Infor EAM

Can you really change an equipment code in EAM?

In EAM, we drill it into people’s head that a code field cannot be changed, updated, or reused after the record is created, saved, and associated with another system record. However, recently we have found a new action when you right click on any equipment record in version 11.3. There is now an option to “Change Equipment Number” which essentially lets you change the equipment code. So, of course, me being the analyst, I had to test this out to see how it affected the equipment record as well as all records associated with the equipment (Structure, PM Schedules, Work Orders, etc.).

My findings gave me a lot of mixed feelings about this new functionality. Let me lay out all the details and then I will explain my excitement and hesitation on using this function.

Here’s what I found

First, I created a few systems and assets. I put all the systems in the structure but left a few of the assets un-linked from the structure. I then created a PM schedule using the equipment I created, generated some PM Work Orders and created a few Breakdown Work Orders. Some were in a status of Released and I closed one of them.

Moment Of Truth

I went to the equipment records, right clicked, and selected “Change Equipment Number”. Let me preface this. With the knowledge I have as a consultant, everything in my head is telling me this isn’t going to work because the equipment is linked to other records and there are open work orders also associated. These 2 things would keep you from making any major changes to these equipment records. I proceeded anyway and entered a new equipment number followed by hitting submit. It took a minute to work, but then it told me that the record had been updated.

Was it that simple?

I wasn’t convinced yet. I still had some questions that had to be answered like did the equipment number update on the work orders, structure, PM Schedules? Did the Events tab have any record showing that the equipment number had been updated? If there was an audit on the code field, did it show update activity on the audit log?

I went searching in EAM for my answers. The new equipment code was updated on PM Schedules and Work Orders (opened and closed). The Events tab of the equipment changed the code from the old code to the new – the only place you would see the change is if you look closely at the description of the IN and AA lines. Even more, when I ran a quick report on the equipment numbers (new and historical), it never showed any update to the new number. It also allowed me to use the historical equipment code to create a new record in the same organization and in a different organization. Now, this is good news and bad news depending on how you look at it.

The good news

This is good news because if you happen to create a lot of equipment records then realize that some of them should have different equipment codes, you can update them no problem. Furthermore, the history of that equipment will remain intact and be updated with the new code. Also, if another organization needs to use your old code, there are no limitations to them using it.

The bad news

Now from the eyes of the analyst the fall back for me is data integrity. If a code field is changed, I want good history of when it was changed, what it was changed from, who did it and why it was done. It doesn’t have to be on the front end as I don’t mind running a report to get the information. However, I want to be able to see it somewhere besides the description field of the Events for that equipment.

Companies also need to be aware of this functionality so it is only limited to those who have the authorization to create and update equipment records – this could be very dangerous if all user groups had accessibility to this function. I also don’t like that the code can be reused if there are historical records associated with the old equipment number. But, again, that just goes back to data integrity.

The bottom line

All in all, this is a great function to have available. With that said, it is important for companies to make sure they only have it accessible to the specific user groups that can create and update equipment records. That is if they want to give users the authorization to use this functionality at all.

As always, I do my best to stay up to date with the latest features or changes with Infor EAM. Anytime you have any questions, concerns, comments, or critiques, please don’t hesitate to call or email me. Or, just send a product support query by clicking here. Thank you for reading!

Managing EAM Software & Services With Budget Constraints On Maintenance Departments

One of the biggest hurdles some of our customers face is a budget constraint when it comes to services and project costs for their maintenance software. It’s no secret that maintenance departments often have small budgets anyway, which makes it difficult to get a lot of projects approved. Projects and services for Maintenance software is especially low on the budgeting priority list for most companies and can be even more difficult to get approved.

Strategies for staying within a budget

Some of our clients have come to understand the significant importance of maintenance and will budget for whatever is necessary. However, most companies we deal with have a lot of software service needs, but have only a very limited budget to pay for it. Luckily, there are numerous ways we can assist with budgetary restrictions.

DigitalThinker understands the financial hurdles most companies face and we will work with you in whatever way we can. That is why we have developed a number of different strategies to help companies overcome these obstacles.

Here are a few of the many ways we help companies with a restrictive budget:

  • Work with a specific number of hours and set up a project plan to work within these hours. We will discuss business processes to find the pain points that need immediate attention. Then, we prioritize them so we can work on the most important issues first.
  • We can train a system administrator at your company to help solve future issues if possible. If not, one of our consultants can act as a system administrator on an as needed basis.
  • Split up training hours or consulting work over a longer period of time. A small number of companies have come to us for an hour or two here and there, then will wait until their budget allows for more. We can schedule in advance to continue training and fixing the issues they are having with EAM all together.

We are here to help

At DigitalThinker, we are flexible and will work with you to get your EAM Project completed successfully. Regardless of the budget constraints, we can develop a strategy that helps you get things completed in a cost effective manner. Please feel free to contact us and let us know how we can help you.

PM Schedules/Work Orders with Routed Equipment – Organizational Options

Are your PM Schedules or work orders created with equipment on a route? If so, then you may be wondering if all the equipment will be listed on the work order or just the main piece of equipment selected. Furthermore, maybe you aren’t sure if EAM will create work orders for all the equipment or does it just create a work order for the one main equipment record. Those questions can quickly be answered with 2 Organizational Options.

By remembering these 2 organizational options listed below, you’ll be able to select the way you want to capture the information. You can find them by going to Administration à Security à Organizations. You will likely have to click the “More” tab and click on options.

Organizational Options:

MEROUTWO Determines which equipment to copy to route-based PM work orders. Select ‘C’ for route equipment only, ‘H’ for header equipment only, or ‘B’ to have both header and route equipment copied.
ROUTEEOB If Y, the system will create Multiple Equipment Child type work orders for each route equipment when route based PM work orders are released.   They will be related to the parent job.

 

You can always play around with the options, set them one way then test it out, then change it and test again. That is what your training environment is for. If you change the options, you must close the released PM work order. Log out and back in then generate PM work orders again for the changes to take effect.

I hope some of these tips help! If you have any further questions or need any help, feel free to let me know. I am always happy to help.

Cascading Report Prompts on Custom Reports

When writing custom reports for customers, most of them will give us a list of prompts that they want to use when creating it. In this blog, I would like to quickly explain the usefulness of cascading prompts on your custom reports and why they can be beneficial. Below are a couple of common situations where cascading prompts will be helpful.

Issue:

Customer needs a report for labor hours for specific organization and wants to be able to select one or more employees to run the report on.

Solution:

Build the custom report with a prompt for organizations that also cascades (filters) for only the employees for that organization.

Issue:

Customer needs a report for Parts for a specific organization and supplier by store/bin location.

Solution:

Build a custom report that prompts for organization and cascading (filtering) prompts for parts in that organization and store/bin location for the parts.

 

These are just two common reports that we can write for customers. But report writing is limitless. We can discuss your needs and draft out a report that is customized for your specific needs. We can also continue customizing it until it is exactly what you want. Remember, writing reports and even revising versions of a report that you may already have in EAM can be tedious. During our discussions with you, we will be upfront with you on what it will take on our part to meet your expectations so we can either continue or scale it back a little and revise it at a later time.

We have lots of experience in working with custom reports. As a result, we have many ways of customizing them and making them work for you. As always, reach out to us for any questions, concerns, or for any further help on this topic. Thank you for reading!

 Are you having trouble running reports after you upgraded to Infor EAM v11.3?

A customer of ours recently had an issue running reports after recently upgrading to v11.3. The issues were with custom reports but also with some of the ‘canned’ (Infor) reports as well. I wanted to share the details of this specific issue and the simple solution to the problem.

Issue: When printing from the PO Receipt screen or running the report from the report menu, several PO Receipts were coming back as “No Records Found”.

Troubleshooting: Investigated the reports in Cognos to see if there was anything that would causing the errors. They used a modified version on the Goods Received Note, so we looked at the original version of Goods Received. We found there were issues running that report as well. At this point, since we were unable to identify any issues that would be causing these reports to error, we submitted an incident to InforXtreme.

Solution:

  1. Go to Administration | Setup | Reports
  2. Filter for Base Reports
  3. Find report SZRCVF
  4. Click on the Parameters Tab
  5. Find the Print report parameter
  6. Change the default value from blank to +
  7. Save the change

You will not see this parameter on the prompt page for the report when you run it from the menu in EAM. The only place to change this parameter is the parameter tab of the Report Setup. This is not something that customers have been made aware of. Therefore, we wanted to share the solution to keep you from getting frustrated by looking for an issue in the actual reports. If you do any report writing, you know how daunting and time consuming it can be to look for that needle in the haystack.

If you apply this solution and still are having issues, please reach out to us or your EAM support team.

Change a Supplier on a PO

I have been asked this question a lot recently. We all know that sometimes the Requisition may request a part or parts from a Vendor, then the Buyer realizes there is a better Vendor for that part… “How can I change a supplier on a PO?” Well to the answer the question, you can’t… Good news is there is a way to fix your problem!

The idea is to delete the part lines from the PO and cancel the PO. Then you go to the Requisition and change status to “Unfinished” and then change the Supplier. You can approve the Requisition and generate another PO.  Here is the quick down and dirty way to get this PO to your vendor.

Scenario: Requisition is “Approved”, PO was generated. Buyer figures out the Supplier is incorrect.

Steps to correct the issue:

Buyer: Navigate to Purchasing | Purchase Orders

  1. Go to the PO that is incorrect, make sure the status is “Unfinished”
  2. On the Parts Tab, Delete the Part Lines from the PO
  3. Go to the record view of the PO and change the status to “cancelled”(Do not cancel the Requisition/Lines when the windows asks if you want to)

Requisitioner: Navigate to Materials | Requisitions

  1. Go to the Requisition with the incorrect Supplier
  2. Change status to “Unfinished”
  3. Go to the Part line with the incorrect supplier and choose the correct Supplier
  4. On record view change the status back to “Approved”

Buyer: Navigate to Purchasing | Process | Generate POs

  1. Enter the Orginator
  2. Enter the supplier in the Supplier field (this is not required, just narrows the results to help)
  3. Click on the Preview tab
  4. Select the Requisition lines you corrected the Supplier on
  5. Click the Generate button

Now you have corrected the Supplier and created a new PO. As always, if you need any help or more information on this topic, please reach out to us. We would be thrilled to help you out!

iPad vs Android – Infor EAM Mobile

I am frequently asked, “iPad vs Android. Which is better for Infor EAM Mobile?” For me, this is a very easy, quick answer. But before I answer, let me preface this blog by saying that primarily I am an Android user. I have a Samsung Note 4 that I absolutely love. Before I switched to an Android, I was a diehard iPhone/iPad user for probably 8-9 years. I do still have an iPad and still love it.

I have used Infor EAM on both platforms and I can say, without hesitation, I would run EAM Mobile on an iPad over Android all day long. There are really not a lot of reasons why I choose iPad over Android, but I will lay them out for you here so you can decide. Keep in mind these are merely my opinions.

User Interface

For the most part, the user interface is the same. One of the biggest differences is the ability to FaceTime on the iPad. At first, most people just shake this off because they obviously don’t want employees using FaceTime on company time. But here is the thought behind it…How much time could it save if your employees have the ability FaceTime with a maintenance manager or lead technician to troubleshoot a problem instead of having to radio for them and wait for them to come to their location? Then add to that the time to go get the additional tools or parts, if needed? And what if your employee is off site on a job at a different location?

Functionality

The functionality for iPad is more consistent. I see far less ‘glitchy-ness’ from iPad. For me, it’s the difference in running EAM from Chrome and running it from IE or Firefox…night and day difference.

Users tend to have a much easier time with iPads than Androids. I have trained on both devices with large groups and have found that iPad training was smoother. In my opinion, it is simply because users are used to this type of interface more so than an Android.

What do you think?

That is what I have found so far in my experience with Infor EAM mobile. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions or please comment below to let us know if you agree or disagree with my opinion.

Can you duplicate primary key records across organizations?

One of the questions I am frequently asked when I upload data into a new Infor EAM environment is; “Can we use the same part, asset, cost codes if they are in different organizations?”

The Basics

Let me start out with some basic, but important information. When configuring a fresh EAM Environment, we go through several settings (install parameters and organization options). Then one of the big decisions need to be made about whether we want data to be held in together, in a common org, or separately by activating Multi-Organization settings. Most companies with several facilities will choose to activate multi-org on many items.

But then the question is asked – “I have this asset here but also at a different location, can I use the same asset code?” The initial answer might be, “No, you can’t. This is because EAM does not allow you to duplicate codes at all in the application”. But I would be completely wrong! Even with Multi-Org activated, EAM does allow you to duplicate a handful of key code fields.

These are some key record fields you can duplicate across organizations:

  • Assets
  • Classes
  • Locations
  • Parts
  • Suppliers
  • Systems

These are some key record fields you cannot duplicate across organizations:

  • Cost Codes
  • Departments
  • Manufacturers
  • PM Schedules
  • Stores
  • Task Plans
  • Trades

Now take a second and ask, “Why is this allowed? What benefit(s) does it offer?”

Benefit

This allows multiple organizations that may have the same equipment, parts, suppliers, etc. to keep their unique information for that equipment, part, or supplier in EAM. When it comes to the list of fields you cannot duplicate, this is because these are items that should be either unique for each organization or shared between all organizations. In some cases, Parts is kept common between organizations so that all organizations are using the same part numbers but can enter their own unique supplier information.

This is a topic that we discuss thoroughly with customers that will have multiple facilities sharing EAM so we can ensure that EAM is customized and meeting the demands of your specific business. If you have any further questions regarding this topic, please leave a comment or reach out to us by clicking here. We are always happy to help!

The Power of the Dataspy

Dataspy search

I first heard the term “dataspy” while in a Datastream 7i class, I thought WTF is that? Little did I know at the time it is the single most powerful feature for navigating in Infor EAM that I’d learn.

Dataspy PageWhat is it?

Infor EAM is made up of screens each with a record view of one specific record. It also has a list view of thousands of records, also called grids. All of the list view screens possess a dataspy. Dataspys are a quick filter, multi-search fields and sort all in one. When diving into a fresh implementation of Infor EAM it’s not noticeable how important dataspys are at first. But as thousands of records begin to accumulate, you will discover the power behind the dataspy.

 

How does it work?

Each dataspy has filters that the user can use to weed out what isn’t relevant to a particular search. It also has an option for sorting the data. And coolest of all, dataspys have a layout for the user to decide which fields are displayed and where in the list or grid. System administrators can write complex filters with SQL. They can give permissions to specific users with SQL skills to do the same. These dataspys can be saved by the user for his or her specific use. Furthermore, the administrator can make dataspys for public use.

Dataspy SetupWhat’s the benefit?

A user can select a dataspy to narrow his or her search for data. They can then use the quick filter in conjunction with multi-search fields to find exactly what they are looking for. It is my experience that the Infor EAM overachievers quickly learn the power of dataspys. As a result, they quickly build an arsenal of saved dataspys to get to the records they want quick, fast and in a hurry.

In Conclusion.

As you can see, dataspys can be an extremely useful tool that helps you find exactly what you are looking for. They can save you a lot of time when searching for something specific and are frequently used by a lot of EAM users. If you have any further questions about dataspys or how to set them up, please don’t hesitate to ask. We would love to hear from you!