In order to realize maximum benefits, these organizations are considering business process harmonization across their plants along with upgrades and modeling these processes into one common application built on latest technologies to reach to next level of maturity. Some of the benefits of this approach are – operational efficiency using business process improvement, reduced redundancy & inconsistency across applications, reduction in overall cost of operations.
While organizations try to reach next level of maturity, they must evaluate multiple factors which would help them in successfully consolidating their asset management landscape. Some of these important factors could be:
- Process Harmonization – Asset-intensive organizations deal with critical assets, where they even minor downtime are very expansive or a small accident can lead to environmental damage. Multiple plants or production units within these organizations typically have similar assets and asset-handling processes. However, the business units often use varying processes due to multi-country/region spread and multiple underlying IT applications. Process harmonization among these units can improve efficiency and reduce overall cost of operations. It enables each business unit to leverage the best practices followed by other plants and achieve greater enterprise collaboration.
- Data Migration - A sound data management and upgrade strategy is critical for successful consolidation. While transactional records have a limited life, a master record is relatively permanent and hence requires careful cleansing and migration. Since data needs to be collected from multiple applications or versions during migration, this exercise requires a methodical approach to preserve data integrity, such as:
- Health Check A thorough assessment of existing data for data completeness, duplication, standards, naming conventions, etc.
- Classification - The involvement of business users is necessary to define the new data structure. This includes levels of asset hierarchy, item-specification templates, etc.
- Transformation - Data must be cleansed and modified based on the previous assessment and classification recommendation.
- Data Loading - Only validated and cleansed data must be loaded into the new system.
Organizations need to be cautious while consolidating their data since inaccurate data can compromise the whole system and increase operational cost.
- Change Management - An effective change management strategy is a key determinant of a successful modernization implementation. Such a strategy focuses on the impact the implementation has on the end users of asset management systems. These users include field engineers, maintenance planners and schedulers who work on critical machines in often unfavorable situations. Pressed for time, the users may resist having to learn how the new system works and set tough user expectations. In such a scenario, it is important to develop a comprehensive change management strategy that involves the end users from the beginning. At the outset, implementation teams must identify key business users and engage the end users through them.
There are many more factors which you should be taken care of. The above mentioned are few of these most critical factors which can make a consolidation project fail, if not taken care of.
Praveen Agrawal is a Sr. Principal working with Infosys Limited. Praveen is a subject matter expert and recognized force in the industry in Asset Management - especially in Maximo - with knowledge levels spanning across functions and industries. Praveen anchors Maximo Center of Excellence for Infosys which is responsible for developing solutions, tools, accelerates, processes and methods. He also manages IBM relationship for all advanced technologies for Infosys' Energy, Utility, Communication and Services vertical. Read more