Is SAP Field Service Management a good fit for utilities to enhance maintenance, metering and service processes?
This blog post features insights from Evora experts on how utility organizations can achieve their high targets on efficiency while making life easier for everybody in the maintenance and service organization. More of the knowledge will be shared in our partner session by Michael Berkowsky at the International SAP Conference for Utilities, taking place on April 18 – 20, 2023 in Basel.
Scheduling field service activities with SAP
Before we go into the details of the question, some insights into the history of FSM. In 2018, SAP acquired a solution from Coresystems AG in Switzerland, which is now named “SAP Field Service Management” (SAP FSM). Even though SAP delivered Multiresource Scheduling (MRS) as a mature and widely used solution for manual and automatic scenarios for service and maintenance, there was a need in the market for a lightweight, cloud-based, intelligent and user-friendly planning and dispatching tool. SAP FSM provides a full-blown, web-based planning and scheduling solution including an offline mobile Client (“FSM Mobile”). This mobile solution is fully integrated into SAP FSM.
Challenges of utilities organizations
For utility companies, it is often a struggle that multiple different applications are required for processes from finding the optimal routes (by using ESRI-Information) for technicians until receiving confirmations from the technicians about used materials, meter readings, and required efforts. Keeping labor costs low while at the same time raising the quality of the process seems like an impossible task.
However, with an aging workforce and more demanding regulations year after year, this is what utility organizations expect their maintenance and service leads to achieve.
Being in the dynamic energy provider market with customers only one click away from a new supplier, utility organizations need solutions that support metering processes, improve response times, and honor customer appointments, while seamlessly collecting necessary data. At the same time, e.g. grid maintenance demands integration from different data sources like GIS and grid management applications to provide the technician with the right information.
SAP Field Service Management Solution
With SAP FSM, just one application is required to fulfill these requirements. FSM can use ESRI-Maps and a joint venture with Logiball Localion® is used for (predictively) finding the optimal route.
In addition, integrating satellite systems like grid management applications can be easily done by using SAP FSM’s RESTful API to combine the knowledge from several systems into one.
The fully integrated, offline capable, mobile solution is the workbench of the technicians in the field to inform them about meter install, removal, replacement, disconnect and reconnect, move-in/out, or just meter readings and to provide the relevant confirmation. In addition, SAP Field Service is using SmartForms to provide checklists and work-instructions for technicians.
For companies, that are already using the SAP Work Manager (WM), SAP Asset Manager (SAM), or even the SAP Service and Asset Manager (SSAM), the SSAM can be seamlessly integrated into SAP FSM and consume the full FSM functionality.
Coming back to the initial question: “Is SAP Field Service Management a good fit for utilities?” – based on our experience in the utility area and from what we’ve learned over the past years, we can now clearly state this with a “YES”!
SAP FSM is not just a “best of breed” in its area, it is also a great fit to the requirements in the utilities industry due to the highly automatable scheduling functionality, the offline capable mobile solution, and the flexibility, that is required in this type of business.
Simplification, product intelligence and knowledge are what increases the 1st Time Fix Rate – which in the end generates the expected cost savings.
Looking forward to learning about other implementations of SAP Field Service Management in utilities!