Maximo has been around for nearly thirty years and accounting systems for somewhat longer. The integration between Maximo and your Accounting system used to be thought of as an advanced technique, now it is becoming increasingly a standard requirement.
There are a number of clear benefits to be gained by performing this integration. These include:
- A single source of truth. Many organisations waste hundreds of man-hours each year trying to reconcile the costs shown in Maximo and those shown in the accounting system. When the two systems don’t match, management loses confidence in both systems.
- Reflecting the true cost of maintenance work. Many organisations do not know how much it actually costs to maintain the asset. Unless there is a reliable and proven cost recording mechanism, management does not have the information to hand to perform basic decisions; e.g. repair or replace the asset; use internal or subcontract labour, etc.
- A number of organisations prefer to avoid the headache of integration by using a generic ER|P system to manage their maintenance needs. In effect, they have avoided a £30,000 interface problem and inherited a multimillion pound headache that does not look after their critical assets properly.
Financial Integration Options
There are a number of off the shelf integration tools to address the most common integrations to SAP Financials, Oracle eBusiness Suite and Sun Systems. A number of independent consultancy organisations also have template solutions that can rapidly be deployed to less common accounting systems, such as Agresso, Dynamics, Open Accounts, etc.
Sometimes, the client’s IT strategy may stipulate an interface mechanism using the clients in house Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and the IT standards, such as Web Services. This may preclude the use of the off the shelf integration tools and result in the organisation requiring a bespoke integration solution.
However, Maximo is based on Service Oriented Architecture and supports Web Services and the use of the Maximo Integration Framework. This makes the technical side of the integration relatively straight forward and allows the client to focus more on the business touch points between the systems.
There are three basic business scenarios for integrating Maximo to the finance system. These are:
- Scenario 1 – Maximo used for Maintenance and the ERP used for Inventory Control and Purchasing. This is the most complex of the scenarios, as it requires the most interface points. It also means that the client may lose a lot of Maximo standard functionality (e.g. rotable item tracking, kits, item specifications, where used, item condition codes, etc.) as the finance system may not have the engineering capability in its inventory module.
- Scenario 2 – Maximo used for Inventory Control and the Finance System used for Purchasing and Accounts. This is a slightly less complex scenario and addresses some of the concerns about loss of functionality. However, many organisations find their financial purchasing system deficient when it comes to managing contracts.
Scenario 3 – Maximo used for Maintenance, Inventory, Purchasing and Invoice Matching. The finance system is used for accounting. This is the simplest integration scenario in terms of touch points and also maximises the inherent functionality of Maximo.
Whichever scenario you select, there are a number of sub options and additional touch points you may require (e.g. projects, fixed assets, HR data, etc.). These can be implemented as required.
Note that in the case of integration, it is worth considering that less is more. A number of clients have taken short cuts in their integration scenarios (e.g. not interfacing financial periods as there is only one transaction per month or not bothering to synchronise the vendors’ tables). This typically leads to problems downstream as transactions fail validation and then have to be manually fixed later.
Proper integration between Maximo and your financial system is a relatively simple task and can bring great benefits to your organisation. In addition to making the lives of the finance and operations people easier, it substantially improves control of costs and can speed up routine processes such as the payment of supplier invoices and the purchasing process.
Why not contact your Vetasi Sales Representative today and see how we can improve your working practices by offering you an integrated solution?
For more information on Financial Integration, please contact our sales team on 08434 610061, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.