maintenance

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.

How Manufacturing Companies Can Maintain a Competitive Advantage With New Technology.

Our world could not survive without the manufacturing industry. The continuous increase in demand for products and goods will always be our way of life and the manufacturing industry will have to be able to keep up with technology to survive.

Unfortunately, some manufacturing companies who were once thriving leaders of the market will eventually give way to others who have anticipated these advancements. In addition, other companies who are experiencing tremendous growth may not have the resources that are designed to grow with them and will eventually fall behind. So how do these manufacturing companies maintain a competitive advantage?

Here Is The Good News

Successful companies know the importance of keeping up with technology. Not only have they been able to change their mindset, but they have also taken the necessary steps to transform the way they do business. As a result, they have been able to maintain a healthy competitive advantage in their particular market. For others, they either don’t know where to start or they just don’t know how to get there.

To those companies who have fallen behind in their industry, I’m here to tell you that it’s not too late. There is still hope for climbing the ladder of success and reclaiming the crown as leader of your industry. For the companies who are still climbing that ladder but are growing faster than what their resources can handle, congratulations! This solution is perfect for you too!

There are many different ways to make your company great again and maintain a competitive advantage. However, the information I am about to share with you could possibly be the single most important step you could take. It’s certainly one of the first things successful companies are already doing.

Take Care of Your Assets

Proper asset management allows a company to plan responsibly and make more informed decisions about proactively managing aging assets on a continual basis to ensure the long-term sustainability of the entire system. In simplistic terms, if your companies assets are not properly managed and maintained, you could be faced with excessive costs when they falter or fail altogether.

If I were to ask how your company’s assets are being managed, what would you say? Do you know where they are? Are you aware of their condition? Do you have a good maintenance plan in place? Is it reactive or proactive? Is maintenance saving money or is it seen as insignificant or lowest priority on the budget? Do you have a software solution in place to effectively track it all? How well is that software providing what’s needed?

These are all questions that every manager or CEO should have a good answer for. Your assets are the “pumping heart” for any manufacturing company. Not keeping them properly maintained can lead to a significant financial disaster. There is a little-known standard called the 80/20 rule. It basically means that to have optimal efficiency with your assets, 80 percent of maintenance activities should be proactive (planned), while 20 percent reactive (unplanned).

How to Transform Your Maintenance Operations

How EAM Is Transforming Manufacturing

Far too many companies are only performing maintenance when something breaks because of the old “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” mentality. This destructive mindset leads to spending more money to fix breakdowns instead of spending less over time to prevent it. Furthermore, stopping production unexpectedly and not being prepared for it will significantly increase downtime and result in a tremendous loss in revenue.

New research has proven that by giving more attention to your maintenance operations and investing in preventive maintenance, companies can significantly increase revenue. Top level executives need to realize that focusing on the long term and making an investment now is far more beneficial financially than trying to save a few dollars as you go.

Today’s technology is quickly advancing. Successful companies know that in order to meet industry standards and prevail with a competitive advantage, they have to stay ahead of the game. By implementing an intelligent software solution with the capabilities to provide cognitive analysis and insight into daily operations, companies are now able to make smarter decisions within their  maintenance department. As a result, overall costs are reduced, better ROI is achieved, and more revenue is generated.

Increasing sales is no longer the single most important method to generate profit.

Enterprise Asset Management Software (EAM) provides the solutions necessary for companies all around the globe to better track and manage their assets while establishing an effective predictive maintenance program to maintain them.

What is Enterprise Asset Management?

What is EAM Software

Otherwise known as “EAM”, Enterprise Asset Management Software allows organizations to manage the life-cycle of their physical assets while combining all aspects of maintenance and production into one system.

 

Other common names for EAM include:

  • CMMS Software
  • Maintenance Management Software
  • Work Order Management Software
  • PM Software
  • Facilities Maintenance Software

Why Your Company Needs It?

Why you need EAMFor companies involved in the manufacturing of products, EAM software is the smartest, easiest way to manage the complexities involved in operations and production. Tracking your assets, managing inventory & purchasing, creating preventive maintenance plans, and optimizing your work order processes can be a daunting task. Not to mention all the other aspects that fall into each of those categories.

 

Manufacturers can now optimize all of this by using Infor’s Enterprise Asset Management Software combined with DigitalThinker’s world class consulting services.

 

Core Features of Asset Management Software


Asset Tracking/Management

Asset Tracking

Successful companies know the value in being able to track where their assets are, their status, what’s going on with it, and who has responsibility for it. Furthermore, having the ability to create and store records for each one allows for better decision making and strategic planning.

Implementing EAM Software makes it possible for companies to monitor, maintain and improve the performance and life-cycle of each asset. With a system that manages records and stores critical information on each asset, companies can save millions of dollars each year in maintenance costs, labor, and asset replacement.

Work Order Management and Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance EAM

Work order management is one of the most important processes for any Asset Management system. Having a good system in place helps to eliminate higher maintenance/labor costs that are often associated with not knowing what work needs to be done, when work is complete, or how much it’s costing to do it.

With Infor EAM Software, you can assign work orders to individuals or teams, issue specific parts for the work that needs to be done, and do it in a manner that is fast and efficient. In addition, you can receive notifications when work is complete, schedule maintenance based on asset condition, and model scenarios to determine optimal preventive maintenance.

Inventory Control

Inventory Control

With pressures companies face to deliver results while saving money in the process, better managing your inventory and purchasing can have a drastic effect on a company’s ROI. Keeping too much inventory is just as bad as not having an adequate supply of frequently used or critical spare parts.

Using EAM Software to manage inventory prevents prolonged downtime because of not having the right parts in stock. Adjust inventory levels accordingly by monitoring what parts are being used the more than others. Set specific parameters for certain parts and receive notifications when it’s time to order. You can also store vendor information so you can place an order quickly and easily with just a few clicks.

 Other Features of EAM

Other EAM Features

In conjunction with the core features, Infor EAM Software comes with a variety of other features for other specific needs.

Other important features include:

  • Customized dashboard with real-time information.
  • Mobile Application for access to EAM from the field.
  • Customizable Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to help with benchmarking, trends, and other factors.
  • Reliability and Risk Management to help predict problems and prevent them from happening.
  • Regulatory compliance management.
  • Purchasing control and monitoring.

These are only a few more examples. Infor EAM Software has TONS of customizable features for virtually any need you may have.

In Short

Infor EAM Software is a revolutionary technology that helps companies increase the life-cycle of their assets. It does this by optimizing their preventive maintenance program, work order process, and workflow. EAM allows you to become proactive instead of reactive which significantly reduces breakdowns and keeps production running at optimal efficiency. Furthermore, Infor EAM can help your technicians better perform their jobs with less confusion as well as decrease wrench time.

EAM Software provides organizations with the tools and information necessary for better decision making and strategic planning. As a result, you gain greater efficiency, lower maintenance and labor costs, higher ROI, and increased quality and quantity of your product. Best of all, EAM grows with you, so as future needs arise, Infor EAM Software is ready to take on whatever new challenges you may face.

Join thousands of other companies implementing this new technology so your company can maintain a competitive advantage in the manufacturing industry! DigitalThinker can help you get started!

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!

Frequently asked questions about PM Schedules using Infor EAM Software

With Infor EAM Software’s Preventive Maintenance Scheduling functions, you want to be sure you can get the most out of it as possible while minimizing any potential problems a long the way. As we work with our customers in getting them up to speed on using their new or upgraded EAM software, I have noticed three most commonly asked questions and I would like to address them in this post.

“When I go to generate my Preventive Maintenance Work Orders, why am I not seeing a specific one?”

The first thing I will get a customer to do is go make sure there is a due date on the PM schedule. If there is, then I will get them to check the type of PM Schedule (Fixed, Variable, or Duplicate). When they go back to generate their PM work orders, I get them to make sure they have the box checked to “Generate WOs for Duplicate PMs”. Between these 2 things – the customer is usually able to successfully view the PM work order they were missing. There are other issues that could cause the work order not to show up, but this will require a bit more investigation.

“Why are there 10 different PM work orders for this PM? How can I have one PM work order with the multiple pieces of equipment listed on the work order?”

The answer to this is simple – Routes. Setting up routes will allow you to group PM equipment together so you will only have one PM work order, but the equipment that needs work needs to be performed on will be listed on the work order.

“If a piece of equipment is marked out of service and associated with a PM Schedule, will the PM still generate a work order?”

The answer is YES, it will still generate a PM work order that is awaiting release. You must clear the due date off the PM schedule to stop the automatic generation of PM work Orders. A lot of times, customers want to see this for themselves, not that they don’t believe me, so we will run through it together so they can see it for themselves. I am the same way – I always go back and test something or double check the functionality to make sure it is accurate. It is a good practice to get into. It will help you get more familiar with EAM and learn more about how things function.

While these are some of the most common questions, if you think of any other questions you might have, please don’t hesitate to ask! We are always here to help in any way we can.

The Impact of Maintenance and Company Success:

5 Things you should know about the importance of maintenance

In the ever-evolving world of manufacturing, companies all over the world are trying to find new and creative ways to save money. For many organizations, finding a solution that helps them increase revenue or even simply maintain company success can be challenging to say the least.

However, with so many advancements in technology, solutions are now available to help you meet your financial goals and business objectives. Some solutions even help you do this by simply modifying your existing processes so you can start getting a better return on your existing investments.

Before we get to the Nitty Gritty, I first want to address a couple of common patterns that effect overall company success.

Change. It’s necessary

Many older companies today seem to be “stuck in their ways” and are reluctant to change how they do things. This is because some of them fail to see how their financial goals can be more easily achieved while others simply just think “it will just cost too much”. Therefore, they continue doing the same things every year in hopes something will magically change. Consequently for most, things only become worse.

Some company executives may just see that things are going well and profits are being made which can lead them to believe change is not necessary. As a result, most of them fail to see that utilizing new technology and better strategies can not only increase their revenue even more, but can save massive amounts of cost while decreasing the risk of future failures.

Benefit of change

Companies that were willing to step outside of their comfort zone have seen a substantial increase in revenue. Most importantly, they have also experienced greater efficiency, increased productivity, higher product quality, and a better working environment for employees.

Among many important factors, one major thing that has been found to help more than most is simply investing in existing processes and implementing proper maintenance practices in their day to day operations.

One of the most highly overlooked or disregarded processes for most companies is Maintenance.

Extensive research over the course of the last 15 years has proven that maintenance, or the lack thereof, has a tremendous impact on a company’s profitability. The effectiveness of proper maintenance is essential in attaining proficiency in production systems to meet long-term objectives. For most manufacturing companies, a production system in which maintenance is not given the proper attention and/or preventive maintenance is neglected, may easily lead to increased production downtime. Furthermore, it can lead to defective products, machinery damage, and decreased life span on critical assets, just to name a few.

Lack of proper maintenance or preventive maintenance can result in a quality and profitability nightmare!

As revenue decreases and maintenance costs increase, maintenance level technicians are then held accountable. They are then placed under a tremendous amount of pressure to quickly “fix the problem” while eliminating the cost to do so. With a poorly structured maintenance program, neither may not be possible.

Pressure begins to mound as goals are not met due to the lack of maintenance structure and the resources necessary for an effective maintenance program. Tension and stress begins to rise among key technicians and managers which then leads to poor work performance or loss of a valuable and knowledgeable employee. What comes next is nothing more than disastrous.

What can be done?

For starters, implementing a well-oiled and finely tuned maintenance program will have a tremendous positive impact. Research has shown that focusing on asset management, preventive maintenance, work order processing, and effective communication between all employees involved is essential in preventing most problems from happening in the first place.

Based on that research, I have come up with 5 things you should know about the importance of maintenance and how they contribute to success.

  1. Effective maintenance can improve profits and decrease cost:

Yes, maintenance CAN generate profit and IS an important activity that should never be ignored. With today’s technology, maintenance programs are now being recognized as being one of the highest contributing factors in attaining a company’s goals and objectives. Not only financially, but with production efficiency and product quality as well.

Maintaining the availability and efficient operation of production equipment is essential to sustaining production capacity and the quality of your product. Capacity and quality creates profit. Effective Maintenance allows for both.

  1. Efficient maintenance adds value through better utilization of resources:

When maintenance is focused more on being proactive vs reactive, asset performance is optimized and significant value is increased on the product that is being produced. The results of proper maintenance and preventive maintenance is; higher output, enhanced quality, and reduction in rework and scrap.

It also significantly increases the life span on costly equipment which ensures the longest possible utilization of key assets while maintaining regulatory compliance and warranty guidelines. In simplicity terms, “get more bang for your buck”.

  1. Maintenance and production MUST have an integrated relationship:

This is a big one! Maintenance should be considered as an organizational function that functions in parallel with production. Read that again.

For some, the long-held view has been that production produces product, product produces profit, and maintenance produces loss and interferes with production. Therefore, maintenance is a limiting constraint. Without an efficient maintenance program in place, that view is most likely accurate.

But what if your production process could be optimized to run more efficiently? What if your assets could produce the product at a higher capacity, with better quality, and for a longer period? When the mindset changes, you will come to the realization that better maintenance is the best way to do that.

Implementing an effective and proactive maintenance program will have a drastic positive effect on output quantity and quality. When integrated WITH production operations, your assets will be running at optimal performance with less downtime for maintenance. This will also allow for better scheduling of maintenance tasks, decreased wrench time, and ultimately increases the life-span of the asset.

  1. Maintenance significantly effects multiple aspects of production costs:

When considering the assets specifically, the costs associated with purchase, transportation, installations, depreciation, and disposal are huge. Wouldn’t it make sense to increase the life-span of the assets to get the most out of them as possible?

Production assets and the process of implementing them into your production environment is extremely expensive. We are talking about hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to replace just one piece of equipment. Not to mention the costs of maintaining and operating backup equipment so you can continue production during replacement.

When considering the costs during an assets production cycle, wouldn’t it also make sense to ensure they run at optimal efficiency? When calculating the costs of utilities, machine stoppages, parts, maintenance, energy consumption, and material usage during the life span, it adds up quickly. Research shows that effective maintenance strategies are a key factor in reducing these costs.

Simply put, when maintenance is not utilized effectively and is more of a reactive process, you end up replacing your equipment more often. Furthermore, your downtime is increased and your operating costs increase because your equipment is working less efficiently. Most importantly, the cost of maintenance is higher when having to fix a problem more often rather than having the ability to predict the problem and prevent it before it happens.

  1. Implementing effective maintenance into production is an investment. Not a limiting constraint.

We can all agree that maintenance costs are high regardless. With the costs of labor, spare parts, overhead, as well as the cost of production downtime for maintenance can be overwhelming. In a company where maintenance has always been viewed as a separate function from production, those costs will most likely persist and/or increase.

With that said, maintenance is also inevitable for every manufacturing company and cannot be avoided. Wouldn’t changing your focus and allowing maintenance to work FOR you instead of against you be the smartest option? Change your focus because it’s possible!

Ensuring that your products are produced fast, delivered at the right time with the right quality, and produced with the lowest possible cost requires optimum availability. This can be attained by an efficient maintenance policy integrated within production.

Here is the bottom line!

Extensive research has proven that within the manufacturing industry, an effective maintenance program is one of the most significant factors in overall company success. What should also be recognized is that maintenance is not just about ensuring proper function of your assets. It is an essential support function that is indispensable.

Whether your mindset is on maintenance being a limiting constraint, too costly, or you think it’s the one thing that drags your company down, there is still one thing for certain; If you don’t have maintenance you can’t continue production. Without production, your company fails.

Either way, maintenance is necessary. So why not have a proactive mindset and let your maintenance program start working for you rather than against you? After all, having a proactive mindset is the first step to success in any capacity.

How do you get there?

To establish a solution that works, you must first change your mindset and make a choice to let maintenance start working for you. Second, you need to find a software solution that streamlines all your processes while helping you keep track of everything. Third, you need a company with the right tools and the expertise in knowing how to use them.

We have what you need!

At DigitalThinker, we understand the importance of maintenance and company success. We help guide companies in the right direction every day. It’s what we do best. To us, it’s more than just providing a service. It’s about helping companies who are stuck in the cycle of endless increasing costs and production constraints that keep them from growing. Our company is built on helping to keep the manufacturing industry alive and thriving better than ever before.

As an Infor Associate Channel Partner, we have the tools and resources you need to start your transformation. As EAM consultants, we have the experience and expertise needed to develop and implement your solutions while guiding you in the right direction along the way.

Click Here to talk to one of our expert consultants for a free evaluation and demonstration or visit our website at http://digitalthinker.com/

Did you know?

With Infor EAM Messenger you can send an e-mail notification that includes a report. Suppose you want an e-mail notification sent to your main contact at the supplier of the Purchase Order you just approved. I know of some companies that want to automatically send a Preventive Maintenance Work Order to the contractor that normally does the work. All of this is doable with Infor EAM. Here’s how:

Setting up Email Notifications.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have e-mail notifications working. There are three things that need to be configured before you go to town sending automatic e-mails. First go to Administration | Security | Install Parameters. Query for SMTP and you will find SMTPSEND which is nothing more than the name of the e-mail sender used for replying to the messages.

Most people enter DONOTREPLY@theircompany.com. You will also find SMTPSERV which is the SMTP mail server that sends the e-mail. If you’re in the cloud the SMTPSERV record will be read only, because the cloud team handles it for you. For users hosted on premise, enter your mail server.

Next, you need to go to Administration | Data Collection | Job Setup and make sure the MAIL driver is active. If it is active, it should have a last run and next run date/timestamp. If it’s not active, and you check active and hit save, be prepared to wait a little while for it to fire up. Now you’re ready to go.

Infor EAM E-Mail Messenger has three components:

• Viewer: Where you see what e-mail messages were sent or failed.
• Template: Where you determine where the e-mail goes and what’s in the subject and body of the e-mail and what report to attach if you choose to do so.
• Notification Setup: Where you select the table, conditions, parameters and other trimmings for the e-mail notification.

Once you get it all setup it will run like a champ. Just remember there are a lot of moving parts so attention to detail is critical. I know administrators who have accidentally sent hundreds of e-mail notifications by not paying attention to detail.

Attaching a PDF Report:

To send an automatic e-mail message with a report attached as a PDF go to the message template under Administration | E-Mail Messenger | E-Mail Templates. On the bottom of the screen you select the report you want to send with the e-mail message. Now comes the tricky part. In the E-mail Recipients field enter %1. This parameter will tell it who to send the e-mail message to.

Specify a table:

I’m assuming you know how to complete the rest of the template, so let’s move on to the important stuff. When you go to Administration | E-Mail Messenger | E-Mail Notification Setup, you are required to specify what table in EAM you want to use to trigger your e-mail message. To send a PO automatically to a supplier when the PO is approved, select or enter the table r5orders. Next, enter or select the template you created earlier, and check the Update checkbox. Lastly, enter or select a From Status as well as the To Status. It would be a good idea to use from status of Unfinished and to status of Approved. Save the record and then continue on to the most important part.

Parameters:

Select the record and click on the Actions button. Choose Create Parameters. Now comes a point of discovery. Enter 1 for the first parameter. This corresponds the 1 you entered as the e-mail recipient on your E-mail Template. You and I both know that when you go looking for a Column in the next field under parameter details you’re not going to find anything for the e-mail address of the supplier you want this notification to go to. The fact is, that all of the columns you see when you hit the look up begin with ORD which means you can only select columns of the table r5orders. You really don’t have an option other than to use a user defined field.

Select one of the thirty ORD_UDFCHAR fields. Once you’re finished here you’ll need to go to the Purchase Order screen and use screen designer to move the user defined field you chose to somewhere easy to get to, and relabel it “Supplier E-Mail Address” or something to that effect.

Next;

Enter 2 for the second parameter, and select ORD_CODE for the column. In the field Report Parameter Line Number you MUST enter the parameter that the report PZORDF uses that corresponds to ORD_CODE. If you go to Administration | Setup | Reports and query for PZORDF you’ll find the canned Print PO report. Click on the Parameters tab and find the parameter SEL_ORDER. The parameter line for this value is what you want to specify in your field for Report Parameter Line Number.

Enter 15 for the nest parameter and in the column field enter :MP5USER. This is the user currently logged on. These are the requirements to make the report send with the e-mail notification. Use the other parameters for whatever information you want to include in the body of the e-mail.

Useful Tip:

It would be a good idea to create a condition on your e-mail notification setup for the user defined field to say that it is not empty. That way if someone forgets to enter an e-mail address in your user defined field the e-mail notification won’t fire with nowhere to go.

With flex we could auto-populate the user defined field with the e-mail address of the supplier contact. You could also use a user defined checkbox and a condition to give the user the power to check the checkbox to confirm that he wants the PO to send via e-mail. There’s a lot you can do with Infor EAM.

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