Tag Archives: Preventive Maintenance

PM Configuration – 3 of 3 – Generate Single PM


In this third post in the PM Configuration Series, we will discuss the feature to manually generate an individual PM Schedule. While customers are encouraged to use Automated PM Generation whenever possible, some prefer to use manual generation for particular circumstances. For example, if “Fire Alarm Inspections” are required each month or quarter, the organization may prefer to defer the generation of the work orders until a window of opportunity in the given time period occurs. For situations such as this, PM Schedules can be set to generate manually, using the indicator on the Preventive Maintenance Automation
Tab:

When PMs are set as shown above, the Preventive Maintenance Section of the Home Page includes a notification, ensuring you are aware that schedules are due. In addition, an option to “Generate Work Orders” is shown:

The Generate Work Orders option prompts you to generate all schedules that are due at once. In the above example, this would result in work orders being generated for all “11” PM Schedules. In many cases, it is preferable to generate one or more selected schedules at a time, rather than all that are due.

To generate individual PM Schedules, click the PM Schedules Due alert on the home page. The PM Module will open with the PM Schedules that are due displayed in the Explorer Pane:

To generate an individual schedule, such as the “FIRE-INS” Schedule above, click on it. The schedule will open in the Preventive Maintenance Work Center. Prior to generating the schedule, it is always a good idea to click on the Assets Tab to verify that the correct work orders are targeted to generate. If the Next Scheduled Date needs to be adjusted on any assets prior to work order generation, you can use the instructions provided in the first blog in this series, PM Configuration – Update Assets.

To generate the work orders associated with the currently selected schedule, click the Generate Button on the bottom of the page.

The Generate Work Orders Dialog will display, listing the name of the currently selected PM Schedule in green in the upper right hand corner. When the PM Schedule Name is shown, you can be assured that proceeding will only generate work orders for the indicated schedule:

To proceed with work order generation, click the Generate Button at the bottom of the dialog.

You will be prompted to confirm that you wish to proceed. You will then either be notified to wait as work orders are being generated, or informed that your request has been sent to the queue for background processing. Once work orders have been generated, you can view them in the Work Order Module.

Note: Organizations that utilize the Manual PM Process are strongly encouraged to ensure the PM Preference to Generate Work Orders in the Background is set “on” to minimize problems that can occur (such as a time-out).

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.

PM Configuration – 1 of 3 – Update Assets


Maintenance Connection includes a number of helpful features that can be used to ensure your PM Schedules are properly configured. In this first post in our three part series on PM Configuration, we will review the “Update Assets” option that allows you to modify the attributes of multiple PM Assets in a single step. In the following posts we will explore the value of the “Use Asset Defaults” indicators and the feature to manually “Generate” an individual PM Schedule.

The PM Assets Tab displays all the assets tied to the Preventive Maintenance Schedule, identifying the location, and next scheduled date and procedure. While you can update individual records by selecting them and changing any desired attribute, there are often circumstances in which it is desirable to update multiple records in a single step. In the following example of a PM Schedule for Fire Alarm Inspections, there are a large number of fire alarms requiring inspection throughout the facility:

Currently these PMs are scheduled at different dates for each asset. Let’s use the “Update…” feature to organize the schedule so that groups of fire alarms are targeted for inspection at the same time. As an example, let’s set all alarms on the same “floor” to be targeted on the same date.

To globally update these assets, you click the “Selection Box” to the left of each asset to be updated (e.g., all alarms in the “Basement” of the Convention Center), and then click the Update… Button:

The Update Assets/Locations Dialog will display, listing all the attributes that can be globally updated for the selected assets. Since the next scheduled date is calculated based on the defined PM Asset “Last Generated” date, we must alter the “Last Generated” date at the top of the dialog to reset the date on which the generated work order will be targeted.  Let’s set all the “Fire Alarms” we selected to have a “Next Scheduled” date of April 1st. If our sample PM was set to generate every 3 months, to accomplish this we would set the “Last Generated” date to 1/1/12 (3 months before 4/1/12):

Click Apply when done. The dialog will close and the PM Assets Page will automatically refresh with the updated “Next Scheduled” date displayed for all Fire Alarms in the Basement. It is not necessary to click “Save” when using the Update Assets feature:

This process could be repeated to set all 1st floor Fire Alarms for 5/1/12 and all 2nd Floor Fire Alarms for 6/1/12:

On occasion, customers have expressed concern about modifying the “Last Generated” date in order to calculate the desired “Next Scheduled” date.  You can rest assured that resetting the “Last Generated” date does NOT affect your work order history.  This date only alters the reference data that is used to determine the date on which the next work order will be generated; no historical work order data is updated.

It should also be noted that if the PM being updated bases the next scheduled date on the last work order’s completion date, you would update the “Last Completed” date rather than “Last Generated” when using this feature.

Check back next week to learn how the “Use Asset Defaults” indicators ensure that organizational attributes (such as shop or account) are populated onto generated work orders as desired.

Version 5.0 Release – General Enhancements


In this last in the series on the Version 5.0 Release, we will highlight a few general enhancements that will be of special benefit to customers. These enhancements include Background Processing for Manual PM/Projection Generation, Extra Password for Delete Confirm and New Recipient Options in the Rules Manager.

Background Processing for Manual PM/Projection Generation

While most customers take advantage of MC’s automated capabilities for the generation of Preventive Maintenance Work Orders, the “manual generation” process is sometimes used to deal with special circumstances or to generate Work Order Projections. This “manual generation” feature has been enhanced to allow for background processing to improve efficiency and eliminate possible “time out” errors when large batches are generated.

A new PM Preference is available to indicate that you wish to generate Manual PM and PM Projection Work Orders in the “background”:

Once the preference for this has been set, requests for generation are put into a queue allowing you to continue to work elsewhere in Maintenance Connection until the process is complete. Once the PMs/Projections have been generated, a brief notification will display in the lower right of your screen.


Extra Password on Delete

The ability to delete records in MC is controlled by permissions and users are always prompted to “confirm” any deletions. However, customers have often asked for an “extra” step to ensure users pause and verify that they wish to delete the identified record. You can now set a new preference that prompts users to enter an additional “delete password” when attempting to delete records. Once your system is set to “require” this new password, the “Yes” option on the “Delete Confirm” will not display until the correct password is entered.

 

New “Recipient” Options for Notification Rules

The Rules Manager now includes an option to send a notification to the “Assigned Labor (Pager)”, which can be used to send a text message to the technician. To use this feature, you must determine the domain that is used by the technician’s wireless carrier. For example, for Verizon Wireless, the domain “@vtext.com” is used. As such, to send an automated text message to a Verizon subscriber with the number 916-555-1212, you would enter 9165551212@vtext.com into the technician’s Pager Email Field.


Notifications can now also be automatically sent to the individual who recorded the work order (“Taken By”).

Version 5.0 Upgrade
Customers with onsite installations of Maintenance Connection will be receiving an email shortly providing instructions for requesting the software upgrade. If you have questions in the meantime, do not hesitate to contact MC Support.

Troubleshooting Docs in the CSP


The Maintenance Connection Customer Service Portal (CSP), available to all MC Customers, includes numerous helpful tutorials and documents.

 

The Documentation Section, accessed by clicking the Documentation Button on the lower left of the CSP, includes numerous troubleshooting, implementation and technical guides, as well as PDF versions of the MC User Guides. In recent weeks, we have added several helpful troubleshooting guides that may prove beneficial to your organization:

  • Email Troubleshooting: Guide for troubleshooting problems that occur when you attempt to email notifications, reports or work orders to individuals within your organization, as well as external parties. The most common problems result from recipient email systems blocking receipt of the email or errors in specified addresses or settings within Maintenance Connection. This document provides guidelines to address these types of issues.

 

  • Agent Troubleshooting: Guide to assist IT Staff at customers with onsite installations of Maintenance Connection in troubleshooting issues encountered with the MC Agent. The MC Agent is the process used by Maintenance Connection to manage a number of automated features in the system, including notification emails, scheduled reports, work order rapid entry and the database job scheduler. The MC Agent, when installed, runs continuously checking for “jobs” that need to be executed, based on a defined “date/time” or occurrence of a specified event. This document provides IT staff with steps to follow if the agent is not working correctly in your network environment.

 

  • PM Troubleshooting: Guide to assist customers who encounter errors or difficulties with PM Generation, particularly those who prefer to use manual PM Generation or PM Projections, rather than available automated processes.

 

  • SMTP Troubleshooting: Guide to assist customers with SMTP Settings that are used to create emails invoked through the “First Time Login Process” or by clicking the “Email” Button on the Toolbar or Report Preview Window.

 

To access the Customer Service 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.