In a recent webinar, Iago Accioli, project manager of Assets at Roche, discussed how the pharmaceutical company has been improving its asset management and maintenance processes from a broader supply chain perspective.

Roche is one of the world’s largest biotech companies, a leading provider of in-vitro diagnostics and a global supplier of transformative, innovative solutions across major disease areas.

Cost as a Main Driver for Asset-Intensive Organizations

“As a pharmaceutical company, Roche was founded more than 100 years ago in Basel, Switzerland, with both pharma and diagnostics divisions. We are in the middle of an SAP S/4HANA journey with the goal to harmonize business processes on all sites and divisions around the world,” said Accioli.

To manage assets under volatile conditions effectively, just like other asset-intensive organizations, Roche focuses on reducing maintenance cost and increasing asset reliability, which are key to its customers and patients.

The challenge is “the handover from original manufacturer to engineering to maintenance and how to interact with each other,” explained Accioli. “We resolve this with these business process harmonization initiatives.”

Risk Resilience as an Investment for the Future

SAP suggests three strategies to help companies manage their business holistically, including cost, speed, profit, customer service, and risk:

  • Connecting supply chains to the entire business so that information insight flows go quickly from operations to manufacturing, design, and into the business to respond to disruptions
  • Contextualizing information during the work process to equip users with technology to get real-time insights and make decisions during the business process to increase impact
  • Collaborating externally with suppliers, asset operators, OEMs, and logistics providers to ensure that information is flowing beyond the internal network to set up a risk-resilient business while mitigating risk

Closing the Loop Between Strategy and Execution

Managing costs and increasing equipment reliability is a major factor and closing the loop between asset strategy and maintenance execution, such as to make assets more reliable and connected to maintenance execution considering different asset type, is a big opportunity.

“Five to 10 years ago, reliability engineering became a shining topic at Roche, and we discussed where to start, how much we spend on maintenance, what our most important assets were, and where we should spend more energy and money. We standardized processes to classify our equipment into different asset criticalities – high, medium, and low – and, based on each category, we established a maintenance strategy,” explained Accioli.

“Afterwards, we looked for a tool that would best suit Roche given the amount of data. Now we have an asset and maintenance strategy in place that is reflected in our system. In 2019, we started harmonizing our processes and were pleased that SAP solutions could support us,” he continued.

In particular, Roche looked to:

  • SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management, which helps with performing criticality evaluations directly in the SAP system instead of spreadsheets. With criticality results reflected in the system, the maintenance strategy can result in preventive maintenance plans. “Roche is in the middle of the journey. No sites are live yet,” said Accioli. Roche is also enabling access to its service providers to get design insights and improve collaboration.
  • SAP Service and Asset Manager, which enables maintenance plans and work orders to be accessible to maintenance technicians so that they can make instant material reservations and get access to maintenance manuals on mobile devices.

“I expect a significant decrease of maintenance execution as we can plan our work better thanks to a mobile-supported solution,” said Accioli. “The experience with the solution is quite good.”

Roche was already using SAP at different sites with its own work order types and data model, but it was not automated and connected.

“We also intend to migrate to SAP Asset Performance Management, a successor cloud-based application, where Roche’s enhancement ideas have been incorporated,” explained the manager.

Connected Asset Data Helps Contextualize Business Decisions

For contextualizing every business process through the eyes of maintenance, it is necessary to converge enterprise IT data with equipment and sensor data to run analyses based on algorithms and machine learning technology. Accioli explained: “Being able to schedule maintenance activities is a substantial improvement for maintenance organizations. To monitor both targets and results, we are using SAP Analytics Cloud, which has many good capabilities. We are developing maintenance KPIs with the insights we get from  artificial intelligence (AI) and rolling these back into the asset strategy and reliability process. These are particularly good tools.”

Effective Collaboration Across the Ecosystem to Build a Collaborative Supply Chain

“For Roche, sharing information and effective collaboration with asset providers and across our ecosystem is particularly important. Vendors and different equipment suppliers must exchange and collaborate on asset data. Operators and service providers should be able to use the network but also manage the work order process,” said Accioli.

To summarize, the key benefits of SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management and SAP Service and Asset Manager Accioli sees are:

SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management:

  • Defining which maintenance strategy applies to which classification of equipment
  • Maintaining assessments in the system
  • Generating criticality based on assessments
  • Reflecting reliability-centered maintenance in the system, including decision trees and supportive templates

SAP Service and Asset Manager:

  • Being a digitized, automated, paperless solution
  • Being able to work offline
  • Having all maintenance data at hand in one place

Listen to the webinar recording here. In addition, watch this overview video to learn how to maximize asset health and performance with SAP Intelligent Asset Management solutions and read what benefits other enterprises achieved. To know more about the role of service and asset management in your industry, download this complimentary paper from IDC.

Karin Fent is senior director of Global Customer Success Digital Supply Chain at SAP.
Top photo credit: Roche