The Three Pillars of an Integrated Asset Management Platform
[Post 1 of 3; Provided by Critigen]
One of the most challenging tasks an organization faces is managing its assets. People in far reaches of the organization have vested interests along an asset’s life. From design, installation, financial accounting, maintenance, retirement, and replacement, it is not uncommon for many people, and systems, to have touched an asset throughout its life. But does everyone have the complete picture of an asset – its past, present, and future? Our experience has shown that the typical answer is no – often due to a lack of geospatial awareness of the asset throughout its life.
Spatial capabilities are no longer a nice to have when deploying an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. A lack of ERP-GIS integration results in silo-ed design and maintenance systems that struggle to communicate with one another. When information isn’t available to users in other parts of the organization, decision-making around assets gets complicated. Integrating systems paints a much clearer picture of where an asset has been and where it is going for all to see. Establishing this clearer picture brings efficiency, reliability, traceability (regulatory compliance), customer satisfaction, and financial gains to the entire organization. Systems with robust ERP-GIS integration create a common platform in which the asset can be tracked through its life.
Critigen has identified three areas where integrating ERP systems with GIS brings significant return on investment through improved insights, business process, and data optics: Back Office, Mobility, and Reporting/Analytics. Industry examples show how the costs associated with integrating systems can be recouped via financial and efficiency gains though time. The back office can streamline business processes by using geospatial tools and get valuable in-time insights from the field. Field staff has all of the tabular and geospatial information needed to complete work in a timely, safe, and efficient manner. Exploring asset trends through analytics heads off costly downtime by helping understand when and why failures occur and leads to a predictive maintenance program.
Focus on back office planning and operations is key to efficient management and accountability of financial and staff resources. Key stakeholders include asset managers, schedulers, and operations staff with asset subject matter expertise. In most organizations, the ERP system holds the lifecycle, maintenance, and financial information for an asset, while the geographic information system (GIS) owns the location, connectivity, and other “where based” attributes of the asset. Users of both ERP and GIS benefit from shared insights when data is integrated between systems. Demonstrating these benefits is a cornerstone of Critigen’s mission around asset management.
When integrating ERP and GIS systems, there are several considerations that must be addressed.
- Key is determining the system of record for all parts of an asset’s information – tabular and geometry.
- How do users view and interact with an asset’s information?
- How is work tracked against the asset throughout its life?
For organizations that use SAP™ for all or part of their ERP strategy, SAP™ GEO.e and Geographical Enablement Framework (GEF) bring improved optics to back office asset management. These technologies integrate geographical data and mapping into the SAP™ user experience. They allow GIS users to access data that was typically available only to the SAP™ user. There are also bespoke solutions that can bring value to the back office experience to bridge the gaps between the financial, locational, and maintenance aspects of asset management.
[Post 1 of 3; Provided by Critigen]