Routes and Collections

Last Updated on November 22, 2022 by maximosecrets

Click to play the YouTube video – Routes and Collections
Opening Slide – Logos

Hello, and welcome back to Maximo Bite Size. A series of videos on the functional aspects of Maximo Manage.

Title

Title slide Routes and Collections a part of Maintenance Planning, the speaker is Andrew Jeffery, recorded 11-Nov-22.
Title – Routes and Collections

Good afternoon and welcome to the sixth episode in the series on Maintenance Planning. I’m Andrew Jeffery and for those of you who are following this series you will appreciate a shorter video than those of recent weeks. Today we’ll be discussing the Routes application which is key to the creation of Inspections. But we will also look at the Collections application which is similar and can also be applied to a work order.

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Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives. We'll review the Routes application, which is mainly used with inspections, a part of work management. We'll also review Collections which has a set of locations and assets, like Routes, but there are differences, and we'll explore when to use a Route and when to use a Collection.
Learning Objectives – Routes and Collections

The Routes application is central to the creation of inspections and is quite a simple application. Collections is a simpler application than Routes. Both have a list of locations and assets, so why did the Maximo team create the Collection application when Routes already existed and why would you use a Collection when you could use a Route?

If you know Routes, then you should be interested to learn about Collections. Just because it exists in the IT Infrastructure module doesn’t mean that it isn’t relevant to the maintenance world.

So, let’s get started.

Routes

The Routes application links together the locations and assets that a technician or engineer will visit during a walking inspection of a facility. It is one of the most used applications in Maximo.
Routes Application

The Routes application is found in the Planning module and is used with inspections, it consists of a header and a table of locations and assets known as the route stops (1). It is the locations and assets you would visit on a walking route as you inspected your facility.

Routes is a site level object (2) with no status field. When you insert a new route, the route will be created in the user’s Default Insert Site as found in their profile, Default Information. The locations and assets that are entered on the route stops must also be from the same site. A route is applied to a work order and while a work order can reference multiple assets and locations they must belong to the same site. There are no across site work orders.

The Route Stops have a Sequence field (3) which is the order in which the records will be created on the work order, the order expected to be taken when someone is performing the walking inspection. The Route Stop can reference either a Location or Asset but not both. The Route Stop can also reference a Job Plan (4) and an Inspection Form. I would not choose to add both together, one or the other, as the Inspection Form (5) can be added to the Job Plan (or Job Tasks) and if you added an Inspection Form to both the Route Stop and the Job Plan then which inspection would be created?

It would be the Inspection Form on the Route Stop which is applied to the work order and not the one on the Job Plan. The problem here is that if multiple Route Stops referenced the same Job Plan some with an Inspection Form and some not, then you would have work orders being created with different Inspection Forms, it could get very messy, unless this was what you were planning to do. You could treat the Inspection Form on the Job Plan as a default one, which you could override in special circumstances defined on the Route Stop, but that feels a bit complicated. I just wanted to make you aware of this behaviour in Maximo Application Suite 8.8 so that you can determine how you wish to proceed. For me it is simpler to not reference both a Job Plan and an Inspection Form together and use the Inspection Form on a Job Plan.

Having said that a Job Plan can only be referenced on a Route Stop when the setting ‘When this Route is applied to a Work Order, the Route Stops will become’ (6) is set to ‘Child Work Orders’. A Job Plan cannot be referenced for the other two settings that create records as ‘Work Order Tasks’ or ‘Entries in the Work Order’s Multi Asset, Location and CI Table’. Therefore, it is safe to reference an Inspection Form when either of these two settings are being used.

If you had a Job Plan referenced with the setting as ‘Child Work Orders’ and you changed the radio button to one of the other two settings, you would receive a warning message like “BMXAA5544W – Route stops that become work order tasks will not support job plans. If you change the option to work order tasks, all of the job plans will be cleared. Are you sure you want the route stops to become tasks?” and you answer Yes or No.

If the asset you reference on a route stop is a linear asset you will see a lot of additional fields associated with linear measurements appearing in the details area of the route stop. You need to think whether having a mix of linear assets and locations or non-linear assets on the same route is a good idea or whether the route should be split into two.

In the details area of a route stop there is a field called Total Work Units which is copied through to the work order and is a feature of Dynamic Job Plans which I aim to cover as part of Work Management. Dynamic Job Plans can multiply the Duration and Labor, Materials, Service and Tools by the number of work units, it can be used with both linear assets and work orders that reference a location or a non-linear asset.

The blue button actions on the Route Stops table window allow you to select multiple locations, multiple assets, and the Path Selector is used with Linear Assets to select related assets.

In the Route’s header is a field ‘Route Stops Inherit Status Changes’ (7) which sets the Inherit Status Changes field on the child work order or task. When set then a change on the parent record will be rolled down to the child work order or task. Often this is what you want for status changes up to In Progress state, but not afterwards as you are executing and completing the work orders and tasks, it can also interfere with the automation of tasks using Flow Control.

A Route can be added to a Preventive Maintenance (PM) record and when the work order is generated then the route stops generate child work orders, tasks or records in the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table depending on the radio button setting.

There is an action on the Work Order Tracking application, Apply Route where you select the route to apply. Multiple routes can be applied to the same work order, for example you could have a route applied that creates child work orders, tasks and records in the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table window. But you can also apply two routes that both create records in that table. If that was going to be a regular event, then you would need to consider how you use the Sequence field so that the two routes were not mixed up. It is also possible to apply the same route multiple times to the same work order, so be careful. It is not possible to delete a route that has been applied to a work order, except by manually deleting the records.

When the route is applied the records created have a reference to the route and the route stop identifier, but they are not updated from the route after the route is applied. Incidentally the hidden spare fields RTS1-RTS5 on the ROUTE_STOP object are copied over to the WORTS1-WORTS5 fields on the WORKORDER object. Useful when creating child work order or tasks, but there are no extra fields added to the MULTIASSETLOCCI object used by the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table window. If you configure the Route header with additional fields, you can copy them over to the work order using a cross-over domain on the Route field.

Collections

The Collections application also links together locations and assets, but also configuration items. It is one of the least used applications in Maximo.
Collections Application

The Collections application will be found in the IT Infrastructure module, and we can see that it has a header with a table window called Collection Details (1) with fields for Locations and Assets, but also a column for CI, a Configuration Item. A CI is something that is under configuration control, it may be an asset, location, item or service, or something discoverable with a sensor, for example software on a PC, it may also be a document.

You may notice that the Collection Details table window has fields for Site (2) and Organization allowing the collection to exist across sites. Notice the Collection header has no Organization or Site field, it exists at the System level. You might also notice that there is an Active field (3), with a default of active, that you can set to indicate that the Collection is no longer needed.

While there is a New Row button on the Collection Details table there is no blue button to select multiple locations, assets, or CIs. This is because you add the records to a collection from the List tabs of each of their applications using an action like Add Assets to Collections. An Asset, Location or Configuration Item can exist in multiple collections. If you make the Collection inactive you can no longer add Locations, Assets and Configuration Items to it.

There are not many places across Maximo that references a Collection. One is in the Security Groups application in the Data Restrictions tab and the tab called Collection Restrictions. When you add a Collection to the Collection Restrictions table Maximo builds Object Data Restrictions on the Assets, Locations and CIs objects effectively restricting the user of the security group to the locations, assets or configuration items that exist in the collection. It also restricts the records that can be viewed in the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table on a Ticket or Work Order. If you are a facility manager and you provide access to Maximo for some of your vendors, then you can restrict the asset and location records in Maximo to those where the vendor has a legitimate need for access. Incidentally you can add the Collection to a Security Group even if it is inactive.

Collections was originally built to support teams that look after desktop devices, servers, or software applications, for example databases, so that each team only sees the records which are relevant to them. This concept could be equally transferred through to maintenance teams. A collection can be considered as dynamic, you can add and remove records from the collection and the security is maintained without change. It could be used on a Service Level Agreement using the Additional SLA Criteria to check the locations, assets or CIs which would be a match to the SLA, instead of using the Assets and Locations tab which cannot be changed when the SLA is at Active state.

A Collection can be used to add records to the Multiple Assets, Locations and CI’s table window on Ticket and Work Order based applications including the Activities and Tasks application. This table can also be populated with the locations and assets from route stops.

The View Work Details action and dialog in the Locations, Assets, and Configuration Items applications will show you what Collections the record belongs to. For Locations and Assets, the same dialog also shows what Routes reference the record.

Routes v Collections

There are similarities between Routes and Collections, one is the one of the most widely used applications, Collections is one of the least used. So, what are the differences and why would you use a Route and why would you use a Collection.
Comparing Routes and Collections

Let’s recap the differences between a Route and a Collection

When you think of a Route think of it in the context of work management especially an inspection, a round is implemented with a route. If you have linear assets routes plays an important part. Remember all work is performed at the Site level in Maximo.

When you think of a Collection think about the security of location, asset, or configuration item records. If you have a need to add multiple locations, assets, or configuration items to one of the ticket-based applications, for example a Service Request, then think first about using a Collection, unless you have an existing Route of course. Collections are great for campaigns used across multiple assets or locations, for example as a result of safety investigation. You can quickly assemble the set of assets using the Advanced Search of the Assets application, similarly for Locations. Collections are useful for anything which is temporary, a set of something which you assemble once, use on a ticket, and then delete afterwards.

Do not create a Route for something which you only use once, use a Route for something which you will add to a Preventive Maintenance record for frequency-based work. If you are creating Routes for other (non-linear) reasons, then it is likely you should be using a Collection instead and you will assemble the data much faster in a Collection than you would using a Route.

Thank you for watching

Thank you for watching the Routes and Collections video, don't forget to subscribe.
Thank you for watching the Routes and Collections video

I hope you have enjoyed this video on Routes and Collections, I hope you found it useful, and thank you for watching. We would like to see you back in our next episode when we will be reviewing Master PMs. Don’t forget to hit the Subscribe button, and if you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up.

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Until another time, Goodbye.

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