Capital-intensive firms (i.e. with lots of assets in different stages of their life cycle) using SAP for enterprise resource planning (ERP) understandably will consider the use of SAP Plant Maintenance (SAP PM) for enterprise asset management (EAM). However, an ERP solution may not be sufficient to manage infrastructure in capital-intensive industries where maximizing the useful life of the various assets, while minimizing operational risks associated with them, are key priorities.
In these environments, IBM MAXIMO software provides a vision focused on asset management (EAM) rather than based on resource planning (ERP) such as SAP PM.
Built for EAM from scratch
Maximo EAM software is an application built specifically for this purpose from the beginning, instead of SAP, which is a financial application that also has asset management capabilities. This is the reason why Maximo software enables users to focus on business processes related to assets and operational control, rather than in financial and accounting requirements. As an application focused on asset management, Maximo can serve as a unified platform for managing all critical assets that organizations rely on to run their activities, including production equipment, facilities, infrastructure, transport and IT assets hardware/software. Maximo also supports advanced asset management activities, such as predictive maintenance, reliability-centered maintenance and condition-based maintenance.
Maximo Software features include capabilities for assets, labor and inventory management, combined with service management functionality. It keeps track of the asset data, including attributes, repair history, etc., as well as spare parts lists associated with interactive drawings of parts and components presented visually. It has advanced management capabilities, work order flow and automated scaling functions, and many predefined workflows to accelerate implementation. No programming is required in order to configure workflows.
Maximo customers in asset intensive industries can take advantage of industry-specific solutions to meet the unique challenges of asset management. A company can execute multiple industry solutions for different business areas in a single Maximo instance.
IBM Maximo software specializes in meeting the unique needs of capital-intensive industries such as oil and gas, petrochemical, manufacturing, power generation and supply of energy, telecommunications and transport. IBM Maximo solutions for these industries offer rich management capabilities, with improvements that align with the specific industry on issues such as security, reliability and regulatory compliance.
Other specific advantages of IBM Maximo solution include:
Lower implementation effort, costs and risks.
Reduced training costs and better functionality to encourage adoption by users.
A flexible architecture that aligns with changing business processes.
Skills for IT convergence and operating assets on a single platform.
Minimizing costs and risks of implementation and upgrades.
Maximo is built on a flexible architecture that enables standards-based rapid initial deployment, ease of setup, and smooth migration to future versions. Initial investments are minimized because IBM offers software for integration with SAP ERP.
The implementation of Maximo software can save time and money over using SAP PM, which may require the purchase of new licenses for additional asset management users when the PM module is implemented. In addition, due to the high degree of interdependence between SAP modules, using the PM module may require configuration changes to other business critical modules, such as Purchasing, Inventory and General Ledger. This can introduce risks to the supply chain across the enterprise requiring tests on all affected modules in SAP.
Once implemented, Maximo software can be updated at any time, in line with the operational requirements of the business, independent of any ERP application. SAP PM, however, requires that all modules remain in the same version. Even with simplified new updates, the effects of these changes across the SAP landscape are not easy to determine. This can be especially problematic for companies in asset-intensive industries that may want to take advantage of new features in future versions of EAM functionality. This may require a long and complex process of renovation, putting operational objectives at the mercy of corporate IT strategy and jeopardize the ability of the organization to take advantage of advances in asset management.
Since Maximo software is not required to conform to a particular process model, it enables companies to freely innovate on competitive differentiations. There is no highly centralized focus, focused on finance that can prevent operational departments achieve continuous improvement in their own asset management practices. Instead, Maximo’s flexible workflow capabilities and business processes setup are explicitly designed to support the post-deployment changes in favor of new regulatory requirements and new requirements from users and customers. IBM Maximo is tailored to the needs of the company, rather than force the company to adapt to the EAM application.
While both, SAP PM and Maximo, support basic maintenance based on time or usage, Maximo supports advanced maintenance practices that are crucial in capital-intensive industries. Maximo is designed to enhance reliability centered maintenance (RCM), predictive maintenance, and financially optimized maintenance processes. Companies using SAP PM may require additional third-party solutions to harness these processes.
Providing an ideal platform for the convergence of assets.
An emerging market force that is shaping the future of EAM is asset convergence, driven by the increasingly sophistication of operating assets that include hardware and software. Operative equipment – either on a plant floor, a power plant or integrated into the infrastructure – are increasingly dependent on IT for their operation and maintenance. Assets are increasingly connected to computer networks for remote administration purposes and monitoring.
More and more operating assets, including production, transportation and facilities assets, have incorporated performance-enhancing components.
Plant floor devices increasingly incorporate operating software and production applications, and are connected to IT infrastructure through IP addresses. These assets usually have built-in monitoring systems for remote management, active RFID, microprocessors, firmware, storage devices, etc.
Fleets include onboard monitors as Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
Building automation for environmental control, security and infrastructure management, increasingly use hardware, software and networks.
As organizations work to adapt to changing business needs moving toward benchmark standards in the industry, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web Services, Maximo provides standards and asset management services intensive capital companies require. Maximo combines the best asset management processes in its class, which allow companies to address the convergence of IT and operational assets, clearly defining the expectations of asset performance, establishing service level agreements (SLAs), meeting the specific requirements of the industry, and establishing automatic response plans for proactive management of assets. This level of integrated functionality is built into a solution that was born as EAM, rather than a component of a financial tool.
Based on a TEC article.
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