How does SAP Pool Asset Management improve the use of shared assets?

The Pool Asset Management tool enables easier scheduling and cost allocation of resources that employees share, such as vehicles. Here's a look at how it works.

Many companies have resources -- for example, projectors or utility vehicles -- that employees have access to on a loaned basis. Managing these shared assets so that they are appropriately available, however, can be difficult. SAP Pool Asset Management can help.

Production Resources/Tools managers looking after returnable tools and machinery, transport managers handling large fleets of pooled vehicles such as cars, buses or trucks, and IT managers looking after assets such as projectors or laptops can all effectively manage these shared or pooled assets' availability using PAM. Pool Asset Management is a tool that is available in the Plant Maintenance component of SAP ERP Central Component. It requires activation of the business function LOG_EAM_PAM.

Since the assets, such as a projector or car, are already available in the system either as equipment or a fleet object, respectively, implementing SAP Pool Asset Management requires logically grouping these shared resources so they appear as pooled assets. For example, all off-road trucks available in the system can be grouped together in PAM, which can then be assigned to a single functional location to maintain a logical link between an available fleet and their locations. A functional location is a logical or spatial location, such as a factory, a head office, an IT room or a warehouse. So, in this example, a group of off-road trucks (assets) is assigned to a factory (a functional location) in PAM. Another PAM group can have all shared projectors assigned to IT department as a functional location.

How SAP Pool Asset Management works

Let's now delve into how PAM functions. The business user requests the required pooled asset, such as a vehicle, by creating a notification in the system and maintaining information on the type of vehicle required and when. A notification is a formal request for information or action required. In this case, the user employs a specific notification type so that the system brings up the screen's layout specific to PAM. Upon saving this notification, the system automatically schedules the vehicle reservation in PAM. This is followed by vehicle issuance and then its eventual return, which are all noted in the system. In the case of the vehicle, the system also notes the starting and ending odometer reading. Finally, the system attributes the cost of using the vehicle either to a general cost center or to the department that reserved this vehicle.

Figure 1 is the SAP Pool Asset Management planning dashboard. Not only does it offer complete visibility of reserved pooled assets but also options to interactively work with resources' scheduling or even creating new requests for pooled assets.

SAP Pool Asset Management Planning Board
Figure 1. Pool Asset Management Planning Board

The lower left-hand side of the screen shows the notification for a vehicle required on Sept. 11, 2016, for the SAP Las Vegas Conference event (lower right-hand side). The color coding in the PAM planning dashboard denotes various statuses of pooled assets, such as outstanding, reserved, issued, returned or settled.

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