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Posts Tagged ‘asset lifecycle management’

PeopleSoft Real Estate Management Overview, Part 2

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Editor’s note — here are all the posts in this series for easy reference:

This week’s Real Estate Management overview will focus on the “MY INFORMATION” content of the product (here’s last week’s, in case you missed it).  “MY INFORMATION” is a quick review related to the leases in a user’s portfolio.  The two major components that we will focus on are:

  • My Lease Portfolio
  • My Critical Dates

In “My Lease Portfolio” the user is able to search by a number of criteria to quickly return the leases in their portfolio.  As can be seen by in the screenshot below, the search returns every lease that meets the criteria and provides quick access to each lease.  By clicking on the “Lease Details” tab, the user is presented with a hyperlink directly to the Lease setup page.

(click to enlarge)

Moving forward, the screenshot below outlines the major content within the lease setup.  The first tab is the General Information tab.  This page, as described, provides general information about the selected lease such as the lease name, number, type, location, region, and landlord.  Additionally, it quickly outlines the lease timetable for such information as lease terms, the termination date, date of signature and the administrator of the lease.  Finally, general information about the space itself including total area, usable area, rentable area etc.  The user is also able to take four distinct actions on the lease:

  • Manage amendments to the lease
  • View the lease abstract (the lease abstract provides a method to capture and present lease information in a summarized, at-a-glance format)
  • Dispute the lease
  • Expire the lease

(click to enlarge)

The second tab is related to the lease financial information which includes setting up the lease financial terms which are critical to the overall lease processing. The terms that you can define include the rent billing or payment frequency, operating expenses, and miscellaneous rent items.  Additionally you can establish recurring payments or invoices and specify payment and invoice processing dates.

(click to enlarge)

Here is some information from PeopleBooks:

You can establish rent escalations that increase at specific date intervals throughout the life cycle of the lease. When adding the base rent, you can set up a recurring invoice or payment. Then you can create rent escalations using a predefined index or standard stepped increases such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or any other index to help determine the rent increase.  Escalations usually occur on an annual basis with an optional defined maximum limit capacity.

With operating expenses, you can set maximum increases by amount or percent. As a tenant, you can audit those expenses annually to ensure continuity of spending. As a landlord, you can reconcile the operating expenses and bill or credit the difference to your tenants.

You can also set up a recurring schedule for miscellaneous rent that can include such items as monthly parking fees, administrative fees, and storage fees and you can establish a recurring schedule to reduce data entry redundancy.

You may also have leases that are set up on a percent rent schedule, where the monthly rent is reduced in exchange for a portion of the tenant’s sales. With percent rent schedules you can upload tenant sales reports to determine the variable monthly rent the tenant pays.

The lease clause page provides quick access to the legal clauses involved in every lease.  It is important that this information is captured and retained efficiently. Here’s what PeopleBooks says about it:

With lease clauses, you can select the clause types and clause sub types to capture and track this information and enter additional related information in a free-form text field. Clause types and sub types enable you to reduce data entry redundancy and also logically categorize the information that you capture. For example, if you have a clause type of Parking and a clause sub type of Allocated Spaces, you can further define the clause with the actual number of parking spaces allocated to the lease. You can also incorporate specific sections of a lease in the Reference field for each clause that you enter, enabling quick reference to the actual terms within a lease.

(click to enlarge)

The final tab we will explore is the “Options and Critical Dates” tab.  Here the user is able to identify options which are used to identify clauses.  From PeopleBooks:

Real estate options can be the same as a clause with a critical date as a reminder to take action for that option. You can define whether you receive a reminder when an action is required. Options are usually associated with critical dates (dates by which the option is exercised) and include lease renewals, terminations, and early terminations.

(click to enlarge)

To further discuss the basics of “My Critical Dates”, here’s more from PeopleBooks:

When you associate an option to a SAR or lease, you also need to define the option expiration date which is typically referred to as the critical date. Once this date has passed, the option is no longer exercisable.  To avoid missing critical dates, you can use the option date to define a start date, an end date and optionally, any number of intermediate dates for users to receive notifications.  As each date occurs, a notification will be sent to the various contacts informing them of the pending option.

In our next installment of Real Estate Management Overview we will focus on Real Estate Management integration and the following week we will take a deeper look at creating leases. If Real Estate Management is something you own are considering owning, stay tuned. We’re going to give you the most complete overview of PeopleSoft REM short of PeopleBooks.

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PeopleSoft Asset Management & Project Costing 9.2 — and Beyond

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A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to present at PeopleSoft RECONNECT  in Hartford, Connecticut. In the midst of hectic schedules and a vibrant crowd, I had a great time catching up with old clients and friends and meeting new people and sharing ideas.  It was a great forum for open discussions and a unique venue for an in-depth view of PeopleSoft products.

One of my favorite sessions was the “Project Costing & Asset Management 9.2: Overview & Roadmap” presentation by Oracle’s Loida McDearis.  Loida is the PeopleSoft Product Strategy Manager for PeopleSoft ESA (Projects) & ALM (Assets) Solutions.

At a high level and in bullet format, here’s what she shared with us regarding what’s in store for version 9.2 and beyond!

For Project Costing:

  • Project summarization by subsystem
  • Numerous improvements to variance pricing and funds distribution
  • Simplified capture of project costs and revenue
  • Multi-dimensional custom rate definitions
  • Improved quality of billings and cash flow via the manager transaction reviews
  • Introduction of supplemental data
  • Project financial reporting through the use of query and pivot grids

For Asset Management:

  • Combo edits by transaction source
  • Rapid capture of cost adjustments transactions in basic add component
  • Addition of procure groups that allow for the creation of single assets from multiple requisition or purchase order lines without the use Project Costing
  • Flexible allocation of asset voucher adjustments with email notification
  • Expanded search criteria on the disposal worksheet
  • Procurement item full description added to the asset long description field
  • Multiple improvements to physical inventory
  • Adoption of Oracle Secure Enterprise Search
  • Approval Framework Adoption
  • Asset Visualization via integration with ESRI ArcGIS Online

I know it’s hard to compete with iPhone 5 buzz these days, but if you’re a PeopleSoft ESA or ALM client, this is pretty huge news. It’s great to see Oracle refining and expanding the PeopleSoft roadmap in key areas like this. In my professional experience, most of these hit quite the sweet spot.

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More links:
MIPRO Consulting main website.
MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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Federal Healthcare Regulations and … Oil Changes

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A Parable of Recommendations and Decisions

So, how often do you really change the oil in your car, truck, or SUV?  Do you follow manufacturers’ recommendations?

You know, the last three cars I owned had completely different advice: one owner’s manual said every 6,000 miles, one said every 7,500 miles, and one has a snazzy computer that analyzes how I drive and tells me when an oil change is due.  Those are car manufacturers’ recommendations, right?  But wait!  Do you heed the oil manufacturers’ advice to change every 3,000 miles?  Or, do you follow your daddy’s advice and change every so-and-so miles?  Do you replace the oil filter every time (some recommendations) or every other time (other recommendations)?  One repair shop told me that not replacing the oil filter every time was like taking a shower without taking off your socks … But, I was always told the filter should be on an every-other oil change cycle.

Now, MIPRO is in the computerized maintenance management business.  We are the North American experts on implementing, tuning, upgrading, and optimizing PeopleSoft Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) systems, especially PeopleSoft Maintenance Management.  You might think, “…If it’s computerized, it should be easy to follow proper procedures, right?”

Related: How to choose good knee walker?

Oh, if only life were that easy.  Those of you in the healthcare business know that Daddy Warbucks and the IRS (those who giveth and those who taketh away) are really the same organization: CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), within HHS (Department of Health & Human Services), the most important federal agency in your financial life.  If you don’t follow CMS regulations, you risk being adjudged non-compliant, potentially fail your Joint Commission accreditation check, and might not receive reimbursement. (What proportion of your revenues comes from CMS?  40%, 50%, more?)

So, what does CMS say about maintenance?

In December 2011, CMS’ Office of Clinical Standards and Quality/Survey & Certification Group issued new regulations that said healthcare providers must follow manufacturers’ advice:

“…alternative equipment maintenance schedules {are} permitted in some instances….” but “…alternative equipment maintenance methods are not permitted….”

Hmmm, some instances. What might those be?

CMS “clarified” what some instances meant by stating:

frequencies may be adjusted based on assessment by qualified personnel unless 1) the equipment was “…critical to patient health & safety….” or 2) the equipment was “new” and a sufficient amount of maintenance history hadn’t yet been acquired.

When I’m drivin’ down the freeway, I think that darn near every part of that car is critical to my health and safety.

But, you’re the maintenance supervisor in a modern hospital.  Or, of course, you’re the Administrator, where the buck truly stops.  Tell me, what equipment is critical to patient health and safety?  That’s an exact quote from the Feds.  Because, you had better be following the manufacturers’ maintenance procedures and frequency for these pieces of equipment.  Are there either procedure or frequency conflicts for virtually identical pieces of equipment?  Do you follow the maintenance recommendations and change your oil every 3,000, 6,000, 7,500 miles or listen to Dad’s advice or confidently (blindly?) follow the magic maintenance computer?

This is serious stuff in the healthcare business.  Non-compliance can be fiscally fatal.  And, if your accreditation is “delayed” or your reimbursements are “denied” or “reduced”, you may have serious problems.

Negotiations between CMS and national hospital providers are under way to define a bit more closely “critical to patient health & safety” and whether local procedures that exceed manufacturers’ methods are acceptable (and, of course, the corollary discussion of alternative methods that are superior to manufacturers’ methods; currently, these are not allowed).  Organizations such as The Joint Commission (TJC), the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) are among the interested parties participating in the negotiations, not to mention regional and local providers who have just as much skin in the game.

Where’s MIPRO in all this?  Well, we are the best at implementing PeopleSoft maintenance management systems once the regulators tell our clients what procedures we need to implement.  Right now, what appears to be the safe method is to implement a superset of procedures/frequencies:  at least the manufacturers’ recommendations and your maintenance experience and the most comprehensive/frequent procedures where there are conflicts.

Stay tuned for future blog posts as these critical negotiations continue.  But, don’t expect quick resolution.  Remember the lesson of elephant reproduction:  it’s done at a high level, it’s accompanied by much noise and posturing, and it takes two years for anything to develop.

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MIPRO Consulting main website.
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Best Systems Are Capable of ‘Predictive Maintenance’

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Our own Shannon Klabnik and Jim Henderson, writing for Health Management Technology about what it means to implement and optimize an enterprise asset management (EAM) system:

The value of a successful maintenance-management program supported by an integrated software solution is profound. This combination can be the foundation for healthcare organizations to achieve full visibility to the entire lifecycle of invaluable assets. But what do healthcare organizations need to do – and understand – in order to implement that kind of next-generation system?

Visualize and design: First and foremost, identify operational priorities. The best EAM systems operate with a large amount of flexibility and can be adapted to suit the individual practices and professional goals of an organization. Once the healthcare organization establishes what it needs from the system – from big-picture goals down to the smallest details – the next step is to determine how you actually want it to work. A professional consultant can walk you through that process, helping to define the maintenance program and strategy.

Lay the groundwork: Identifying specific maintenance standards and metrics can be a challenge. But in order to fully utilize the power of an EAM system – with its ability to track those disparate variables – those standards should be clarified ahead of time. It is also important to identify, evaluate and mitigate or resolve any post-implementation risks/liabilities. For example, centralizing all replacement parts can actually create a surprisingly difficult inventory problem. Finally, the requirements for an effective software solution that will support your program, processes and procedures should be identified and carefully noted.

Train and deploy: Educate the team responsible for transforming your maintenance practices and implementing your system. Even the best system is only as good as its users, and helping users achieve technical and operational fluency is a must. Once thorough training is complete, implement your maintenance practices and deploy the system to support said applications.

Stay on track: Deployment is just the beginning. The up-front investment is where most energy is expended, but it is also important to conduct regular follow-ups and periodic formal evaluations to ensure that the new maintenance management program and supporting system are working as intended and delivering the anticipated results. Reinforce the program through ongoing training and support.

Once clients begin to realize the true value of an integrated approach to EAM, a whole dimension of operational efficiency opens for them. Getting past the datasheet level takes some digging — especially in terms of making EAM right for your organization — but once you see the value it offers, there’s no going back. It’s like Morpheus offering Neo the blue pill or the red pill in The Matrix: the blue offers an ignorant bliss, whereas red a vibrant view of reality that once seen can never be unseen.

Digging into EAM and what it can do for your organization is, in many ways, its own red pill.

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More links:
MIPRO Consulting main website.
MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About this blog.

 

The Road to Interact 2012: Keep (C)ALM and Carry On

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If you’ve read our previous posts in this series, you’re up to speed (if not, here’s part 1, part 2 and part 3). You understand the risks associated with not having a strategic, coordinated and effective maintenance management program supported by an integrated software solution. You recognize the value of Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM), and you might be interested in what MIPRO and PeopleSoft ALM can do for your organization. You know that systems architected to work together will be more efficient than ones have had to integrate yourself.

Now what?

What’s the first step? For that matter, what’s the second step? What’s the plan you need to undertake to begin to implement your own ALM solution and upgrade your maintenance management systems?

Design

Before you do anything, it is important to partner with ALM experts to identify operational priorities. The best ALM systems are extremely flexible, and can be adapted to suit the individual practices and professional goals of your organization. A good consulting partner with specific expertise in this area can help you determine the design details of a system that will meet your needs. As a general rule, you want to start with the big picture and work your way down to the smaller operational details.

You’ve heard this before, yes. For a reason. It all starts with the proper planning and design.

Get specific

It isn’t always easy to zero in on the specific maintenance standards and metrics that will serve as the backbone of your new maintenance management program, but the true power of an integrated ALM program like PeopleSoft ALM is in its ability to not only track those details (and pinpoint them on a map!), but to make smart, coordinated decisions and perform predictive analysis based on myriad smaller pieces of the maintenance puzzle. To fully unlock that power, those standards and those details should be clarified ahead of time. This is also the time to plan ahead to try to anticipate and mitigate any post-implementation risks or structural liabilities. Centralizing all replacement parts in a single location makes logistical sense, for example, but it can actually create an entirely new set of inventory demands that must be integrated into the system.

Implement & Train

The technical implementation is up to the professionals, of course – but the tech side is the easy stuff. Even the most innovative program with next-generation software is only as good as its users: training and educating your team and helping users achieve technical and operational fluency should be your top priority.

Software without the proper training is unused or under-utilized software. Don’t make this mistake. We’ve seen what happens when corners are cut in this area, and it’s a mess you don’t want.

Monitor

Deployment is just the beginning. And training is a priority that doesn’t stop after a few days: it’s an ongoing process. Which is why the final post-implementation step is long-term training, tracking, monitoring and analysis to ensure optimal system functionality over the long term. The up-front investment may be where you spend the most energy and resources, but it is critically important to conduct regular follow-ups and periodic formal evaluations to ensure that all aspects of the new maintenance management program are working as intended and delivering the anticipated results. After all, a tool is only as good as the craftsperson wielding it.

When deployed correctly, PeopleSoft ALM enables hospitals and healthcare organizations to practice preventive, corrective and even predictive maintenance to minimize or avoid costly downtime and associated liabilities/exposures. We’ve seen it firsthand. Not only does the system track, monitor and record critical information, it also plans and schedules technicians and replacement parts, creating new maintenance and management efficiencies that can dramatically lower overhead. This unified approach to capital infrastructure management facilitates smarter and more efficient scheduling, enabling healthcare facilities and maintenance professionals to manage and deploy assets across various departments and facilities.

Ultimately, healthcare organizations can leverage these powerful new tools to improve performance, reduce capital and operating costs, extend asset life and realize maximum value from capital investments. The result is improved compliance, efficiency and profitability; all while minimizing waste and avoidable expense and limiting costly downtime. And in a competitive and rapidly evolving field like healthcare, that is a prescription for sustained efficiency and long-term success.

If you’ve been following this ‘Road to Interact 2012’ series, thank you for reading. If you have questions, please feel free to email us or stop by and see us on the Interact floor.

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More links:

Learn more about Interact 2012, where MIPRO will be exhibiting.

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About this blog.

The Road to Interact 2012: Risky Business

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We’ve talked about the maintenance and operational challenges associated with successfully running a large and complex healthcare organization/facility, and we’ve talked about the exciting potential of Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) strategies and powerful programs like PeopleSoft ALM.

“But what’s the big deal?” you might ask, “How much of a difference can a fully-integrated ALM really make?”

To answer those questions, and in order to get a full understanding of how and why products like PeopleSoft ALM can make such profound difference, we first have to get a better sense of the risks associated with not implementing a strategic and effective maintenance management program.

In other words: what’s the downside?

One of the most obvious concerns is the operational integrity and lifespan of the equipment that hospitals and healthcare facilities rely on to perform quality patient care. Healthcare devices can be delicate in nature and very expensive to acquire and maintain. And, with bigger and better technologies coming online all the time, this is an issue that is unlikely to go away.

The growing emphasis on diagnostics highlights another potential vulnerability. If a CAT scan or MRI machine breaks down, for example, hospitals actually face potential revenue loss from two directions: the straightforward loss of income from the unplanned downtime and subsequent inability to perform critical tests, and also the industry-specific liability exposure that can arise from a compromised diagnostic capacity and poorer patient health outcomes. Even a single lawsuit can make the maintenance management value equation more than clear.

Now, extrapolate these out over the physical assets of an entire organization, and the potential savings are staggering.

Non-compliance with state and federal guidelines, industry standards and other regulatory mandates is another serious risk. The Joint Commission (formerly known and still often referred to as the “Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations”) is a nonprofit that evaluates healthcare organizations’ compliance with federal regulations. As healthcare administrators and executives understand all too well, Joint Commission accreditation and certification are prerequisites for Medicare reimbursement and other licensing. At a time when those reimbursements account for a large percentage of many hospitals’ income, and considering the fact that a lot of private insurance is also contingent on that licensure/certification, an unsuccessful Joint Commission audit is an administrator’s worst nightmare. A bad audit can literally shut down an entire facility.

Finally, there are many technology systems that allow healthcare professionals to run their institutions efficiently. If the systems are superlative, but the integration of those systems allowing them to properly talk to each other is burdensome, efficiency is compromised and the bottom line suffers. The PeopleSoft ALM solution is fully integrated into the PeopleSoft FSCM system you are probably running today. All of the integration points are already created. Support is reduced, efficiency is increased and the bottom line benefits. Don’t ignore the value of intelligent integration.

Replacing your existing CMMS system with PeopleSoft ALM will go a long way toward reducing your risks, helping your operation become more efficient, and allowing you to spend more time and resources ensuring you remain compliant with regulations – all of which lowers everyone’s stress level/blood pressure as the audit date nears.

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More links:

Learn more about Interact 2012, where MIPRO will be exhibiting.

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About this blog.

The Road to Interact 2012: Preventive Asset Maintenance for Healthcare

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One of the toughest things about running a business in a complicated industry like healthcare is managing all the stuff. The physical operating assets of any organization — facilities, equipment, machinery, technical infrastructure — are the heart and soul of a well-run and functioning business. Healthcare has stuff in spades.

Facilities managers and the maintenance and operations professionals see up close and personal every day that keeping things working is essential to…well…keeping things working. For healthcare decision-makers in particular, the efficient management and maintenance of those physical assets — from computers and CT scanners to hospital facilities and generators — has long been one of the foremost logistical, financial and operational challenges that they face. And at a time when the industry is becoming bigger, more complicated, more expensive, and increasingly reliant on highly specialized machines to provide the diagnostics and treatment required to optimize patient care, the connection between operational efficiency and medical efficacy is more apparent than ever. With tighter profit margins, an accelerating pace of technical advances and continuously evolving regulatory environment, the ability of any medical facility or healthcare-related business to keep things running smoothly and get the most out of physical assets is essential from a purely economic standpoint as well.

If it were all so easy, right?

The big question, of course, is how: how can you make that happen? How can you upgrade your facilities’ and assets’ maintenance and management in a way that improves patient care and saves money? As many hospitals and healthcare organizations are discovering, one of the best answers to that question lies in an exciting concept known as Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM). A coordinated ALM approach to maintaining, servicing and (when necessary) replacing physical assets can have an enormously positive impact on a healthcare organization, saving time, boosting productivity and efficiency, and improving patient care. PeopleSoft ALM is a premier solution in this space, especially when integration with other PeopleSoft applications is important: PeopleSoft ALM is a robust program that enables organizations to prioritize assets and ensure enterprises are investing in them at the proper levels to meet utilization, uptime and business goals. As the consultancy that has been involved in more PeopleSoft ALM implementations than any other in North America, that’s something that we have seen firsthand.

My colleagues and I will be spending some time over the next few weeks featuring blog posts outlining some of the ways in which ALM can and does make a difference. This is real world stuff, not ivory tower fluff. We’ll go over some of the maintenance challenges faced by businesses in the complex industry of healthcare, review some of the risks faced by those businesses when they don’t effectively address those challenges, and take a detailed look at the best practices of PeopleSoft ALM implementation and the positive results that can be achieved with a successful ALM strategy. In other words, we’ll be giving you the information and tools you need to determine if your assets are working as hard as you are — and to help you understand what to do next if the answer to that question is not to your liking.

We’d love to hear from you if you have questions or thoughts about this. Don’t be afraid to email us. This is a hot topic right now in healthcare and there are many questions. Fire away.

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More links:

Learn more about Interact 2012, where MIPRO will be exhibiting.

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About this blog.

Poor Asset Maintenance Represents Real Risk

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Good article from Mike Schmidt over at Manufacturing Business Technology about how a lack of proactive, intelligent asset management is a true risk to the organization:

If you’re not managing assets properly, you don’t know what the cost of those assets are and (what the cost is) to repair those assets,” he says. “That creates a big risk to an organization.

That’s really the crux of it. Said another way, if your organization is not managing its assets properly and systematically, you are throwing money away!  In my daily conversations, I often find myself surprised at how many companies do not have an asset management system. Of those that do, I’m finding that many don’t use the solution to its fullest extent — if at all.

My daily conversations jibe with what Schmidt found:

According to the survey, only 37% of respondents currently have EAM/CMMS solutions in place. In addition, 49% do not use applications to manage documents about their assets.

Organizations need to understand that’s some powerful shelfware.

Schmidt’s is targeted at the manufacturing sector, but is directly applicable to all asset-intensive industries, such as higher education, utilities and power generation, energy and healthcare.

Another key quip about whether or not executives realize the true risk poor asset management represents:

And it’s that risk that is only going to lead to more pressure in the coming years, says Zirnhelt.

“The pressure’s been there, but my impression is that executives, in an average sense, don’t appreciate it,” he continues. “It has just taken them a long time to appreciate the severity of it.”

Bottom line: if your organization is not managing its assets effectively and efficiently, there is no better time to start than now. If you’re an Oracle/PeopleSoft shop, check out our whitepaper about PeopleSoft Maintenance Management: An Introduction and Overview of Benefits for a good jumping-off point.

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More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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PeopleSoft FSCM v9.1 Feature Pack 2 – For You!

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Just a month ago (February 16 to be exact), Oracle provided the latest version of Financials and Supply Chain Management (FSCM) in its Feature Pack 2 (FP2) release.  At MIPRO, we’re pretty excited about the new capabilities within this FP, and believe that this one is for you.

From Oracle’s press release, FP2 delivers

“…new applications and capabilities for financial governance and control, healthcare materials management, and enterprise service automation.”

Why are we excited about this particular release?  Well, as you know, we’re particularly interested in all things PeopleSoft and, especially, all things Maintenance Management.  FSCM v9.1 FP2 provides some nifty enhancements in areas that are specifically congruent with our interest and expertise in enterprise maintenance management systems.  These enhancements especially aid organizations that are geographically dispersed, but can definitely affect consolidated environments as well.  I’ll take a look at a few of these areas in this post – only a few, because this release has considerable meat – while hopefully whetting your appetite to dive more deeply into these and other capabilities in this release.  Some of the new features include:

  • Enhanced GIS within Maintenance Management – FP2 brings you a fuller integration with ESRI’s ArcGIS Online enabling users to see the asset’s description and locate it on a map.  And, the capabilities of ArcGIS continue to expand.  ESRI states it “is expanding ArcGIS Online to give organizations the ability to manage their geospatial content and publish their maps, apps, data, and hosted services in ESRI’s cloud infrastructure.”  This can dramatically lower the cost of performing maintenance by knowing exactly where the asset physically is and being able to schedule other maintenance tasks on other assets nearby.  By the way, MIPRO has GIS working in a demo environment with FP1, but we recommend users upgrade to FP2 before using GIS in a large database.
  • Creating Work Orders – FP2 includes streamlined data entry options (and user-set requirements, such as blackout days or mandatory item entry) to allow work orders to be created more easily and accurately.  And, fortuitously, the enhancements include more functionality such as allowing the printing of work orders in the format you need with whatever attachments you select.
  • Scheduling Work Orders – FP2 includes the ability for maintenance schedulers and technicians to reserve inventory items from the work order.  This allows the dispatching of multiple maintenance teams or individuals without creating “deadlocks” where one team has some of the required parts while other teams have other required parts but no team has all the required parts.  An improvement in Inventory’s Allocation Workbench makes this pre-allocation of specific parts (or lots or serial IDs, etc.) much easier than in previous versions.
  • Approving Work Orders – FP2 has enhanced the approval workflow and made it much easier to set up and administer the approval steps your organization requires for work order dispatch.  While workflow is native to all recent releases of FSCM, FP2 provides simplified and more powerful capabilities.  Unnecessary paper can be kept to a minimum while the time-to-fix is significantly shortened.
  • Reporting from Work Orders – FP2 has improved and simplified the reporting capabilities of the system.  Data entry has been streamlined, accelerating the capture of work order information, so that management reports can provide better information of active and completed service requests.

The above enhancement areas in Maintenance Management are only the tip of the iceberg.  Within FP2, there are even more Maintenance Management improvements among the several hundred to FSCM.  These improved capabilities span the gamut from Asset Management to Supplier Contract Management.  Because the FSCM system is highly integrated, changes and enhancements in one area – as we discussed, above, in these five areas within Asset Lifecycle Management – affect many other areas in the complete system.  MIPRO lives in the FSCM area and we are really excited about sharing our knowledge and expertise with you.  Paraphrasing a famous commercial, we believe “this one’s for you!”

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More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Looking Beyond the Obvious Applications of Maintenance Management

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Is disaster just a mistake away?

The annual Maintenance Management Summit is quickly approaching and our team is fast and furious in preparation.  I always enjoy being part of the planning process and then watching it all come together.  We are also attending the Alliance (formerly known as HEUG) Conference as well.

The PeopleSoft Asset Life Cycle Management (ALM) application has been highlighted many times here on this blog.  We talk about the features, functions and integration value this application can bring to any enterprise.  That’s all top-shelf information.  But, for me, value is best uncovered during an a ha! moment.

Here’s mine.

I was recently on the campus of a medium-size university meeting with some IT folks and a couple of people from the business side.  We were discussing how ALM may benefit them.  Certainly streamlining the work order process, keeping an eye on inventory and its location, knowing when equipment needs preventive maintenance are all excellent business reasons to consider the ALM application.  The integration with PeopleSoft Financials is also a tremendous benefit.  But sometimes we don’t really understand the value of an application until we see it in action. Like everything else we learn, we only really know it when we experience it.

One of the university managers invited me on a tour of the campus facilities.  It is the part of my job I really enjoy: getting to see how PeopleSoft ALM can really help and provide value beyond RFP text and whitepapers.  The tour helps gain an understanding of work processes and work flow.

But when we walked into the “Lock and Key Room” it hit me like a ton of bricks. The entire room was full of keys hanging on boards, keys organized in filing cabinets, keys lying on tables.  I never realized how many keys it takes to operate a campus.  Classrooms, labs, cafeterias, supplies, equipment rooms, locker rooms, gyms, practice facilities, not to mention dorms.

The Facilities Manager at a major University has thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of assets to track, manage and maintain.  Most are still operating with spreadsheets and manual check in/checkout procedures.  All I know is that if I went into the ‘Lock and Key room’ and accidently bumped one of the boards, hundreds of keys could possibly end up on the floor. Disaster. That manager has the same issue with his assets: there are thousands of them, all stored in a spreadsheet somewhere, tied to a manual checkin/checkout process. What happens if someone bumped those metaphorical keys? How quickly would asset costs spiral out of control?

I started thinking that the grip many organizations have on asset  management may be more tenuous than they imagine. They don’t want it this way, but over assets and their metadata just pile up. I think escaping the toddering threat of an Excel-and-checklist tower crashing down is why many customers come to us asking about smarter asset management.

I encourage you to look beyond the obvious applications of Maintenance Management software and investigate the not so obvious applications – therein may be the ROI.

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