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information technology) has opened the door for opportunities and risks. Organizations are increasingly facing competitions in the contemporary business market environment and to achieve competitive market advantages, many organizations are increasingly using ERP (Enterprise resource planning) to decline costs and offer quality products at cheaper prices. ERP is a business integration software assisting organizations to collect, manage, store as welling as interpreting data of business activities. (Vasilec, Avdejenkov, & Sosunov, 2009). Essentially, ERP integrates core of business process using a real-time database system to achieve business functions such as asset management, purchase orders, production, track business resources and share data across various departments. Assets are very critical for organizational efficiency because assets assist organizations to generate revenues to enhance stakeholder's value. However, effective asset management is very critical for organizational efficiency. To manage organizational assets, increasing number of medium and large organizations are using asset management system integrated in ERP for effective tracking of their equipments and other assets used for organizational efficiency. Despite the benefits derived from the ERP asset management systems, its implementation is challenging. To manage assets using real time system, there is a need to integrate EAM (enterprises asset management) module in ERP, however, its implementation is challenging because of its associated business rules, which may require migrating from one business to the other.
Objective of this paper is to demonstrate the strategy in applying business rules to assist in automating business decision making in ERP Asset management.
Application of Business Rules to ERP Asset Management System
Business rules are relative recent in the contemporary ERP systems, however, business rules are used to improve quantitative and qualitative attributes of information systems. Since 1998, business rules are important elements of information systems. Moreover, business rules in the database engineering are similar to integrity constraints. Business rules also provide both user requirements and business process conformity. From a business perspective, business rules guide business behaviors, which support business policy as well as asserting business structure. (Chisholm, 2004). However, business rules are changing rapidly and being integrated in information systems. In ERP systems, business rules are used to automate decision making because they propagate through reengineering lifecycle from problem analysis to design. (Smaizys & Vasilecas, 2009).
However, ERP has many modules integrated in it and EAM (Enterprises Asset Management) system is one of the modules integrated in the ERP. For example, Infor Asset Management System is an equipment-tracking module that assists in tracking equipment as well as its associated costs. Typically, the EAM assists in defining assets, create equipment profiles, & records and locate equipment positions. Moreover, the EAM module assists in defining equipment records such as linear equipment, vehicles and track information associated to equipments' records. Additionally, the EAM uses meter's information to track equipment usage, which assists in identifying equipment that is due for maintenance in order to safeguard a costly equipment failure. (Infor, 2012). Similarly, Oracle EAM supports sophisticated and conditioned-based maintenance strategies for plants, property as well as public infrastructure. Typically, Oracle EAM assists in tracking equipment to eliminate obsolete spare parts from inventory to enhance safety and promote environmental standards. (Oracle, 2013). However, integrating business rules are very critical in the ERP- EAM module. The Fig 1 reveals the information flow of asset management system in the ERP modules, which will assist in creating the business rules.
Fig 1: Asset Management Systems Information Flow
Business Rules in the ERP EAM Module
This section provides the business rules for the ERP- EAM module dealing with company equipment and work orders management to enhance maintenance planning. The Table 1 provides the business rules for the ERP- EAM module.
Business Rule ID
Business Rule Name
Business Rule Description
The engineering department should be in charge of asset maintenance.
Employee in engineering department
The rules apply to employees in the engineering department
Operation manager of engineering department
Operation manager is very important in the engineering department and should be in charge of asset management.
Procedures. Policies, & Constrains
Business rules for Procedures, Policies & Constrains
Operation Manager Approval
Operation manager is required to approve and raise corrective maintenance work request.
Plant worker's request
Approval process work request can pass through operation manager in some cases if the following occurs:
Work request having high priority.
Work request having PD (Problem code) leading to a breakdown.
Work request demanded after normal working hours.
Corrective maintenance-preventive ratio
Corrective maintenance-preventive ratio should not be more than 30% within the last 30 days.
Work request for corrective maintenance to be approved immediately if the following conditions are met:
Work request having high priority.
Work request-having BD (Problem code).
Work request demanded after normal working hours.
Distributed Control System (DCS)
DSC should be installed to reduce spare part cost of inventory. DCS should be distributed across all assets to provide instructions. DSC should use input and output protocols to manage all assets.
Asset Business Rules
Asset records can be deleted if they do not have histories and other associated records.
All assets must be place in room 107
All assets must have unique ID for effective identification.
Operating engineering department will be responsible for maintenance and asset repair.
Associating Tools Departments
Associated tools department is responsible to schedule the tool.
Warranties Set Up
Warranty documents are to set up manufacturers and supplier warranty's information. The warrant document should also cover labor and material expenses.
Equipment Profiles should include equipment manufacturer, equipment value, and Model, Part and meter unit.
Asset must be located in the each department that uses the asset.
Overall asset safety must foresee by the security department. Each department must also foresee the safety of the equipment assigned to their department.
Asset Sold and Scrap Date
Date all scrap assets are sold must be entered in the Tracking Details, which include Manufacturer, Serial Number and Model.
Purchase of new equipment
Information for the new asset must include:
Asset estimated service life
Estimated revenue to be generated from the asset.
Country manufactured the asset.
Primary use for the asset.
Year asset is built.
Reliability ranking value.
Target power factor for the asset
Target peak demand watt for the asset.
Purchasing Asset ID
The system must include the following for the asset repairs:
Cost for the needed asset repairs.
Current Replacement Value.
Facility Condition Index based on maintenance details.
Global Asset Sustainability tracking.
Meter must measure the usage of piece of equipment.
Meter can be set to zero.
Meter is to be used for plan asset maintenance.
Measurement of meter must be meter unit.
The system must be able to delete recent meter reading.
User must be able to view meter history.
Asset must have warranty record.
Warranty description should include Manufacturer, Threshold, Duration, and Supplier.
System should reveal whether warrant is currently active.
System should reveal usage of warrant length and unit of measure.
Equipment Total Usage should be recorded and in unit of measure.
The system must notify that warrant is about to expire when reaching 30 days to expire,
Transferring Assets between Organizations
Only assets with status installed can be transferred. However, organization cannot transfer asset record having the following criteria:
Asset flagged Out of Service.
Asset flagged with a change notice.
Asset having work order with status Released.
Asset having a parent record and an equipment hierarchy.
Asset having child record…[continue]
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