Simplification of processes and cost-saving potentials for a streamlined maintenance
A functioning Maintenance Management is important to prevent system breakdowns and to avoid a production stop, which can cause high costs. In this respect, it is not only the technical steps of inspection, maintenance, repair and improvement that are important but also administrative aspects such as the planning, evaluation and feedback. These process chains are often lengthy and time-consuming because malfunction rectification is done by email, phone or on call. Furthermore, it is common for relevant data records to be missing, which are needed when processing the malfunction on site, since the documentation is paper-based. The solution: Mobile Maintenance Management with SAP!
The standard SAP PM (Plant Maintenance) is a module that manages all maintenance-related activities. It covers all areas, from inspection to repair and to maintenance, and offers tools to support all activities related to maintenance. For this purpose, it is closely intertwined with other SAP modules such as Material Management or Production Control. With the launch of SAP S/4HANA, the new SAP EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) module was introduced which includes additional features such as real-time analyses or remote monitoring of machines. And yet, this module is designed for stationary use on a PC.
For an efficient handling of the repair processes, Flexus has implemented the Maintenance Management solution which, by using new technologies like SAP Fiori, can be used digitally and stationary but also on the go. Working directly on site, advanced planning and reporting is supported. Required for this is the Customizing and setup of SAP PM or EAM in your existing SAP system and the introduction of appropriate mobile hardware. With the add-on solution, the SAP standards are optimized and configured on the devices as shown below.
Efficient notification management
If a malfunction occurs at a plant, this is usually communicated by the responsible employee on call and then manually created in the system in the SAP PM/EAM standard. With the Flexus maintenance solution, it is possible to submit malfunctions, times, and plant statuses directly on site using an app, ticket system, or SharePoint, and to post them in the SAP system. This eliminates paper-based processes and the necessity of a stationary work center and enables the maintenance officer to process and prioritize the notifications directly. Additionally, there is the option to have the machines create orders automatically through the alerting system once they run into malfunction.
Coordinate orders effectively
Without Mobile Maintenance Management, incoming notifications are sorted manually and printed orders are assigned to employees. With mobile solutions in place, all notifications can be selected according to various criteria and, if necessary, bundled and assigned as one order via Drag&Drop in the Maintenance Cockpit in SAP. The responsible employees always have access to all the data and functions required to carry out all service activities. With the ability to capture documents or images such as manuals or damage photos, employees instantly know which problems need to be fixed and are also able to document work progress and solutions.
Just-in-time confirmation and posting
Once the malfunction has been resolved, the times are entered later on in the standard SAP PM/EAM system and manually written notes are scanned and uploaded to the SAP system. Material removal is also noted manually first and then posted on the PC. With the mobile maintenance solution in place, all activities such as work and travel times as well as material consumption are confirmed directly on site. With the order app, it is also possible to schedule the removal of goods based on preliminary planning. Furthermore, mobile work reports can be submitted with signatures and automatically sent by email. The confirmation is therefore posted directly in SAP and assigned to the appropriate order.
In standard SAP PM/EAM, the evaluation of the processes takes place via Excel export. In Mobile Maintenance Management, the documentation of all work steps and materials is done digitally. The user-friendly dashboard visualizes all important key figures in real time, and the live status with 2D dashboard based on the 2D plant map can be displayed additionally. The master data management – equipments, inventories and customers, for example – can also be accessed conveniently by using mobile devices.
Take action rather than being reactive: advantages of mobile maintenance management
Flexus Maintenance Management is integrated seamlessly and quickly into the existing SAP ERP landscape, enabling fast rollouts without complex infrastructure. Any type of device can be integrated because the maintenance processes are mapped with the add-ons independently of devices. The apps can be used out of the box and can be customized to meet specific customer requirements.
With the guided process support via the Flexus Dashboard, you can plan proactively, reduce downtimes and increase productivity. The quality of technical data will improve automatically due to the increased transparency provided by monitoring and administration.
Continuous data flows also accelerate processes ranging from the creation of the maintenance order to data evaluation which enables you to complete pending work more quickly. With mobile time, material and idle time tracking in real time, the controlling runs automatically in the background and this saves you more costs.
The intuitive user interfaces, optimized for smartphones and tablets, support the process from the planning to notification and troubleshooting on the move and online directly in the SAP system.
Mobile devices eliminate the need for paper-based manual documentation. This, in turn, improves the readability of the collected data. This helps to avoid from the outset a significant number of errors and duplicate data storage that typically results from paper-based and subsequent manual data entry processes. Additionally, a high level of process reliability is achieved through Auto-ID-based identification using barcodes or RFID. The SAP Fiori-based technology additionally features camera support for capturing damages, documents and signatures.
Worthwhile use of mobile maintenance management
Deploying the Flexus maintenance solution therefore means that processes can be handled in the right sequence with as little lost time as possible. Mobile Maintenance supports both the handling of non-scheduled repairs and the efficient execution of regular maintenance and inspection activities. Through optimization of plant output, performance is increased and significantly lower maintenance costs are incurred. The comprehensive functionality, ease of use, seamless integration with SAP, as well as the high-performance and cost-optimized connection to SAP® are the main features of the solution by Flexus.
Author – Philipp Jäckle
SAP Sales Manager
In the course of his work at Flexus, he is responsible for sales activities in the fields of mobile solutions within intralogistics, as well as the comprehensive maintenance solution by Flexus. Together with customers, he develops ideal and individual solutions that lead to a more efficient process.