Do you like sequels? I hope so, because you’ve just entered Part 2 of “What Happens in ASUG, Stays in Vegas.” As I mentioned in the first post, well-known manufacturers were on hand at the recent ASUG Fall Focus: Roadmap to ROI event to tell their stories about how SAP helps them run better. Dow Corning was one of them. Here’s how they roll when it comes to SAP Enterprise Asset Management.
Established in 1943, Dow Corning had one primary mission: to explore the potential of silicones. With that came a boatload of challenges, including accurate asset management. Think about all of the different Dow Corning suppliers, partners and employees that retain asset knowledge in their heads, or use their own system of Post-It Notes and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to track whereabouts and condition of company assets instead of using the automated functionality that SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management offers.
“The culture at Dow Corning is that we are awesome when it comes to the physical plant,” said Alex Lackner, asset management and integrity team leader, Dow Corning. “The digital plant, however, doesn’t match the activity of the physical plant.”
Lackner had to figure out a way to capture the knowledge of the aging workforce; get it entered into the new SAP Enterprise Asset Management configuration system so that the new workforce could benefit. Not an easy task when Dow Corning’s “Red Book” – the granddaddy of all data used to name equipment at Dow Corning – couldn’t be found. Other important asset ledgers and manuals were also missing or obsolete. Lackner had no choice but to embark on a journey to create a process and foundation – a one-stop shop, if you will – that would make it easy for Dow Corning employees to regularly enter and access important details into the SAP NetWeaver MDM front-end system.
From user-acceptance issues to the heavy lifting involved with manually entering loads of data, it wasn’t easy. But the process is in place, Dow Corning’s master data is getting cleaned up and old dogs are being taught new tricks. Certainly, Dow Corning is gaining across-the-board efficiencies, but its journey with SAP Enterpise Asset Management is ongoing. This isn’t a typical IT tale of slam-dunk ROI goodness. Instead, this is about getting one’s house in order. And Lackner has a few lessons learned should you choose to accept an SAP Enterprise Asset Management mission of your own:
- Operations shouldn’t ask Maintenance to do work without a work order
- Define the difference between a Work Order and a Permit
- When the data is wrong or missing, take the time to correct it
- Pay now, or pay forever
Hungry for more? There’s plenty of data management and asset management sessions taking place at SAP TechEd 2010.