Tag Archives: Asset

Asset Series – 3 of 3 – Asset Preferences and Configuration


In this third post in the Asset Series, we will take a peek at some valuable preferences that can be used to configure the display and behavior of the Asset Module. These sometimes overlooked preferences can be used to suppress PM generation for out of service assets, define the convention to automatically build Asset IDs, and trigger an alternate display for large asset nodes.

 

Suppress PM Generation for Out of Service Assets


This preference determines whether or not a work order should be created for an asset if it is marked as “out of service” at the time it is due to generate under a PM Schedule. When set to “yes”, the work order will not generate, and all scheduling information on the PM Asset will remain as last specified (last generated/completed or last meter readings). Whether or not the work order will generate upon the asset’s return to service is dependent on the PM Schedule definition. A schedule based on meter readings or elapsed time (e.g., x months) would likely generate a work order, whereas a fixed schedule would not generate a work order until the next specified date occurred.

 

 

ID Builder for New Assets


There are two preferences that determine ID creation for new assets. The first preference determines whether or not the AssetID will be predefined when a new asset is created. If the preference is set to “No”, no values will be populated into the new Asset’s ID and Name fields; the user will be completely free to enter any value desired. If set to “Yes”, the system will assist in generating an ID and Name to facilitate maintenance of a consistent naming convention.

If the new record is a “location”, upon specifying the Classification, the AssetID field will be populated with the Asset’s ParentID, followed by a “dash”, prompting you to add additional info for the node. This ensures that AssetIDs on all locations include valuable information from the location hierarchy. In the following example, when creating a ROOM in the Basement, the AssetID will identify the path for the newly created room, allowing you to add additional definition such as “EQUIP”, “CONF”, etc.:

If the new record is an “asset”, upon specifying the Classification, the AssetID field will be populated with the Asset’s Classification, followed by a “dash” and the next number to assign. Depending on the second preference shown, this will either automatically display the next available number, or indicate (Auto-Number) in parenthesis. If the second preference is set to “Use Auto-Number”, upon saving the new Asset the next available number will automatically be assigned:


 

 

Max Nodes to Read in Asset Tree Hierarchy


The preference that determines the “Max Nodes to Read” is very helpful in organizations with extensive equipment inside Asset Nodes. As nodes are opened in the Asset Tree, the system will present the results in the hierarchical tree, up to the specified number of records (default is 500). If the specified number is exceeded, the system automatically switches the display to “search mode” when the node is opened, allowing for a more efficient presentation of larger data sets. The search mode (shown below right), is faster for large result sets as it is displaying only the specified node (vs. the full tree).

 

In addition, with the “search mode” you have the added benefit of using available pagination to more efficiently navigate through records. In our example, there are over 500 “bearing” records, which have now been paginated for faster and easier navigation:

 

Note: There are also a set of preferences that allow for custom formatting of records displayed in the Asset Tree, such as showing assets with open work orders in a particular color. For further information on setting these preferences, see the previous blog on Explorer Preferences.

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Asset Series – 1 of 3 – Update Assets


In this three part series, we will review configuration options and features that are available in the Asset Module. In this first post, we will highlight the Update Assets feature that allows you to globally update assets based on changes made to Asset Classifications. Next we will discuss the utility that allows you to set the display order in the Asset Hierarchy. In the final post, we will summarize some valuable configuration options available through Asset Preferences.

 

Update Assets Using Classifications

The Asset Updater is a very powerful tool for updating existing assets with data defined for a given Asset Classification. The tool allows you to specify which fields or records should be updated, along with the rules to determine how affected records should be modified. In addition to updating basic data defined for the classification (such as icon, photo, or model info), the tool can be used to auto-populate specifications or other secondary records created on the Related Info Tab. Caution should always be exercised when using this feature as it performs a mass update to your data that cannot be undone!

 

The safest way to update an individual Asset Classification is to open the classification record and click the Update Assets button on the footer bar:

 

The Asset Updater tool will open with this Classification already specified in the first prompt.

Alternatively, the tool can be accessed from the Tools Menu (Asset Updater Using Classifications). When accessed this way it is very important to ensure that the proper Classification is specified in the first prompt (to ensure ALL Classifications are not updated). Next, it is important to specify if “All” locations should be updated, or only a particular node of the asset tree. If only a particular node of the asset tree should be updated, that should be selected from the Location dropdown control.

Once you have determined which assets should be affected, the remaining controls are used to determine the data that should be updated. The controls on the left are fairly straight forward, allowing you to update data that has been defined on the Classification Details, Meter or Risk Tab. In the following example, we are updating all Air Handlers with a new icon, photo and model information:

The controls on the right indicate which secondary records associated with the Classification should be updated. For each option, you can choose the type of update that should be performed. In the following example, we are merging Asset Specification records (adding missing records and updating existing records), synchronizing Asset Material records (adding missing records, updating existing records, and deleting those no longer specified), and finally, adding any Labor records that are not already populated. No changes are being made to Asset PMs or Asset Documents:

The bottom of the Asset Updater Dialog provides a legend ensuring you fully understand the impact of each choice:

When you are confident that the correct parameters for the update have been defined, you can proceed by clicking Save. Upon completion, a message will display in the lower left of the dialog indicating that the assets have been successfully updated.

 

The Asset Updater is a very powerful feature that is commonly used in the implementation process to more expediently populate asset data. Common uses, in addition to updating photos and icons, include setting assets of a particular classification to “use meters”, adding specifications and ranges to a set of assets, and auto-populating parts associated with the given asset classification. Although this feature is most commonly used in the early stages of implementation, customers find it very helpful for filling out asset data at later stages of the process as well. For assistance is using this powerful feature, do not hesitate to contact MC Support!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MC v6.0 Customer Survey Feedback


We published a survey in November encouraging our customers to provide feedback as to the MC v6.0 features they found most beneficial. As can be seen from the following chart, the new feature to link multiple assets to a work order “on demand” (directly from the Work Order Tasks page) was the most popular, with 44.7% of respondents indicating that it was especially beneficial:

 

 

Custom Work Order Filters and Enhancements to the Rules Manager were a close second, with 42.1% of survey respondents voting for these features. If you haven’t had an opportunity to explore these features, be sure to check out the helpful tutorials available in MC User Connect.

The tutorials for the first two features can be accessed from the first option listed on the Library Tab, Work Orders and Service Requester:

A tutorial to better understand the features available with the Enhanced Rules Manager can be found in the section labeled Notification and Rules Manager.

 

Be sure to review these videos for a valuable “hands on” demonstration of how to make the most of these new features. If you would like further information on any of the new MC v6.0 features, feel free to contact Maintenance Connection Support.

PM Configuration – 2 of 3 – Use Asset Defaults


In this second post in the PM Configuration Series, we will discuss the valuable “Use Asset Defaults” indicator displayed at the top of the PM Assets Tab:

This indicator determines whether or not generated work orders should use “asset record defaults” at the time of generation. Checking this control refreshes the page with a series of indicators allowing you to designate which fields in the asset record should be dynamically referenced at the time of work order generation.

For each attribute checked (e.g., Repair Center and Account above), the generated work order will include the asset’s current value at the time of work order generation. Importantly, if the asset does not have a value specified (i.e., no account listed in the Account Field), Maintenance Connection will search up the tree to find the correct value, exactly as is done when Corrective Work Orders are created. As such, this approach is preferred in most situations.

In some cases, however, it is desirable for PM generated work orders to have a different value than what is specified for the asset. As an example, rooms in your organization might be tied to the Maintenance Shop, as this shop handles most general requests. However, a PM for electrical inspections might be best handled by the Electric Shop. To “override” what is specified in the asset record, you would ensure that the Use Asset Defaults “Shop” indicator was not checked, and then set the PM Asset Shop to “Electric”. To set the PM Asset Shop, you simply select the PM Asset record, scroll down to Shop, and specify the desired value:

Tip: You can also set the value for all assets listed in a single step using the Update Assets Feature covered in last week’s blog.

It should be noted that in most cases, customers prefer setting the Use Asset Defaults indicators “on” to ensure that generated work orders are associated with the values currently designated on the asset (or a value specified up the tree). If the indicators are not checked, the generated work order will be populated with the values specified on the PM Asset record; typically the value that was specified for the asset at the time the PM Asset record was created. Since this process does not “search up the tree”, if no value is specified for the asset, the attribute on the PM Asset record will be “blank”, and this will propagate to the generated work order.

Check back next week to learn how to manually “generate” a single PM Schedule.

Using Barcodes with Maintenance Connection


Customers interested in enhancing the efficiency of their inventory and asset management practices often inquire about using barcodes and scanning technology. Barcode support in Maintenance Connection facilitates searches for inventory items, work orders, purchase orders or assets. Through the use of a scanning device, users can scan the ID for an item into an MC Search Field, rather than type the value, which can improve both accuracy and efficiency.

Barcode technology is most widely used with the Maintenance Connection Mobile Editions, as typing is more cumbersome with small devices. As an example, barcode scanning can be used to quickly add parts to a work order. Once the option to add a part has been selected, you can simply place the cursor in the Item # field prompt and scan the inventory tag from a stock room shelf.

 

In the MC Mobile Wireless Edition, scanning can also be used to facilitate Inventory Counts. Once the “Count Inventory Feature” is accessed, you scan in the item ID and then specify the current count:

 

Similarly, asset tags with barcodes can be used in the field to create new work orders or facilitate searches for existing work orders. While the benefits of scanning are more apparent with mobile devices, customers can also use scanning devices to facilitate searches in the Maintenance Connection MRO WorkCenter.

Mobile Devices with Scanning Capabilities

Customers often inquire about mobile devices with scanning capabilities that work effectively with our system. To assist customers in identifying and selecting devices for use with MC Mobile, we recommend you consult the website of RMS Omega, our preferred provider. RMS Omega provides certified mobile computers, hardware, labels, supplies and services for Maintenance Connection customers.

For More Information….

For additional information about barcode support in Maintenance Connection, refer to the Barcode Support Document available from the Customer Support Portal. This document provides additional information about setting up barcode formats in MC, and provides examples of common uses for the MC Mobile Wireless and Offline Editions, as well as the full MRO WorkCenter.

Note: To access the Customer Support Portal, go to the Maintenance Connection Login Page and enter your company’s CSP ID and Password. If you do not remember your organization’s credentials, contact support for assistance. Once inside the Customer Support Portal, click the Documents link on the left. 

 

To learn more about our MC Mobile Edition products, contact your Account Manager.