STO projects are vast and bring a high degree of complexity which need to be planned and executed with high precision. Anything missed out can create delayed completion, cost escalation or sub quality job.
A typical landscape of tools used by customers include an ERP solution for Asset maintenance and a tool for planning and execution. The two solutions are integrated with another middleware tool to exchange specific set of information between the two systems.
Even though these tools may be quite powerful individually and the data synchronization works smoothly, they create boundaries between the two leading systems. This creates problems for the planning and execution team as they do not have seamless experience. Some examples could be as follows:
- The planners may not have information on material status while planning activities as all the information on material in stock, in transit may not be available in the planning tool.
- Planners may not be able to create purchase request or purchase order from the planning tool with a single click. This may delay the process of ordering.
- Approval workflows for scope, budget may not be in sync with the ERP.
- It may be challenging to bring all the open activities which were planned for STO to the planning tool. If some work orders were closed before the execution starts, these may not sync up with the planned scope.
- All required equipment details may not be available in the planning tool.
- During execution, availability of tools, machines etc may not be available correctly.
An STO management tool which is within the company’s ERP system for eg within SAP, can provide all the information at a single place. This helps the STO teams in multiple ways. First, it provides speed and agility in planning and execution. Second, it provides complete information at one place and thus ensures better planning and execution. Third, it can provide any other related and relevant information easily like permits, contractual terms, skills and holiday calendar of employees, cost information wherever required. Overall a seamless experience for all the users at every stage of STO project.
A seamless experience for a STO project can control the duration as well costs which results in plugging revenue leakage.