Reporting Work Orders

The Basics of Closing Codes for Work Orders in EAM

In the early days of rolling out EAM, back when it was known as 7i, I was working with Nucor Steel on their project and we would take our work to the bar after leaving the site. This bar happened to be at Earl Jackson’s house and it was named the G-Spot. The saying goes, “hard to find, but fun when you get there”. Actually, the G-Spot got its’ name from Gwen – Earl’s wife. She helped in the construction of the bar, so Earl and Chuck, their best friend named it the G-Spot. What does this have to do with closing codes? I’ll explain.

One night after a long day of work we retreated to the G-Spot and re-deployed our laptops to the bar counter. We were in deep discussions about what is called static data such as equipment classes and part classes, then I sprung the question on Earl, “what do you want to do about closing codes?”. Then suddenly out of know where Earl spouted out the genius I’m about to share with you. It was if he was possessed by some higher power who was using him to channel the information to me so I could capture it. It was truly an amazing experience to behold.

Importance of Closing Codes

Closing codes in the EAM world are four valuable pieces of information to be captured on each and every work order at the time of closing. These four pieces of information help a maintenance department determine common reoccurring problems in their areas of responsibility.

It is expected that anyone within an organization report problems with equipment or assets to the maintenance department with a Work Request. The work request screen is usually dummied down to make the process of entering a work request easy. The user describes the nature of the problem in the work request description field. He then selects the equipment from a look up. Some organizations let the user choose the type of work order, i.e. emergency or corrective, and some even let the user choose the priority.

Earl’s Profound Knowledge

Earl said, “We can’t expect our ordinary requestor to know the nature of the problem when they submit a work order, so all we want from them is to use four of their five God given senses to tell maintenance why they think there is a problem.” Those five senses are as follows:

Problem codes

  • Visual – Something doesn’t look right.
  • Smell – Something doesn’t smell right.
  • Sound – Something doesn’t sound right.
  • Temperature – Something is too hot or cold.

When maintenance arrives on scene they look for the same problem that the requestor reported before taking action. Earl said, “We expect maintenance to categorize the problem into the major food groups of maintenance. These food groups are:

Failure codes

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Hydraulic
  • Pneumatic
  • Lubrication

You can guarantee that one of these failures is the source of the problem. Then we move on to what action is required. This is simple and applies to every situation:

Action codes

  • Adjust
  • Repair
  • Replace
  • Upgrade

Then in the final analysis maintenance determines the cause however painful it is.

Cause codes

  • Negligence
  • Normal wear
  • Run to failure
  • Act of God

This pretty much sums up everything we need in closing codes. Then as Earl usually does, he finishes his speech with “so…”.

To find out more about closing codes or to get in touch with us for any questions you may have, click here.

Reporting on Work Order Closing Codes

You’re are using EAM for work orders, they get entered, worked, and then closed. So, then what? How can you take closed work orders and report on them? After all, this is extremely helpful and can really impact your ROA on EAM.

Action Codes

You can create a Close Work Order report that includes your Closing Codes. EAM has Action Codes, Cause Codes, Problem Codes, and Failure Codes. These codes are very important when improving best practices for any Maintenance program. Creating reports with these codes can be especially helpful with trending, allowing you to trend your work orders and equipment failures. So let’s get to the reporting part of these Action codes.

When you are reporting on closed work orders there are a couple very important fields that sometimes can be tricky to report on. Those pesky closing codes! I’m going to show you how to get those codes to display in a report showing the Description of the code. Something useful that anyone can understand!

Here we go!

The Closing Codes in EAM have a “code” and a “Description”. When reporting,  you want to display the description, something that the average user can understand. To get the description of the Closing Codes we will use a built in function Cognos gives us: REPGETDESC(. This function will return the description of the item. To successfully use this function you need to know the Entity in EAM for the closing codes, but finding these can be a bit tricky. Good thing you found DigitalThinker because I’m going to give those to you right here!

The following entities are what is used for Closing Codes in EAM for work orders:

ACCO = Action Code

CAUS = Cause Code

FAIL = Failure Code

RECO = Problem Code

In this example, we will look at the Action Code for a Work Order.

Create a data item in Cognos for our report:

  1. Login to Cognos with an Author License
  2. Add a Data Item to your query
  3. In the Functions tab find the REPGETDESC( Function, (
  4. Drag the function to the Expression box
  5. Next use EN for English, the code for your closing code above and the field you pulling the description from
  6. Your Expression should look like this, REPGETDESC (‘EN’, ‘ACCO’, [EVT_ACTION], null, null)
  7. Next take the data item and add it to your report on the report page.
  8. This will display the Description of the Action Code of your Work Order

Voila! It is that easy to get all your Closing Code Descriptions to display on Work Order Reports. Remember, You just need swap out the code in your expression with ACCO, CAUS, FAIL, RECO. Of course, you also will have to change the field from the work order in your expression.

Let Us Help!

If you are new to reporting or find yourself running into issues trying to do this, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can certainly help you get this straightened out. We would love to help you get more from your EAM!