In a seemingly never-ending sea of mobile maintenance software providers, finding the best strategic vendor for your SAP-based operations can prove challenging.
But it does not have to be.
By carefully considering the 5 factors discussed in this article, you can narrow the pick to the right mobile maintenance software provider for your industrial maintenance teams.
Why is Mobile Maintenance Software an Essential Industry 4.0 Technology?
According to a recent McKinsey study, organizations that had made good progress in their digital transformations prior to the pandemic, Industry 4.0 technologies proved crucial to their crisis response activities. For others, they were forced to confront the stark reality that their organization’s digital maturity was not quite far enough along.
Within the environment of Industry 4.0, industrial maintenance plays a crucial role in preventing costly downtimes, boosting productivity, and helping organizations to allocate their resources. Predictive maintenance technologies are particularly effective in this regard. According to Deloitte, “poor maintenance strategies can reduce the overall productive capacity of a plant by 5 to 20 percent,” while predictive maintenance “increases productivity by 25%, reduces breakdowns by 70% and lowers maintenance costs by 25%.”
In a world that increasingly relies on mobility and operational flexibility, mobile maintenance software has become an essential Industry 4.0 technology on top of legacy systems like SAP Enterprise Asset Management. Mobile maintenance software can help organizations replace time-consuming manual processes, reduce labor costs, improve data quality and visibility, and increase operational efficiency.
When it comes to choosing a mobile maintenance software application, industrial maintenance managers may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of solutions. These can range from purely software platforms that offer templates to support maintenance functions to robust ready-made solutions. Some are standalone offerings; others are specifically designed to fully integrate with ERP systems.
When considering mobile maintenance solutions that offer similar functionality, the differentiating factor often comes down to choosing a trustworthy and reliable long-term strategic partner. To select the right vendor for your mobile maintenance software and implementation support, you should carefully weigh the following factors.
1. Ability to Overcome Implementation Challenges
Many organizations overwhelmingly fail when it comes to achieving digital transformation initiatives. According to research conducted by McKinsey, “Digital transformations are even more difficult than traditional change efforts to pull off, and “While our earlier research has found that fewer than one-third of organizational transformations succeed at improving a company’s performance and sustaining those gains, the latest results find that the success rate of digital transformations is even lower.”
This is why it’s critical to go with an experienced mobile maintenance software provider. As a strategic partner, the vendor will leverage their implementation experience to help you establish efficient mobile workflows, increase user adoption, and overcome the challenges that often lead to failure.
2. Ability to Support On-going Needs
Implementation is a process, not an endpoint. And with global Enterprise-scale operations, it is important that your mobile maintenance software vendor can support the continued expansion across locales and legacy infrastructures and support the update processes as legacy structures are changed.
Consider how the vendor supports the software maintenance process. This includes updates required by changes driven by the mobile operating systems. Who does the updates? If it is a cloud solution or a native mobile app, this would be done by the software vendor.
It is also important that the vendor provides a means to address quick changes to the software in support of rapidly changing needs as exemplified by the Covid-19 pandemic. Flexibility and responsiveness are key attributes to evaluate in the solution design and of the vendor.
3. Reputation and Industry Experience
The reputation and experience of your mobile maintenance software vendor are key. Ensure that the vendor has experience working with a business of your scale and relevant industrial maintenance experience. Many software providers are generalists that are unfamiliar with the complexity of maintenance processes with SAP. Ensure that the vendor is an SAP Certified Partner. Moreover, the vendor should have proven experience with enterprise-level SAP integration challenges across a broad range of industries and regions.
Ask the vendor for testimonials and references. Top vendors readily share client references, testimonials, and case studies.
4. Operational Scalability
The pandemic further emphasized the need for operational flexibility and raised the bar for achieving scalability. As the authors of a recent McKinsey study describe it, “the bar for what ‘successful scaling’ means has risen. Industry 4.0 technologies are no longer being measured for their ability to add value during business as usual; instead, they are expected to prove valuable during trying times such as the COVID-19 crisis…The quest for speed in implementation led many organizations to work around their legacy IT and OT systems during the initial rollout of Industry 4.0, but that approach is now reaching its limits.”
In other words, successful scaling in the post-COVID world requires organizations to implement solutions that can be fully integrated with their legacy IT and OT systems such as SAP. A vendor that specializes in mobile maintenance software for SAP can help organizations achieve their digital transformation goals while preserving their investment in the legacy infrastructure.
5. Long-term Strategy and Roadmap
Given the rapid pace of change, Industry 4.0, Industry 5.0, etc., it is important that your vendor for mobile maintenance software can help you stay on top of the trends and opportunities for continued improvements.
Inquire about the vendor’s strategic vision for the future of the industry and key focus areas in their product development roadmaps. Evaluate whether the direction of their future advancements is aligned to your potential future needs. Also, consider if they are capitalized for continued growth to be able to realize the vision they paint.
Why Consider Sigga for Mobile Maintenance Software?
We at Sigga have been helping asset-intensive industries with SAP to drive digital transformation and mobile initiatives in industrial maintenance for over 20 years. It takes dedication and ongoing development to sustain world-class mobile experiences. As a result, our Mobile EAM solution is the leading mobile maintenance software for SAP environments. Based on our industry experience, we have innovated in the development of our own SAP-certified integration technology for enterprise-scale installations. Our technology provides higher performance to support the data exchange volumes required for maintenance workflows with hundreds of mobile users.
We also offer a Mobile Warehouse and Inventory solution to extend the mobile use cases and an integrated Planning & Scheduling desktop software solution to further streamline processes and drive efficiencies.
At Sigga, it is our mission to empower companies to achieve their mobile digital transformation goals by providing best-in-class software technology.
Read more about Sigga and how we can help you achieve digital transformation success.