If you are considering upgrading to the latest version of SAP S/4Hana, you may know that it comes with user experience improvements and more in-depth analytics capabilities for organizations using the PM module to support their work management process. Like with most technology upgrades, having the latest version is key to maintaining support and improving efficiency and quality in process.

Upgrades are of course costly, and the translation projects are significant, particularly if organizations choose this time to also migrate to a single instance ERP environment.

For the most part, the justification of an upgrade is based on a greater return to the organization and a large component of this is anticipated improvements in asset performance and/or a reduction in costs.   

So, will a SAP S/4Hana PM module upgrade deliver an asset performance improvement? It is unlikely, especially if it is conducted as a pure data translation exercise.

A change in the system itself may deliver some efficiencies related to the work management process and possibly enhance the user experience.  However, that does not translate to an improvement in asset performance.

Quite simply, if you take the current maintenance plans in your existing SAP or EAM system, translate as required, and load into SAP S/4Hana PM, you will fundamentally be performing the same asset maintenance. And the same asset maintenance will lead to the same asset performance.

Two important steps to get more from your upgrade

Perhaps the most widely held belief when it comes to data and systems is “dirty data in – dirty data out” and rightly so. Therefore, when it comes to an S/4Hana upgrade – why would we upgrade the system and not the data?

This process of data improvement also aligns to the concept outlined in ISO55000, whereby organizations should seek to have control and governance over their assets. A key part of this is gaining governance and control of our asset maintenance plans, because for existing assets within existing facilities, the maintenance plans we execute are the single biggest influence on the performance we get from our assets.

So, to extract the maximum value from a SAP S/4Hana upgrade, don’t just download, translate, and upload the existing maintenance plan master data into the new system. You should instead download, translate, consolidate, optimize and then load it into the new system.

These two extra steps are relatively low cost in the context of an upgrade, but will help you capture the performance improvements that an upgrade promises.

This is an ideal time to reduce any “gold plating” and remove those ineffective unnecessary tasks to save on maintenance costs. Then, take the opportunity to restructure the maintenance plan master data into consistent work packages and optimize the remaining tasks such that asset care improves, and you achieve the right balance between risk, cost, and performance.

The application of an Asset Strategy Management (ASM) process, powered by Cordant™ Asset Strategy®, can support you with this consolidation and optimization. It will help you improve your reliability strategies, improve your master data, and improve performance. This combination is what boosts overall performance and delivers value from your EAM investment or upgrade.

For more information, download our one-page guide on how to achieve maximum ROI from your new or upgraded EAM.

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