Simon & Natalia, June 24, 2020

Getting Started with SAP Intelligent Asset Management in 4 Steps

A better availability of assets, fewer maintenance interventions and lower costs: There is no doubt about SAP's new cloud solution Intelligent Asset Management (IAM), but how are you going to get started?

Getting Started with SAP Intelligent Asset Management

The modernization of asset management is high on the innovation agenda of every organization. However, the translation from theory to practice proves to be complex. All available techniques are still in early stages and a lack of practical experience makes it difficult to substantiate a plan of approach. As a consequence, ambitions are tempered by the resulting reluctance.

This creates opportunities. Whoever starts now, gets a head start. More so, IAM can be implemented in a very controlled manner. It does not replace existing solutions, but complements them. Therefore, the threshold is lower than it seems. 4 controlled steps ensure a smooth implementation.

Step 1: Integration

Intelligent Asset Management is not a process-oriented solution, but an analytical add-on to the existing maintenance management solution. IAM complements SAP or S/4HANA with new functionalities and can even be connected to a non-SAP environment. If necessary, IAM can make information on individual machines (manuals, user logs) centrally available.

Integration is necessary to take full advantage of IAM. Analyses are based on accurate and complete data, both of assets and data related to the executed maintenance. This requires a link to SAP or a legacy ERP system, preferably bi-directional. In order to implement this, your wish list needs to be established. What data is needed? What is available in the production environment? What do we want to see in IAM? And which factors in IAM should lead to actions in the core, or to the maintenance management software?

In short, make a plan and think carefully about your wishes.

Step 2: Asset Central Foundation

The most important step of the integration process is the establishment of the Asset Central Foundation (ACF). This environment supports the three aspects of IAM: Asset Network and Collaboration, Asset Strategy and Performance and Asset Health Prediction and Optimizations. ACF works with a unified data model. There is one valid data structure that can either be based on your own classification or the industry standard.

Working from the planning in step 1, the data of all assets are made available into ACF. Any integration with the ERP system is also linked to this layer. Setting up ACF requires strategic thinking about the data model. At this stage in the implementation, decisions are made about classes, models, equipment templates and other characteristics.

Step 3: Setting up IAM components

IAM consists of three components. Asset Strategy and Performance (ASPM) allows you to draw up risk and criticality analyses and apply them to assets. This information forms the basis of a maintenance strategy. The methodology used can be fully documented in the platform. This allows you to follow up and implement adjustments as insight progresses and to continuously optimize the maintenance strategies. Request your SAP ASPM demo here.

Asset Intelligence Network (AIN) serves as a central access point for sharing asset data between different parties. Suppliers can provide data, manuals and updates for individual machines in the form of a model from which equipment is created by the asset user. If the supplier makes changes to this model, for example to a manual, this will be applied for all equipment. This is supplemented with logbooks and usage data. From AIN, the supplier and the maintenance responsible work together and share data with each other. The manufacturer receives usage data from customers and uses this to improve its products. The customer receives the latest up-to-date information on purchased products at all times and has a basis for creating equipment in IAM.

Within Asset Health Prediction and Optimizations, formerly known as Predictive Maintenance & Service, data from sensors and other IoT sources comes together. The environment provides standard links to a variety of data sources. With this data, faults can be predicted and intervention can take place before any can occur. This enables the evolution to a predictive maintenance model, for example with machine learning. In addition to IoT data, this component also includes support for projecting sensor data in real-time on 3D models. This makes it possible to, show the actual load impact on a bridge in real time on a screen for example.

Read more about the SAP Intelligent Asset Management Portfolio or download the SAP Whitepaper about it.

Step 4: Asset Manager 

For the Asset Manager, all data comes together in one application. It is only available on mobile devices. Asset Manager uses the data from IAM and the processes from S/4 and displays it in a clear app that is available on both Android and iOS. This makes it possible to work uniformly on different devices. The mobile app can be used more widely in the organization. This allows field technicians to work with the app as well. It fully supports them with information and functionalities to register activities, after which they can be included in the IAM strategy.

Better support decisions with SAP Intelligent Asset Management

In short, your journey with IAM starts with determining the components for the IAM suite that are of great added value for your organization. Then, we identify which objects need to be integrated with IAM, both assets and process-oriented objects (e.g. orders or notifications). This will be the basis for setting up central steering within Asset Central Foundation. The three components can then be set up as you see fit. All data management ultimately comes together in a single app that in turn feeds the system with more information.

Complete transformation to digital asset management provides a basis for more substantiated decisions, reduction of costs and increased uptime. SAP IAM makes it possible to respond to this quickly. By opting for integration, IAM can be connected to the (SAP) maintenance management system so that it becomes one coherent system. As it is a stand-alone system, it can also be implemented outside the regular ERP upgrade cycle.

Want to know more?

The ambition to switch from preventive to predictive maintenance is high in many organizations. An unfamiliarity with the possibilities of IAM slows down the implementation process. We closely follow up IAM developments and have specialized consultants in this domain. Looking for more information? We are happy to help you to start your journey. 

Read more about digital asset management:

Download whitepaper SAP Intelligent Asset Management