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The opportunity to come together to discuss, learn, connect and collaborate is essential in continuing the drive for greater understanding and practical usage of digital innovation in the asset management arena. This event, in particular, provided a platform for organisations to share not only the here and now, but also their vision of the near future. Over two days in Madrid, attendees had the opportunity to hear valuable insights from SAP; asset intensive organisations such as BP, Swiss Rail and Spirit Energy; OEMs including NETZCH and Endress + Hauser; and experts offering complementary software services and implementation methodologies.  
SAP experts introduced their new cloud-based intelligent asset management solution suite, which offers users a 360 degree view of their assets, facilitating greater collaboration, planning, prediction and simulation.  Workshops and ‘rapid-fire’ sessions from SAP’s team introduced SAP’s five cloud based offerings – Asset Intelligence Network,  Asset Strategy and Performance Management, Predictive Maintenance and Service,  Predictive Engineering Insights and Mobile Asset Management.  While SAP gave attendees extensive insight into the potential  of the Intelligent Asset Management suite, a lot  of the value of the event came from real life experiences provided  by the speakers and audience who shared an ‘on the ground’ view of SAP solutions in action. 



Practical Insights, Innovative Approaches

During the discussion sessions in Madrid,  the  inconsistency between maintenance strategy and maintenance execution emerged as a shared pain point among many companies because both are managed through different systems. SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management (SAP ASPM) is the new solution that allows to manage both within the same system.   

Swiss Rail presented a sophisticated overview of how they are utilising an intelligent mix of maintenance strategies to optimise customer comfort, asset availability and to reduce costs. They explained how they are reshaping asset management based on the Reliability Centred Maintenance methodology. Through the RCM decision tree and check lists embedded in SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management, appropriate maintenance strategies can be selected for different types of assets or functions. This, together with the implementation of SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service and SAP S/4HANA, has enabled their integration of maintenance strategy and execution. Furthermore, they were able to outline how SAP ASPM provides a better data structure and dashboard functionality, making it possible to manage  assets on multiple levels. Whatever maintenance methodology is adopted, success is very much dependent on the execution. Mobile solutions have the potential to significantly improve execution efficiency by providing real-time access to technical data and updates. Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH – the organisation in charge of Air Traffic Control in Germany - presented their process mobilisation journey, the highlight of which was  a live demo of the rugged tablets used   to manage their assets. With one simple scan, an object can be identified and relevant data for that object can be pulled out directly.  

Another insightful case study was presented by NETZSCH Pumpen & Systeme GmbH who outlined their business drivers for selecting SAP Asset Intelligent Network (SAP AIN) which connects assets users, OEMs and service providers, creating a collaborative platform for sharing asset status. SAP AIN is vividly described as ‘the Facebook of assets’, with OEMs posting updates or maintenance suggestions for their products and users being  notified instantly. It works the other way around too: asset users share their improvement requests or asset data and OEMs are notified instantly. Both sides benefit from such direct live data interaction.

Not so surprisingly, this event was also a fantastic networking opportunity where delegates from different companies were all open and eager to share experience with each other onsite. With the first hand information communicated during the conference, delegates left  with front line insights and inspiration  to facilitate their strategic decision making and the good feeling that they are a big step further on the journey to intelligent asset management.






Alice Zhang

Alice Zhang has spent 13 years in the heavy asset environment developing particular expertise in the fields of capex, turnaround management and maintenance. Joining T.A. Cook Consultants in 2014 and working in both Europe and Asia, her role as a Senior Consultant is to help clients structure their processes and co-ordinate activities to best effect. Currently, she is assisting a large site restructuring program and focusing on delivering optimized predictive and preventive routines to maximize reliability.