Count Books is a recent addition to Maximo Application Suite (MAS) in the Maximo Manage application and it was also introduced to Maximo 18.104.22.168. However, it has been in the Maximo for Transportation Industry Solution for several years. There is a Role Based application called Inventory Counting which is part of Maximo Mobile, but I will not cover the mobile application in this article.
With a Count Book you select the inventory items you wish to count, you then perform the physical count, perform a trial reconciliation of those counts and later when you complete the Count Book the reconciliation is completed and inventory adjustment transactions are created.
Count Books Tab
The Count Books application will be found in the Inventory module. It has two tabs the main Count Book and the Count Book Lines. It is a A structural element of a Maximo database that is used for data separation. More level object.
When you use the New Count Book action the Count Book is auto-keyed and you will need to reference the Storeroom where you wish to perform the physical count. There is a Reason field, but you will need to set up the reasons using the ALN Domain COUNTBOOKREASON. This might be used to describe the type of physical count you are performing, for example Audit, Cycle, ABC, Random (Spot, Ad-hoc, Blind). There is the ability to duplicate and so I would use the Reason field to make it easier to find a previous count book, the Reason field is also on the List tab. There is a Memo field with a long description, the MEMO field is defined as ALN 60.
The Status defaults to WAPPR (Waiting on Approval) with other statuses of APPR (Approved), INPRG (In Progress), COMP (Complete) and CAN (Cancelled). You cannot go straight to COMP from WAPPR. At APPR state the Count Book tab becomes read-only, but you can return to WAPPR state or move to CAN or INPRG. However, at INPRG state you can only move to COMP status, and you cannot return to APPR or CAN. As soon as you start to perform a physical count in the Count Book Lines tab the status will be set to INPRG. The Count Book Lines tab will be read-only at COMP status. The List tab hides records at COMP status, there is a History Flag which is set at this status. To see completed count books you need to use the More Search Fields setting for the History field. CAN status will also move the count book into history.
You can only delete a count book when it is at WAPPR state.
For those of you familiar with work orders, the statuses and the history settings are similar. There are fields for Owner and Owner Group and the actions Select Owner and Take Ownership which work in the same way as they do on the Service Request or Work Order Tracking applications. The Owner and Owner Group fields are mutually exclusive, the Owner Group referring to a Person Group. There is a hidden ASSIGNEDOWNERGROUP field which records the owner group of the owner record selected in the Select Owner dialog.
The GL Debit Account and GL Credit Account are derived from the Storeroom’s GL Control Account and the Shrinkage Account respectively. They can be modified, but it is unlikely you would want to allow anyone to do this, and I think they should be made read-only through configuration.
Incidentally while there is a persistent status history table (COUNTBOOKSTATUS) there is no dialog or action to View History. There is no table to record Ownership History.
Count Book Item Selection
Below the header fields on the main tab is a field called Selection Type with 6 options. For some of these settings you will need to add to the fields in the table window at the bottom of the main tab called Select Items.
ALL – All inventory balance records containing items and tools will be added to the Count Book Lines tab and the Selected field will show the number of records added. For rotating items and tools there will be one row for each asset in the storeroom. The Count Book lines are only added when you save.
ROTATING – All rotating items held in the storeroom will be added to the Count Book Lines tab. Rotating Tools are not included.
TOOLS – All tool items held in the storeroom will be added to the Count Book Lines tab. If there are rotating tools, then one line will be added for each asset in the storeroom.
BIN – You need to add a bin in the Selection Bin field in the Select Items table window, otherwise you will receive the error message “BMXAA4195E – A value is required for the Selection Bin field on the COUNTBOOKSEL object.”. You can add multiple records in the Select Items table window. You need to remember that the Bin field (BINNUM) in the Inventory Balances table window is an ALN field and is case sensitive, “tools” will fetch records, but “TOOLS” will not. There is no Select Value on this field, a pity.
ITEM – You need to add an item in the Selection Items field in the Select Items table window, otherwise you will receive the error message “BMXAA9934E – The item number cannot be null for this selection criterion.”. You can add multiple records in the Select Items table window. There is a Select Value on this field which validates the entry, but you can only select one item at a time, wildcards cannot be used. There is no Item Description in the Select Value and no Go To in the menu, some configuration will therefore be needed to use this Selection Type.
CNTFREQ – In the Select Items Maximo will default today’s date in the Count Date field, it is a mandatory field. You can modify this date prior to save, you cannot create multiple rows. The default then is to include items which are overdue a physical count as of today. This uses the Physical Count Date on the Inventory Balances record and the Count Frequency which may have been updated from the Inventory ABC Analysis reports, the default for this field is zero. As the default Count Frequency is zero then these items will always be included for the Count Book Lines unless you already performed a physical count today. Therefore, do not use this option unless you are setting the Count Frequency to a non-zero value.
ICG – Inventory Count Groups are defined using an ALN Domain called COUNTBOOKICG. The Inventory application has a field called Count Group which uses the same domain, therefore the items included are where the Count Group matches. You need to add an Inventory Count Group to the Selection ICG field in the Select Items table window, otherwise you will receive the error message “BMXAA9955E – The Selection ICG field cannot be null for this selection criterion.”. You can add multiple records in the Select Items table window. There is a Select Value on this field.
One issue that is nearly unavoidable with the current Count Books functionality is that you cannot avoid selecting items where you have chosen for them not to be counted by selecting an ABC Type of N (None). The only option that I can see is to use Inventory Count Groups. I have reported this to IBM Support.
Inventory Count Groups
Three additional fields have been added to the Inventory application, underneath the balance information.
The Count Group field is a way of grouping items that will be counted together. You define the Count Groups in the ALN Domain called COUNTBOOKICG. I used the same values as the Commodity Groups PUMP, MOTOR, VALVE, TIRE, etc. There is no method for updating multiple items in one action, it needs to be manually entered one inventory record at a time.
The two fields Plus Count Tolerance and Minus Count Tolerance are used to specify a percentage tolerance for how many items a physical count is allowed to be above or below the current balance and still be reconciled without error. The default values will be found in the A structural element of a Maximo database which is used for data sharing and is often aligned to a legal entity of an organisation. More application and dialog for Count Book Options. We’ll demonstrate this later in the article.
Note. These fields have not been added to the Stocked Tools application. Similarly, ABC Type and Count Frequency are not present either. However, a physical count is still relevant to tools, and these fields can be configured onto the application.
Organizations – Count Book Options
In the Organizations application and under Inventory Options there is an action called Count Book Options. This is where the Default Count Tolerances are entered, two fields Plus % and Minus %. These values are used if there are no item specific values. The default, as shown is +/- 5%. What this means is that if the physical count quantity is no more than 5% above the current balance and no less than 5% below the current balance, then the physical count will be reconciled, otherwise you need to manually reconcile the count in the Inventory application.
Allow blind counts in Inventory Counting when set will hide from the user the Current Balance, and details of the last count. Inventory Counting is a new Role Based application developed as part of Maximo Mobile.
In the Count Rules section there are two fields:
- Count Items with a Select Value with three value ALLITEMS, NOBALANCE, NOISSUES.
- ALLITEMS is the default and includes all items on the Count Book Lines tab based on the selection criteria entered.
- NOBALANCE will exclude items where the current balance is set to zero.
- NOISSUES will exclude items that have no issues or receipts within the number of days you specify.
- Number of Days for No Issue is used when the above Count Items field is set to NOISSUES, otherwise it has no effect. The default value is 30 meaning that if there has been no issues or receipts in the last 30 days then it will be excluded from the selection.
Both NOBALANCE and NOISSUES are useful, but only one can be selected, and not both.
Count Book Lines Tab
To illustrate the physical count and reconciliation processes I have narrowed the Count Book to just a few items by using the Selection Type of BIN and in the Select Items table window choosing A-5-1 in the Selection Bin field. You can see in the Item Summary that 5 items were selected. The Count Book was approved, the status is now APPR, and the Count Book main tab is read-only.
The Count Book Lines tab shows the 5 items belonging to bin A-5-1. When you are ready to perform the physical count, you should enter the two fields in the Default Data for Count Book Lines, the Counted By and Counted Date and Time fields. Default Data in Maximo only persists until you perform a save.
The Batch field is used with Lotted Items. The Rotating field, Serial #, and Asset columns are used with rotating assets, so for regular consumable items these fields are blank, and the Is Tool field is also unset. It is easier then, on the desktop, to use this tab with the table window details opened.
The first item is 121115 – Bushing, Bronze and its Current Balance is zero. It would be nice if we didn’t have to count this and there is a Count Book Options setting which should eliminate this if set. We’ll test that in a while. For this record we won’t perform a physical count, that is if it lets me complete the Count Book without some items being counted.
For the second item G23117 – Carton Guide, I entered a new Physical Count of 2.00 which was the same as the Current Balance. The Counted By and Count Date were defaulted from the two Default Data values I had entered above the table window. The two General Ledger Accounts were defaulted from the header record, again I think these would be better set as read-only. On the right hand-column Match is now set and the Accuracy is 100%, meaning as the new Physical Count is equal to the Current Balance it must mean that it is within the 5% tolerances.
With this record saved, you will find that the Inventory Balances table window in the Inventory application has been updated with the new Physical Count and Physical Count Date and you’ll find in the Inventory action – View Inventory Transactions and the tab Adjustments that there is a recent transaction with Transaction Type PCOUNTADJ (Physical Count Adjustment).
As soon as you start to perform a Physical Count the Count Book status changes to INPRG (In Progress) and you can no longer return to WAPPR, APPR or CAN states, the only option is COMP status now.
I skipped over Item G25110 and entered 13 as the Physical Count for Item GLOVES against the Current Balance of 12. This is above the current balance and the Accuracy field shows by how much, 108.33, just over 8%. As 8% is greater than the Organization setting of 5% it has not set the Match field.
Prior to entering the Physical Count of 13 on this item I had saved previous count entries. Notice the Counted By and Counted Date are being defaulted from the logged in user and date/time now, the two Default Data fields are both blank.
I entered a Physical Count of 10 for the last item against a Current Balance of 12, which exceeds the lower tolerance by quite a bit, Accuracy is 83.33%.We now have two items which are not within tolerance and one that is. We also have two items that were not counted. We’ll now see what happens if we try to use the Reconcile action and Complete the Count Book.
After using the Reconcile action, it is only item G23117 where the Reconcile field is now set. In the Inventory application and the View Inventory Transactions dialog there has been no RECBALADJ (Inventory Balance rec is reconciled) for this item. This did surprise me, I just assumed that the Reconcile action would create the adjustment transaction. I went to the Inventory application for item G23117 and used the Inventory Adjustments and Reconcile Balances action and this created the required adjustment transaction of type RECBALADJ.
On reviewing the Reconcile field help it says “Check box that specifies if the count for this item is approved for reconciliation. If the check box is selected for a non-rotating item, Maximo sets the current balance equal to the adjusted physical balance when the count book is completed.” My conclusion is that when you use the Reconcile action it is performing some sort of trial reconciliation and that the adjustment transactions would be created when you change status to Complete (COMP).
The Item Summary information on the main tab shows that three items were counted, one matched and one has been reconciled. The Accuracy % in the Item Summary section on the main tab indicates how many of the items that have been Counted (3), how many were within tolerances Matched (1), hence the Accuracy % is 33.33.
I have used the Change Status action and now completed Count Book 1004 it is at status COMP and the whole record is read-only including the Count Book Lines. You won’t find it in the List tab because it is now in History, and you will need to use the More Search Fields dialog to adjust the filter to allow you to see all records.
I received the following messages:
“BMXAA9950I – The following items’ counts were not reconciled. Inventory already has reconciled these items based on a physical count date later than the date in the count book G23117 Binnum : A-5-1.”
“BMXAA9939I – The status of count book 1004 has changed to COMP.”
The first message highlighted that item G23117 was already reconciled, and no action is being taken for this record in the Count Book.
After the status was changed to COMP there were a few changes to the Count Book. On the Count Book Lines there was no item showing “Reconcile?” as being set. This field when set is more of an indicator that the trial reconciliation shows that it can be reconciled, rather than it has already been reconciled. Naturally after reaching COMP status the Reconciliation will have taken place, for this item it is no longer pending and the Reconciled value in the Item Summary now shows zero.
In the second column of the Item Summary the field Total Non-Rotating shows a value of 59.66. This is the value of the counted non-rotating items. I counted three items which all had an Issue Cost Type of AVERAGE. By multiplying the Physical Count by the Average Cost for each item, I did derive a value 59.66. For the items G23177, XMP-3200 and GLOVES the calculation was respectively (2*2.50)+(10*0.89)+(13*3.52) = 59.66.
Duplicate Count Book
There is no generation of Count Books at a particular frequency, i.e., we wish to count items on the same basis every 3 months. However, you can use the Duplicate Count Book action. This duplicates all fields on the main tab, including the Owner or Owner Group field and the status is at Waiting to be Approved (WAPPR). The same Item Selection and the Select Item records are duplicated, but there are no Count Book Lines until you save the duplicated record.
In my case I duplicated Count Book 1004, the new Count Book is 1005 for the same 5 items in the Bin A-5-1.
Count Book Options – NOBALANCE and NOISSUES
In the Organizations application and Count Book Options there was a couple of fields in the Count Rules section that I wanted to test.
The first was changing the setting for Count Items from ALLITEMS to NOBALANCE. If you remember, of the five items in Bin A-5-1, Item 12115 Bushing, Bronze, had a Current Balance of zero. I duplicated Count Book 1005 with the five items and the new Count Book had just four items, it was missing item 12115. The NOBALANCE option appears to be working.
The next test was with Count Items set to NOISSUES and with the “Number of Days for No Issue” set to 30. If I duplicate Count Book 1005 again, I expect there to be no records as I am using a relatively new MAS installation and I think I have only issued a few items since it was installed. After saving, I had no records in the Count Book Lines, as expected.
I’ll just transfer a quantity of 2 of the GLOVES item to the GARAGE storeroom. While this is not an issue, I am expecting it to be similarly treated from a counting perspective. After duplicating Count Book 1005, this time there is just the one Count Book Line for the GLOVES item. The NOISSUES option appears to be working also.
The Current Balance for the GLOVES item is 10. Remember there is a Physical Count from earlier which wasn’t manually reconciled in the Inventory application.
There are two Count Books actions Reconcile and Unreconcile. We learned earlier that they perform a trial reconciliation and that the inventory transactions occur when you complete the Count Book, moving its status to COMP. We never really tested these options properly, which is what we will do now.
However, before doing another test I have added some Item tolerances in the Inventory application. For Item XMP-3200 in the CENTRAL storeroom it now has a Plus % and Minus % of 10.00. For Item Gloves I made it +/- 20.00.
I’ve approved Count Book 1005 which has the same 5 items as we had earlier in this article for Count Book 1004.
I have added a Physical Count to each item making sure that no new count was the same as the Current Balance. When I saved the Count Book the status changed to In Progress (INPRG). There is a PCOUNTADJ record added to the Inventory Transactions table (INVTRANS) for each item counted.
When I used the Reconcile action, none of the items were reconciled. This is not unexpected as I was choosing a physical count which exceeded the current balances and the tolerances.
For Item 12115 with a Current Balance of 0 I entered a Physical Count of 1. It is not a match when the Current Balance is zero, unless you also say the Physical Count is zero. The new count of 1 divided by the current balance of 0 gives an Accuracy of 0.00. Therefore, in cases with very low balances, a difference of just one is likely to be outside of the tolerances, so what should you do?
You can manually indicate that an item count is to be reconciled by using the Reconcile field, this is what I have done for Item 12115, and we’ll wait to see what happens when I complete the Count Book.
For Item G23117 with a Current Balance of 2 I entered a Physical Count of 1. It is not a match the Accuracy is 50%. I also manually set this record to be Reconciled.
I wondered what the Unreconcile action did. It simply toggles the Reconciled field to an off state for all Count Book Lines. I’ve manually reset the Reconciled field for both item 12115 and item G23117.
For Item G25110 with a Current Balance of 3 I entered a Physical Count of 4. It is not a match; the Accuracy is 133.33%. What I wanted to do with this record is simulate a recount where it was now within tolerance. I modified the Physical Count to 3 and the Accuracy is now 100% and it is marked as a Match. A second PCOUNTADJ transaction is created for the item when viewed from the Inventory action View Inventory Transactions. When running the Reconcile action again it just changed the Reconciled setting for item G25110, the other two items were left unaffected.
For Item XMP-3200 I changed the Physical Count to 13 from 10. With a Current Balance of 12 the Accuracy is 108.33 and it is marked as a Match. The Accuracy is greater than the global setting made for the Organization at 5% but below the item specific Plus Count Tolerance of 10%.
For Item GLOVES I changed the Physical Count to 8 from 6. With a Current Balance of 10 the Accuracy is 80.00 and it is marked as a Match. The Accuracy is greater than the global setting made for the Organization at 5% but equal to the item specific Minus Count Tolerance of 20%. The item specific percentage tolerances are being calculated correctly.
I used the Reconcile action again and now all five items are marked as Reconciled, three I have manually set and two are within the Current Balance plus Count Tolerances.
After changing status to Completed (COMP) each item now has a RECBALADJ inventory transaction with the Remarks field set to “Reconciled with inventory through Count Book” and the current balances have been adjusted.
Before I changed status and completed the Count Book, I took a screenshot of the Item Summary. It shows 5 Selected items, all 5 were Counted, 3 were Matched, and all 5 were Reconciled, either manually or by the action Reconcile. The Accuracy % at the bottom of the left column is the number of records that were Matched divided by the number of Counted items. Matched/Counted = 3/5 = 60%.
After completing the Count Book the left-hand column are the same values as before but the three values on the right now have data.
Total Non-Rotating is the total inventory value counted. We have discussed this earlier, but it is the sum of the Physical Count * Unit Cost for each item. I rechecked this calculation based on all five items and the new physical counts and 48.19 was the resulting total.
Total Adjustments is the value of reconciled items, effectively the loss or gain in inventory value, the sum of the value of adjustments. The easiest way to check this is to look at the RECBALADJ inventory transactions. For my five items 12115, G23117, G25110, GLOVES, XMP-3200 the values were (1*1.49)+(-1*2.50)+(0*1.49)+(-2*3.52)+(1*0.89) = -7.16.
The field help for the Total Adjustments refers to an Error Value field (ERRORVALUE) which is a hidden field on the Count Book Lines table window. I did unhide it, but I found that it was never populated with a value.
The Adjustment % is the Total Adjustments value divided by the Total Non-Rotating value. In our case -7.16/48.19 = -14.86%.
The actions Reconcile and Unreconcile are available from the List tab of the Count Books application, they do not function, and I wouldn’t have thought they would be required to be actioned for a selected set of count books.
There can be a period between the physical count date and when the balances are reconciled. In this time a quantity of the item may be issued, returned, transferred, or received. This is reflected in the Count Book Lines field Adjusted Balance which is the Physical Count adjusted with these transactions.
Rotating, Condition Enabled and Lotted Items
For this last section I have chosen the Select Type Item and specified three items. MOT10 is Rotating, LN7023 is Condition Enabled and 11453 is an item of type LOT.
Initially these three items didn’t appear as Count Book Lines, and I was at first stumped by this. Then I remembered that in the Organizations – Count Book Options I had set the Count Rules to NOISSUES, my selected items had had no issues in the last 30 days, hence why they did not appear. I have now reset this back to ALLITEMS. Now you can see 6 Count Book Lines have been Selected.
The Count Book Lines look as if they are ordered by Bin which makes sense, although my data may not be so realistic as it split the lotted item 11453 to the 1stand 4th rows. The Batch column shows the LOTNUM. On a MAXDEMO database these quantities are a long time past their expiry date of 1/1/15.
For the Rotating Item MOT10 each individual asset in the storeroom is referenced as a Count Book Line, there are two assets I created AJE02 and AJE03, the 2nd and 3rd lines shown. You can see the Rotating field is set. What I noticed because I had just created those assets was the serial number was shown, and the same one 2H659. These serial numbers do exist in a MAXDEMO database but I’m afraid not for my two assets which have a null SERIALNUM. The COUNTBOOKLINE relationship called ASSET is defined as “itemnum = :itemnum” which is incorrect it should of course be “assetnum=:assetnum and siteid=:siteid”. I’ve reported the issue to IBM Support.
For the Item LN7023 which is Condition Enabled there are two lines corresponding to where there is an Inventory Balance in the CENTRAL storeroom. There are three Condition Codes NEW, REBUILT and USED, but there are only two LN7023 lines for NEW and REBUILT. There is no Inventory Balance record for the USED condition code. If you are going to use Condition Codes, then you probably want to ensure there are Inventory Balance records for each condition code. If you found a USED item you could not count it, you would need to go to the Inventory application and create the Inventory Balances record first.
In the Inventory application you cannot adjust the physical count in the Inventory Balances table window for a rotating item and you will get the error message “BMXAA1804E – A physical count adjustment cannot be performed on a rotating item.” when you try to use the Inventory Adjustments – Physical Count action. To adjust the balances, you need to use the Move/Modify Assets action in the Assets application.
In the Count Books application each asset of a rotating item is a separate Count Book Line. You can add the Physical Count for the asset, i.e., you found the asset, or you didn’t. The only values that will be accepted are 0 or 1, if you try something else then you will receive the error message “BMXAA9947E – The value that you enter must be in the range of [0 – 1]”. If you find the asset and mark the Physical Count as 1, the Match field will be set, and the Accuracy will be 100%. If you enter the Physical Count of 0 then the Match field will not be set, and the Accuracy will be 0%. No PCOUNTADJ inventory adjustment transactions will be created.
For assets you cannot toggle the Reconcile field, it is read-only and the Reconcile action has no effect on the Count Book Lines representing assets. When you move the Count Book to completed status (COMP) the 2nd column in the Item Summary excludes Count Book Lines for assets, and if these are the only lines then all three fields will remain as zero. No RECBALADJ inventory adjustment transactions will be created.