This article, published in the August issue of BIC magazine, outlines some of the time-tested ways to get the most out of your SAP for Plant Maintenance (PM/EAM) system.
The production unit was down, again. This time a pump had failed. Jim, a maintenance manager for a chemical plant just outside Baton Rouge, La., felt as if his days were spent running from one emergency to the next. Work requests were piling up and his people were barely keeping up. He was concerned about what they were missing. Their plant maintenance work plans were very limited and constantly overdue. He knew they needed to get out of the reactive state they were in, but getting a grip on and gaining visibility to the workload was a constant struggle.
They’d been using SAP® Plant Maintenance (PM) for a few years and after investing millions of dollars on the software and its implementation, they believed SAP would solve most of their data, work management and performance issues. Yet, they had only limited reliability and maintenance returns to show.
As was the case with Jim’s plant, many manufacturing organizations implement SAP PM/EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) in too short a time frame. The vastness of the SAP PM module is often misjudged or overwhelming. It has a wide range of available functionality and is very transaction intense, making it difficult for users to learn and remember all the steps necessary to complete their tasks.
Over the past 19 years, Quadro Solutions Inc. has worked with many manufacturing companies in similar situations, helping them to understand SAP PM. Realistic work processes had been designed and implemented, and maintenance organizations had been taught how to manage their routine, preventive, predictive, shutdown/turnaround, outage and project workloads. By getting involved in all aspects of the project, from leadership to the shop floor, Quadro had seen many scenarios play out.
They found the following common needs:
• Using SAP PM/EAM effectively
• Controlling work process management
• Cleaning up data
• Tracking due/overdue PM/predictive maintenance (PdM) work
• Defining and performing the correct PM/PdM work
• Managing backlog/workload effectively
• Simplifying SAP’s transactions
• Creating useful reports
• Gaining visibility to compliance and expense management
Jim realized there had to be a way to get real-time access to the backlog and compliance reporting he so desperately needed. Knowing they had about 3,000 open work requests did not tell him how many resources were needed to get work done in a timely manner. He also wasn’t sure what standard SAP reports were available and whether it was necessary to define new reports. Although he contacted several consulting firms that had SAP PM/EAM expertise, few were truly familiar with plant maintenance and best practices.
Quadro created a number of programs within SAP for Jim’s organization that allowed managers like him to get information on demand, including a backlog management report . Using this solution, Jim and his team could easily manage resources and backlog, keep open notifications up to date, achieve higher levels of PM/PdM compliance and reduce levels of deferred and break-in maintenance.
Another solution Quadro produced was a report to get clarity to cost. A reliability lead at a chemical plant in Texas wanted figures and trends from various cost centers. Before the report was created, it took four production unit engineers two to three days every month to compile this information. Once the report was in SAP, what previously took about half a year in staff hours every year, became continuously available in real-time.
Additional recommendations were made for long term effective reporting and management:
SAP PM/EAM, when integrated with maintenance best practices, can be a powerful tool. Although SAP PM/EAM is only a part of the total reliability or maintenance improvement equation, it is an important aspect to enable proactive maintenance management. Quadro has helped a number of organizations make the transition from reactive to proactive maintenance by maximizing and optimizing SAP’s functionality, work processes and users’ skills. Once the data and transactions in the system are simplified, managed and clarified into useful information, the return on investment can be significant.
For more information, visit our contact page or call (281) 978-4259.
Learn more about Quadro Solutions software