What is Asset-Relationship-Management?

7. July 2020


The world is moving towards service. This trend does not stop in machine and equipment manufacturing. In order to improve the service of industrial machines and equipment, there is a new software-category: the “Asset-Relationship-Management System”. But what does Asset-Relationship-Management mean and how does it enable better industrial service?

What is an Asset?

In the industrial context, an asset refers to “tangible assets”. This includes for example machines, equipment, vehicles or buildings.

What is Asset-Relationship Management (ARM)? 

The term Asset-Relationship-Management is similar to the well known term “Customer-Relationship-Management (CRM)”. Here, the CRM concept focuses on the customer, while in ARM, the asset is at the center of attention. More precisely, ARM refers to to the systematic design of an organization’s interactions and relationships with existing, purchased, operated or already sold assets in an installed base. The ARM aims to support manufacturers, service partners and operators of industrial machinery by enabling them to keep track of all asset-related activities, make processes more efficient and to unleash the potential in service, maintenance and repair. 

Bildschirmfoto 2020-06-19 um 10.44.08

What is an Asset-Relationship Management (ARM) System?

The ARM-System is a new software-category, which was specifically developed for the management of industrial assets. At the heart of the ARM-System are the individual assets and their relationships with associated organizations. The ARM-Systems enables a centralized connection between the assets (machines, equipment, vehicles or buildings) and their respective operator. The machines and equipment do not necessarily have to be connected in the sense of the Internet of Things (IoT). In most cases, the ARM-System is primarily used to reflect information about processes concerning the asset which enables all parties with access to the ARM-System to work with and on the asset. As mentioned above, the overall goal of ARM is to unleash the potential in service, maintenance and repair over the whole asset lifecycle. The ARM-System serves as a software tool for this aim.

Where does Asset-Relationship-Management come from?

In 2018, the high-tech company remberg from Munich, had been looking for a solution to map the service, maintenance and repair of machines across organisations for both service partners and machine operators. remberg imagined the solution to be structured similarly to a Customer-Relationship-Management System (CRM), just not with a focus on the customer but on the machine because that’s what several medium-sized machine manufacturers they worked with had demanded. As remberg was not satisfied with the results of their market research, the company decided to take the matter into their own hands and started to develop the Asset-Relationship-Management (ARM) System specifically for the service, maintenance and repair of industrial machines and equipment.

How does an ARM-Software work?

An ARM-Software collects information about industrial assets. This includes master data as well as any kind of interaction between supplier, customer and service provider via email, phone or other communication channels. Furthermore, the ARM-System automatically depicts additional information about the asset’s activity and stores for example special features of machines regarding service, maintenance and repair of the asset. The ARM-Software also supports asset-centric Service Case Management (SCM), documentation and the streamlined creation of maintenance plans. The ARM-System structures all this information, which enables organizations to gain a comprehensive overview of their assets, people and companies involved. This leads to a better and more complete understanding of an organization’s installed base over time. In summary, the ARM-Software helps companies to optimize the service of their installed base by providing them with a 360-degree overview of their machines and equipment.

The importance of Asset-Relationship-Management

The mechanical engineering industry has over one million employees, which makes it the largest employer in Germany. Here, service is the most important driver for profitability and differentiation. Asset-Relationship-Management is a key to the digital future in industrial service for manufacturer, service partners and operators of machines and equipment.

Which business units in your company benefit from Asset-Relationship-Management?

Internal Service-, After-Sales and Backoffices

benefit from reduced administrative burdens due to digital, asset-centric service processes, better knowledge of their machines and the possibility to focus on the actual service of the machines rather than on time consuming administrative tasks. 

Field Service and Maintenance Teams

gain a comprehensive overview of the machine or equipment quickly and efficiently. By scanning a QR-code located on the machine, the maintenance team gains access to the digital life cycle files of the machine and is thus able to tailor service, maintenance and repair for one particular asset. This saves time as well as resources and results in the best possible service for the machine.

Operators and service partners

benefit from increased efficiency through digital workflows in maintenance. The ARM-System makes it possible to fill in forms digitally, e.g. about maintenance work and provides information from the digital life cycle file of an asset centrally at any time. This helps service partners to keep track of maintenance and repair tasks which minimizes machine downtime. 

The ARM-System enables you to manage the data of your machines across different channels and organisations. Information from manufacturers, service partners and operators is administered in a central solution and can be optionally made available, depending on approval. With ARM industrial service can be digitized and optimized. 

How does your company benefit from an ARM-System?

Capturing and structuring asset- and organizational data centrally has numerous advantages:

  1. More efficient service, repair and maintenance processes
  2. Faster response times during downtimes
  3. Faster resolution of downtimes through digital service workflows and ticketing
  4. Longer asset lifecycles through proactive service
  5. Less downtime due to preventive maintenance management
  6. Centralized knowledge management Increased user-friendliness due to a centralized, digital point of contact for all parties involved and quick access through QR-Codes

How the ARM-System differentiates itself from other software solutions:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): deals with the planning, controlling and implementation of a company’s customer relations. A CRM-System has similar functionalities as the ARM-System. The main difference is that instead of the asset, the customer is at the center of the system.
  • Enterprise Asset Management (EAM): describes the asset management of a company. The aim is to optimize the use, productivity and utilization of these company resources.
  • Asset Performance/Lifecycle Management: takes various measures to optimize machine and equipment performance and availability. The aim is to increase productivity and efficiency, improve quality and make processes safer.
  • Geographical Information System (GIS): includes systems for the acquisition, organization and analysis of geographical data e.g. of assets.
  • Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS): describes maintenance systems that are used to optimize maintenance activities. The system supports the maintenance department by collecting information and distributing tasks.
  • iBase Management: describes applications for data management of an installed base, e.g. assets, which collects, controls and analyzes data from different sources. For example, patterns or trends in complex data sets can be identified. 
  • Fleet Management: refers to the administration, planning and control of fleets, e.g. a vehicle fleet. The focus is mostly on minimizing costs and increasing efficiency.
  • Workforce Management: is designed to increase transparency and efficiency human-centered in the areas of manufacturing, industrial services as well as maintenance, assembly and commissioning.
  • Tele / Remote Service: enables the provision of technical services from and to different locations, usually via telecommunications networks. For example, the maintenance of systems is supported via video calls or remote access.
  • Field Service Management: refers to the management of corporate resources and aims to harmonize the flow of service processes, especially in the field. 
  • IoT-Platforms: enable the connection of devices and applications via the Internet of Things (IoT) to facilitate an exchange of information. The application forms the interface between different assets so that data can be managed centrally.

The Asset-Relationship-Management System was designed specifically for the service, maintenance and repair of industrial machinery and equipment as none of the existing software categories suitably covered the entire lifecycle of the machines even across organizations. The ARM-System picks up some of the functionalities of the systems mentioned above and thus represents the intersection.

The most important points from this article:

  • Asset-Relationship-Management (ARM) is defined as … the systematic design of an organization’s interactions and relationships with existing, purchased, operated or already sold “assets” from an installed base.
  • ARM is important, because … it displays all information about an asset in one central solution while incorporating manufacturers, service partners and operators.
  • An ARM-System offers … a 360-degree overview of machines or equipment and their activities. It serves as a central point of contact to enable better industrial service. 

You are interested to see how Asset-Relationship-Management could benefit your company? We are looking forward to show you how we are already helping other companies in the industry with our remberg ARM-System and how we can help you as well.

More information