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!