Tag Archives: Preferences

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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Explorer Preferences


MC includes a number of preferences that allow you to tailor the display and behavior of records shown in the Explorer List.  For all modules, there are three general preferences available:

The first two preferences simply determine whether the Explorer List should be automatically refreshed upon saving a new or edited record. Setting these to “Yes” ensures that the list is always up to date. Alternatively, if this is set to “No”, you can manually refresh the list using the available Refresh Button as desired.

The third preference allows you to control the number of records that will display in the list. The default setting (BH) displays the maximum number of records per page that will fit based on the current “Browser Height”, without need to scroll. To view additional work orders, the “Next” option is used to retrieve the next page of records.

If you prefer to have more records displayed on a single Explorer page, this setting can be changed. For example, changing the preference to “ALL” will result in all records being displayed in a single scrollable page. With this setting, the user simply uses the scroll/arrow control to move on to additional records.

These settings can be individually defined for each module, based on your business practice and volume of records. In addition to “BH” and “ALL”, this preference can be set to display a specific number of records per page (e.g. 100).

Format Criteria

Explorer Preferences can also be used to define conditional formatting in the Work Order, Purchase Order, Inventory, and Asset Modules. Up to three different format styles can be defined for each of these modules:

In this example, Format Criteria was used to display all assets with open work orders in red in the Asset Explorer.

For instructions on using this valuable feature, refer to the Conditional Formatting Setup Guide available in MC User Connect:

Custom Work Order Filters

The Work Order Module also includes preferences that allow you to define Custom Work Order Filters for display on the Home Page and Work Order Explorer Filter dropdown. Up to 10 custom filters can be defined per RC, such as “High Priority Work Orders for Electrical Shop”, allowing for single click access to important records:

For more information on this feature, refer to a previous blog post on Work Order Features in MC v6.0. The User Interface Configuration section of the MC User Connect Library also includes a video on setting up Custom Work Order Filters.

It’s Your Preference – 3 of 3 – PO Report


As with the Work Order Report covered in last week’s blog, the Purchase Order Report can be tailored to meet the needs of your organization using available Preferences. To modify the Purchase Order Report, select Tools->Preferences from the Menu Bar, ensure the Purchase Order Folder is selected, and then scroll down to the section on the Purchase Order Report.

The “Show” preferences highlighted above control the content that will be displayed in the top section of the report. These preferences often vary dependent on your organization’s use of the Purchase Order Report. If the report is intended for a vendor, contact information and shipping/receiving information are likely to be desired, as shown below.

In contrast, if the report is to be sent to staff members, you might desire more information about internal processing and departments. As shown below, the “Show Enhanced Status” preference was turned “on” to show additional information about the individuals requesting, issuing and approving the purchase order. The “Show Additional Detail” preference was also enabled to display organizational information such as repair center, department and account:

The section of preferences for “Line Items”, allows you to control the columns that will be displayed. In the first example, the display is more vendor oriented, showing “conversion to issue units” in the “Order Qty” column, as well as displaying any applied discounts:

In contrast, preferences can be set to provide more information for internal staff, such as “location” (stock room and bin), and account:

The additional settings allow you to replace the Purchase Order ID with a UDF that stores an internal ID, and determine the type of approval information that should be displayed at the bottom of the report. To clarify the options for the Approval Section, “default” lists approvals that been made, “static” provides blank lines to allow for approval, and “enhanced” shows approvals if they exist, providing a blank line if none exist. The “line height” preference determines the amount of space provided when approval lines are displayed.

It should also be noted that the Purchase Order Barcoding Preferences, found directly below the Purchase Order Report Preferences, allow you to determine whether or not barcodes should display on the report:

It’s Your Preference – 2 of 3 – WO Report


In this second post in the “It’s Your Preference” series, we will explore the extensive preferences available to customize the appearance of the Work Order Report that is often printed or emailed to technicians. To modify this report, select Tools->Preferences from the Menu Bar, ensure the Work Order Folder is selected, and then scroll down to the section on the Work Order Report.

The configuration options available are especially helpful for formatting the presentation for online/email display, versus a printout on which information might be written down. As an example, the first preference listed allows you to specify “line height” so that you can extend the space between lines in the “fill in the blank” sections when technicians will be writing information on the form. Additional settings indicate the number of blank “fill in” lines that should be displayed, such as lines for technicians to “list” parts that were used. If technicians in your organization update information directly into the system, the Work Order Report can be configured to minimize or hide these “fill in” sections.

 

As the above image indicates, there are a set of preferences that allow you to configure the “Maintenance Details” area displayed at the top of the report, as well as specify the level of detail that should be included (e.g., asset address, asset details such as model and serial number). A number of these settings were added in Version 5.0 of Maintenance Connection.

Additional preferences are available for each section of the report, allowing you to specify whether the section should display (always, only when there are records), and indicate whether or not particular columns should display:

 

Lastly, you can determine whether approval information and the Labor Report should display, as well as indicate whether or not a signature block should be included:

 

Stay tuned for next week’s post in the series, in which the options to configure the Purchase Order Report will be highlighted.

Report Preferences

It’s Your Preference – 1 of 3 – Reports


Maintenance Connection’s System Preferences are a great way to tailor the system to meet the unique needs of your organization. Once the focus on system set up has passed, these valuable preferences can be overlooked. To refocus attention on this feature, we are publishing an “It’s Your Preference” Blog Series to highlight popular settings in three areas. In this first post we will cover several helpful Report Preferences. In the next two posts in the series, we will review the preferences available to tailor the appearance of the printed work order and purchase order.

Report Preferences

To access Report Preferences, select Tools->Preferences from the Menu Bar, and then select the Report Folder. Since several preferences are repair center based (the ones that do not display a globe), these settings can be unique for each repair center as needed. In the following example, the XYZ University has defined their report preferences, some of which are unique for their “Athletics” Repair Center.

Return Path for Bounced Email: This preference allows you to list a specific individual to receive messages from bounced emails. Listing “SENDER” will result in the individual sending the report receiving the “bounce” notification.

BCC/CC Email List for All Outgoing Emails: These preferences define the email address of any individual who should be copied (or blind copied) on reports sent via email. Listing “SENDER” will result in the individual sending the report receiving a copy (or blind copy).

Email Address FROM/FROM NAME: These preferences determine the Email from Name (and Address) that is used when a report is manually emailed (using the Email Button on the Report Preview Window). If a value is not set, the email address of the logged in user will be used.

Number of Lines Per Report Section: This preference determines the default number of rows (records) that will be displayed before another “report section” is generated. Records included in the same section are displayed on a single HTML Page, allowing you to scroll down to view other records without moving to another section using the control available on the Report Preview Toolbar. This preference is set to 1000 records by default. If you would like to have more records displayed on a single “HTML Page” to avoid navigating to different sections, you may wish to increase this value (e.g. to 2000). It should be noted, however, that there are performance implications to increasing this value, as the system must retrieve and present more data at once.

Replacement/Additional Logo for Reports: The logo preferences allow you to have a logo displayed on reports that is different from the one displayed on your MC Home Page (or in addition to). This setting is often used when a different logo is desired for a particular repair center’s reports. In the following example, XYZ University uses a different logo to display on reports generated by the “Athletics” Repair Center: