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This document talks about the details of integration between SAP Plant Maintenance and GIS (any product by ESRI). The following details are covered in this topic

- Introduction

- Use of GIS system at a Utility

- Use of SAP ERP system at Utility

- SAP EAM Compatible Unit Solution

- Interface between sap gis system

- Business benefits of Integrating two systems 


In  recent years businesses have been striving to optimize their processes andimprove efficiency by using highly integrated ERP systems like SAP for work management/financial management and GIS for map based information management.   Many advances have been observed in both fields; however the integrationbetween these two systems is highly complex. This results in lost opportunities
to leverage spatial analysis capabilities of GIS and highly integrated business management tools of ERP systems such as SAP. This paper discusses theindividual capabilities of each system and the integration approach of SAP ERP
system with GIS. The paper discusses the benefits gained from SAP/GIS  integration and highlights the major integration aspects involved in theseprocesses. We will also consider the technical approach used for interfacing the two systems. This paper will focus mainly on integration between SAP andAsset Management/Work Management (Plant Maintenance).

The following industries mainly make use of GIS systems:

  • Utilities – Water, Electric, Gas, Waste &
  • Energy – oil and gas production
  • Public Sector entities (like cities and
    states) also make extensive use of GIS systems

This paper focuses on the unique principles of a utility company but the principles would remain the same for other businesses.

The following are the main touch points between SAP and GIS from Utility perspective:

Asset Integration:

This is mainly used in the Utility and Construction Industry. The assets/equipments could be created in SAP and sent back to GIS.

The example of the above would be that a Utility pole could be created in SAP and then automatically represented in GIS. The GIS
users can directly view the ERP data of that pole in the GIS system.

Routing/Network Tracing:

This feature is mainly used by Service Providers:  Routing & Logistics industry, Utilities,Oil and Gas production etc.The ability to identify assets closest to addressinfo provided by caller – then be able to trace the network to see the flow of  the commodity (water, gas etc) and identify other customers that may bepotentially affected – e.g. nearest main and other addresses connected to thatmain

Design and Estimating:

The designs can be used in construction and Utility industry.The following are the main SAP touch points during integration:

  • Plant Maintenance – Equipment Master,
    Functional Location, Compatible Units, CU Design, Work Orders
  • Supply Chain – Material Master, Compatible
  • Finance – Reconciliation (Indirect relation)

GIS in Utility Industry:

In the Utilities Industry, GIS is used for real time management of utilityinfrastructure and operations. It is a tool for map-based information
management, utility outages, creation of new assets (new construction jobs),field staking, inspection etc. In the Utilities industry, mapping and geographyare instrumental elements in most decision making processes. All of theprocesses around new infrastructure and outage management are driven by themaps. GIS brings together graphical representation of natural objects (e.g.trees, houses, wells, roads, etc), with attributes of these objects as well astools to manage the behavior of the map objects. This combination allows GIS togo far beyond the management of “background” mapping as it provides truepositional awareness in support of conducting analysis across multiple sources of information.

Whenit comes to integrating the GIS system with SAP, the following are the mainchallenges

  • Asset Identification and linking
  • Assembly units (basically the labor costs for Installs, Removals and material cost) in
    GIS used for new designs
  • New Asset creation and keeping the infrastructure for both systems in sync
  • Outage Management

The two main functions we are going to consider here in GIS system are

1. New Construction

2. Map updates

The main use of the GIS is for new construction jobs, i.e. staking the new job andbuilding new lines. The second important function is keeping the map in sync with the actual equipment out in the field.

Let us see the two different functions now, and the way they are performed in GISsystem

For the new construction jobs, GIS needs information for the labor and material for.the various actions they perform such as Install/Removals for the constructionThis information is maintained in terms of assembly units. Theinformation of assembly units is shipped from the enterprise application systemsuch as JDE, Maximo, SAP, etc.

New Construction jobs

The typical construction job is done,from take off pole location. The lines are constructed based on the pole locations above. Once the job is drawn with required assembly units, the system gives anassembly units listing along with the cost estimate report.

The second important function from GIS is to represent the structure or network of the installed equipment. The equipment is displayed
and managed on maps. The way the functionality is managed is referred as “MapEdit sessions” in GIS.

Use of SAP system at Utility:

SAP PlantMaintenance is one of the basic modules implemented by Utilities. The workmanagement functionality of master data management (Equipments and Functional location), Notification, Work Order management and Compatible units is used by a Utility

SAP implementations  increase the ability to make clear business decisions and eliminating processbottlenecks in the Utility industry.

Work Management – Helps organizations manage their assets more efficiently. It keeps the track of preventive and maintenance history and thus helps in decision making process around scrapping of an asset. In conjunction with Project system module it also helps to manage the complex projects using WBS, Compatible unitsetc.

SAP EAM Compatible Unit Solution:

The enterprise asset management module (under corporate services) helps in predictivemaintenance, maintenance cost budgeting, maintenance execution, and work-clearance management.

The Compatible Unit solution within SAP EAM helps mainly with construction work andacts as a tool for creating and maintaining equipment master data. Thisfunctionality resembles to GIS in that certain attributes of the equipmentmaster are maintained in both EAM as well as GIS.

Introduction to Compatible Unit Functionality:

  • Predefined standard design templates containing Materials, Labor, 
  • Resources and Tools required to completestandard Work Orders 
  • Example: Install,Remove, Transfer 40 feet pole.
  • New Service Installation.
  • CUs helps designers and engineers to more quickly and efficiently and estimate work to be performed
  • CUs are predominantly used by Utilities, but not exclusively

The overall design process in SAP is described below

CU Library:

See the attached document for image

The CU master  data carries the task list, classification andreference object type information.

CU Design:

See the image in attached for CU Design

CU design with different Compatible units and associated CU actions

Cost on CU Design:

See the image in attached document.

The cost estimation/reporting on CU design.

CU Work Order from Design:

Work Order created from CU design for execution of work (See the image for detailed CU process)

Equipment Master in SAP:

Equipment Master Data maintained in SAP

Classification data is maintained on Equipment

Interface Between SAP – GIS system:

The following Interfaces are typical between SAP EAM and GIS:

See the attached document for details

  • Outbound interface to send CU master data from SAP to UC (what’s UC??)
  • Outbound interface to send the equipment master data to UC
  • Inbound interface to create CU design from UC in SAP and update the same
  • Inbound interface to send the ‘AS BUILTS’from UC job to the SAP work order
  • Inbound interface to send equipment updates (change in characters or feeder) to SAP
  • One more Interface was set up with OMS system to create notifications on affected pieces of Equipment

Important Facts and Consideration for above interfaces:

Interface between SAP and GIS to maintain master data of Compatible Units – Outbound

  • This is an outbound interface sending out the data of the Compatible units from SAPto GIS system. The CUs will be required in GIS for new construction job
  • The important fields to be sent to GIS from SAP

       1.Compatible Unit id
       2. Cost associated with each CU. The major costs are labor cost on Install andremovals of Compatible unit for a job. This will also
           include the material cost.

Main considerations:

In order to synch the two systems it is recommended to maintain the same namingconvention for the Compatible Unit in both systems.

Interface between GIS and SAP to send the Compatible Unit design from SAP – Inbound

  • This is the most critical interface in the whole set up. This interface sends thenew design created in GIS to SAP.
  • As shown above in the screen shots, the GIS system creates new construction job (see image)basically on a feeder. The location 1 shown above is the take off polelocation, where the new construction begins. Each location on the feeder isdenoted by separate locations (location 2, location 3 etc) where the differentCompatible units are installed to complete the job.
  • Important fields to be sent from GIS to SAP

       1.Compatible Unit id
       2.   Quantity
       3.   CU Action
       4.   VCU (Locations)

       5.   Pri key id (the physical location or  X,Ycoordinates on GIS side)

       6.   Equipment Id (in case of existing equipments, equipment id will be maintained on GIS sidefrom SAP)

Main Considerations:

  • The CU Action and CU ids are important. The location (take off pole position –feeder id) i.e. the functional location in SAP is important for automaticcreation of new equipments (once the order is created)
  • The most important thing to take into consideration is that the functional locationhierarchy in SAP should not replicate the geographical locations on GIS side;otherwise it will become a nightmare to maintain two systems in synch. Thefunctional location on SAP side can be based on intelligent grouping ofEquipments, based on object types like Poles, Transformers etc. The feeder id
    can be maintained as a character on Equipment side, to identify the feeder/functional location on SAP.
  • The pri key id will act as a common identifier when the Equipment is created.

Interface between SAP and GIS to maintain technical object master data in synch – Outbound

  • Thisinterface will send the Equipment ids created from new construction job back toUC. The pri key id acts as a unique identifier between the two systems andplugs the unique Equipment id on GIS side.

Main Considerations:

  • As mentioned above the structure of functional location and equipment is veryimportant. The proposed structure will rely on GIS to
    update SAP with any permanent circuit changes. This will ensure that thefunctional location structure always remains accurate while still reflectingthe dynamic nature of the circuit network. This can be achieved by updating theindividual equipment’s distribution feeder number that will be stored as acharacteristic with the circuit change. Temporary circuit changes, such asseasonal load adjustment will not be reflected in SAP, since these are not permanent as-built changes to the network
  • The end-state structure
    should be Substation and Distribution Feeder driven. This will allow cost roll-up at the circuit level for
    better reliability investment decisions, as well as,
    providing better performance analysis.
  • The above will make sure that both systems are in synch. The Equipment id has to be maintained on the GIS side.

Interface between GIS and SAP to maintain technical object master data in synch – Inbound (Mapcorrections in GIS) 

  • This is an inbound interface. Map corrections/circuit changes always happen in GIS.It is required to maintain the structure in two systems in synch. Thisinterface basically sends the theme layer (object type of Equipment in SAP) and
    the associated attributes like pole height, class or the rating of thetransformer.

Main Considerations:

  • The main consideration is minimizing the attributes in SAP and GIS system. All theattributes in GIS system are not always required in SAP. Also the data comingfrom GIS should be classified as a new construction or a map correction job. This
    is important as in map corrections there will be no need of creating new equipments.

Benefits of integrating two systems:

  • Some Important benefits are as follows:

    • Increase asset data integrity
    • Effective financial reporting and meeting regulatory requirements
    • Increase end-user productivit
    • Increase work order manageability and reporting
    • Capitalize on information input into one system utilized in both with efficiency
    • Supply chain integration with work management

Increase Asset Data integrity

                - SAP and GIS databases reflect same data

                - Equipment number tracked in GIS
                - Eliminate lost, duplicate and obsoleteasset data

                 -Support reliable reporting and decisionmaking 

                - Proper tracking of refurbished equipment

Effective financial reporting and meeting regulatory requirements

                 - Automatic Financial reconciliation basedon the data from GIS

                 - Segregate the Capital and Operationexpenses on same job

                 - Effective Compliance to FederalReporting – FERC and other reporting requirements 

                 - Automated settlement to correct Asset

                 - Ability to capitalize (settle) workorder costs by expense type (labor, material, overhead etc). CAPEX and
                   OPEX distinguished

                 - Automation of  periodic asset transactions like assetunitizations, Cost of removal, retirements and other adjustment postings

Increase End User productivity:

                - Find SAP asset data (equipment)instantly from the map

                -View equipment details on the map

                - Create/update SAP assets from themap

                - Dynamically link map features toSAP assets in realtime

                - Doing job once in GIS and updatethem in SAP through interface

                - Submit ASBU (As Built) in GIS and update SAPwork order through interface

Increase work order manageability and reporting:

                - Automated process of creatingdesign in SAP

                - Multiple designs can be createdfor same job

                - Same jobs tied with ConstructionMeasure

                - ASBU (As Built updated) updatedon Work Order

Supply Chain integration with work management:

               - Compatible Units provide forstandardized planned and actual materials and costs on the work ord

               - Planning materials on work orders createsreservations in the warehouse which gives storekeepers  visibiltyto upcoming need

              - Scheduling of the work order materialsallows the Material Requirements Planning (MRP) portion of SAP to automate
                 replenishment of warehouse inventory

Learn more about this subject and more by registering for the SAP Utilities Forum North America in Huntington Beach, California, September 15-17th