Live blog coverage from the IFS World Conference 2018 break-out session, “The heart of asset management is the work order: Learn how we have improved it.”
Can we show people more about the status of a work order while it is processing? That’s really important when you have more people working on the same task. That question was at the heart of the changes coming to the work order tools in IFS Applications 10.
How to achieve this greater granularity of reporting? Well, as Stefan Pettersson, who was co-presenting the session with Uthpala Gurusinghe, put it, the work order has become small and the work operation bigger.
What does that mean? The Work Order now defines the problem, but not the execution. The new Work Tasks define the activities that need to be done and capture costs and resources needed to implement it. It also holds vital analytics like fault data for later analysis. The Work Task is, in essence, a new planning and reporting unit.
Once a problem is detected, you raise a Work Order, then detail that in a Work Task or series of Tasks. From there, Work Assignments are generated. Each Assignment has its own status, separate from the rest of the task. It holds and manages the allocation of resources.
Digging deeper into work tasks
What do work tasks actually hold?
- Planned dates
- Resource demands
- Planned expenses
- Planned external costs
- Works assignments
- Task steps
- Material requirements
- Int/ext purchases
- Reported object
- Actual object
- Cost Lines
- Sales lines
- Fault findings
- Work done info
A work order can have multiple work tasks, and those tasks can have specific steps and work assignments. Objects can be associated with work tasks, too.
The work assignment that handles people and equipment allocations, and well as associated dates. The assignment has its own set of statuses, which allow detailed monitoring of the progress of the work order.
Interacting with work orders
Clearly, most technicians are mobile workers. The mobile solution for them is available on all three core platforms in IFS Applications 10: Android, iOS and Windows. A lot of work has been done to align these with the new Task concept. The apps also support better handling of follow-up work.
Casual and B2B users get a better web interface for work orders, that’s mainly around sub-contracting of work orders. And, it’s built with IFS Aurena, which means it’s responsive and multi-platform.
Planning is broken down into three areas:
- Planning: definitions of activities and constraints
- Scheduling: optimization of the execution plan, including availabilities
- Allocation: assignments of who performs the work, taking into account issues like training and absence
The planning Gantt has been reworked to be quicker and to provide more information about what you’re seeing. There’s a brand new maintenance planning board — developed with a customer — and a reworked allocate resources Gantt.
The maintenance planning board allows scheduling of preventive maintenance actions; work orders and tasks; and work order structures, for larger work packages.
This is a brand new view in IFS Applications 10, allowing technicians to see an overview of all their work, and change or prioritize jobs, as well as do reporting on works in progress. The view is context sensitive, only providing options in the interface that the technician can perform for that particular assignment. The technician can even create new tasks if they find additional problems during the work. The view can use automated clocking, which can be started and stopped with buttons in the app.
Reposting is a new, flexible way of working with cost reporting. This allows changing things after task completion, even after the work has been reported and transferred to finance.
Work Closure is new functionality that allows you to quickly and easily find work tasks that require some kinds or action and to finalize what needs to be done. It makes the closing of large work packages much easier. This is supported by a work task summary, that shows you all that needs to be done before that work can be closed. It’s linked so you can jump straight to each task.
B2B subcontract work orders
IFS Applications 10 adds a lobby for subcontracting, including the bidding, coordination and execution phases of the project. A bidding lobby shows all the tenders that have come in, and well as ones being worked on, and those submitted.
There’s a workflow for managing tenders and their associated documents. And another for managing awarded work, and how it is assigned.