Insights from the SAP-Centric EAM 2013 Event – Huntington Beach March 2013 (Part 11 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.
This post is based on a presentation by Karsten Hauschild, LoB EAM, SAP Labs LLC, at the Huntington Beach SAP-Centric EAM 2013 Community event in March.
There are 50 billion machines in the world. That’s more machines than people. Annual global maintenance spend is close to half a trillion dollars ($447 billion). These two key facts presented by SAP’s Karsten Hauschild illuminate a challenge in the EAM world that can’t be understated: Whether we like it or not, we’ve created a situation that demands mobility.
We’ve created remote installations of compressors and of transmission lines with complicated structures in hard-to-reach places that are often unsafe and risky to maintain. Yet technology hasn’t kept up with the ability to construct asset-intensive facilities in those remote locations.
Conversely, the consumer world has kept up. We can travel around the world with mobile devices and for the most part transmit and receive data from anywhere with a connection. With a satellite phone, the sky’s the limit, literally.
Hauschild’s talk took the idea of mobility in remote places much further. He argued that mobility is necessary for good asset management practices, enabling workers to do an number of tasks such as: collect and manage samples, conduct operator rounds, manage inventory, and ship and deliver products, among many others—anywhere, anytime.
The session elaborated on SAP’s strategy, solutions, and roadmap for mobile asset management, highlighting SAP’s solutions based on the company Syclo which was acquired by SAP in 2012. If we think about what ERP systems did for the accounting world, perhaps SAP has the same capability from a mobility perspective to fill the large gap between mobile functionality for the maintenance worker and ERP functionality for the office worker.
This would lead to better reliability for maintenance and engineering departments, which could allow for asset management in real-time, without delays from the wrong materials received or the wrong information being communicated. That’s not to say that mobile isn’t working within the maintenance space. “Using mobile solutions, SAP EAM customers have reduced downtime/production delays by 20-30 percent and maintenance backlogs by up to 60 percent,” said Hauschild.
So mobile management’s time has come. There is the question, however, whether the EAM community is ready to adopt, embrace, and use mobile. Let’s face it: most of us have been exposed to mobile projects that have provided little benefit. That’s why I recommend looking hard at mobility before you leap. Will your workers really use it? Will it truly result in increased efficiency?
Start slow, talk to other SAP customers who have mobility programs, and don’t just jump on the mobility bandwagon.
To learn more, view Karsten Hauschild’s PowerPoint presentation
For more information, here’s a post with all of the links to the published blogs in this series.