Tag Archives: tips and tricks

Five Tips for More Accurate Reports


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Are you looking for ways to improve the accuracy of your Maintenance Connection reports? A little extra time configuring your system for accurate data input can result in great returns from report output!

Here are five tips to help ensure the most accurate reporting:

    1. Consistent ID/Name Fields: Identifying logical conventions for ID and Name Fields (e.g., AssetID/Name, Procedure ID/Name, etc.) can prove quite helpful for reporting. For example, although any unique value can be used for an Asset ID, using a concatenation of abbreviated values can be quite helpful (i.e., Location-Class-Unique# or Class-Unique#). Rather than identify an HVAC Unit as “123”, you could identify the asset as “BLDG4-ACU-04” or “ACU-04”. The name field, which does not need to be unique, can be more general (“HVAC Unit”, “AC Unit 4”, etc.). Creating meaningful ID’s improves your data quality and provides an additional mechanism for quickly locating and reporting data.2. Fully Populated Reference Fields: It is important to make sure that fields referenced in reports are fully populated in the system. For example, if you want to report by Department, you must be sure that your work orders are being populated with a value for department. To check, you can run a report that checks for all work orders in which a “Department value does NOT exist”. You can then enter the correct department onto the associated asset (or onto a parent record from which the department value can be inherited).


    3. Tracking Assets to the Right Level: Organizations that maintain asset data down to a very detailed level often find that it is more difficult to manage and report work order activity. That is, it is not necessary to have every item in a room listed as an asset (i.e., every light switch, chair, etc.). If there is a problem with a light switch, a work order can be generated on the “room,” specifying the light switch in the description or problem code field. While there is no “golden rule” indicating which items should be listed as an individual asset, consider the following:
  1. Do I need to schedule preventative maintenance on this particular piece of equipment?
  2. Is this asset tagged and/or over a designated value?
  3. Do I need to individually report work order history against this piece of equipment?
    If an item does not meet the criteria defined by your organization, it may be best NOT to track it as an individual asset. As an alternative, you can also consider tracking the item as a specification or spare part.
    4. Cleaning Up Duplicate Records: Duplicate work orders often create inaccurate reports summarizing work order activity or progress. To identify duplicate work orders for removal, consider running a report grouped by Asset and Problem Code so that similar work orders would be listed together for review. And to ensure that fewer duplicate work orders are created going forward, customers on MC Version 4.2 can use the “Duplicate Work Order Checking Feature” in the Service Requester and MRO. For more information, refer to the Duplicate Work Order Tip in the User Guide.
    5. Validating Entry into Text Fields: Maintenance Connection uses lookup tables to validate data entry to ensure that consistent values are used. Maintenance Connection even allows you to create lookup tables for user defined fields and specifications that will require text entry:

    Refer to the User Guide sections on Customizing User Fields and Creating/Updating Specifications for more information.

Helpful Tips in Reporter Guide

The Maintenance Connection Reporter Guide is used extensively to obtain instructions for running reports, modifying report criteria or establishing report setup. The guide also includes numerous helpful tips for using the more complex features of the Reporter.

Since the Online Reporter Guide is not accessible from within the Report Setup or Report Preview Windows, it is recommended that you open the Online Reporter Guide while in the Report Lookup.  The guide will open in a separate browser window that you can keep open while you proceed to modify or run your reports.  This window can then be accessed whenever assistance is required.

To open the Online Reporter Guide, click the help icon to the right of the search field in the Report Lookup (you can also select Reporter Guide from the Help menu if the Reporter has not yet been opened):

You can use the TOC and Search feature to quickly obtain help. Following are some quick examples of useful information/tips found in the guide:

Assistance in Defining Report Criteria Expressions (such as date expressions):

Tips for Creating and Distributing Smart Reports

Following are some additional tips that you might find useful:

Configuring the Service Requester – Week 2 of 3

In this second post regarding Configuring the Service Requester, we will discuss how customers with onsite installations of Maintenance Connection can set up the SR to allow users to upload files, such as images or documents.

Configuring the SR to Allow Attachments

Customers with onsite installations of MC are taking advantage of this helpful feature that allows users entering service requests to attach pertinent documents and images. The attachments, such as an image of damaged equipment or further explanatory documentation, are then automatically attached to the generated work order.

To configure the SR to allow for updating of images or attachments, use the “Service Requester Configuration…” option on the MRO Tools Menu. When the Configuration Tool appears, click the Submit Service Request Tab…

Customers with onsite installations of MC will notice that the following three checkboxes are available in the far right column of the field list:

These options allow you to specify whether or not users should be able to upload Documents, Images or Misc Files from the Service Requester. The Documents option allows users to attach a document from your current Documents Library, but does not allow them to upload a new document. The “Images” and “Misc Files” options allow users to upload new images or file attachments that will be directly associated with the generated work order.

Let’s check the options for Images and Misc Files and look at how this affects the SR:

To save the changes you have made, be sure to click the Button (you can also click Save, but this will close the Configuration Tool).

To see how this will appear on the actual Service Requester, click the Button in the lower left of the Configuration Tool. The “Submit Service Request” Page will appear, displaying new sections for uploading “Images” and “Misc Files.”

In the following example, the user has used the available “Add” buttons to specify an image and file to be attached:

These attachments would be accessible from the Work Order: Attach Tab of the generated work order.


Coming Postings…

Next week, in our final blog in the series on Configuring the SR, we will discuss how to set up an email notification for Service Requests.

Reminder: Maximize your investment in MC by attending the October 27-28th
Western Regional Training Seminar at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas.

Configuring the Service Requester – Week 1 of 3

Have you ever wanted to remove a field displayed in the Service Requester? In this first of three posts on the Service Requester, we will discuss how to define the fields displayed and how to ensure users enter values into required fields.

Don’t Forget! Mark your calendars for October 27-28 to take your CMMS skills to the next level with our Western Regional Training Seminar at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas. Spaces are filling up quickly, sign up today…

Configuring Display Fields
To configure the fields that should be displayed on the Service Requester, use the “Service Requester Configuration…” option on the MRO Tools Menu. When the Configuration Tool appears, click the Submit Service Request tab…

For each field listed, you can specify whether or not it should be displayed on the Service Requester and whether or not the user should be required to enter a value in the field prompt. There are two checkboxes prefacing each field name; the one on the right specifies whether or not the field should be displayed; the one on the left (marked with the exclamation point) allows you to designate if entry should be required.

In the above example, only the Type and Priority fields will be displayed, and the user will not be required to complete either field. The Submit Service Request Page might look like this…

Let’s go ahead and change the Configuration Tool to prompt the user to enter the date the repair is “Needed By”. To do this, check the box immediately to the left of the “Needed By” field (click in the box). Similarly, if you want to require the user to specify the “Type” of problem, check the “required” box in the left column. Your new configuration page might look like this:

To save the changes you have made, be sure to click the Button (you can also click Save, but this will close the Configuration Tool).

To see how this will appear on the actual Service Requester, click the Button in the lower left of the Configuration Tool. The “Submit Service Request” Page will appear showing the changes you specified. Notice how the Needed By field now appears and the Type Field now indicates it is “Required”. The user will not be able to “Submit” a Service Request without completing all fields designated as required.


Work Order Tips: Week 1 of 3

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Batch Work Order Assignments

In an effort to help customer learn more of the ins and outs of using Maintenance Connection, we will review specific topics over the next three weeks related to optimizing how your use the Work Order Module. Assigning work orders to your maintenance staff is a very useful way to track who is doing what, and also lends to the ability to view your assigned work orders in both a list and calendar format by labor. Often times, customers like to take a whole list of work orders and assign them or re-assign them to one specific individual. This brief tutorial will explain batch assignments.

Here is how to batch assign work orders to an individual:

  1. Log into the Maintenance, Repair and Operations WorkCenter
  2. When you see your work order list, click the Explore button from the top navigation bar

  3. Using the checkbox to the left of each of the work orders, select the work orders you’d like to assign
    NOTE: Sometimes prior this step, it’s a good idea to use the criteria filters to select the records you’d like to assign
  4. Once your work orders are selected, click the Assign button at the bottom of the screen.
    (Notice there are several other buttons which also allow you to perform batch functions on multiple work orders)
  5. The screen below shows some of the options for assigning or re-assigning work orders. Simply select the individual or vendor from the “Assign To” drop-down and click Apply to process the batch assignment.
    (Quick note about the “Remove Existing Assignments” option – if the selected work orders are already assigned, this process by default will add to the assignments. If you check this box, the work order will be re-assigned.)