Mastering SAP EAM, Gold Coast, Australia 2023

Photo Credits: SAP Insider

The Mastering SAP Enterprise Asset Management (SAP EAM) conference, which took place on the 13th and 14th of November 2023 at the Royal Pines Resort in the Gold Coast, Queensland, brought together two Mastering SAP Communities and more than 500 people for content, connection, case studies, and numerous master classes to inspire change across multiple industries and businesses.

Mastering SAP Registration Booth

Process Automation and Generative AI for Asset Management

One of the key sponsors of this year’s event was UI Path. UiPath and SAP joined forces to propel businesses into a new era of innovation through the transformative power of Generative AI. As an SAP endorsed application, the UiPath Business Automation Platform enhances the digital transformation journey by providing a robust foundation for innovation.

Stuart Chambers, Account Director, Queensland, touched on the ways UI Path facilitates accelerated migration to the cloud, empowering customers to automate seamlessly across various enterprise systems. By leveraging UiPath Solution Accelerators, businesses can rapidly automate processes, reducing both time and cost associated with cloud migration and the adoption of SAP S/4HANA. The collaboration ensures end-to-end enterprise automation, spanning both SAP and non-SAP systems, enabling users to automate existing processes and create entirely new ones.

Through this collaboration, UiPath and SAP empower businesses to unlock the full potential of their SAP investments and drive efficient, intelligent automation across the enterprise, as evidenced by a growing number of case studies.

Can ChapGPT Teach Asset Management?

Norm Poynter

The “SAP EAM Battle of the Champions” brought together Norm Poynter, the undisputed SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Champion, and ChatGPT in a Jeopardy-style match covering the Top 10 Things Asset Management Practitioners Need to Know and Do. This SAP-sanctioned battle aimed to provide attendees with expert advice, structured like the famous 2011 Jeopardy match between Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and IBM Watson. Norm Poynter, representing Asset Management Advocates (AMA), led the agenda by introducing ChatGPT and demonstrating its potential applications for asset managers. The event included three demonstrations showcasing how ChatGPT could be effectively utilized.

The event addressed the evolving landscape of social media with the introduction of the new currency called “Prompts”, highlighting the ChatGPT revolution led by Donna McGeorge.

The presentation concluded with a focus on the “Knowing-Doing-Leading-Gap” and emphasized the significance of understanding and utilizing ChatGPT as an assistant rather than a successor. The collaboration between the two champions turned into a valuable learning opportunity, encouraging curiosity and exploration for attendees seeking to benefit from ChatGPT and its applications in asset management.

SAP EAM Journey To Modernization

Annette Slunjski & Darcy MacClaren

Several presenters shared their views on modernization best practices, including Glenn Sawyer, Global VP Of Customer Success: Intelligent Asset Management (IAM) and Field Service Management (FSM) at SAP. Glenn drew inspiration from his own life — and kitesurfing adventures to speak about the modernization process, providing a cross-industry perspective and showcasing successes in Mining, Oil & Gas Energy, and Manufacturing. While the journey may not be easy, looking “from the top” at the value, operational impact, and financial ROI clearly demonstrates the rewards.

Colleen Bramowicz

Colleen Bramowicz, Operations ERP Manager at Woodside Energy, was able to share her own journey towards the adoption of a more modern and more intelligent ERP system in her presentation titled “The Power of an SAP S/4HANA Greenfield Implementation for Asset and Organizational Change”. She outlined the project journey, including the various phases the team progressed through, from discovery to leadership to system integration. The presentation highlighted the successful elements, including the greenfield nature of the project, global collaboration, and a strong partnership with a bespoke integration partner. Colleen pointed out that the implementation came with expected challenges, such as change management, language adaptation post-merger, and the learning curve associated with a new system.

However, by adopting an innovative approach, which Woodside called “Innovation by Simplification”, teams can minimize complexities in workflows, reports, interfaces, and customizations (WRICEF) for future digital opportunities and S/4 upgrades.

SAP EAM Phase-Based Maintenance

Mastering SAP EAM Keynotes

Successful implementation was also the focus of a compelling presentation titled “Driving Success” by Brad Martin, the Product Owner for Maintenance Work Management at Chevron. Brad shared an in-depth overview of Chevron’s approach to implementing SAP’s 9-Phase Model for Asset Management within the context of a successful S/4HANA deployment. The presentation shed light on key aspects of the oil and gas industry’s ongoing digital transformation, Chevron’s implementation timeline and approach, the utilization of SAP Best Practices and Fiori applications, lessons learned, and the future direction of their digital journey.

Brad Martin set the stage by highlighting the pervasive digital transformation occurring in the oil and gas industry. This shift is driven by a strategic integration of advanced technologies aimed at enhancing operational efficiency, elevating safety standards, and boosting overall productivity. With a focus on cost reduction, production optimization, and risk mitigation, the industry is leveraging digitalization to unlock approximately $2.5 trillion in value, according to insights from the World Economic Forum’s White Paper on the “Digital Transformation Initiative Oil and Gas Industry”.

The crux of Chevron’s strategy lies in SAP’s 9-Phase Model for Asset Management, intricately woven into the fabric of their S/4HANA implementation. Drawing on his 16 years of experience in the oil and gas sector, coupled with a background in Maintenance and Reliability Engineering, Brad Martin emphasized the crucial integration of Asset Performance Management (APM) across end-to-end processes. This integration, he explained, establishes a closed loop between maintenance strategy and execution, allowing for optimal asset maintenance definition, implementation, execution, and monitoring.

SAP EAM In the Field

Mastering SAP EAM & SCP Attendees

Effective scheduling and field execution are extremely important when it comes to utility operations, but the process of scoping and breaking down jobs into operations, materials, and services is often overlooked. Standard SAP provides a framework, but the lack of an optimized experience poses a challenge. SA Power Networks, under the guidance of Mat Nolan, the Product Owner, has tackled this issue head-on with their innovative solution—the Schedule Breakdown Sheet (SBS).

In his presentation, “Delivering Field-Ready Work with SAP Fiori”, Mat provided a window into the hurdles faced in planning and scheduling within a utility environment. While SAP offers the necessary foundation, the spotlight here is on the imperative need for an optimized user experience (UX). SA Power Networks, as one of the largest organizations in the state, recognized this gap and introduced the Schedule Breakdown Sheet as a transformative solution that seamlessly integrates SAP’s capabilities with the simplicity of SAP Fiori.

Mat Nolan guided attendees through the evolution of the Schedule Breakdown Sheet, illuminating the organization’s journey from local scheduling on whiteboards to the current state-of-the-art Fiori-integrated version, aptly named SBS V4. This evolution reflects SA Power Networks’ commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements, ensuring that their processes align with industry best practices. The heart of the presentation lay in the detailed demonstrations of SBS functionality, which included:

  • A Simplified User Experience: SBS V4 simplifies the often complex processes involved in planning and scheduling, ensuring that users can navigate seamlessly through their tasks.
  • Automatic Job Workflow: The integration of SBS automates job workflows, reducing manual intervention and enhancing overall operational efficiency.
  • Standardized Processes: SA Power Networks emphasizes the importance of standardized processes, a key outcome of implementing the Schedule Breakdown Sheet.
  • Clear Work Visibility: SBS offers transparent work visibility, allowing teams to track progress and address potential bottlenecks proactively.
  • Robust Reporting Capabilities: The reporting capabilities of SBS contribute to informed decision-making, offering insights that drive continuous improvement.

SAP EAM Mobility and Agility

Mastering SAP EAM & SCP Networking

Practical applications were also discussed in the presentation “Understanding SAP’s Strategy for Planning, Scheduling, and Mobile Execution”. Tim Jones, Solution Advisor for Digital Core, Intelligent Asset Management (IAM) at SAP, and Jon Wilson, from the Global Centre of Excellence, Digital Supply Chain at SAP, provided insights into SAP’s comprehensive strategy in these domains. The team covered key aspects such as next-generation asset management for digitally enhanced enterprises, the impact of data-driven decisions, changing workforce dynamics, and the role of mobile work solutions in maintenance.

The presentation delved into the standardization of planning, scheduling, and execution processes, showcasing SAP’s offerings like SAP Asset Performance Management (SAP APM) and SAP S/4HANA Asset Management (SAP EAM). The integration of Fiori applications was emphasized, providing role-based, delightful, and coherent user experiences.

The suite of SAP and partner solutions for delivering next-generation processes was detailed, covering various aspects such as asset acquisition, strategy and planning, maintenance and optimization, commissioning, and construction, as well as enablers for capacity planning, resource scheduling in SAP S/4HANA Asset Management, and the optimization of work and resource schedules in SAP Field Service Management (SAP FSM).

Sara Camarinha

Innovation and empowerment also came to the forefront in the presentation, “A journey in empowering our people with an optimized mobility solution”, by Tom Birdseye and Sara Camarinha from SA Power Networks. The presentation outlined the journey of implementing an integrated replacement Asset Inspection Tool for mobile field inspectors. SA Power Networks, which is responsible for delivering power to 99% of South Australia’s population, identified the need for a new field mobility tool to replace an end-of-life inspection tool. The goals included improving the user experience,, increasing efficiency and reliability in the inspection process, and ensuring compatibility with SAP S/4HANA.

The project approach involved understanding project outcomes, mobilizing a project team using Agile delivery, applying a human-centered (UX) approach, conducting a market scan, product assessment, and procurement, piloting the solution with system integration and configuration, and completing the implementation.

The human-centered (UX) approach focused on contextual inquiries, business workshops, user personas, journey maps, and pain points documentation. Early usability testing was conducted to identify user expectations, and research-informed the necessary changes to overcome user issues. The team learned valuable lessons, including the importance of UX research in product procurement, early usability testing, and prototyping changes before implementation.

User feedback before and after UX enhancements showed a significant improvement in sentiment, with increased efficiency and positive user experiences. The average rate of pole inspections increased from 11/day to 16/day after feedback and improvements. The result of adopting a human-centered approach was the successful implementation of an integrated replacement Asset Inspection Tool, achieving increased efficiency, positive user feedback, and improved user adoption in other business areas.

Jeff Albert

Mobility was a key theme in another insightful presentation, by Vicki Hlinovsky, Business Process Lead (EAM) at Sunwater, and Jeff Albert, Asset Technology Lead at Fortescue, titled “Choose Your Own Mobility Adventure”. The speakers provided a comprehensive deep dive into the integration and implementation of the SAP Service and Asset Manager (SSAM) across their organizations.

They dove into the nuances of mobile device choices, distribution strategies, and security measures employed in their respective organizations and showcased a demo as a hands-on illustration of SSAM in action, focusing on features like time confirmations, map functionalities, and work order management. Both emphasized the importance of flexibility in modifying business processes and master data, conducting pilot tests, and staging rollouts for optimal results.

Conclusion

Mastering SAP Snapshots

The Mastering SAP EAM + Supply Chain & Procurement Conference was (once again) a melting pot of insights, innovations, and success stories. From industry leaders sharing modernization best practices to innovative solutions for effective field execution, the event highlighted the dynamic landscape of SAP technologies. The emphasis on human-centered approaches, streamlined workflows, and the integration of cutting-edge technologies showcased the commitment of organizations to navigate the complexities of digital transformation successfully. The event encouraged curiosity, exploration, and a deeper understanding of how SAP technologies can drive positive change across various industries.

Before concluding, we extend our gratitude to Mastering SAP for their phenomenal effort in orchestrating this conference.

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