Tag Archives: Inventory

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.

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Managing Parts – 3 of 3


In this final post in the series about Managing Parts, we will take a peek at the features available to update inventory levels to reflect actual quantities found during a “physical count”. There are two features available from the Actions Menu, “Adjust Inventory” and “Count Inventory”.

 

The Adjust Inventory Feature displays the current inventory levels for items and allows you to directly adjust “On Hand” Inventory Quantities. As On Hand (OH) Inventory Levels are changed and saved, the adjustments are applied immediately. The actual “on hand” inventory levels for the item will be changed.

 

The Count Inventory Feature allows users to enter updated counts for items and have them “pending” until you are ready to review them and have them applied to the system. One great benefit of this feature is that it is available for wireless users on the MC Mobile Application.

When the Count Inventory Feature is used, the system calculates and displays the difference to be applied as the user enters each actual “count”. In the following example, an actual count of 13 HVAC Filters in the Main Stock Room was recorded and an updated count of 24 was entered for the SF Stock Room. The system then calculates and displays the adjustments that will be made (+3 for Main Stock Room and -1 for SF Stock Room).

 

When you are ready to apply counts that have been updated from either the MRO WorkCenter or MC Mobile Application, you simply use the “Apply Counts to Inventory…” option available from the Actions Menu.

 

A dialog is displayed prompting you to confirm that you wish to apply the stored counts. After clicking on the Apply Button, the system will apply the updated counts and provide a confirming message. As with all updates to inventory quantities, these adjustments can be viewed from the Inventory Item (Transactions->Adjustments Tab). Although it is a bit hard to see in this small image, the page shows the two adjustments made in the “Count” feature (+3 for Main and -1 for SF Stock Room). Adjustments made from the Adjust Inventory Feature will also be shown on this tab.

Managing Parts – 2 of 3


In this second of the three part series about Managing Parts, we will review setting up cost rules to ensure your Work Order Material Costs are calculating as intended.

The cost rule that determines the cost that will be applied when parts are used on a work order is specified on the Inventory Details Tab. The default setting for new inventory items uses the standard cost rule (S). This rule applies the “fixed” cost specified on the Inventory Details Page to ALL work orders that use this material:

 

In the example shown above, the item has been specified to use the Standard Cost Rule and record each usage (actual material) at $75.00. This amount will apply to all work order actual material costs, regardless of any subsequent purchasing activity that might indicate a different cost. That is, this method does not utilize any cost history calculated from purchases recorded in the Purchasing Module.

If you are maintaining purchase history in Maintenance Connection (recording purchase orders and receipts), you can use a cost rule that calculates the cost based on purchasing activity. The two most common rules used are “Last Cost” and “Average Cost.” The “Last Cost Rule” will apply the last cost recorded on a completed purchase order for this item, whereas the “Average Cost Rule” will apply the average cost of all completed purchase orders. To verify the cost that will be used, Maintenance Connection displays the values calculated from purchase order history directly below the cost rule on the Inventory Items Details Page. In the following example, you can see that the last purchase recorded in the system was for a cost of $72.00, and the average cost of all purchases recorded in the system was $77.50.

 

If you selected the “L-Last Cost” Rule, actual material recorded for this item would have a rate of $72.00. If the rule was changed to “A-Average Cost”, $77.50 would be applied to actual material records. These values will be updated each time a new purchase order is issued (and completed) for this item.

Tips:

  • Be sure to click the “Apply to all Stock Rooms” indicator to ensure that this cost rule is applied to all stock rooms.
  • When you add “actual material” to a work order it always shows the “standard cost” until the work order is saved. Once the work order is saved, the correct “last” or “average” cost will show.
  • If you would like to convert to a method that determines costs based on purchase history, contact Customer Support to obtain and run scripts to switch over your data.  

Note: The Cost Rule lookup also includes options for LIFO and FIFO (“last in first out” and “first in first out”). It is not recommended that customers use these options as they require a very strict sequence of entry/events.

Coming Postings…

Next week, in our third blog in this series on Managing Parts, we will review the Inventory Count feature.

Managing Parts – 1 of 3


In this part one of a three part series about Managing Parts within Maintenance Connection, we will take a peek at the valuable Transaction History that is maintained and available for viewing. The Transaction History summarizes the transactions that have resulted in current inventory levels for all parts maintained in the system, and provides sub-tabs to view specific types of transactions (e.g., amount used/issued in a work order, amount received through purchase orders, amount transferred to another stock room, etc.).

To view the Transaction History for an inventory item, use the Inventory Explorer or Search Tabs to locate the item to be viewed. Once selected, choose the Transactions Tab on the far right to view all transactions that have been recorded for this item/part.

The default “All Sub-Tab” shows all transactions that have affected inventory for the displayed item, based on the stock room and dates specified at the top of the page. By default, transactions for the previous three months are displayed, but this date can be changed. In the above example, there are four transactions for this part in the selected stock room – two purchase order receipts, one work order issue and one transfer to a different stock room.

With a closer view, you can see that the right side of the page shows the quantity incremented (or used) for each transaction, as well as the ending balance after the transaction was processed.

 

To view specific types of transactions, you can select the appropriate sub-tab at the top of the page. For example, to just view receipts, you would select the Receipts Sub-Tab:

In addition, a sub-tab is available to quickly check if there are any parts “On-Order“:

 

Tip: Refer to the Online User Guide for more information on using this feature (Inventory Module Chapter: Inventory Tabs/Pages: Transactions Tab). You can also just search for “Transactions”.

 

Coming Postings…
Next week, in our part two of this series on Managing Parts, we will discuss how to set up cost rules to ensure your Work Order Material Costs are calculating as intended.

Setting Up Conditional Formatting


Conditional Formatting is a way to set the style of records in the explorer sections of the Maintenance Connection software. This will allow you to quickly identify records that you may need to take action on. Currently, Conditional Formatting can only be used in the Work Order, Asset, Purchase Order, and Inventory modules. In order to set up Conditional Formatting you will need to be logged into the MRO and have the appropriate access group rights.

In this example, we will be highlighting certain work orders by setting the text to red when they are set at a High priority. Start by selecting the Preferences option from the Tools dropdown menu. Once the Preferences  dialog window is open, ensure that the Work Order module has been selected in the list on the left.

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The Conditional Formatting can be set to occur for only your specific user image or for all members of a specific repair center. image

For each module that is setup to use conditional formatting, you can set up to three Format Criteria.

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We need to tell the system how to find the Work Orders that are High priority. In order to do this we will need to add in some SQL by clicking the Format Criteria 1 option, a new window with an input will appear with which we will add the following SQL:

Select 1 From WO WITH (NOLOCK) WHERE WOPK = [RECORDPK] AND PRIORITYDESC = 'HIGH'

Now that we have told the system how to identify the High priority work orders, we can tell it how to display them. Clicking on Format Style 1 will bring up another window with which we will add the following code for the red color:

COLOR:#FF0000

After saving our preferences and closing the preference dialog we can refresh the Work Order Explore window to see our changes.

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As you can see, this feature can be extremely useful in identifying and highlighting records in the Maintenance Connection system that need attention. For more information on how to setup Conditional Formatting as well as additional examples of SQL that can be used, please download the .


NFMT 2009 Trade Show

Join us at the National Facilities Management and Technology Show next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (March 10-12) in Baltimore. Find us at booth #1859. If you’re able to stop by, let us know.