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Manila Water: Towards a More Stakeholder-Responsive Enterprise Asset Management System

Adrian M. Reodique | April 22, 2016
The system, which won the Transformation category of the 2016 CIO Asia Awards, helped improve the company’s business processes and customer service.

Overcoming challenges

Despite the benefits of the system, implementing the EAM-AMIS did not come without challenges, said Garcia.

The first challenge was to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the asset data that will be transferred to the EAM database.  "In addition to asset data that is in our SAP Plant Maintenance's database, every plant and facility also has its own Excel-based asset spreadsheet, which is periodically updated by the plant managers," said Garcia.

To address this issue, the migration team had to ensure that the physical inventory reconciles with the asset list, and that the asset values declared in the list match the financial records in the company's SAP system, he explained. "This effort took seven months to complete, all within the entire duration of the project."

The second challenge was on business process integration-which consisted of adopting an enterprise-wide view of the asset lifecycle and defining a taxonomy that will make it easy for stakeholders to identify any asset in the database. For this, the company tightly knitted asset planning to asset construction, procurement, finance, operations and maintenance, and the business processes, said Garcia.

The third challenge is with regards to technical integration, wherein the project requires interfaces across nine systems. "This complication was anticipated at an early stage by the project's system integrator, and as such, SAP's Process Orchestration (PO) module was designed to be part of the solution," said Garcia.

Additionally, he noted that defining "dialogues" across different modules and ensuring the uniqueness of messages sent to various systems was a complicated process. "For example, whenever there is an equipment failure, the equipment's sensor will trigger an alert that is sent to the SCADA, to SAP PM, and to GIS. In certain cases, the sensor could be sending persistent or multiple alerts, even as there may be only one failure. Both SAP and GIS will have to determine whether or not these are the same alerts, and thus should not create new work orders and indicators in each of these systems. Additionally, once a failure has been corrected, a message will have to be sent from the SCADA to GIS to indicate that the fault has been cleared," he explained.

Lastly, the deployment of EAM-AMIS required an enterprise-wide mindset change. "Old habits are hard to break, to say the least, and there will always be cases where the new processes will not be followed. In anticipation of such a situation, the project team came up with metrics on process compliance, and process breaks were called out during the project reviews," said Garcia. 

Moving forward

Currently, Manila Water is piloting EAM-AMIS in four of its plants which will eventually be rolled out to the next 25 plants. More intensive integration on IT and Operational Technology (OT) will be needed for EAM-AMIS to be embedded in all its facilities, said Garcia.


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