SAP EAM, GIS & Mobility Integration

Current Situation (Customer):

The customer is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies, with a rail network of 32,500 route miles in 28 states and three Canadian provinces. The customer is one of the top transporters of the products and materials that help feed, clothe, supply and power communities throughout America and the world. The customer moves those goods more safely and efficiently, on significantly less fuel, with fewer emissions than the all-highway alternative.

Current Situation (Customer):

The client had regulatory and financial challenges reconciling nearly a dozen separate CMMS applications across their asset network. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that as the network was acquired, separate maintenance systems and history was confronted and needed to be reconciled. An ERP project had been completed in an earlier part of the decade but EAM was not included in that scope. Big capital investment decision for rolling stock and fixed infrastructure was being made across this ecosystem of legacy applications and a consolidation was deemed required.

The goals and expectations for the project (written at the start) were:

  • The main objective for pursuing the SAP Engineering EAM project was to improve safety, compliance, and data integrity by ensuring the accuracy and accessibility of critical Network asset records. While benefits such as productivity and efficiency gains are more easily quantifiable and directly impact the Net Present Value (NPV), they were not the key drivers behind this project.
  • Key understanding in the following areas was all deemed to have benefits across the enterprise and given the relative enormity of the customers network, real dollars would accrue quickly:
    • Asset Lifecycle Information
    • Project Controls and Cost Management
    • Work Planning and Execution
    • Scheduling and Optimization of track repair windows (at a macro level)
    • System Backshop refurbishment processing
    • Materials and Inventory Management
  • Most hard benefits will not be realized until completion of the project in the 2015 timeframe.
  • Most soft benefits are difficult to quantify. Of the 8 soft benefits identified, Efficiency gains are quantified. The remaining 7 soft benefits—Compliance, Data Accessibility, Data Integrity, Public Safety, Employee Safety, Employee Engagement, and Public Confidence—were not quantified.
  • This project is foundational to enabling future business capabilities (e.g. enabling GIS-based graphic design tool, providing a repository for field data collection) with future benefits not captured in this project.

Rizing Role (including project scope & SAP modules):

Over several phases, Rizing took the customer through a process of scoping, system selection, blueprint and delivery of an SAP EAM solution, tapping not only the latest functionality of SAP EAM, but also the implementation and integration of NRX asset hub as a powerful adjunct asset management tool.

In addition the project addressed the issue of Master Data Governance at the outset by implementing the Asset Hub Solution as both a data governance AND an integration tool across the system architecture.

From a project structure standpoint, Rizing was lead consulting group operating under the customers IT/Business led consortium. Rizing deliverables included SAP analysis, design, development, testing, and deployment.

Actions Taken:

  • Engaged with the business and documented requirements on the SAP side.
  • Designed SAP interfaces and reports.
  • Developed and Unit Tested the SAP components.
  • Supported integration testing between SAP and GIS.
  • Executed subdivision master data conversions.
  • Update testing and reported the results.
  • Supported first of its kind Mobile EAM solution for all inspection
  • Completed deployment tasks for Structures and Roadway Equipment department point and linear assets underneath the track/system backbone.
  • Track assets were implemented after Structures.
  • Signals assets were last to be converted over.
  • Several SAP major releases and multiple minor releases were supported.
  • Conducted KT on the SAP components to the on-going support teams.

Implementation highlights and challenges:

  • Designing a first of its kind holistic EAM solution for a Class I Railway in North America
  • Seeking FRA approval of the EAM solution (including the mobility aspect)
  • Conversion of millions of asset records from over a dozen legacy applications
  • Implementation of critical interfaces between GIS and SAP as well as train management systems onto the mobile platform
  • Adjustments for system, regulatory and personnel changes that occurred over the 7-year span of the project
  • Addressing a data governance strategy at the outset to support ongoing compliance and operations

Results Achieved (hard and soft benefits realized or anticipated):

  • Implementation of a new mobilized SAP EAM solution integrated to GIS for mobilized visualization and deployment to all subdivisions in North America.
  • Synchronization of 11M asset records in SAP and their collective parent locations in GIS.
  • Implementation of a critical SMP based Custom Development solution, Advanced Data Sync Framework (ADSF) SAP, GIS and DMS.
  • Better asset data in SAP and Engineering GIS.