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Simple Features: Associating Groups to Assets

Technical Blog Post


Abstract

Simple Features: Associating Groups to Assets

Body

image My car is about 4 years old and in need of serious cleaning.  With two young kids starting a new school year, new activities and monsoon season apparently beginning in my area, I haven’t had an opportunity to give the “family truckster” a good shine.  This weekend was the perfect opportunity, so I seized the moment and started by cleaning out the inside.  As I started to clean the third row I bumped a small button next to the seat and to my surprise out popped a cup holder.  As I said earlier I’ve owned this car for 4 years and was unaware that this cup holder existed.  Wow, I had to drag my wife outside and verify this wasn’t some new feature she added last time the car was serviced.  She also had no clue and was just as pleasantly surprised.  Now having an extra cup holder is not cutting edge functionality but they do serve a purpose and can come in very handy when you need them.  This experience got me thinking, what other cool new features have I maybe overlooked, not just with my car but my other possessions.  And when I got back to work Monday I started thinking about Maximo and what simple features might be available that users just didn’t know about and decided to write this blog to share one.

 

I believe most users, at this point, know that within the asset application there is an option to associate a person to an asset record.  This can come in handy and is normally used to designate either the primary user of the asset or the person responsible for maintaining the asset.  This functionality has been around since 7.1.  It’s primarily used for reporting, to help route work-flow or sending notifications when changes to the asset have been made or are being planned.  For example you can associate the air handling unit at a certain location to “Henry” the HVAC service technician.  By making this assignment, an automated process can be set up to send Henry a notification whenever a change to the asset occurs or whenever that asset is associated to a work order or ticket.  Having this enables automated capabilities that will allow users to get the right information to the right resources at the right time; this of course helps more efficiently resolve any issues that might occur with this asset throughout its life cycle. 

 

This capability is great but what if Henry is out sick the day a notification is sent?  The notification will probably sit in Henry’s inbox until his return, which is not very efficient and could even cause a delay resolving the issue.  To avoid this scenario try instead using new capability provided in Maximo 7.5 that allows an asset to be associated to one or more person groups, instead of a specific person. 

 

Having the ability to assign person groups provides more flexibility for the following reasons. 

  1. No longer have to worry about the notification sitting in a specific person’s inbox because the notifications and assignments can now be made to all the members of the person group instead of only a specific person. 

 

  1. Assignment or notification can be made based on additional attributes that the person groups/person relationship provides, such as the individual persons sequence in the group or calendars and shifts.

 

  1. Ability to assign multiple groups.  For example the group which maintains the asset (HVAC service technicians), the group that owns the asset (Facilities) and group that approves repair or replacement (Real Estate Operations).  All can play a role in assets life cycle.

 

  1. There is significantly less maintenance required by the asset manager on the asset record.  This is because specific persons my leave the company or be assigned to other areas.  When this occurs assets records which are associated with a specific person would need to be updated with a new person or at a minimal have the existing person relationship removed.  By associating the person group instead of the person the asset manager no longer has to worry about these changes because the person relationship is managed at the group level and not on the asset.

 

Now there are still use cases where a specific person association is needed and that functionality remains unchanged but the addition and flexibility of optionally associating a person group will be beneficial for most.       

 

For additional information on new features of Maximo 7.5 see the following link,

 http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/tivihelp/v49r1/topic/com.ibm.m…


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ibm11134735