2016’s Mastering Enterprise Asset Management with SAP

Almost a month has passed since this year’s Mastering EAM event in Johannesburg. Despite challenging economic times, the event was well attended, which shows that the need to learn and network can surpass the need to tighten our belts. As always The Eventful Group put on an awesome show, and as always, I am inspired by the experience to blog about what I took away from the conference.
Steven Freemantle | Jun 22, 2016

I wanted to write about a key theme that popped up several times as I was chatting to various delegates, and that was, the very evident disconnect between strategy and tactical execution.  It seems that we are very good at coming up with strategies, but are very bad at executing them.

It is my view that this is not a new theme, but given the recent spate of retrenchments and restructuring experienced by many organisations at the conference, this disconnect becomes even more evident, since inexperienced people are thrust into new or different positions where they quickly overloaded, unaware of SAP tools they should use to effectively do 2 or 3 people’s jobs.

I have written blogs in the past, where I refer to the fact that if you own SAP, any organisational change can be better entrenched if you use systems to answer the following questions:

  1. Do my people have the capability to fulfil their functions?
  2. Do my people have the capacity to fulfil their functions?
  3. Do my people care enough to fulfil their functions?
  4. Is there someone upstream or downstream of my people who does not care, or does not have the capability or capacity to do what is expected?
  5. If I am not happy with the answers to these questions, how do I fix the problem?

At this year’s EAM conference I also spoke about how you address these questions, and it is my view that if you have been live on SAP for more than six months, you can easily answer them with fact, not opinion only.  You will need these facts to make sure you remedies you implement bring about the desired outcome.  Too many companies I engage have too many opinions and not enough fact.

Intrinsic to the solutions I spoke of is the premise that time for traditional training and change management is done. Balloons, banners, desk drops, happy-sheet surveys and click-here-click-there training do not ingrain change.  These activities may have been a necessary to introduce the change, but six months on, you need to be using information from SAP to give you insights into the five questions mentioned above.


Click to enlarge

There are many standard reports that will give you the information you need, but the departure point is exception monitoring – your existing SAP tools that will tell you whether the required tactical execution is or is not happening.  This schematic representation shows how two of SAP toolsets, namely work order monitoring and supply chain exception monitoring, hang together to make sure that the tactical execution of EAM strategies happens (or will happen) on a day-to-day basis.  Armed with this information you can begin further education, training and change management interventions (we call it Business Maturity Optimisation) to cement the changes brought about by organisational restructuring and staff rationalisation. Not the cookie-cutter kind of intervention you are used too, but that kind that satisfy the uniqueness of your people, and will equip them to meet your organisation’s strategic intent, in an extremely cost sensitive world.

Analysts state that there will be little respite from cost sensitivity some time to come.  It is now, more than ever before, that you need to start using what you already own.  This will require a dramatic change in your SAP Culture, and dramatically different kinds of change interventions.

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