It isn’t always the big, shiny project or the most expensive app that equals transformation. It’s often the apps that lay the right foundation for the future and bring transformative ideas and services to life. Apps that are so simple and easy to use, they do the change management for you.

This was the key takeaway from Neptune Software’s recent UX Summit held in Oslo, Norway. It’s also the reason why customers are eager to share how Neptune Software is THE platform to help them bridge Business and IT.

“Bridging these gaps and driving strategic Digital Transformation is a matter of digitalising process after process, creating a new work culture around agile methods and cross-functional teams which will eventually drive new business models,” says Christoph Garm, Managing Director for Neptune Software Germany.

But don’t take our word for it.

Here’s a rundown of our favourite customer presentation from the event delivered by the charismatic Chuck Norris (not the one you’re thinking of!), General Manager of Engineering for Fonterra. He was witty, informative, and even did his intro welcome in Te Reo. Nui te mahi Chuck!

Mobilised Maintenance Workforce – Optimising Plant Maintenance Operations

Watch the full 20 minute presentation here or check out our summary below.

What is Fonterra and What Do We Do?

  • Optimising plant maintenance at Fonterra, the worlds fifth largest dairy producer, is a million dollar challenge.
  • Fonterra’s asset base equates to $15.6 billion and plant maintenance consumes about $70 million in labour and $225 million in repair and maintenance.

Getting Under the Bonnet – Maintenance Admin

  • Labour utilisation, or ‘Tool Time’ as Chuck describes it, typically falls between 25-30% for an immature organisation.
  • With a focus on planning for efficiency and effectiveness you can get this to about 38% (where Fonterra is today).
  • The best practice benchmark is about 55% labour utilisation.
  • Chuck’s goal is to get to 45% in the next two years and he says the “disciplined use of IT enablers” is a critical success factor to moving past a mediocre performance.


“If you want to jump from the 38% to 45% you really need to have a pretty good core process in place first or otherwise, you’re putting lipstick on a pig,”
says Chuck. 

ROI Comes from the Diagnostic and Quantification

  • There are various methods to discover ROI opportunities. Fonterra chose to shadow maintenance technicians, measuring the three metrics of; productive tool time, incidental (but necessary) activities and waste.
  • Chuck says you want to achieve improvements in the productive time a technician is adding value back to the asset and reduce waste, what he calls the ‘lean concept’.
  • Fonterra identified a massive opportunity when they discovered technicians spent 45 minutes a day on data entry into SAP.


What was it Worth to Improve?

  • Fonterra decided to pilot Zag’s ‘Mobile SAP Plant Maintenance’ product BlueWorx at one of their milk powder production plants.
  • They deployed a control group that didn’t use the solution and then measured against environments where the solution was in place.
  • Norris discovered BlueWorx demonstrated an achievable saving of USD $3.08 million. This is split up into $2,308 on rework, $3,193 on travel and $7,562 on SAP related admin tasks per technician per year, $13,065 in total.
  • The amount of uplift in getting work done gave Fonterra an immediate justification and reason for moving forward with BlueWorx.


Why BlueWorx, and what does it feel like?

“We had people logging into the app on a Sunday night, on their own device at home, in their own time to look at what they had lined up for the following day. That’s unheard of in my world. That’s a phenomenal amount of change so a really good outcome beyond the dollars and cents, which for most engineering departments is what they really want,” Chuck details.

Neptune Software and Zag BlueWorx, just worx…

“Neptune Software and Zag’s BlueWorx works for us because they are…

  • Simple – Neptune is delivered from inside SAP, making use of our existing SAP technology investment and with no black boxes.
  • Comprehensive – Neptune provides a great development and delivery platform; BlueWorx provides a comprehensive SAP Plant Maintenance mobile solution.
  • Great UX – The solution delivers SAP Fiori user experience to mobile and desktop users. That great UX helped immensely with change management and supports our future roadmap to S/4 HANA in aligning the user interface.
  • Offline – Using Neptune technology BlueWorx supports our need to work offline.
  • Innovative – In Neptune’s approach to mobility using SAP strengths; In BlueWorx many innovations that add to standard SAP, like configurable Inspections.
  • Adaptive – Using standard Neptune extensions we could easily adapt BlueWorx where required to suit our unique needs – like scanning our existing RFID tags.
  • Easy – Neptune and BlueWorx was easy to implement and has proven to be easy to support.
  • Cost Effective – The solution provides us with a good ROI.
  • Credible – Neptune Software and Zag were credible. Zag had customers using BlueWorx and had successfully delivered other complex offline solutions to customers using Neptune Software.”