SAP Field Service Management and SAP Asset Manager are often referred to as one. But what are the differences and similarities between these two?
Last month our partner Jimmy Laureys and two of our certified Field Service Management consultants attended the International SAP Conference on Intelligent Asset Management in Madrid. Over two days they were fully immersed in SAP's intelligent asset management solution and received the most recent insights on SAP's latest innovations. As we are focused on the SAP Service Cloud portfolio, we believe it is keen to understand the different solutions to deliver the best possible advice to our (potential) customers.
A sneak peek in Digital Products & Assets
At the end of the talks, we had a chat with Patrick Crampton-Thomas, SAP's Global Head of Digital Products & Assets. He gave us some sneak peeks and insights into the future of SAP Field Service Management (previously known as CoreSystems) and SAP Asset Management. It quickly became quite clear that both entities will continue to co-exist in the future.
But... what are the differences and similarities between the two solutions? Let's get to the bottom of them.
What is SAP’s Field Service Management solution?
SAP Field Service Management is an important part of SAP C/4HANA Service Cloud. The customer experience module was originally built for customer-centric service companies. The entire module was designed to facilitate a field technician’s day-to-day job. Watch video.
SAP's cloud-driven Field Service Management turns a maintenance, installation or repair into a fully optimized experience. It ensures customer satisfaction within a business through:
- IoT and fully integrated workflows
- Skill matching between technicians and the customer’s needs
- A transparent service process for customers, technicians and dispatchers
Simplified: SAP Field Service Management enhances customer experience during No Touch, Low Touch and High Touch moments with customers. SAP FSM can function perfectly as a stand-alone or connected to an ERP system.
Next to that, there is the so-called "Customer Self-Service". Customers just need to scan a QR code in order to:
- View the device’s details and additional online manuals
- Chat with service experts
- Create a service request for maintenance or repair
- Discover the status of previous and running requests
You can design the self-service module’s actions to the customer’s needs.
Field Service Management currently consists of the web-based planning board (for planners) and a mobile application for field engineers or field technicians. As soon as an employee schedules an appointment, the technician has access to the details of the appointment with any Apple or Android smartphone. Each service technician has his own stock, linked to a location - no matter if it’s a logical (think of a van) or a physical one.
Scheduling a service task can be executed manually by a dispatcher or automatically by the AI schedule tool, that matches through skills and availability. FSM also comes with an embedded Analytics and Reporting tool, which allows users to create their own reports in a flexible way.
Last but not least, there’s the ever-growing Crowd Service solution within SAP Field Service Management. Crowd Service allows manufacturers and field service providers to create their own on-demand team of partners, subcontractors and freelancers. Watch video.
What is SAP Asset Manager?
SAP Asset Manager is a mobile app that facilitates end-to-end enterprise asset management (EAM) processes. The mobile app for technicians is a source of information on and documents about assets, spare parts, ... This cloud-driven app is part of the SAP Intelligent Asset Management solution portfolio. The mobile app can be consulted both online and offline. Watch video.
SAP Asset Manager will not immediately provide a better customer experience. Instead, it will provide a better user experience for technicians, as they can consult images, videos, extensive manuals and insights via the app. This enables them to solve problems with assets faster and more efficiently, which will indirectly provide better customer experience!
Technicians who need information about a particular asset can access this app on both iOS and Android.
SAP Asset Manager is a mobile application that is fully customizable to the customer needs, using SAP’s standard SDK. This allows the developer to hide existing screens and build new ones.
SAP Asset Manager or Field Service Management within your organization?
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The differences between SAP Asset Manager & SAP Field Service Management
These two different solutions are often mentioned in the same breath. This makes sense, as they are both primarily used during technical interventions. Still, there are some differences between them.
The tool's target audience
The Field Service Management module is designed for anyone who is involved in a Field Service intervention, whether it's the person planning the appointments, the helpdesk or the technician. SAP Asset Manager is only relevant to technicians. They can retrieve all the required asset-related information to work more accurately during an intervention.
The technical possibilities
SAP Field Service Management is available on any device. You can open it on your desktop (web-based or native windows client) as well as mobile devices like tablets and smartphones (mobile apps). SAP Asset Manager, however, is not available on every device. It doesn’t offer windows support (unless an Android simulator is used), but it provides native iOS and Android mobile application which can be fully customized.
The elements (not) included
SAP Asset Manager doesn't contain time registration, an overview of additional costs or any insight into planning. If you want to get these features, you will need to use SAP Field Service Management or SAP Multi Resource Scheduling in combination with SAP Asset Manager.
SAP Field Service Management is adaptable in a number of ways;
Screen customization enables you to show or hide certain fields, add extra buttons, and change certain flows. But the main flow, look and feel remain the same.
SAP Kyma (SAP Extension Factory) gives you the opportunity to add custom logic and screens parts to the mobile and web application of FSM. The rendering is done with the existing application, no deployment needed.
SAP Asset Manager has limited customization options, but offers an SDK for rebranding. This allows partners and customers to create add-ons, custom logic and personalized screens. This results in a new custom mobile application (native iOS and Android) that needs to be distributed to the customer’s local devices.
The similarities between SAP Asset Manager & SAP Field Service Management
Of course, there are also some similarities and resemblances between the two solutions. We'll list the most important ones for you:
- Both solutions are used for interventions
Both solutions are intended to facilitate interventions, repairs or maintenance. Though they both have their own approach to the matter.
- FSM and AM result in lower costs
SAP claims that both tools reduce maintenance costs. This is mainly because of the more targeted solutions that are offered to technicians. This allows them to work more efficiently and in a more targeted way.
- They provide extra insights for technicians
These two tools will make the life of a field technician much easier than ever before. They can work in a more structured way, faster and with a lot of information.
Asset Manager or Field Service Management?
Lessons learned: these tools have similarities, there is a certain crossover in functions, ... and yet they are completely separate from each other. But which solution is the best for your business?
FSM is integrated in SAP C/4HANA, which makes it particularly interesting for two target groups:
- Companies that sell and maintain their own equipment.
- Organizations whose internal installations are carried out by external maintenance technicians.
It is, therefore, a must-have for major companies who want to manage and improve their customer service.
Asset Manager offers limited features compared to Field Service Management and focuses more on companies with internal assets and technicians with limited planning, costing and time registration needs. Asset Manager aims for better user experience for the technicians.
In other words: there is no straightforward answer to the question 'Asset Manager or Field Service Management'. Yet we can still provide some practical examples of Asset Manager and Field Service Management, which will make it easier to determine the best fitting tool for your company.
Asset Manager in practice
Asset Manager is mainly used for on-site maintenance of industrial equipment. It is best suited for businesses having their own machinery or equipment.
- Manufacturing companies looking for a solution to reduce machine failures and increase uptime should use Asset Manager. The tool reduces downtime and production delays with an average of 20 to 30%.
- When an enterprise with a significant number of assets wants to increase its onsite safety, they should opt for Asset Manager. This tool provides them with periodic maintenance reports.
- Professionals who need to perform (internal) condition monitoring or inspections have all the necessary insights at their fingertips in Asset Manager.
Field Service Management in practice
Field Service Management, on the other hand, is primarily used by companies that have internal or external field technicians who service their customers. It is rather an internal or after-sales tool.
- Field Service Management is best suited for Service Agents and Field Service Technicians wanting a better planning board with intelligent technician assignments with time, travel and spare parts costing.
- Service Agents, who want a quick overview of the best fitting technician in the client's area, simply use the GPS Tracking system of the technician.
- Companies who want to reduce their Field Service costs can rely on Field Service Management. It simplifies and automates Field Service without compromising the customer experience.
- Customer Self Service
- Crowd Service, an on-demand team of external field technicians and partners that can help when and where needed.