EAM has its origins around ten years after CMMS solutions were first introduced.

In the mid-1970s, manufacturing companies faced challenges on their production lines, with equipment breakdowns and inventory problems leading to inefficiencies and lost production. These companies recognised that computer technology could provide solutions to help them become more competitive.

The first solution for manufacturing companies was improved materials planning, with vendors offering materials resource planning (MRP) solutions in the 1980s. These solutions promised to help companies identify the inventory materials they needed in the next day, week, or month, and then acquire them when the production lines were ready.

As time went on, MRPs expanded to manufacturing resource planning (MRP II), which aimed to boost production efficiency overall. Toyota introduced the concept of just-in-time inventory around the same time, where parts and materials could be received immediately before they were needed to reduce or eliminate storage of inventory.

After another decade, MRP II evolved into enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which aimed to bring different departments together into a centralised location.

These systems were designed to tie inventory management directly to the requirements of the production lines and focused on ensuring that the supply chain delivered materials to the production line as efficiently as possible.