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Michael Jordan from Utopia Inc. and myself will be presenting on "Governing Structured and Unstructured Data for Asset Master Data" at this years International SAP Conference for Oil and Gas taking place in Berlin from 14-16 April 2015. Our presentation slot is scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday 14 April 2015.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) master data is rated as one of the topics of highest concern if not the highest by our customers. In the EAM domain there are a large number of often complex master data objects adding to the scope of the challenge. EAM master data is mainly in the SAP Plant Maintenance (SAP PM) module but also extends to Bills of Materials (BOM's), Work Centers etc.

In 2010 the analyst group ARC published a series of 3 white papers on Asset Information Management. In part one, ARC estimated that "poor asset information costs organizations 1.5% of sales revenue".

Master data issues can be due to a number of reasons; some examples below:

  • During the project to build a new asset e.g. oil refinery, oil platform etc. master data is not the focus of the project team and the provision of information on the plant being built is often left to the last minute or there is little or no budget for this exercise. However, this leads to major problems down the road, during the operate and maintain phase. For example: missing spare parts information leads to someone having to pore over operating manuals or drawings to find the missing information. One customer recently told us that often they had to get the support of experienced technicians on the refinery site to support them find the information, so taking them out of what they are meant to be doing - maintaining the plant!

  • Once handed over to the operator there a number of situations which leads to asset information issues; here are a few examples:
    • Some companies allow everyone or a large number of users to create and change master data in the system (SAP PM). This leads to inconsistent numbering systems and naming conventions. One of our customers had more than 10 ways to name a compressor.
    • Minor plant changes that are not kept up to date in the system, over time, leads to missing or inaccurate information that is not reliable. One of our customers had teams of contractors doing "plant walkdowns" to verify what they physically had in the field versus what they had in their system and vice versa.
    • Shutdowns, Turnarounds, De-bottlenecking and Campaigns often lead to large number of maintenance and modification tasks. Effective capture of "as built" information is essential to the ongoing accuracy of the plant system of record.

SAP in collaboration with our partner Utopia, has greatly simplified the challenge of asset master data management in SAP EAM by adding a suite of pre-configured master data governance (MDG) data objects for enterprise asset management. These objects are built on the SAP Master Data Governance platform. The enterprise asset management extension includes pre-configured data structures, industry templates, best practices, workflows and user interfaces for EAM data objects. The first release covers the functional location and equipment master, with a comprehensive roadmap planned to add MRO bills of material (BOM), work centers, task lists, maintenance plans, measuring points, production resources, and object links. The diagram below shows the typical process flow of master data change or creation with MDG.

If you are interested in digging deeper, you can find more information using the following links:

A complementary solution to MDG is our Rapid Deployment for Asset Data Quality. This solution is a "passive" approach to data governance where business rules highlight data issues (example of the scorecard below) which can then be remedied via a change request using MDG or directly in SAP PM. In this solution we have shipped 55 pre-configured business rules on EAM data quality, based on customer input. The solution uses SAP Information Steward and SAP Data Services products.

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