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Author's profile photo Paul Kurchina

Stories from SAP Centric EAM 2013 – 9th Annual Meeting of the SAP EAM North American Community

Insights from the SAP-Centric EAM 2013 Event – Huntington Beach March 2013 (Part 1 of 12) : This is part of a twelve part blog series brought to you by Norm Poynter and Paul Kurchina, designed to inspire and educate by sharing experiences with the SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Community. For the past nine years, the Eventful Group’s SAP-Centric EAM North American Event ( Supported by SAP and ASUG ) has brought together the EAM community to network, share ideas and experiences, and explore solutions for Enterprise Asset Management.


It’s a common cliché: Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. But while seemingly obvious, this cliché has a great deal of relevance for the Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Community. The knowledge about how to create successful EAM exists and has for quite some time. As we reflect on the history of the SAP-Centric conferences, we are convinced that over the past nine years, every question about successful EAM has likely been asked and answered.  So why are companies still struggling ? Why do the same problems keep popping up ?

The answer is simple: We are not putting information into practice. Every year, when we leave these conferences, along with the used towels and half empty shampoo bottles in our hotel rooms, we leave behind too much of the wisdom that’s been presented. This has to change. We have to implement the lessons we’ve learned. It’s very costly not to learn from experience.

It’s time for EAM users to go beyond the basics. EAM can help ensure safety and reliability. But to truly harness the power of EAM, we have to reach the stage of in-depth analysis, where we’re not just answering the what, but also the how and the why.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting a series of blogs, based on presentations made at the 2013 Eventful Group’s SAP-Centric EAM North American Event. These blogs go a long way in codifying key insights that can help companies take that next step.

SAP Centric EAM 2013 Word Cloud Speakers and Track Chairs.jpg

The series kicks off with Bob Williamson’s fascinating look at how much we can learn about EAM from an unexpected source. In “ Achieving 100% Equipment Reliability: Learning from Top NASCAR Teams ” , Williamson, president of Strategic Work Systems, related reliability in NASCAR to facilities maintenance. His most important conclusion is that human factors play a more integral role in reliability than technology. He offers seven principles of reliability that draw heavily on NASCAR’s use of visualization to ensure reliability. Williamson notes that visualization is where EAM is headed. Visualization helps employees stay vested in their work and not turn the responsibility of reliability over to technology.

In the third blog in the series, An EAM Policy – Can Your Organization Improve Without One ? ”,  we outline why policies and procedures, while essential, cannot drive systemic EAM organizational change by themselves. Human thoughts and behavior impact change and cannot be overlooked as crucial components of an organization’s EAM policy. While policies are the foundation on which all successful EAM is built, buy-in only occurs when policy motivates and inspires, rather than seeming like an unnecessary burden.

The forth blog in the series, “What’s Sabotaging Your Business Software and How You can Release the Power to Innovate”, reflects on a talk by Harold Hambrose, the CEO and founder of Electronic Ink. Hambrose was unambiguous in stating that IT must design business processes and software for today, not 30 years ago. Design has been overlooked as a driving factor in a company’s return on investment. Design must incorporate visualization since it more closely mirrors the way people think and should complement, rather than supersede, the human component.

In “ SAP Enterprise Asset Management – Enabling Asset Managers and Maintenance Professionals ”, we chronicle the keynote presentation of Dr. Achim Krüger, Vice President Industry Business Solutions – Operational Excellence and LoB Asset Management (EAM) at SAP. Krüger details the exciting enhancements SAP is putting into their EAM user experience. These enhancements include mobile and 3D features, as well as linear asset management, worker safety, asset analytics, and management of change. Krüger points out just how far SAP EAM has come since the 1970s. SAP EAM can now link asset management to business objectives, unleashing new potential.

“ It’s Not the Silos: It’s the Bridges ” looks at a talk by Natalie Christensen, SAP Project Manager of the City of Abbotsford, British Columbia. By providing specialization, Christensen believes that silos serve a purpose in companies but can impede collaboration if bridges are not built between them. The way to break down silos is by empowering employees and it is up to a company’s leadership to cultivate leaders internally towards understanding across functionalities.

The seventh blog in the series, “ Nuggets of Gold: Unearthing the New EAM Functionality in SAP ERP 6.0 ”, recaps Dean Fitt’s presentation. Fitt, an SAP Solution Manager at SAP specializing in EAM in the Industry Business Solutions group, details functionality available in SAP’s Enhancement Packages, focusing especially on Maintenance Event Builder, Shift Notes and Shift Reports, Inspection Rounds, Customer Connection, and Improvement Finder.

In “ A Simple Screen Modification Can Renovate a Crafts World ”, we discuss an enlightening session by Wesley Dean, Senior Asset Care Engineer at MillerCoors. MillerCoors simplified their SAP interface so that it was as easy to use as an ATM machine, creating a “One-Stop-Shop” for its workers. The results have been profound: less training time and greater employee satisfaction. But perhaps most importantly, the new system is capturing more decisions than ever before, which improves analytics capabilities and the company’s bottom line.

The ninth blog, “ Building Integration Literacy between Major Projects & Operations”, summarizes a presentation given by Mario Abella, Senior Manager of Process Integration at Suncor Energy, and Teresa Brooks, Director of Process Integration at Suncor. Abella and Brooks advised how to improve internal information flow, especially for new projects. Too often, big projects experience an information black hole, which frustrates employees and stymies productivity. Abella and Brooks offer seven recommendations on how to build literacy between major projects and operations to get rid of this type of friction.

“ Data Quality Taxonomy & Failure Coding Structure at Owens Corning ” reflects on a presentation by Brian Gilson, Lead Reliability Project Manager at Owens Corning and Ralph Hanneman, Senior Consultant at Meridium. Gilson and Hanneman examine companies’ use of failure coding. Drawing on the experience of Owens Corning’s work with Meridium to implement a new failure coding system, Gilson and Hanneman point to the impressive results the company has experienced since the change. It’s not enough to just do coding structure; code reporting analysis and asset performance management must be a part of the process as well.

The eleventh blog in the series, “ Mobile Asset Management: Successes and Roadmap ”, is based on a presentation by Karsten Hauschild, Industry Business Solutions – Operational Excellence and LoB Asset Management (EAM) at SAP. Hauschild pushes us to recognize that today’s operations demand mobility. He argued that good asset management practices cannot happen without mobility. Mobility empowers employees to operate in real-time, but any adoption of mobility must be well thought out to really improve productivity.

In the final blog in the series, “ How Adding a Visual Layer to EAM Brings New Depth in Maintenance ? ”, we look at a presentation by Mark Foster, Managing Director of Revisia. Foster extols the benefits of visualization, especially in terms of capturing institutional information from veteran workers who may be nearing retirement. Visualization can be a tool for training, education, simulation, and testing, which leads to efficiency and effectiveness gains. 3D models of EAM are not just the wave of the future; they’re the way to excel in the present.

Advise from SAP EAM Experts – More Quotes from SAP Centric EAM 2013 Speakers

By discussing the concepts presented during the conference, we can make sure we don’t forget what we learned and can really put it into practice, helping our EAM efforts drive real competitive advantage.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Paul and Norm,

      I've bookmarked this post as I am very curious the next episodes in this series. The teasers have some very interesting topics!

      Best regards,

      Jan Laros

      Author's profile photo Paul Kurchina
      Paul Kurchina
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks  I hope you enjoy these, I have just posted the second one in this series

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I am firing it up, right now! 🙂