Last Updated on August 7, 2017 by maximosecrets


The two primary Asset Management applications are:

  • Locations, a place where assets are operated, stored or repaired
  • Assets, a physical object that is managed, operated and maintained and which has a value

There is a lot of functional similarity between locations and assets and understanding when you have one, or the other, or both will need to be determined as part of an implementation.

Locations and assets reside at the Site level in Maximo meaning that the locations and assets which belong to the same site are physically separated from the locations and asset of another site. There are only a few business processes in Maximo which will connect assets or locations from different sites and there is nothing which will connect them from an asset or work management perspective.


The main type of location is an operating location, a place where assets reside or where work can be performed. Operating locations can exist in a hierarchy and/or a network, a location system. In a hierarchy the location has one parent but in a network it can have multiple parents. For example, a transmission or distribution tower supports two parent circuits (locations), each circuit can be supported by multiple towers. An operating location can belong to many systems.

An operating location can have a service address, an address with latitude and longitude which when used in conjunction with a map tells workers where they need to go. The descendent locations in the address system and their assets will reference the same service address.

A location can have one or more meters. When applying multiple similar meters to locations or assets a meter group may be created first and the meter group applied to the location or asset this saves data entry time. There are three types of meters:

  • Continuous – the values increase until they rollover, for example, run hours, utility, distance
  • Gauge – measurements may go up and down over time, for example pressure, light intensity, air flow through a filter
  • Characteristic – the values of a meter can be described in words, for example oil colour

There are actions for entering meter readings and resetting or replacing meters.

A location can have safety related information:

  • The hazards and the precautions needed to mitigate the hazard
  • Hazardous materials that may be present, for example asbestos
  • The tag out and lock out rules that need to be followed to isolate the location prior to maintenance
  • Reference to other assets and locations that are related from a safety perspective

Users and custodians can be associated with a location, for example the person who is responsible for maintaining the location (custodian) or the set of people who are users of the location, for example those who may need to be informed when work takes place at the location.

One part of the location hierarchy may be repeated in many places, for example a meeting room or a substation. If you link a location to a rotating item created in the Item Master application then the Item Assembly Structure (IAS) can be applied to the location to create descendent locations. For example, a transmission tower may have component parts that need to be identified in a consistent manner in order to record defects against them, e.g. cross-arms, insulator strings, foundations. All of these components could be created in one action by applying an IAS.

A location can be classified to describe the type of location, the classification existing in a hierarchy of classifications. The classification can contain multiple attributes, often known as the Class Spec because of the table name where this data is stored. When the classification is applied to a location the attributes are copied from the CLASSSPEC table to form the Location Specification. The purpose of the specification is to describe the characteristics of the location. There is a feature of classifications which allows the description of the object against which the classification has been applied to be generated from elements of the class hierarchy and the values given to some of the attributes of the specification. This helps to derive consistent descriptions which can help users to find the records when searching.

There are application actions for creating a service request or work order direct from the location, for viewing work, ticket and contract details and for associating the location with one or more services and collections.

There are other types of locations; labor, courier, salvage, courier, repair and storeroom. When moving assets from one location to another you may wish to track exactly where the asset is at any one time and this is the primary purpose of these other types of location.

One special type of operating location is the repair facility. This is used when there are mobile assets, for example trains, trucks and aeroplanes, which can be repaired in another location which is not part of the same site that owns the asset.


Assets can only reside in one location at a time, but a location may have many assets. The Asset application has actions for moving one or multiple assets to a new location or swapping one asset with another. These actions can be carried out from the Asset application or they can be planned as part of a work order.

An asset can be moved to a different site or a site that is in a different organization. When this occurs the asset record is duplicated in the new site and is set to a status of Not Ready, the status of the asset in the originating site is set to Decommissioned.

As part of the Move/Modify Assets action there are also functions to bulk modify:

  • Users and Custodians – the people who maintain or use the assets
  • Groups – the teams that have an interest in the asset, teams are defined in a Person Group
  • Attributes – the attributes of the asset specification created when the asset was classified

Assets have similar functionality to locations:

  • A Service Address will normally be inherited from the location where the asset resides but a Service Address can also be applied directly and there is a Map tab for seeing the location of the asset.
  • An asset can have multiple meters or have a meter group applied and there are similar actions for entering meter readings, resetting or replacing a meter.
  • Safety related information can be entered for hazards including the precautions needed to mitigate the hazard. Hazardous materials, tag out and lock out rules and associating the asset with other locations and assets from a safety perspective can also be recorded.
  • Users and Custodians can be associated with the asset, but also Person Groups which is a difference to Locations.
  • Assets can exist in hierarchies and an Item Assembly Structure (IAS) can be applied to create the asset hierarchy if the asset references a rotating item. One difference here is that if the IAS references consumable items then these are created as spare parts to the asset, both are displayed in the Spare Parts tab.
  • An asset can be classified and if there are Class Spec records these are copied to create the Asset Specification. Similar to locations the asset’s description can be derived from the classification description and some of the attribute values.
  • There are actions for creating a service request or work order direct from the asset, for viewing work, ticket and contract details and for associating the asset with one or more services and collections.

An asset can be related to other assets through user defined relationships and there is an Asset Topology Viewer for viewing and navigating from one asset to another via these relationships. You can only relate assets to each other from the same site. The changes that are made to these relationships over time can be viewed.

There is a Maximo license option called Linear Assets which is where the relationships between assets is most likely to be used. Roads, runways and rail tracks would be good examples of a use of linear assets. Work can be performed on a segment of the linear asset. The asset specification’s attributes can also change over the length of the linear asset.

Other functions that can only be applied to assets and not locations are:

  • Downtime can be reported against an asset including the ability to manage the downtime history. Often downtime would be reported as part of a work order but it can be reported directly against the asset.
  • Changes to the asset specification are recorded in a history table and it is possible to see what the asset specification looked like at a historical point in time.
  • An asset can be a tool asset and the tool used to service other assets.
  • An asset can require periodic calibration. There is a Maximo license option called Calibration.
  • It is possible to issue items directly from a storeroom to an asset.
  • An asset can have a depreciation schedule. The Asset application can be used for creating and making adjustments to the depreciation schedule.

One big difference to a location is that an asset can be created and maintained from an Asset Template.

Asset Templates

There can be many assets that are similar and require the same inspection and maintenance routines. An asset template can be defined and assets created from the asset template. Changes made to the asset template can also be applied to the associated assets.

The asset template can have:

  • Asset details including vendor, manufacturer and model
  • The spare parts used by the asset
  • The set of master PMs that contain the details for routine maintenance and inspections
  • A meter group or one or more meters
  • A classification and the attributes and values associated with the specification
  • A depreciation schedule

If the Maximo Calibration license option is in use then there are other details that can be set-up on the asset template, particularly the associated data sheets which define what measurements need to be performed during the calibration.

Although it is a hidden field the asset template can also reference a rotating item.

Rotating Items and Rotating Assets

A rotating item is an inventory item for which each instance of the item is tracked by its own asset number (rotating assets). Rotating items are typically repaired or refurbished, not discarded and they have a value, one that is often depreciated over time. Rotating items can be defined in the Item Master and Tools applications, here it is referred to as a rotating tool. In each application there is a checkbox marked as Rotating? For an asset to reside in an inventory or tool storeroom (Stocked Tools application) it has to be marked as rotating.

When a quantity of an item is received that is marked as rotating then there is the opportunity to create the assets and to place them in a storeroom bin or location. Thereafter the asset is tracked as it moves from the storeroom is issued to a work order and commissioned at an operating location. When it is due for repair it may be moved to a courier location and then received at a vendor location or repair workshop. After repair it is tracked to the storeroom that needs it, before it is issued and commissioned at another operating location or retained as a strategic spare.

Rotating items can also be used as templates for both assets and locations. The rotating item can have:

  • A classification and specification which is copied to the asset and maintained from the rotating item
  • A hierarchy referred to as the item assembly structure which may contain other rotating items or spare parts
  • A reference to a meter group
  • A depreciation schedule – this is not copied to a location
  • Documents and drawings which can be referenced by the location or assets associated to the rotating item.

Failure Codes

The Failure Codes application provides the ability to create a number of failure hierarchies each with four levels headed by a failure class. The 2nd level are the problem codes associated with the failure class, then their cause codes and at the 4th level the remedy codes associated to the problem and cause. There is a common set of codes and their descriptions, for example a code could exist as a problem code and a remedy code.

Failure classes are applied to locations and/or assets and the failure class is copied to the work order when it references the location or asset. If both the location and asset have a different failure class on the work order then the asset failure class wins. During work order completion the maintenance engineer completes the failure report for the work types that require a failure report to be created. The engineer picks the problem code and then the cause and the remedy taken.

Condition Monitoring

The Condition Monitoring application allows measurement points to be created for a location or asset against a meter of type gauge or characteristic.

For gauge type meters for upper and lower warning and action limits can be entered and a reference to either a PM or Job Plan that will need to be performed if the measurement exceeds the action limits.

For characteristic meters a PM or Job Plan can be associated with a characteristic value that is to be performed if the characteristic is referenced when an observation is made against the meter and asset or location.

In either case a work order can be created manually or automatically from a background cron task.

Meter readings can be entered in the Location or Assets applications, against a work order or directly in the Condition Monitoring application.