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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert


In a recent webinar Iago Accioli, Project Manager Assets at Roche discussed how pharmaceutical company Roche has been improving its asset management and maintenance processes from a broader supply chain perspective.

Roche is one of the world’s largest biotech companies, a leading provider of in-vitro diagnostics and a global supplier of transformative innovative solutions across major disease areas.

Cost as a Main Driver for Asset-Intensive Organizations
“As a pharmaceutical company Roche was founded more than 100 years ago in Basel, Switzerland, with both pharma and diagnostics divisions. We are in the middle of a SAP S/4HANA journey with the goal to harmonize business processes on all sites and divisions around the world”, said Iago.

To manage assets under volatile conditions effectively, just like other asset intensive organizations Roche focuses on reducing maintenance cost and increase asset reliability that are key to its customers and patients.

The challenge is “the handover from original manufacturer to engineering to maintenance and how to interact with each other and we resolve this with these business process harmonization initiatives,” explained Iago.

Risk-Resilience as an Investment for the Future
SAP is suggesting three strategies help companies manage their business holistically including cost, speed, profit, customer service, and risk:

  • Connecting Supply Chains to the entire business that information insight flows go quickly from operations to manufacturing, design and into the business to respond to disruptions

  • Contextualizing information during the work process – to equip users with technology to get real-time insights and make decisions during the business process to increase impact

  • Collaborating externally with suppliers, asset operators, OEM’s, logistics providers to ensure that information is flowing beyond the internal network to set up a risk-resilient business whilst mitigating risk

Closing the Loop between Strategy and Execution
Managing costs and increasing equipment reliability is a major factor and closing the loop between asset strategy and maintenance execution a big opportunity, i.e., to make assets more reliable and connect to maintenance execution considering different asset type

“5-10 years ago reliability engineering became a shining topic at Roche, and we discussed where to start, how much we spend on maintenance, what our most important assets were, and where we should spend more energy and money on. We standardized processes to classify our equipment into different asset criticalities – high, medium, and low - and based on each category we established a maintenance strategy,” explained Iago.

“Afterwards we looked for a tool that would best suit Roche given the amount of data. Now we have an asset and maintenance strategy in place and reflected in our system. In 2019 we started harmonizing our processes and were pleased that SAP solutions could support us”.

In particular:

  • SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management (SAP ASPM) to help with criticality evaluations directly in SAP instead of spreadsheets with criticality results reflected in the system, the maintenance strategy results in preventive maintenance plans.
    “Roche is in the middle of the journey, no sites are live yet,” said Iago.
    Roche is also enabling access to its service providers to get design insights and improve collaboration.

  • SAP Asset Manager, with the maintenance strategy, maintenance plans and work orders made accessible to maintenance technicians so that they can make instant material reservations and get access to maintenance manuals on mobile devices.

Iago added “I expect a significant decrease of maintenance execution as we can plan our work better also thanks to a mobile-supported solution. The experience with the solution is quite good”.

Roche was already using SAP at different sites with their own work order types and a data model but not automated and connected.

“We also intend to migrate to SAP Asset Performance Management (SAP APM), a successor cloud-based solution, where Roche’s enhancement ideas have been incorporated,” explained the manager.

Connected Asset Data Help Contextualize Business Decisions
For contextualizing every business process through the eyes of maintenance it is necessary to converge enterprise IT data with equipment and sensor data to run analyses based on algorithms and machine learning technology. Iago explained: “Being able to schedule maintenance activities is a substantial improvement for maintenance organizations. To monitor both targets and results we are using SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) which has many good capabilities.  We are developing maintenance KPIs with the insights we get from AI and rolling these back into the asset strategy and reliability process. These are particularly good tools.”

Effective Collaboration across the Ecosystem to build a Collaborative Supply Chain  
“For Roche, sharing information and effective collaboration with asset providers and across our ecosystem is particularly important. Vendors and different equipment suppliers must exchange and collaborate on asset data, operators and service providers should be able to use the network but also manage the work order process," said Iago.

In summarizing, Iago said the key benefits for SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management and SAP Asset Manager he sees are

SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management:

  • Define which maintenance strategy applies to which classification of equipment

  • Maintain assessments in the system and

  • Generate criticality based on them

  • Reflect reliability-centered maintenance in the system including decision trees and supportive templates

SAP Asset Manager:

  • Digitized, automated paperless solution

  • Ability to work offline

  • Have all maintenance data at hand in one place

Click here to listen to the recording. In addition, learn in an overview video how to maximize asset health and performance with SAP Intelligent Asset Management solutions. Click here to read what benefits other enterprises achieved. If you would like to know more about the role of service and asset management in your industry, download this complimentary paper from IDC.