CASE STUDY

SAP Finance Software Integration with Maintenance Connection CMMS

A major gas supplier client wanted to take advantage of the ease of use and efficiency of the Maintenance Connection Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software, particularly the inventory and procurement functionality. They wanted to incorporate their SAP Finance Management system into their daily maintenance management workflow.

Project Scope

  • All requisitions, purchase orders and purchase order approvals are created and managed in SAP.
  • SAP will manage the vendor list and be the primary source of vendor data.
  • All purchase orders and vendor information will be sent from SAP to Maintenance Connection (MC). Firstly, synchronising the vendor list in MC and then adding all purchase order information to the MC’s purchasing module.
  • MC will manage the parts/stock in the inventory module and be the primary source of inventory data.
  • MC will manage all inventory transactions of on-hand levels of stock and day-to-day usage.
  • All inventory items and transactions will be sent to SAP. The inventory list will be synchronised in SAP from the MC list, followed by all inventory transactions.
  • All purchase orders are received in MC. Then all purchase order receipting transaction data is sent to SAP.
  • Two log files will be created for all transactions for each system – separately on completion and during the routines.
  • Any errors or issues found during the routines will be recorded in the corresponding log files, along with an email notification and the log file being sent to the designated recipient.

SAP Finance and MC CMMS Integration Table

SAP and Maintenance Connection CMMS Integration Table

Data Management Challenges

Before the integration, the Maintenance and Operations departments were utilising the Maintenance Connection (MC) system effectively for stock control and management.

Stock control between SAP and CMMS

The client had implemented SAP for finance management, and Maintenance Connection for all maintenance management and stock control activities at the gas storage facility and regional warehouses.

This required Maintenance and Operation teams to provide Finance with all inventory stock transaction data such as cost, issues and returns, on-hand levels, usage, and stock received from purchasing (raised via SAP system).

Double handling and inefficiency

Double handling and inefficiency were a major problem in this instant, with non-productive time spent by all parties being an area of concern.

Utilising some of the MC functionality managed to reduce this non-productive time by automating specific reports, which would be sent daily to Finance, and other relevant parties based on their requirements and simplifying some of their workflow processes.

SAP Integration Solution

Through consultation with all relevant parties for our client, a complete solution was developed to allow the existing processes to be devoid of all double handling and non-productive tasks.

Purchase orders in SAP

All procurement, requisitioning and approvals were to occur within the SAP system. With approved purchase orders and all relative information sent to the MC system and available for receipt by Maintenance and Operations personnel, via the MC system, regardless of their location.

Further to this solution, was to have all inventory data, stock transactions and on-hand stock levels sent to SAP directly. This eliminated the daily report and updates, which accounted for all information changes and transactions that occurred against stock within the inventory module over the past 24 hours.

Stock control in MC

The final part of the solution was to have MC as the one source or means for stock and purchase order receipting. When receipts of purchase orders and other modifications occurred within the MC system, that affected inventory stock levels, the SAP system is also updated with these changes.

Automation of data handling

Once all data transfers have been executed, whether they are from MC to SAP or vice versa, two log files are created (one for each system). Then an email notification with a summary of the data transfers is sent to the designated users in the Maintenance and Finance departments.

During the data transfer routine should any issues occur that would prevent data transfer from being executed correctly, alarm notifications are sent to designated users to provide immediate feedback for the data transfer failure

SAP and Maintenance Connection CMMS Integration

Results

The resulting solution has removed all the double handling of data entry and those redundant processes, which were part of the daily routine for both the Maintenance, Operations and Finance departments.

This provided Finance staff with the confidence that all required data is up-to-date, entered and correct within the SAP system, and readily accessible to them.

Maintenance and Operations teams can carry on with daily routines knowing raised purchase orders are being actioned and processed, and not lost or sitting in that in-tray over at Finance waiting for a signature. They know current stock levels are correct, and when purchase orders have been received.

This visibility enables staff to plan and complete individual work schedules more efficiently and on time. While supervisors can accurately schedule preventative maintenance, and critical works, making the workflow clearer and more productive.

Inventory management by our client has benefited greatly since the integration. The process has been significantly simplified by removing the reliance on multiple systems to undertake one task or provide multiple reports on stock levels, changes, and stock movements for the Finance department daily.

The removal of these redundant and non-productive processes, which were previously necessary every day, delivers an extremely efficient and well-organised inventory and stock management system for our client.

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