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Preventive Maintenance Linking Schedule

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Preventive Maintenance Linking functionality allows for multiple preventive maintenance jobs for the same asset to be structured in such a way as to avoid multiple work orders and overlap of the same steps.

Let’s take an HVAC unit for example. A quarterly job may be to do a general overview of the equipment and to change the filter, while an annual job requires more thorough maintenance as well as a filter change. During the annual maintenance there is no need to change the filter as that step was included in the quarterly job.

Based on the Linking Actions determined in the set-up the Preventive Maintenance Linking, functionality can be structured so that only one work order will be generated with all the needed steps for the annual job. The primary and secondary schedules, (quarterly/annual), are determined by the maintenance types that are assigned to the schedule, as well as the schedule’s description. This synchronization reduces both equipment downtime and the possibility of performing unnecessary maintenance.

There are three types or Linking Actions for Preventive Maintenance Linking:

  • Merge: The Preventive Maintenance Linking process merges the secondary schedule tasks to the primary schedule tasks for the same work order.

Notice that the one work order displays both the major and minor PM jobs and they are each identified as a separate task.

  • Separate: The Preventive Maintenance process creates separate work orders for primary and secondary schedules with the same due date. Both work orders would be generated on the same date, the technician performing all tasks required for both jobs (major and minor) and identifying the results on the appropriate work order.
  • Suppress: The Preventive Maintenance process lists only the primary schedule tasks in the work order. No work order will be created for the secondary schedule tasks. However, a PM record transaction will be created for the secondary schedule, which points to the work order created for the primary schedule.

In addition to Linking Actions, there are two options for Linking Methods.

  • Days Tolerance: Selecting this method enables the Preventive Maintenance process to use the number of days entered to calculate when the system can link the primary and selected secondary preventive maintenance schedules based on the specified difference in the dates. This is generally used for date-driven preventive maintenance schedules. For example, if the quarterly is scheduled on the 1st of each month and the annual is scheduled on the 5th, you would set a day’s tolerance of 5 so that the system would look inclusively at the two scheduled start dates in order to determine if the link was valid or not.
  • Linking by Cycle: Selecting this option enables the system to link a secondary schedule with a primary schedule based on a cyclical period determined by the selection of an interval type. This is generally used for meter-driven preventive maintenance schedules.
  • Two important notes to keep in mind around Preventative Maintenance Linking are:
  1. Linking the PM jobs must occur before the first set of PMs are run.
  2. Each Maintenance Type must be unique in the linking grouping, i.e. major, minor, planned, etc. You can’t have a duplicate type such as two minor jobs within each group.

If you have any questions or would like to chat about this or any other PeopleSoft module please contact me at robin.cole@miproconsulting or larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

It takes too long!!! Advanced Line Search is Here to Help!

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In PeopleSoft 9.2, an Advanced Line Search feature was added to address the search issue for both requisitions and purchase orders. One of the things that I hear quite often is people complaining that it takes too long to load a requisition or purchase order when they want to review or work on a particular line(s). The reason for this is that there are numerous lines. Although PeopleSoft provides the ability to update the chunking factors for both requisitions and purchase orders, this does not always solve the problem.

The Advanced Line Search feature actually needs to be configured, but this can easily be done on the Purchasing Installation Options page in the “Initial Advanced Search Behavior When Max Rows Exceeded” area. In this section, you would select the “Display Advanced Search Page” option for the purchase orders and/or requisitions.

Now that this option is selected, how does it react when searching? Well, if the requisition or purchase order does not exceed the maximum number of rows (in this case 20 for each), the system will not initiate the advanced search. If the requisition or purchase order exceeds, the maximum number of rows (again, in this case, 20 for each), the Advanced Line Search page will appear.

The Advanced Line Search page will allow the user to perform various search criteria (i.e. From and To Line Numbers, Item ID, Description, Category, Ship To Location, Charfield Information, etc.) to locate the line(s) that they wish to review/update. Note: The user has the ability to bypass the Advance Line Search by pressing the “Bypass Search” icon.

In this example, the user may want to select specific rows. They can see the line numbers and corresponding Item IDs when clicking the line search icon as shown here:

The Advanced Line Search feature can help alleviate end-user frustration and increase their productivity. I hope you find the Advanced Line Search feature as useful as I have. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us at Larry.Zagata@MIPROConsulting.com.

Mobile Technician with Fluid is Here

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I am so excited! I’m doing a happy dance and I know that technicians world-wide are going to be dancing in the streets. Ok, well maybe not quite so much, but they’ll give it a good solid thumbs-up. Here are a few screen shots and explanations of the Mobile Technician application to peek your curiosity. They were captured from a PeopleSoft YouTube video released by Oracle.

Using the Fluid technology, the Mobile Technician application works on a laptop, tablet and a smart phone. I’ve included sample screen shots of both in most cases, as I work through just some of the available functionality. To start, let’s look at the landing page, first in tablet form, then as it would look on a smart phone. The contents are specifically what a tech would need to work through her daily work orders. Notice the new feature of a Quick Work Order – this can be adding tasks to an existing work order or starting one from scratch. Technicians will have the ability to see their Weekly Time Entries at a glance as well as a quick tool to show Open Tasks by Priority.

Within the My Tasks option, technicians can filter in a variety of ways, including location, asset, date, etc. by clicking the filtering icon in the upper left. To sort, the up/down arrows to the right can be used.

When a technician is in the Task Details, the menu on the left of a work order includes what is needed and/or added to the task while the right side will give the details of work to be done. Next to each of the Task Details is a helpful number indicator. In this example, we see that there are two checklist items, three items from inventory, one meter reading requirement, etc. A tech can simply use this as a ‘To Do’ list to ensure that all information is captured prior to going to the new Quick Complete function.

The Quick Complete allows a technician to change the status, enter notes and the hours worked on one screen. Of course, any required readings or checklist items must be completed first. If the work order is not complete, hours can be added for the day without changing the status.

I’ve given just a few samples of the functionality available in for Mobile Technician. I know you can’t wait to go out and see for yourself. In fact I would bet that you skipped to the end and have already watched the video. Hey, I would too, it’s just too cool to resist! To see the Oracle video, you can click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP8Oe2QSwyU&feature=youtu.be

If you have any questions about Mobile Technician or would like additional information on any of the other PeopleSoft modules please contact me at robin.cole@miproconsulting or larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

New – Time and Labor Fluid Functionality

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Have you experienced the new enhancements to the Time and Labor Fluid functionality with HCM Image 22? There are now Time and Labor Manager Self-Service Fluid pages for:

  • Reporting Time
  • Viewing Weekly Time
  • Viewing Payables Time
  • Viewing Leave Balances
  • New navigation collections for Employee Self-Service and Manager Self-Service Team Time

On the Employee Self-Service Homepage, you can see below the delivered tiles.

Drilling down into the Time reporting tile, you can see the delivered time reporting functionality including:

  • Reporting Time
  • Reporting Leave
  • Weekly Time
  • Payable Time
  • Leave Balances
  • Requesting Absences
  • Cancel Absences
  • Viewing Requests
  • Absence Balances

If we look at the Manager Self-Service Homepage, we can see the available tile options.

Focusing on the Team Time, new with Image 22 is:

  • Reporting Time
  • Viewing Weekly Time
  • Viewing Payables Time
  • Viewing Leave Balances

The Fluid content provides the manager ease-of-use and the ability to not only review but to take action. Looking at the Leave Balance Fluid content the manager can see employees and then drill down into their leave balances.

There are also related actions available to allow the manager to take action.

These enhancements make more Fluid available to employees and managers and continues to improve the end-user experience.

If you would like additional information, please reach out to Larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

Oracle’s Advisor Webcast: PeopleSoft Payroll for North America Tax Update 18-B

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Don’t miss Oracle’s Advisor Webcast: PeopleSoft Payroll for North America Tax Update 18-B General Information Session. This one hour session is recommended for functional and technical users who are responsible for applying and testing PeopleSoft Payroll for North America Tax Updates.

The Webcast is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, 2018 10:00 AM (US Pacific Time). Click this link to register for the webcast:  https://oracleaw.webex.com/oracleaw/onstage/g.php?d=590401411&t=a

For more information click here: https://community.oracle.com/thread/4127649. You will need your Oracle User ID and password to access this information.

Equipment Parts Lists

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While Equipment Parts Lists may not be as hidden as other gems I’ve discussed – this one is often delayed due to internal discussions of ownership and maintenance. Equipment Parts Lists, or EPLs as they’re called, are valuable time savers to technicians on the ground. However, the time and labor to set them up and the ongoing maintenance can put the use of this tool on the back burner for many organizations. Personally, I think this is short-sighted as the advantages far outweigh the internal “hot potato” game and the initial set-up time investment.

An Equipment Parts List, as described in PeopleBooks is: A parts list corresponding to asset classes, groups, categories, types, and subtypes, or to any asset definition. The EPL can then be associated with a specific asset ID. EPLs can be comprised of parts in the Item Master, or Parts On-Hand (without an Item ID). They can be items that need to be purchased via Purchase Order, or parts in a formal Inventory.

The usual sticking points around using Equipment Parts Lists are:

  1. Who is going to set them up?
  2. Who is going to maintain the Item Master?

Both are valid concerns but a partnership between Operations and Purchasing groups will offer up the best combination. Operations is the group that knows what parts are needed for specific equipment. Purchasing is the group that updates and maintains the Item Master. Communication between the two teams will keep the information accurate.

There are significant time and cost savings to be garnered by having a short list of correct parts that may be required for repair or maintenance of equipment readily available for technician selection. These are created and maintained at the SET ID level so can be used across all business units in an organization.

Once an Equipment Parts List is attached to an asset it will be available to a technician creating a work order for that asset. The time saved in finding the right part in an inventory or purchasing catalog alone can be significant as can ensuring that the correct part will be ordered the first time.

An Equipment Parts List can be included in a task template as part of the preventive maintenance work order and is available for ad hoc corrective work orders. Once a technician selects the part from the list, adding it to the work order normal procedures for acquiring the part from Inventory or via a purchase order would be followed.

If an Equipment Parts List has been created and attached to an asset, when the work order is created the copy from EPL button will be active on the work order.

By clicking the button the technician will be able to select one or all of the parts from the list. It’s that simple!

Keep checking back as we dig deeper into the treasure chest, who knows what valuable gem you will find that can help you get more out of your investment.

If you have any questions or would like additional information about this or PeopleSoft Asset or Maintenance Management, please contact me at Robin.Cole@MIPROConsulting.com or Larry.Zagata@MIPROConsulting.com.

Elasticsearch the ONLY way to go…after April 30

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We’re always searching for something, and while this could go down an existential path, we’ll limit our focus to searching for information in PeopleSoft.   When we do need to find information, we want to be able to find it quickly and easily.

With the introduction of Elasticsearch in Tools 8.55, searching for data in PeopleSoft became significantly easier and much, much faster. Prior to the introduction of Elasticsearch, PeopleSoft used Verity and SES. Beginning in PeopleTools 8.56, Elasticsearch became the only supported search engine; Verity and SES are discontinued. In PeopleTools 8.54 and 8.55, SES will only be supported until April 30, 2018.

If you haven’t implemented Elasticsearch, here is some of the very cool functionality you’re missing out on:

  • Find the Search Icon in the header anywhere within the application
    • From the main menu or any page
  • Conduct global searches across all application pillars

  • Set up specific Search Categories by Security Role
  • View number of results within search category quickly with facets

  • Use the “More Options” to refine search criteria
  • Use related content to take action directly from search results

  • Search for structured and unstructured data, including attachments

If you haven’t implemented Elasticsearch, now’s a good time to search out PeopleTools 8.55 or 8.56 and see what you can find.

If you are searching for answers, have any questions or would like to chat about this or any other PeopleSoft module please contact me at robin.cole@miproconsulting.com or larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

Receivables Operations Fluid Content and Fluid Metrics

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New with FSCM Image 24 are Receivables Operations Fluid content and Fluid metrics. This update helps billing and receivables managers, supervisors, and analysts who are responsible for managing the credit to cash operation to improve performance, achieve efficiency, and reduce costs. The Credit to Cash Operations Homepage contains relevant information to help improve performance.

Included in the Receivables Operations Homepage are the following:

  • Receivables WorkCenter: This is the new Fluid WorkCenter.
  • Billing WorkCenter: This is also the new Fluid WorkCenter.
  • Approvals Tile: All approvals
  • Billing Tile: This is the Billing Navigation Collection.
  • Receivables Tile: This is the Receivables Navigation Collection.
  • Operational Analysis: More details below.
  • Invoices by Specialist: A pivot grid that generates invoices by specialist.
  • Unapplied Payments: A pivot grid that generates a report for unapplied payments.

Let’s look more closely at the Operational Analysis Tile.

The tile presents additional metrics for the receivables users.

  • Interface Errors: A pivot grid with the current interface errors, source, interface ID, error status, counts and dollar amounts.

The other pivot grid reports include:

  • Pending invoices
  • Invoice cycle times
  • Dispute resolution cycle times
  • Past due items assignments
  • Doubtful items
  • On account payments
  • Customer aging
  • DSO trend

Many of these are common metrics that receivables managers and supervisors want to understand to ensure efficient operations. Utilizing the toolset, users can add configurable pivot grids for specific reporting and analysis.

If you would like additional information, please reach out to Larry.Zagata@MIPROConsulting.com.

What is Elasticsearch?

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Just when I thought I was up to speed on the newest search functionality in PeopleSoft, Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (SES), I learned that it was being replaced by Elasticsearch. What is Elasticsearch and how does it impact my organization?

Elasticsearch is a new search engine that was introduced in Tools 8.55.11 and the implementation is similar to that of SES. If it’s similar, then why the change? Well, it provides a few added benefits over SES, which includes:

  • Easier to install and maintain
  • Better crawl and search performance
  • Better resource utilization on the search engine host
  • Valuable with Fluid User Experience
  • Ability to search from any context and at any point in the process

Is there a need to move to Elasticsearch? To put it bluntly, YES there is a need. SES and Verity search functions will be deprecated as of PeopleTools 8.56. The SES; however, will continue to be supported through April 30, 2018.

So now that you see that there is an end in sight for the SES search capability, what steps need to be taken to move to Elasticsearch? Overall, the steps would include the following:

  • Adding an Elasticsearch instance
  • Taking Elasticsearch updates and fixes from the latest PeopleSoft application image
  • Deploying search definitions and categories on the Elasticsearch server
  • Building the search index with full crawling
  • Scheduling incremental crawling updates
  • Performing user acceptance tests
  • Going live on Elasticsearch

What does the transition look like? There are actually two options to transition. The first option is to move to production after Elasticsearch is fully built which involves production downtime. This would be a good option if you want to avoid the resource contentions for indexing while the production environment is on SES. You would also be able to setup a separate test environment to perform acceptance testing. This would allow you to take down the production environment while building the index.

The second option is a live cutover, without the need to take the production environment down. You would decommission SES in the production environment and install an Elasticsearch instance, build the indexes and test on your production environment. This approach will extend your downtime. In both instances, you will need to take into account the time it will take for a full crawl of your search definitions when deciding which approach to take.

The prerequisites for moving to Elasticsearch include the following:

  • PeopleSoft 9.2 application
  • Latest PeopleSoft Update Image for your application
  • PeopleTools 8.55.11 or higher patch level
  • Meet resource requirements
  • One or more hosts provisioned to run Elasticsearch
  • Updates installed in PeopleSoft environment
  • Download and deploy the DPK.

Additional documentation can be found on My Oracle Support , PeopleTools 8.55.11 or Higher Elasticsearch Home Page (Doc 2205540.2):

  • PeopleSoft Deployment Packages for Elasticsearch Installation (PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.55)
  • Moving from SES to Elastic Search
  • PeopleTools 8.55: Search Technology

If you have any questions please feel free to email us at Larry.Zagata@MIPROConsulting.com.

Procurement Challenges Addressed with PeopleSoft Mobile Procurement

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The day-to-day life of Procurement is filled with numerous challenges and may leave those responsible feeling overwhelmed. The introduction of PeopleSoft 9.2 Mobile Procurement addressed some of these challenges. Fluid User Interface (UI), Employee Self-Service and Mobile Procurement allow users to work on the go, using mobile devices (i.e. smart phones, tablets and desktop computers).

The benefits of implementing Mobile Procurement include the following:

  • Ability to complete procurement tasks anywhere, anytime. For those users that are constantly on the go, being able to quickly review and complete procurement tasks outside the office is critical. With the use of mobile devices, some of the tasks that can be performed include adding/modifying requisitions and viewing requisitions from the Employee Self-Service page. Here are a couple of examples:
  1. Users have the ability to enter a requisition by browsing catalogs, ordering through their Item History, ordering from their favorites or ordering by special request.
  2. The user can also view their requisitions from the My Requisition page. On this page, they have the option to edit, cancel or view the details of their requisition as seen here:

  • Ability to increase coordination and cooperation. Not only does it provide for faster processes and business decisions, it brings the team together regardless of location as they are no longer tied to their computer in their office.
  • Ability to perform approvals. Approvals trigger a chain reaction of supply chain and logistical operations. Managers/Approvers can quickly approve various transactions using their mobile devices.

To filter a particular type of approval, just filter by type (i.e. Requisition) and only those approvals would appear as shown below:

From this page, the user would be able to select one or more requisitions to add approver comments, to approve, to deny, to pushback or place the requisition on hold. In addition, they would be able to view the details, edit the requisition and start a new approval path.

Getting on-time approvals saves both time and money. It also reduces effort required, resulting in better scheduling, better timing of procurement activities and reduces overall operational costs.

  • Streamlines Processes. With the ability to manage exceptions, users are able to ensure that purchased orders are placed in a timely manner, ensure goods/services are received on time and faster decision making is performed by allowing users the ability to manage by exceptions as well as providing the ability to view and analyze real-time data.

The ability to view and analyze real-time information also allows for faster decision making, for example, reviewing the Req Approval Cycle Time, Req to PO Cycle Time and PO Approval Cycle Time). When reviewing the tasks, notifications can be sent to an individual/individuals via email to take the necessary steps. Here is an example of the Req Approval Cycle Time page:

Another option for the user in their analysis is the ability to review analytics, such as the Procurement Spend Analysis:

Pages, like the one above, allow the user to dig deeper into the data behind the charges and graphs by simply clicking on the hyperlinks or on the bars of the graph.

With PeopleSoft 9.2 Mobile Procurement’s new technology, a new level of efficiency can now be brought forward to all areas of the procurement processes, drastically reducing the time needed to perform vital tasks. Isn’t this worth taking a look at to see how the technology can help improve your organization?

If you have any questions regarding PeopleSoft 9.2 Mobile Procurement or any other PeopleSoft question please email Larry.Zagata@MIPROConsulting.com.