Department of Conservation become the first to implement BlueWorx, a world-class Mobile Asset Management solution by Zag, taking them a step closer to making New Zealand the greatest living space on earth.
The Department of Conservation (DOC), Te Papa Atawhai, is the central Government agency charged with conserving New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. They manage 8.7 million hectares of conservation estate, which is equivalent to 30 percent of New Zealand’s landmass. This includes 14,500 km of walking tracks, 17,000 bridges, and 22,000 signs which all need inspections bi-annually at minimum to guarantee their visitors a safe experience and the extensive benefits that come from accessible outdoor recreation and a diverse natural and cultural heritage.
Asset data is crucial for determining and prioritising the necessary investment and upkeep needed for infrastructure in use within the conservation estate. “The key purpose of Asset Management is to assure Parliament, and the people of New Zealand, that we maintain assets to the right standard and right quality, so they are safe and good to use” says Mike Edginton, Chief Information Officer for DOC. Their need to capture data in remote areas at the source, means DOC rely heavily on mobiles and offline Mobile Asset Management to achieve objectives set by central government and their overall vision to make New Zealand the greatest living space on earth.
DOC have practiced Mobile Asset Management for 15+ years and were already on their 3rd generation Mobile Asset Management application prior to this project. “Our previous solution, SAP Work Manager, presented a vast number of issues, the chief one being the user experience based on the actual interface of the application. It was extremely difficult to use, and it just wasn’t the tool that was going to help us do the job well” explains Ben Goggins, SAP Support Officer for DOC. As a result, the user uptake wasn’t great, and some DOC Rangers had even resorted back to taking notes on paper and manually handing it in to administrators.
Watch how MyPM, built using SAP-certified Neptune Software, has transformed Mobile Asset Management at DOC within their 8.7 million hectares of conservation estate.
DOC have been working with Zag (formerly Soltius) on their SAP projects since 2003. There was an existing long-term trusted relationship, so “when Zag approached us with the application, it was obvious they understood our business, our Asset Management practices and what we needed from an infield data application” explains Mike Hopkins, Enterprise Resource Planning Team Lead for DOC. “With Zag it doesn’t feel like a vendor-customer relationship, it feels like a partnership”.
BlueWorx (formerly MyPM), developed by Zag, is a fully offline SAP Mobile Asset Management solution with a great looking and intuitive Fiori user interface. It allows SAP customers, like DOC, to take SAP Plant Maintenance into the field with ease. Developed using SAP-certified Neptune Software, and borne out of Zag’s extensive experience in the maintenance and mobility space, BlueWorx is a cost-effective solution that requires no middleware, and is extensible to customers own requirements.
BlueWorx is available across multiple mobile and desktop platforms, in DOC’s case, Android devices are employed. DOC Rangers simply synchronise their mobile devices with SAP and then they are ready to work offline. Out in the field, they process their assigned work orders, raise fault notifications and answer asset inspection questions with ease.
The BlueWorx solution allows DOC personnel to have several orders and inspections in progress at a time, and to move between them simply without loss of data. Finding assets is easy with intuitive search functionality and the ability to navigate up/ down and across Functional Location and Equipment records. GPS coordinates and photographic evidence of hazards can be gathered quickly and efficiently. The exchange of data from BlueWorx to SAP is painless and occurs with full visibility of the synchronisation process, giving users confidence in the process.
“Moving into our 4th generation of Mobile Asset Management our Rangers were initially reluctant to try a new application. BlueWorx, being so easy to learn and use in the field, actually did the Change Management for us. Employees became far more engaged and happier in their everyday work” elaborates Hopkins. One of the first benefits recognised was the increase in mobile device usage, no longer were Rangers resorting to paper. Shay van der Hurk, Ranger Recreation/Historic for DOC, who has taken on some of the BlueWorx field training, says “teaching BlueWorx was significantly easier than any other previous solution. Rangers around the country can easily pick it up without the need for elaborate training procedures, due to the app’s usability”.
Feedback has been abundantly positive. Here are just some of the quotes from DOC Rangers using BlueWorx:
- “Don’t know about the new app, too bloody easy to use and I don’t know what to do with my spare time now.”
- “The speed and user interface optimized for mobile make it so easy. Everything I need is at my fingertips, and there is no running back and forth because an upload was unsuccessful.”
- “It’s no longer a hassle just to do my everyday tasks. This new application is so reliable, and I’m more engaged in my work knowing the data has been captured securely and I won’t have to go back and do the inspection again.”
- “This is literally what we have been wanting for years. It finally feels like we are a professional organisation which has up to date tools.”
The Rangers aren’t the only ones to benefit from a great user experience. BlueWorx comes with its own Fiori Administration and Monitoring Console that’s simple and easy to understand. “BlueWorx was a godsend for me personally as an administrator, it’s so easy to use and to deploy to the end user” expresses Goggins. Easily configurable inspection templates are an invaluable feature for administrators. The Inspection Configuration part of the Admin Console was described by Goggins as being “simple like Lego, where you just keep adding blocks to build your inspection”. This makes BlueWorx an unbeatable solution for all organisations with asset inspection requirements.
BlueWorx has an active delivery roadmap, which is shaped by the needs of the SAP customer community. As time goes on, DOC will continue to benefit from new features as they are released by Zag. Hopkins sums up the project saying “with BlueWorx, Zag really have given us the tools and knowledge to move forward and meet our stakeholders’ needs into the future”.