Announcing Field Service!

Happy Holidays!

Work orders, preventative maintenance, repair orders, service calls, deliveries, pickups, calibrations, inspections. Finally an add-on solution that handles it all.

B1 Fixed Assets is proud to announce that our Field Service Solution is now officially available to the SAP channel.

Whether in the cloud or on-premise, FAMe with Field Service has become the most popular solution for Equipment Rental, Fleet Maintenance, and Plant Maintenance companies that run on Business One.

SAP Business One Field Service

Features Dispatchers and Schedulers love:

  • Auto-Assign Jobs (based on 15+ Business Rules)
  • Auto-Schedule Recurring Jobs (including Preventative/Scheduled Maintenance)
  • Drag & Drop Interface
  • Real-Time GPS Tracking
  • Predictive Inventory Management
  • Benchmark Technician Time/Performance

SAP Business One Field Service

Features Mobile Technicians love:

  • Generate SAP Invoices & Quotes from the Field
  • Work in Connected / Disconnected Environments
  • Manage Mobile Stock Inventory
  • Service History Tracking
  • Update Meter Readings/Equipment Usage
  • Barcode Scanning
  • Google Mapping
  • Photo Capture
  • Signature Capture

Questions or want to learn more? Just reach out to Greg Lewis at greg.lewis@b1fixedassets.com

Do You Need FAMe Work Orders or SAP Service Calls?

FAMe Maintenance Work OrdersFAMe has an Equipment Maintenance capability that provides Maintenance Contracts and Maintenance Work Orders (MWOs) for any and all Equipment, whether owned by the Company, or owned by their Customers. MWOs are based on Asset Masters, which serve as ‘Equipment Cards’.  These Asset Masters contain considerably more information than an SAP Equipment Card, making them far more powerful when working with Equipment.

SAP Business One has a Service capability that provides Service Contracts and Service Calls for Equipment that has only been sold to Customers.  These Service Calls are based on SAP Inventory Items / Serial Numbers that have been delivered to a Customer using the Sales and AR functions.

Understandably, many of our customers see these similarities and differences and need some help in understanding where SAP Service capabilities fall short and where FAMe becomes increasingly necessary.  Take a look at this quick comparison of SAP Service and FAMe:Maintenance as they relate to many of the required functionalities used in equipment maintenance.

Capability SAP Service FAMe Maintenance
Warranty / Service Contracts
– With Customers YES YES
– With Vendors / Manufacturers NO YES
Types of Property, Plant, and Equipment
– Equipment Sold to Customers YES YES
– Equipment Rented to Customers NO YES
– Owned Equipment NO YES
– Internal Facilities NO YES
Types of Maintenance handled
– Unscheduled YES YES
– Scheduled / Preventive NO YES
– Scheduled based on Meters / Usage NO YES
– Follow-ons YES YES
– Rental Return NO YES
Procedures
– Handles a single Procedure YES YES
– Handles Multiple Procedures NO YES
– Can be assigned to Techs or Vendors NO YES
Parts and Labor
– Manages Parts and Labor in General YES YES
– Manages Parts and Labor by Procedure NO YES
– Manages Parts by Technician NO YES
Technician Performance
– Parts used versus estimated NO YES
– Labor used versus estimated NO YES
– Actual Cost versus estimated NO YES
– Actual Downtime versus estimated NO YES
Overall Work Order Performance
– Process Alerts during initial entry NO YES
– On- time Completion analysis NO YES
– Elapsed Time from Capture to Completed NO YES
– Multi-step Elapsed Time Capture NO YES 

 

This comparison makes it easy to see how truly powerful FAMe:Maintenance is for its users.  But looking beyond just basic capabilities, now see some of the resultant benefits that come from using FAMe MWOs versus SAP Service Calls:

  • A Service Call requires that the Item / Serial Number be ‘sold’ to the Customer who possesses it. This is fine if all Equipment being serviced is actually sold. It is not ok if the Equipment is owned, Rented to the Customer, or Leased to the Customer. For each of these scenarios, the Equipment is likely a Fixed Asset on the Books, and not in Inventory at all.
  • FAMe Equipment Maintenance manages scheduled maintenance for each piece of Equipment, where SAP Service does not.
  • MWOs have detailed time stamps which track latency from MWO Capture, through Assignment, Dispatch, Arrival, Start, Finish, and Close.
  • MWOs manage multiple procedures, where Service Calls do not.
  • If there are multiple maintenance processes to be performed (almost always the case with Scheduled Maintenance), these would be notated but not managed in a Service Call. MWOs manage multiple procedures from beginning to end.
  • MWOs are multi-technician, where a Service Call is not.
  • Each Procedure in a MWO can be individually assigned to different Technicians, or outsourced to different Vendors. A Service Call is an ‘all or nothing’ process.
  • MWOs recognize Maintenance Contracts with Vendors for managing Warranties and other contracts, ensuring that MWOs can be charged back to the Vendor, or the proper Vendor can be assigned the MWO, or any charges from the Vendor related to the MWO are correct.
  • MWOs have process alerts, when entered, that let Maintenance Managers know all of the conditions that affect the discharge of the MWO – Customer Credit Hold, Parts Availability, PMs outstanding, etc.
  • MWOs can manage Parts by Technician, allowing proper inventory control for rolling inventory.
  • MWOs manage estimated and actual Parts and Labor by Procedure, allowing accurate performance measurements for Technicians and Procedures.
  • MWOs manage estimated and actual out-of-Service times by Procedure, allowing accurate performance measurements for Technicians and Procedures, which enable better predictions with future MWOs.
  • MWOs manage all activities and costs in SAP documents at the individual Equipment level, which enables accurate and timely management of equipment replacement decisions.

The difference is substantial.  For companies who live and breathe MRO, having a solution that goes as deep as FAMe:Maintenance is crucial to long-term success.

We would love to talk to you about how this Equipment Maintenance solution could help you increase operational performance.  Contact us for more information.

Best Managed Assets for Your Best Run Business – Announcing FAMe Version 2.8.1

We love to hear from our customers and resellers.  Of course, we love to hear how our solution has made the business day a little more manageable and enjoyable.  But we also love to hear practical suggestions on how we can make our solutions incredible to use.

Over the past several months, we have been meeting with clients, from around the world and in a variety of industries, who have provided us with invaluable ideas, feedback and suggestions.  They each have their own nuances, but some also overlap where we can create broader enhancements.  The result is our latest version of Fixed Assets: Enterprise (FAMe).  We’re thrilled to announce that version 2.8.1 is ready to go, and ready to make life a little easier for our users.

Here are a few of the updates we think you’re really going to like:

General

  • All FAMe Contracts that create SAP Marketing Documents have been upgraded to insert a Remark into the SAP Document Header, with that Remark being consistent with the SAP Generated Remarks.
  • All FAMe Contracts that create SAP Marketing Documents have been upgraded for Multi-Currency support, allowing the Contract to create documents in any Currency defined to the Business Partner.
  • FAMe now supports the new SAP 9.0 64-bit Client.  Several forms, particularly set-up forms, have been changed to accommodate this in SAP.

Asset Accounting and Tracking

  • Improved and expanded the capabilities when auto-adding Assets.  Assets can be auto-created from several places within SAP, and this enables better control and more functionality.
  • Enhanced Component Management to allow non-Asset Components (for accessories and additional description information), non-capitalized Assets, and Capitalized Assets.  Also, added a Component Cost column for added information.
  • Enhanced Asset Tracking by expanding fields for Longitude and Latitude.  This is preparation for Google Mapping, GPS Tracking, Mobile Physical Inventory Taking, RFID, and other tracking capabilities.
  • Added the ability to delete a Retirement Transactions that has not been posted.  In addition to other uses, this is necessary for the new Rental Return functionality that auto-creates Retirement records for missing equipment.

Equipment Rental, Leasing, and Service

  • Added ‘Select’ and ‘Clear All’ buttons to the Details tab on the Rental Contract to facilitate billing the Contract detail
  • Made several enhancements to the Billing process to provide more functionality and control
  • Added the capability to auto-generate an Asset Retirement (Disposal) when an Asset is not returned from a Rental Contract.
  • Added a ‘Return All’ button to the Rental Returns form to make it easier to enter Return information
  • Added an alternative Lease accounting option on all Lease Contracts.  The new option accounts for the Lease as a Financing or Sales Lease in addition to the historic Direct Lease.
  • Expanded the number of SQL Queries and Crystal Reports

Equipment Maintenance

  • Provided the option to integrate SAP Activities with each Maintenance Work Order (MWO).  This capability provides for creating a related Activity whenever an MWO is added (from all sources), updating the MWO when the Activity changes, and updating the Activity when the MWO changes.   This also allows the new SAP 9.0 Calendar to be used to assign MWOs to Technicians.
  • Enhanced the Scheduled Maintenance facility to change the Maintenance Schedule depending on the Item used in the Maintenance Procedure.
  • Added a Related Documents tab and a Work Order History tab to the Maintenance Work Order, providing even more information about the Asset and the Work Order.
  • Added a ‘Status Promotion’ button to the MWO to make it easier to capture a Status change, as well as the date and time of the change.  This will enable the MWO to better work in a mobile access environment.
  • Added a Master MWO to provide another option for managing small Projects.  This enables several Work Orders to be linked into one common Parent Work Order for scheduling and control.
  • Added ‘Select’ and ‘Clear All’ buttons to the Items Billing tab on the Maintenance Work Order to facilitate billing the Work Order
  • Enhanced MWO Billing and billing processes to be more flexible and provide more capabilities.
  • Enhanced the MWO Maintenance Outsourcing (creating SAP Purchase Orders) to provide more functionality and control.
  • Expanded the number of SQL Queries and Crystal Reports

For more information, feel free to contact us at any time.

Life, Death, & MRO: How FAMe:Maintenance Keeps Medical Equipment (and you) Healthy

We hear all the time that ERP systems are important, but it’s not like life-or-death.  But for our Customers who provide Medical Services, that is not true. Properly maintaining diagnostic equipment is a matter of life-or-death — or at least avoiding serious injury.

While FAMe:Maintenance has become a key tool for SAP Business One Customers in many industries to address the maintenance of their plant and equipment, it has likewise become essential for those Customers who provide Healthcare Diagnostics.  For most diagnostic equipment, our Customers must be able to show that the equipment is properly and regularly maintained, calibrated, and in some cases certified.

One of our Customers in New York has over 50 diagnostic facilities, with equipment ranging from sonograms to nuclear imaging.  I don’t know about you, but if I need a procedure requiring anything ‘nuclear’, I prefer that it operate correctly.  In addition, they have to maintain all of those facilities.  To do this, they have hundreds of maintenance contracts (many required by Medicare) with outside providers, and an internal staff for everything else.  Knowing what requires service, when and by whom, is essential to running a safe, productive, and financially viable medical practice.  To actually do it successfully requires a fully integrated Maintenance Management System.

Using FAMe:Maintenance, which is totally integrated with Fixed Assets: Enterprise (FAMe) and SAP Business One, the Customer is now able to track and manage all of the maintenance contracts (including Vendor obligations for scheduled maintenance), manage all scheduled maintenance, and capture and resolve all unscheduled maintenance – all to ensure that the facilities and equipment are maintained and operating at the highest possible levels.  All aspects of equipment and facilities are now tracked in detail providing KPI data on usage, costs, repairs, calibrations, and maintenance schedules.  While this fully justified the investment in B1:Maintenance, as a bonus, they were able to identify how they could save over $250,000 per year on their Maintenance Contracts.

FAMe:Maintenance provides the client with the confidence that their equipment is properly maintained, tracked and financially managed.  This is key not only financially, since their equipment represents the largest line item on their balance sheet, but more importantly, for their patients, where properly maintained equipment can be a matter of life and death.

FAMe:Maintenance Helps Auto Parts Manufacturer Achieve MRO Goals

Blog - MROMaintaining your PP&E (Property, Plant and Equipment) is as much an art as it is a science.  But, nowhere else in your organization does the adage ‘knowledge is power’ more aptly apply.  For manufacturers, uptime of the plant is essential.  Failure of anything in the manufacturing process causes both down-line and ancillary disruption.  And that disruption is expensive, both operationally and financially.

No one knows this more than one of our Customers in the Auto Parts manufacturing business.  They are ISO 9000 certified, rightfully very proud of that, and dead serious about maintaining the standards and operational efficiencies that they achieve as a result.  We at B1 Fixed Assets know that overall PP&E maintenance expenses can be reduced by over 50% with a properly implemented Scheduled Maintenance plan.  And, the savings from a reliable operation are equally significant.  Our Customer doesn’t just know that – they live it.  Every day, every week.

With FAMe:Maintenance, they continue to meet their existing high standards, get the feedback they are accustomed to getting, and are confident that their operations will continue at their currently exceptional levels.  They receive Analytics like Meantime Between Failures, On-time Performance of Scheduled Maintenance, ‘Wrench-time’ for each technician / mechanic.  And, they even got a couple of huge bonuses.

First, in addition to these ‘in the past’ analytics, they have Predictive Analytics – seeing into the future based on past trends.  OLAP Cubes, Parts Inventory levels based on planned maintenance schedules, repair / replace patterns and criteria — just to name a few.  And, Process Analytics – like being informed about an Equipment Warranty, so that necessary steps can be taken to realize the chargeback.  Or, seeing an upcoming PM procedure, while processing either a repair or another PM procedure, so that the equipment can be taken offline once, not twice.

Second, prior to FAMe:Maintenance, their Plant Maintenance system was a ‘silo’ system, running separately from the rest of the Company.   Now, they have full integration with SAP Business One, its Inventory and its Financials.  They also get the 360-degree view of all Equipment by utilizing FAMe.  Not only does Plant Management see more and see deeper, but now financial managers and executives can see more and manage better.

Is it possible to improve an ISO 9000 certified operation?  Well, they just did.

Imagine the level of improvement you can realize if you are not already operating at their level.

When to Switch to FAMe – Quantity of Assets or Value of Assets?

This is a question we hear Often in our Fixed Assets: Enterprise webinar series.   Should clients make the decision to switch to FAMe based on the number of assets they are managing or their capital value?  The surprisingly short answer to this question is “yes”. quantity-vs-value

Asking the Right Question

Before we dive into that answer, let’s back up a step and answer another important question first.  SAP Business One (version 9.0) already includes basic functionality for Fixed Assets Accounting, and SAP continues to endorse the use of a Fixed Assets Accounting system for almost every organization.  So why is there even a need for a solution such as FAMe?  What does FAMe do that SAP Fixed Assets does not?

Glad you asked.  It all comes down to Accounting vs. Management.

Fixed Assets Accounting provides users with accurate accounting and depreciation methods that track their assets and ensure that the company has an accurate estimation of their worth on balance sheets and financial statements.  This is important and must be done well.  Improper accounting of assets affects a company’s credit worthiness, tax burden, and general financial health.

Fixed Assets Management does this and helps to maximize the value of the assets.  Not limited to what can be seen on financial records, Fixed Assets Management empowers businesses to actually manage the equipment.  Just as most employees have someone above them who tracks and measures performance, most Fixed Assets benefit from a system that ensures each is working as efficiently as possible, as much as possible, for as long as possible.

So let’s ask the original question in a different way: When does a company need more than a Fixed Assets Accounting system?

Quantity of Assets

The more assets you have, the more differences there will be between them.  Not every asset should be depreciated and managed the exact same way, nor will they all be kept for the same period of time.  Additionally, the more assets you manage the more you have exceptions.  And though we refer to them as exceptions, they are events that happen quite frequently in business.  Improvements, impairments, physical location transfers, and custodial changes are just a few ways assets change over their life, and all of these must be noted and tracked accordingly.

So as the number and complexity of assets increases, so does the need for a stronger system.  In our experience, we have found that companies who cross over the 100 assets threshold typically have the need for FAMe over SAP Fixed Assets.

Value of Assets

For assets to actually be valuable to an organization, they must be used for their intended purpose consistently and with little down time.  Businesses need a way to initially and continuously account for this – the most basic form is via a physical inventory.  They also need a way to ensure that each asset is managed and maintained properly.  If warranties or maintenance agreements exist, it is critical to utilize them to avoid wasted expense on repairs.

We should also point out the importance of evaluating an asset’s relative value to the company.  Managing thousands of assets that are not mission critical may not require the same time and attention as managing 10 assets that are the lifeblood of an organization.  It’s important to know and understand this distinction.

Attending to the needs of assets is difficult, if not impossible, to manage with only a Fixed Assets Accounting solution.  It’s a bit like understanding your work force by looking at your payroll.  Assets can be complex, and they cannot be ignored.  They must be managed.  It’s worth spending some time considering the differences and implementing a system that properly manages, what is typically, the largest or second largest item on your balance sheet.

If you would like to discuss how to manage your assets better, let’s chat!  We’re happy to discuss your situation and even arrange a demo.