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Author's profile photo Jennifer Scholze

Stacks of Paper and a Box of Wrenches Don’t cut it in today’s IoT world !

First published by Rory Shaffer here:  Stacks of Paper and a Box of Wrenches Don’t cut it in today’s IoT world !



Stacks of Paper and a Box of Wrenches

Don’t cut it in today’s IoT world !


So you want better results from the Field,

Send Out Enhanced Work Packages !



Back in the day we thought that tabbing off the stack of paper with Post It notes was high tech, or using a copy machine to zoom into the section of a E size drawing served as Imagery.


How wrong we were –


In the past the industry expected “Skill of the Craft” to deliver quality results and documentation when sent to into the field.  Over time many factors contributed to a decline in results – some that come “top of mind” include Aging Workforce, Shorter Time in Position, Higher Turnover, Increasing Complexity.  The list could go on and on, still it remains that we as an industry need to have maintenance activities performed in accordance with the instructions provided.


Therein lies the flaw in the earliest efforts to provide complete instructions to the field technician.  In the first generation planners would send the work order with the vendor manual, which was written by and for engineers.  This really wasn’t a good fit at all !  Second crack at this saw planners using procedures that where written by peers on site , a better fit but these also suffered from formatting and overhead imposed by administrative processes.

So what was the industry to do, increasing pressure driven by the advent of Human Performance Enhancement Systems and Corrective Action Programs as well the various agencies tasked to help exerting more and more pressure for improvement?

Now we layer on the Digital Natives expectation of the Internet of Things (IoT) and we have the Perfect Storm or Opportunity ?

The result was a movement towards Enhanced Work Packages – a concept that blends the ideas from first and second generation packages with the human factors and efficiency improvements available and known as effective.  The advent of the mobility platforms such as SAP Mobile Platform allow for much more functionality and bi directional communication to be used.

The Open UI Framework that is available in the SAP Mobile Platform and built into the Work Manager Mobile application allows the use of ubiquitous plug ins to be inserted into the mobile users application and experience in the field.

Let’s take a look a content and how it is usedfrom inception.

Start with the content, it comes in many cases from the vendor in a usable format for engineers , but how about the field personnel ?   Where can they find these docs ?  The Technical Document Room is hardly a friendly place for the box of wrenches when the plant is coming down around you !

So how about a tailored version of the documentation formatted in a way that it can be consumed in many stages of the process ?  Let’s think of having a group of experienced planners or technicians select the highest value jobs, scrub the documentation and produce some quality instructions that have broad use to the organization.

Start with training – Computer Based Training solutions have been around for some time, mostly question banks and schedules – how about 3 D animated video that can be used to train with realism ?  SAP offers 2 and 3D imagery solutions that can be embedded into work orders and played in advance or on site during the maintenance work.  Check out the Video Example – <CLICK>


Now that the understanding and learning that occurs during the training has been verified, the next steps would be to have the Planner pull up the SAP attached documents and build an Enhanced Work Package for the mobile user.  This allows the same content that was created by the vendor to be again used in the execution of field work.  It also is familiar as the technicianencountered it and was tested against it during the CBT training.

All this is attached and coupled with the job steps, parts list, schedule, safety instructions the work order is ready for use.  This is what an Enhanced Package is about and now it’s ready for the mobile user.

Although this would be a great improvement over the Old Day Post It Note Approach

it doesn’t stop there.

I mentioned the Open UI framework and how this technology could be used to extent the mobile experience of the SAP Work Manager application.  Customers are taking advantage of plug ins that use Adobe Technology for field markups, place keeping and data capture.  This takes more and more of the error traps out of the process and makes for a more streamlined back end process.

In the end the opportunities are wide open and limited only by your imagination.

Don’t be the box of Wrenches – Step into the Internet of Things World and Visualize what’s Possible !

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