equipment the complex metrics for making educated guesses (predictive) is provided by preventive maintenance programs.

Preventive Maintenance ()

Maintenance that occurs on a pre-determined schedule. The purpose of preventive maintenance (PM) is to increase efficiencies by reducing the amount of reactive work in relation to planned maintenance thus increasing the ability of management to manage work more efficiently and with greater flexibility. Most importantly, it allows for the early identification of problems and significantly increases the life cycle of equipment, lowers capital expenditure requirements and allows for better planning of capital budgets. In addition, when integrated with handheld technologies and a combination of asset management, work order management and inspections, work flow efficiencies are increased to maximum levels. The data collected through this method becomes the building block for predictive maintenance.

Note: The term Preventive has been used interchangeably with the word Preventative. Both have the same meaning although Preventive is used more frequently as an adjective and Preventative is used more often as a noun. Although there is somewhat of an internet debate about which term is correct, Preventive is frequently enough, that it is considered the preferred term.

PM ()

PM is an abbreviation for Preventive Maintenance

See Preventive Maintenance


SCADA is an abbreviation for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

See Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition ()

A computerized system often used to collect real-time maintenance information for monitoring and control of assets.

"A computer system for gathering and analyzing real time data. SCADA systems are used to monitor and control a plant or equipment in industries such as telecommunications, water and waste control, energy, oil and gas refining and transportation."

Source: Webopedia

Telemetry ()

Telemetry is defined as the science and technology of automatic measurement and transmission of data by wire, radio, or other means from remote sources to a monitoring device recording and analysis. For EAM this means the remote transmission of maintenance information.

WO ()

WO is an abbreviation for Work Order.

See Work Order

Work Order ()

A work order is the document trail that follows the maintenance of an item. A work order should contain; a description of the task, details of the asset, a tracking number, date requested, due date, who it is assigned to, a priority, time spent on, inspection notes, general notes/remarks section. As the task is completed, hours, cost, materials, and notes of special tools/considerations should be recorded. Information can be recorded on paper forms or online using handheld devices. Upon completion the form/data is normally given to the director of engineering.

WR ()

WR is an abbreviation for Work Request.

See Work Request

Work Request ()

A document/online form used for making the initial request for maintenance. Once approved, the document is normally converted into a work order.