When it comes to Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), success is a combination of three basic things: People, Process, and Data. Before transforming your technology, you need to ensure that those three foundational EAM aspects are right. Do your people know the correct processes, and understand why they are essential? Do your processes align with what you want to achieve in managing your assets? And is your data an accurate representation of your operations and assets?

Not every company has an accurate picture of their people, process, and data. In turn, they don’t know how well they are optimizing their technological investments. One European biomethanol producer was in that situation—and it sought to get its EAM basics in order. To do that, the company partnered with Rizing.

Assessing the Current EAM State

To identify potential areas of improvement, the biomethanol company wanted to undergo an assessment of its EAM process, technology, and how employees relate and view both of those things. The Maintenance Manager stated: “I know there are many things that we can improve on. But we need help in figuring out where to start.”

Rizing conducted the assessment—this involved health checks of processes and technical systems—looking at customer SAP configurations as well as data. As part of change management, we also conducted employee interviews to find out how they perceive the SAP system—positively or negatively—as well as finding out their general attitude toward change.

This assessment took about a month, including preparation time. At the end, we presented our findings and the proposed improvement roadmap.

Building EAM Basics

From the initial assessment, the biomethanol producer started with the first improvement activities on the roadmap.

In this case, the first action was to define future state processes for maintenance, planning, scheduling, and execution. We helped the company through a series of workshops to design those desired processes and build a swim lane on how SAP and other EAM tools currently at the maintenance team’s disposal could help.

At that point, we were able to visualize the agreed process for all employees by creating a process poster. This poster allowed the maintenance manager and people involved to point out and say, “This is the way we work.”

Finally, we used the SAP notifications and work order data to create an operational dashboard based on Microsoft PowerBI. A powerful enabler to improve process performance is the ability to visualize how work flows through the SAP system, allowing managers to see where bottlenecks occur, and to initiate the necessary improvement actions.

EAM Basics Create a Base for Future Innovation

It may be a big task to get support behind an upgrade to SAP S/4HANA in your organization—but there are improvements that can be made through much smaller investments of time and capital. Health checks and process assessments, as we conducted at this biomethanol producer, can help ensure your team and assets are operating at the highest capacity with the tools they have.

Mastering EAM basics now will ultimately make a move to SAP S/4HANA and Intelligent Asset Management easier. We have done those projects too, and we know that fine-tuning processes and systems is always an initial step of the implementation. If you invest in SAP S/4HANA, you want to make sure your team follows the right processes.

Once you have fully optimized your current technology and processes—such as getting master data right, that’s when the added functionality in SAP S/4HANA will be truly valuable. After getting the EAM basics right, the next step of preparing for the future involves activating SAP EAM for modern capabilities like Digital Twins.

A System is Only as Good as the People

People are at the core of these assessments and health checks—you will see the most value in how your people use the system better, have more belief in its capabilities, and conduct more efficient and standardized processes.

For example, if there is a line manager that has a negative opinion of the SAP system, that’s a root cause for their employees not using SAP correctly. Conducting an assessment helps you find those gaps and identify where training and coaching are needed.

The bonus of the assessment is that belief in system and processes begins just by conducting the employee interviews. By giving your employees a chance to talk about the SAP system, they can express problems on their own. Once people accept there is a problem, there’s more intrinsic motivation to fix the problem.

Ultimately, placing yourself in the end-user or stakeholder’s shoes will benefit process and technology. Conducting an assessment will help you bring facts to the table when discussing how they might need to change the way they work and use the SAP system.

Once you’ve put those facts into action, you can master the EAM basics of People, Process, and Data as the biomethanol producer did and set yourself on a more productive path to continuous improvement.

For more on how your organization can master EAM basics, watch the on-demand webinar, “Get the Basics Right and Explore the Future.”