OEE stands for Overall Equipment Effectiveness and has over time taken centre stage as THE KPI of choice used by the majority of manufacturing managers to monitor and improve their manufacturing process. The title of this post asks the question of whether or not OEE is the Holy Grail of KPI’s. I would have to say no, because it implies that we could stop our quest to strive for excellence. However, if I were a production manager and had to choose one KPI, I would without hesitation choose OEE. Why?
- OEE is not just one KPI but four+ KPI’s. I say this because OEE is the result of an arithmetical calculation that takes into account three further KPI’s.
- OEE leverages off easily attainable metrics (measure wise) yet provides big results from productivity, financial and operational points of view.
OEE works by looking at your losses. To be more specific OEE looks at the losses that are commonly acknowledged to be the six big loss categories and matches them to one of three OEE loss categories – they are:
Align your strategies
Just as stars need to align for amazing astronomical events to occur, a company needs to align its strategies in order to be able to orchestrate, monitor and execute them in a manner that will maximise the potential to increase revenue, reduce costs and sharpen its competitive edge.
This week Melbourne hosted the 7th Mastering Supply Chain Management with SAP. This is a great event that is organised by eventful management and whilst a little pricey is well worth the investment. It is a great venue for not only networking and meeting your peers but also for learning new things. In conjunction with Geoff Armstrong (National BI Solution Lead at PLAUT) we presented ‘Enabling Reporting and Analytics for Your Supply Chain’.
You only need to go through the forums on SDN to realise that there are people out there that actually write programs or develop LSMW’s to upload Planned Independent Requirements (PIR) into SAP. Whilst I am sure that there are many valid reasons for wanting to develop your own upload programs, it is a shame to do so especially in light of the fact that SAP offers standard methods for you to do this. I know of at least two:
- You can use the BAPI BAPI_REQUIREMENTS_CREATE. This BAPI is RFC enabled so it is a good candidate if you are using an external application to perform your forecast and want to replicate them in SAP by making a remote function call.
- Another option is to use the standard upload program RM60IN01 – which is a direct input program that reads a formatted file to create your PIRs in SAP’s demand management (the RM60IN01 program can also be used in LSMW in concert wth object 0180).
In this post, I shall explore the second option.
This is really a quick tip that I’m posting more for me, but which I thought I’d share with the rest of the community.
If you are using the Service Desk functionality of Solution Manager, you may know that it is possible to create support requests right from your satelite SAP system.
What I will explain here is particularly useful if you are using SAP Solution Manager, but it could also be applied to SAP CRM. Solution Manager offers a very powerful functionality in that which is Service Desk. However I think that you are missing an important aspect of it if you do not set up automatic email notification. What is the point of logging a priority 1 service request if you have to wait for a support consultant to log on to the service desk and see what messages have been created? The same courtesy is expected of customers – they also need to be pro-active if they want you to fix their problems. In this post I shall discuss the setups that are required to trigger the sending of emails to your customers, whenever the status requests for the customer to act on it.
The details herein contained in this post relate to the solution manager VAR scenario – i.e your organisation acts as a service desk for your SAP customers. Whilst some of the concepts explained here might be of use to a CRM consultant, they are first and foremost destined for Solution Manager consultants setting up their system to track and monitor SLA (Service Level Agreement) response and resolution times (which would probably also apply to an internal support desk as well). This document is merely an extension to the excellent guide that you can find on the SAP service Marketplace called “SAP Solution Manager – Service Desk for Service Providers” – an S number is required to access this resource. This document explains in great detail what you need to do to setup SLA’s in the context of the VAR scenario, but I find that there is a piece missing in it – the setting up of the actual contract and its determination is not explained, nor does it offer advice on how or where this information can be tracked – so my document is the missing link for that.
According to Wikipedia, “Rich Internet Applications are web applications that have most of the characteristics of desktop applications, typically delivered by way of standards based web browser plug-ins or independently via sandboxes or virtual machines”. I don’t think that this definition does do it any justice – I think that RIA’s are:
- Applications that offer a visually rich and engaging user interface
- Applications that offer content richness and useful and diverse functionalities
In other words it has to deliver functionality and it has to do so in an engaging UI – the argument being that such applications will deliver a greater employee productivity and/or customer loyalty. I would certainly vouch for that – go see a demo of SAP Business Explorer to see what I mean (you can even upload your own data and play around with that).
As a continuation to my experiments in marrying technologies such as Php, Pear & Ajax to query a SAP database and expose the data to a user in a visually appealing form, it seemed only fitting that I would give this RIA thing a shot too. You only need to google terms such as “SAP FLEX” to see that there is a wealth of information out there on that topic showcasing these two platforms with plenty of whoa factor. Being from a logistics background I thought it would be appropriate to use logistics functions in my examples.
So in this post I’ll be looking at the following scenarios:
- A sales application using SAP, Flex and Php (http service call method)
- A production order application using SAP, Flex and Php (http service call method)
- A sample sales application using SAP and Flex (web service call method)
The tools of choice for my experiments today are:
- Adobe Flex (which is built on top of Eclipse – the same tool used to build the SAP Developer Studio). Adobe is very generously offering you the chance to download a try-before-you-buy fully functional demo version for 60 days (if you have already have Eclipse or SAP developer Studio you may elect to download the plug-in instead – although I have not tried that).
- Easyphp which is a nice WAMP (Windows Apache Mysql Php) package that I have been using for years – php in version 5.2.8
- The SAPrfc extension module for Php
- Of course SAP. The SAP backend system I’ll be using is a SAP ECC 6.0 system.