Maximizing asset ROI helps optimize the business bottom line
Extending the useful life of capital assets, optimizing the indirect supply chain, and gaining real-time insight into all type of assets is more important than ever—but also arguably more difficult.
Today's managers must, for instance, find new ways to meet emerging energy and environmental challenges despite aging assets, infrastructures, and workforces. Capital investment is an obvious answer—but in an uncertain economy, and given limited budgets, not often a practical one. Instead, managers must respond with a sharper management focus and the best applications available.
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) applications increasingly need to take into account other emerging factors as well. These include:
- Consolidation of systems across business units for asset management
- A new focus on building and facility sustainability
- The convergence of Operation Technology (OT) with Information Technology (IT) to yield more intelligent and interconnected assets
IBM's answer to these challenges? The IBM Maximo Asset Management portfolio. Maximo solutions give the enterprise a single point of control over all types of assets—production, infrastructure, facilities, transportation, and communications—by managing them all on a common platform that allows sharing and enforcement of best practices, inventory, resources, and personnel. With Maximo solutions, the business can measure key performance indicators (KPIs) across the enterprise, and benchmark performance between plants or locations to develop new best practices and suggest new strategies.
Maximo thus gives the enterprise a way not just to track and maintain assets throughout their lifecycles, but also to ensure they yield the highest possible business return on assets (ROA) over time.
Enter IBM Maximo Asset Management 7.5
IBM is committed to continually updating and improving its solutions to fulfill customer needs and interests, and that commitment is reflected in the recent release of IBM Maximo Asset Management 7.5. This is a major, new update with many compelling features, immediately available in more than 20 different family solutions.
Maximo Asset Management 7.5 expands on previous versions by delivering new features including:
- Supply chain management enhancements, from materials management to invoicing, that streamline workflows and improve usability
- An enhanced migration manager that provides automation scripts, application-based data import/export, and additional configuration capability, all of which help to lower cost of ownership and improve end-user interaction
- A unified platform that enables clients to efficiently deploy Maximo Industry Solution for Utilities, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Life Sciences and Nuclear, and optional add-on capabilities including Maximo Calibration, Maximo Scheduler, Maximo Spatial, Maximo for Service Provider, and Maximo Mobile offerings
- Improved work and asset management capabilities throughout the product driven by customer requirements
In every case, features have been created or improved as a direct reflection of external feedback from customer groups, client development partners, and business partners, among other sources.
Supply chain management
Managing complex indirect supply chains is no simple feat, but Maximo Asset Management solutions can help. In version 7.5, Maximo was enhanced to handle more complex supply chain management processes, improve efficiency for "heads down" operations, and streamline integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.
This was a major focus of the supply chain management optimizations. Among other new aspects:
- Item Master. This adds support for true stocked/non-stocked items, to more accurately reflect inventory status. It helps resolve a functional gap in earlier iterations of Maximo while delivering better alignment with ERP tools by making sure they are informed with the latest data.
- A new inventory usage application. This application empowers managers to add a "status-able" document, streamlining issue and transfer processes as well as increasing their functionality via a smoothed workflow, support for staged and shipped items, and multiple assets/source bins per line.
- Issues and transfers are also improved in several other ways. Transfer via shipment is now supported to simplify the business process for all items in transit; this is expected to be of considerable value to clients in the oil and gas industries. And hard/soft material reservations can now be made as an added layer of granularity.
- Inventory costing enhancements. Users can now set the default costing method—whether average, standard, last-in-first-out, or first-in-first-out—for an item at the inventory level. These last two options, new to Maximo, also help organizations better allow for valuation of actual receipt costs in a manner suited to their needs and context.
- Consignment inventory. This adds support for "vendor-owned" inventory valuation, allowing items to be paid for on use rather than on receipt.
- Purchase order revisioning is improved. Specifically, the Maximo 6.x revision capabilities are now applied to the purchase order application as well.
- Supply chain visibility. Users can now observe, on a single screen, all upstream and downstream processing of any line items currently in the supply chain.
- Item Master, Purchase Order for tax-exempt items. This allows users to set items as tax-exempt, to bypass the normal tax code application process on purchasing lines.
- Request for quotations now allow item comparisons in a base currency. This gives users a way to compare different line items using a standard currency even when quotes were submitted in different currencies. (To do so, it calls the Exchange Rate application to perform automatic conversions).
- Receipt tolerances now provide a new control against over-receipt of lines against a purchase order. This creates a threshold; if the threshold is exceeded, users can be warned (or an action can be halted) automatically.
- Returning received services. There is now functional parity in with the materials receiving section of Maximo.
- Receipt voiding (canceling a line). This feature allows receipt lines to be reversed, and also reverses balance updates.
- Asset returns to vendor. Business logic now supports returning assets to a designated vendor and subsequently disables the use of returned asset records.
- Reversal invoices against purchase order lines can now be created. Furthermore, if an invoice has been approved, but turns out to be incorrect, it can now be disapproved retroactively.
- Field filter. Invoice users can now create filters applicable to a wider variety of fields, for easier identification and isolation of specific invoices.
- Added posting date. Posting dates are now added to invoice headers; this is helpful for deriving the financial period in which the action took place.
A wealth of additional features enhances usability and improvement to optional add-ons
Besides the extensive new support for supply chain management, Maximo 7.5 also offers a variety of significant additional optimizations:
- New automation scripts accelerate processes by allowing execution of everyday tasks based on key conditions.
- Application-based data import/export and the Migration Manager have both been enhanced to provide better cross-solution, cross-domain functionality.
- The user interface has been improved and simplified in many respects to shorten time-to-value and accelerate task execution.
- Improved linear asset visual control and work and asset management features support deep vertical functionality to drive more value in different industry contexts.
- Scheduling and forecasting have both been extended in new ways—particularly helpful in areas such as preventative maintenance, key to maximizing asset lifespan and asset ROI.
Together, these many features demonstrate and extend the value proposition of Maximo: to give asset-intensive organizations the complete asset lifecycle management they need to get better business value from all their assets—everywhere they exist, and at every stage in their lifecycles.
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