The Crews application is too large for one article and so I will split it between:
- Defining Crews (this article)
- Crew Work Groups
- Assigning Labor and Tool Assets to Crews.
I am also aiming to write other articles on the Graphical Crew Management application which is used in the daily shuffle of labor between crews, and the action/button Enter Time By Crew which you can find in the Labor Reporting and the work order based applications.
A crew is a group of Labor and Tool Assets that work together to complete work order assignments. A crew has one or more positions with required craft and skill levels and may have a required set of tools. A crew can also have a set of required qualifications that need to be fulfilled by the labor assigned to the crew. The members of the crew change over time as Labor resources take their holidays or have other periods of absence.
A Crew Type is a template for a Crew. In one sense you can consider Crew Types like Crafts, the resources for which you manage future resource capacity against likely availability, and you can consider Crews like Labor, the actual resources assigned to work orders and for which actual time will be recorded. You plan work by specifying the Craft and Crew Type requirements and you assign Labor or Crews to work assignments that match the Craft/Skill Level or Crew Type requirements.
In this article I have assumed that you already have a reasonable understanding of the make-up of a Crew having read the article on Crew Types which you can find here: https://maximosecrets.com/2020/11/04/crew-types-2/ .
Creating a Crew
When you insert a new crew the Crew Type field will be mandatory, and the status will be set to ACTIVE. The Required Crafts, Required Qualifications and Required Tools will be copied from the Crew Type record. These requirement records can be modified or deleted, or new records created for the crew.
In this example the new crew BOSOHLNW – Overhead Line Crew – North West, has been created from the Crew Type BOSOHL – Overhead Line Crew. The three Craft requirements, one Tool Requirement and three Qualification requirements have been copied from the Crew Type.
If you had been following this example from the article on Crew Types, you might have noticed that the Hourly Rate has not been calculated and the Override Hourly Rate has not been copied from the Crew Type. This is as designed; you’ll find in later articles that the hourly rate will be calculated when you start to enter labor on the Labor Assignments tab.
Scrolling down and opening the Required Qualifications table window using the Show Table button, you can see the three Required Qualifications and the Required Tool for BOSBTRUCK, exactly as they were entered on the Crew Type record.
If you wish to add an extra Required Crafts record, perhaps a second helper – Electrician – SecondClass, you cannot use the HELPER position as you will receive a uniqueness error “BMXAA4129E – The record for Organization=EAGLENA, Crew=BOSOHLNW, Position=HELPER already exists. Ensure that the key value for the given record is unique.”
I have added a HELPER2 – 2nd Helper to the ALN domain AMCREWPOSITION.
Now I can create an additional Required Craft record for Craft ELECT and Skill Level SECONDCLASS.
I didn’t actually need the additional Helper; it was done to illustrate that you can enter new requirement records to the crew and delete them. I have added the Override Hourly Rate of $70.00 as I wish to show it being used in later articles when we assign the crew to a work order.
The Crews application is defined at the organization level and stored in table AMCREW with a unique key of ORGID, AMCREW. The Required Crafts, Qualifications and Tools are also defined at the organization level:
- Required Crafts are stored in table AMCREWLABPOS with unique key of ORGID, AMCREW, POSITION
- Required Qualifications are stored in table AMCREWQUAL with unique key of ORGID, AMCREW, POSITION, QUALIFICATIONID, TOOL
- Required Tools are stored in table AMCREWTOOLSQ with unique key of ORGID, AMCREW, TOOLSEQ
You will need to set a CALENDAR and SHIFT for a Crew, just as you need to do for a Labor record. The Shift field will be read-only. When using the Select Value on the Calendar attribute you will be presented with a list of calendars and shifts for the organization, picking a record will insert both the Calendar and the Shift.
With a Calendar and Shift defined you can now use the Modify Crew Availability action to enter periods of unavailability. When you enter the action’s dialog it defaults to show you the Work Dates from today (Display From) for the next week. I have used the Display To field’s date lookup to select 20-Nov-20. Then I selected the Work Date of 20-Nov-20 and used the Modify button, this creates the Modify Work Dates record. On this record I changed the Start Time to be 13:00 and gave the Reason Code of TRAIN – Training, the 4:00 Hours of unavailability was calculated.
This works the same way as it does on the People application and Modify Person Availability action. The EXTRA TIME reason code can be used for adding time at the beginning or end of a shift or on a day that would normally be considered non-working. You might wish to review the article People – Modify Person Availability, which you can find here: https://maximosecrets.com/2020/10/14/people-modify-person-availability/ .
I have now used the Duplicate Crew action on BOSOHLNW and entered BOSOHLW – Overhead Line Crew – West for the duplicated crew record. The Required Crafts, Required Qualifications and Required Tools are all duplicated. The Override Hourly Rate, Calendar and Shift were also duplicated, but not the Modified Crew Availability record (as expected).
I have entered a Work Site and Work Location of BEDFORD and NEEDHAM which represents the depot for the crew.
I have duplicated again for:
- BOSOHLSW – Overhead Line Crew – South West – it also duplicated the Work Site and Work Location
- BOSOHLBO – Overhead Line Crew – Boston city – and on this record I changed the Work Location to BOSTON.
The Work Location is used to separate one set of Labor and Crews from another, and a typical scenario would be to identify the depot where they work, assuming the depot is not a Maximo site. The field appears as a column in the Available Labor dialog in Work Order Tracking application, the similar Available Crew dialog uses the Crew Work Group field. The Work Location could be used in Security to restrict the labor and crew records which a user sees, although there are other ways of achieving this. It is also used to derive a GL Control Account based on where the internal resource works. There is a Work Location field on a work order, but this has been hidden in Maximo for a long time now. The Work Location is not used by the Maximo Scheduler.
There are other fields in the header of a Crew:
- Vendor and Contract are used for reference, they do not restrict the labor that can be selected, nor filter the labor in the Labor Assignments tab. The contract will be a Labor Rate Contract. Note. There is no Crew or Crew Type reference on a Labor Rate Contract, the aim here would be to ensure that the required crafts are those referenced on the Labor Rate Contract.
- Use Labor Location is used with GPS tracking of the crew, its default is checked, which means that the labor’s GPS location will be used to indicate the position of the crew. When unchecked, it assumes that the GPS tracking device is fitted to the vehicle that the crew is traveling in. GPS tracking co-ordinates are saved to the LBSLOCATION table and is supported by the Maximo Anywhere and Maximo Everyplace Technician applications.
- Save Location with Work Order will save the work order and site to the LBSLOCATION table when the start/stop timer on the work order is used.
- Location Refresh (in seconds) is the interval used to refresh the location of a crew and record it in the LBSLOCATION table. For example, 600 would be every 10 minutes.
- Start Location and End Location are locations with a service address that provides the latitude/longitude or XY co-ordinates used to position the start/end point on a map. It is used by the Graphical Assignment application and Dispatch tab to calculate street level routes for the crew to take in order to fulfil its work order assignments on any particular day. If all the crews referenced in a Graphical Assignment Work List start and finish from the same depot then you would not use these fields. You will only use these fields if some crews start and finish from different locations from other crews in the work list.
- Crew Work Group is a reference used by multiple crews that helps to limit which crews can be assigned work orders that reference the crew work group. This will be the topic of our second article on crews.
Crews are set initially to ACTIVE state, the only other state in INACTIVE, the Change Status action is used to change status to INACTIVE. When the crew is changed to INACTIVE it will be filtered out from the List tab but removing the filter will show it. The Change Status dialog is similar to that found elsewhere in Maximo with the ability to enter a memo.
You cannot change status to inactive if the crew is assigned to an active Job Plan or an open Work Order.
- If the Crew is reference on an active Job Plan in the Labor table window, then you will receive the error message “BMXAT0363E – You cannot change the status of the crew to inactive because the crew is associated with a job plan.” You do not get this message if it is referenced in the Crew field in the Responsibility section.
- If the Crew is reference on an open Work Order in the Labor table window, then you will receive the error message “BMXAT0365E – You cannot change the status of the crew to inactive because it is associated with an active work order or job plan.” You do not get this message if it is referenced in the Crew field in the Responsibility section or only on work orders in cancelled (CAN) or closed (CLOSE) state.
You can use the View Work Orders action to find open work orders that reference this crew, you can do this over a range of dates and then use the Refresh button. Work order 1283 happens to be the work order which references the BOSOHLBO crew, which is the one stopping the crew from being made INACTIVE, it references the crew on the Plans – Labor tab. The work order is at WAPPR state. If you change the work order’s status to CAN – cancelled, and then relaunch this dialog it will now only show work order 1289.
Work order 1289 happens to reference the crew on the Assignments tab, it is enough to show the record in the View Work Orders dialog, which is titled View Assigned Work, but it is not sufficient to stop the crew from being set to INACTIVE state.
There is a View Status History action. As you can see the BOSOHLBO crew was made INACTIVE on 17th November 2020 at 12:41.
Any Labor or Tool Asset Assignments will be ended when you change status to INACTIVE. As you can see the Labor Assignment with Assigned Labor, NPO – Nick Pope, has the same End Date, 17th November 2020 at 12:41.
The crew status history is held in the AMCREWSTATHIS table with unique key of ORGID, AMCREW, STATUS, CHANGEDATE.
You cannot delete a crew if it is referenced in the Responsibility section of a Job Plan as you will receive the error message “BMXAT0356E – You cannot delete a crew that has a work order or job plan associated with it.” It seems you can delete the crew if it is referenced in the Responsibility section of a work order irrespective of the work order’s state.
You cannot delete a crew if it is referenced on a Labor record of an active or inactive Job Plan as you will receive the error message “BMXAT0355E – You cannot delete a crew that has a job plan associated with it.”. You can delete a crew if it is only referenced on a Job Plan at Draft status, and then you can make the job plan Active. A potential issue, however, referencing a crew on a Job Plan Labor record would be very unusual.
You cannot delete a crew if it is referenced on a Work Order record at any open status as you will receive the error message “BMXAT0358E – You cannot delete a crew that has a work order associated with it.” You will be able to delete the crew if it is referenced on a cancelled or closed work order.
If the crew is not referenced on a job plan or work order, then you can delete it irrespective of whether it is active or inactive. You will receive the following information message prior to the deletion “BMXAA4125I – Are you sure you want to delete this record?”.
Crews – Entity Diagram
As we saw in the earlier part of this article a Crew (AMCREW) must be linked to a Crew Type (AMCREWT) and from the crew type it inherits:
- one or more Required Crafts (AMCREWLABPOS) from the crew type table AMCTCRAFT
- one or more Required Tools (AMCREWTOOLSQ) from the crew type table AMCTTOOL
- one or more Required Qualification (AMCREWQUAL) from the crew type table AMCTQUAL
You would not be surprised to find that these three Crew tables have similar attributes to the corresponding tables associated with the Crew Type. A crew has a status history (AMCREWSTATHIS).
The two tables at the bottom of the picture are the Labor (AMCREWLABOR) and Tool Assignments (AMCREWTOOL) and they have a labor (LABORCODE) field and a tool asset (ASSETNUM) field respectively. The assignments are made over a period of time from an EFFECTIVEDATE to an ENDDATE based on the hours defined by the calendar and shift (CALNUM and SHIFTNUM). Note. This is the elapsed hours between the start and end of each work period, rather than the work hours, I’ll illustrate that in the third article – Assigning Labor and Tool Assets to Crews.
A Crew is referenced on a Job Plan and a Work Order in the Planned Labor and Tools (JOBLABOR, JOBTOOL, WPLABOR, WPTOOL) and then on the work order assignments and actuals (ASSIGNMENT, LABTRANS). A Crew can also be referenced in the responsibility sections in the Job Plan, Preventive Maintenance and Work Order Tracking applications (see article on Crew Work Groups).
Crews can be the subject for Location Based Services (LBS) where the crew can be tracked by a GPS device to give its geographic position, Labor can be similarly tracked. In the Labor Reporting application, you can “Enter Time By Crew” and this has a set of supporting tables. Both of these subjects will be covered in additional articles.