George Broman, principal project manager for SAP at Framatome ANP Inc., a firm that modernizes, maintains and provides components for nuclear power plants, wants the company to be prepared for a boom in new projects.
With energy prices spiking in some areas of the United States, communities are considering nuclear power as a way to ease rising energy costs. To prepare itself for the potential onrush of business, Framatome ANP, a joint subsidiary of AREVA and Siemens, is implementing SAP across its divisions in the U.S. to standardize with corporate offices in France and Germany.
"As a nuclear reawakening happens in the U.S., we are teaming up with consortium-type folks to actually build new plants," Broman said in a recent interview with SearchSAP.com.
The company is dropping its primary purchasing and accounting J.D. Edwards system, and implementing mySAP ERP. The tentative go live date for the project is set for July, Broman said.
"We are a project-driven company in everything we do, so we want to track our costs in SAP and drive those project costs down to a certain level," he said.
The company relies heavily on Bala Cynwyd, Penn.-based Primavera Systems Inc.'s P3e project management system to schedule and manage its operations. Rather than custom coding a system to integrate Primavera to Framatome's SAP Project System module, the company decided to implement Impress Software to put the two pieces together and allow data to flow freely from both the Primavera and SAP systems.
Waltham, Mass.-based Impress develops packaged integration applications for SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Enterprise Project Management (EPM) customers. It competes with custom integration projects or third party outsourcers for work synchronizing data from SAP's Plant Maintenance and Project System modules to and from the Primavera project management system.
"You can develop custom stuff and hope and pray that it's going to work and when there is an update or upgrade that everything is still the same, but we didn't want to go in that direction," Broman said.
The integration is paramount to the company's operations, he said. Every step of a project at a nuclear power plant must go according to specific plan and procedures or result in increasing project costs, he said.
"There's a defined schedule and equipment is available on a critical path. If you are not ready, everything shuts down and stops and that could result in millions of dollars a day in costs to the customer," Broman said. "Understanding where you are in your work relative to where you are supposed to be and having accurate and timely information in SAP passing down into [Primavera] is critical to our business."
Before moving forward with the project, a sound business plan was put in place, according to Broman. The project team conducted a thorough analysis of how Framatome structures its projects. The project included a lot of field mapping to figure out how data would move between the two systems, he said.
The company anticipates a reduction in the time it takes for project controls people to conduct detailed cost and scheduling analysis, Broman said.
"We tested the Impress system and came up with mapping fields before we agreed to purchase it," Broman said. "You can find any company to build an interface and they'll build you an interface, but if you're looking for something that you can put in place and be supported by Primavera and by SAP, I don't know anyone else out there that can do it."