Core processes • 25 Oct 2021

Optimizing Maintenance Operations with SAP FSM at Balta

Optimizing Maintenance Operations with SAP Field Service Management at Balta

Balta is a leading producer of textile floor coverings in worldwide. With a consolidated revenue of €561.8m in 2020 in Belgium and 3838 employees worldwide, its products are manufactured in 8 production facilities (and 2 distribution centra) and sold to 136 countries across the globe. Since June 2017, Balta Group has been a public company listed on Euronext Brussels.

Balta has four segments:

-    Rugs: woven and tufted area rugs.
-    Residential: wall-to-wall carpet and carpet tiles for private use.
-    Commercial: wall-to-wall carpet and carpet tiles for commercial use.
-    Non-Woven: needle felt, carpet backing and technical non-wovens under the Captiqs brand.

Balta’s core markets include the United States, the United Kingdom, Western Europe and a significant presence in Central and Eastern Europe.

For the 6 Belgian plants SAP Plant Maintenance has been implemented (and some other plants under roll-out). Amista implemented SAP Field Service Management for all technicians (internal and external), nearly 300 and their number is growing. 

All maintenance orders (curative as well as preventive) are created in SAP ERP and are transferred to SAP FSM depending on their status. Once in FSM, they are planned and dispatched by the planners in the different factories. Dispatched orders are pushed to the mobile devices of the technicians including predefined Checklists depending on the type of work. 

Technicians can create rush orders themselves on their mobile devices when they encounter problems ‘in the field’. They can then ‘stop’ their current activities on their mobile device, give priority to the rush order, and continue their work after completion. During all that time, the planners see indications of what their technicians are currently doing. Consumption of material is linked with the SAP ERP backbone Materials Management module. 
 

Challenge

  • Move away from paper-based way working
  • Setting up of best practices for SAP plant maintenance
  • Get a better and more detailed time & cost registration 
  • Get a better view on expensive equipment
  • Get more detailed feedback on breakdown interventions
  • Having the documentation and drawings available  on the mobile app
     

Solution

  • User-friendly planning board
  • App for technicians
  • To register time and consume materials
  • Ability to switch between urgent intervention and daily preventive work 
  • Integrated with SAP backbone for:
    • Equipments and functional location
    • Stock levels
    • Different service order types
    • Documentation and pictures

Later in scope

  • Chat Bot
  • Web Portal
  • Crowd Sourcing

 

Advantages for Balta

Before SAP FSM:

  • Production notices a need for maintenance, email or call to the maintenance team
  • Maintenance responsible creates a work order in SAP
  • The work order is printed and handed over to the technician
  • The technician starts the work: he writes his hours and materials on paper
  • The technician goes to a shared PC to register his hours

With SAP FSM:

  • Notification with mobile app
  • Maintenance responsible approves the service call
  • Planning with drag & drop
  • Access to the relevant documentation
  • Technician starts, hours are automatically sent to SAP

Benefits of SAP Field Service Management

  • Detailed time & cost registration
  • Better view on expensive equipment
  • More detailed feedback on breakdown interventions
  • Live accuracy of stock inventory
  • No administrative time of warehouse manager
  • Better communication
    • Digitalized
    • More and better feedback from the field
    • Paperless management is possible
  • Easy to attach photos
  • Easy to forward instructions/safety checklists
  • Ease of use
  • Visual and interactive planning board
  • Online feedback from each technician
  • Standardized automated reporting / KPI
  • Analyses on expensive assets
     

Balta's lessons learned

  • The solution wasn’t really built initially for SAP PM (internal maintenance), but for SAP Customer Service (customer related). SAP acquired Field Service Management from Core Systems; Best of breed apps & planning board but integration was not yet at its best two years ago
  • Standard integration needed to be adapted to work for SAP PM. After the latest releases we were able to remove most of the custom developments
  • Harmonization across plants is important 
  • Connectivity in the plant is crucial
    • Attention to stable Wi-fi environment was important investment
    • Stable mobile devices: Balta has chosen Apple iPhone
  • Doubts at operational & management level have led to a slow rollout, but also Covid 19
  • Technical SAP skills required
    • implementation partner Amista with "maintenance & service foundation"
  • User adoption and support is crucial for success

FSM Balta

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