The first big task for the maintenance module was adding our branches to the system. Our seven corporate buildings have been utilizing the CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) for years, but our hundreds of branch offices around the country haven't been tracked as formally.
Importing new employee records (assigned to the respective branch buildings) and users (work requestors) into the system is a pretty simple matter. However, we have an additional level of security, being an access portal hosted by our Archibus business partner. We could not create the linked accounts en masse there. However, I used excel to populate the necessary data, which I cut and pasted during account creation. Woof.
I worked with the specialist in charge of taking the branches' trouble tickets, to lay out a basic workflow and sync it up with the new Archibus Operations SLA I created.
Once she was comfortable with the process, I pushed it into our production environment, along with the new Operations Console. I really enjoy the consoles in the newer release, they combine steps which used to reside on half a dozen different tasks.
I put together a tutorial for the potential new branch users, just to make getting them up to speed quick and easy.
And, as an editor, I always recommend having a second set of eyes look over your documentation. My Manager has been working with these users for years and was able to provide feedback on where I might want to provide clarification or remove unnecessary detail.
Now, the next roadblock is actually still on my to-do list. Our corporate operations folks are still using the old forms. They don't see work requests in the console yet, I need to replace the old existing SLA's. There is actually so much custom code on the old views that we can't quite figure out the process, so I need to schedule some interviews with the mechanics and ask them as much as I can about their current workflows.
But, along the lines with this, and a bit of a preview of my Part 5 post... Our managers have reports (KPI, key performance indicators) to produce for leadership on a regular basis. As I smooth out the other bumps, I'll be taking over some of these reporting tasks. The first one I've taken on is presentation slides on how many and what types of work orders are completed at corporate and the man-hours dedicated to each.
These orders are entered in by one team, and I noticed that 30% of the requests were entered as "general" (unclassified).
So, I analyzed all of the detailed descriptions in these random requests, and noticed many of them could have been placed under existing categories, if those categories had been named a bit more clearly. I also detected a few common themes and easy groupings for new classifications.
Archibus work requests have a basic work type, but, can also be given subtypes. These are more important when you've got a larger staff and specific workers assigned to them, but, if you want to track time and costs easily and accurately, even those with small staffs can utilize the subtypes.
From a software UI (user interface) perspective, I need to shorten the list of options and ensure the language is understandable to the end user.
For example, we have a category called Mechanical, which someone with my engineering background knows refers to HVAC issues. However, that is not common knowledge to the dozen or so people outside of Facilities who enter these in for our building occupants. If I rename that category Heating/Cooling, they'll understand the category without throwing off our maintenance technicians. Reducing the 'probtype' choices in our request form from 32 to 15 will make it a quicker proposition.
Now, the sub tasks are something I could suggest based upon analysis of the user data, but, they could be influenced by how work is performed, or billed, or otherwise categorized.
I got clearance from the AVP over maintenance, but, I'm circling back around with all of the maintenance technicians to ensure that we capture as many ideas as possible on the first pass, so we're not making repeated changes, which could be a pain point for our end users.
Now, one super obvious thing I haven't covered here yet is Preventative Maintenance, and PM checklists, and inventory, etc. That will be a future topic, you know, once I tackle it. It's in baby stages right now.
To be continued... up next is space management, followed by data auditing and developing a roadmap of my own, after trying to bring to life the visions I'd been handed.