What’s New in AIMS 3
At Phoenix Data Systems we take great pride in our software which is why we continue to make enhancements based on our user’s needs and suggestions. Here are just some of our latest updates as of February 2022:
• Microsoft Azure Migration – Perhaps the biggest change to AIMS 3 over the last couple of months was not software related. We have officially migrated all AIMS 3 production sites over to a Microsoft Azure hosted solution. Those customers have seen a huge increase in speed and reliability since the move. We are still in the process of moving over all test sites so please bear with us during this transition. If you had a test site prior to the launch of Azure, someone will reach out to you as soon as your test site is available again.
• Contracts – Contracts has been enhanced in a lot of little ways which should make it much easier to use and add equipment, whether individually or in bulk. Sequential Control IDs are now in and perform exactly like Sequential Purchase Requests. Not only can you specify a number, but also a prefix and/or suffix, if desired. The Control ID is not created until the record is saved so there’s no chance of two people adding contracts at the same time and overwriting the information on the same Control ID. Several fields have been relabeled and/or moved around to make important information more visible regardless of which part of the contract is being viewed. The Contract Total and Total Allocated amounts are now right next to each other so it is easy to make sure that all of the attached equipment add up to the correct total. There is also a new Remaining field so it’s even easier to see how much is remaining and not just get a pop up telling you the full amount is not allocated yet. Lastly, when adding multiple equipment at once using Multi-Add, you now have the option of setting the Coverage Type, Date Ranges, Costs, and the Labor/Parts/Travel checkboxes all at once instead of editing or adding each equipment one-by-one. All of these changes have been very well received as it speeds up the creation of a contract and increases accuracy at the same time.
• Merge Data Managers – As promised in the last AIMS Advisor, many more data managers can now be merged to help with data cleanup. There are still a few more to go, but not many now! The data managers that have been added are Contract Coverage Type, Warranty End of Support, Ownership, Part Category, Purchase Order Status, Purchase Request Status, Response, Trade (Specialty), and Task Unit of Measure (UofM).
• Email Directly From Work Orders – You can now manually email the requester of a work order at any time right from within AIMS. Simply click the Email button next to the email address field and you have the option of typing out a message on a blank form along with choosing the fields you would like to include. However, the biggest benefit is that you can also choose a pre-created Customer Service form to send. Even if that form is not connected to any of the work order statuses that are sent automatically, you can create a form to request more information, inform the requester that a part is on backorder, the equipment is being retired, or any other information you would like to pass on to the requester. The pre-created forms can also be edited before they are sent, so you can create a template even if it needs to be customized prior to sending. The entire form can be filled out in less than a minute so it is very easy and quick to use!
• New Search Fields – Equipment, Parts, Work Orders, and Contracts all have a new field at the top of their respective search screens to provide an easier way to search multiple fields at once. Sometimes, you are given a number for a piece of equipment without knowing if it’s a tag number, asset number, serial number, etc. This field will search all of those fields at once and return any results from any of the fields. A note button next to each field will tell you which fields are being searched when you use this new field.
• Automation – Our powerful Automation module continues to be enhanced. PM Result has been added as a Trigger, Condition, and Actionable field. This means you can set it based on a response code, trigger notifications to be sent for missing or in use equipment, or perform any number of other actions on work orders where a particular PM Result is set. With the “Removed from Service” option that was added recently, you can update all PM work orders with that result as an Action when you retire a piece of equipment. This will satisfy your PM reporting requirements without anyone having to actually touch them after the equipment is retired. Also, when creating a work order with Automation, the newly created work order can automatically be attached as a child work order if it is triggered from another work order. The most common use case for this would be opening a CM on a failed PM. This was a checkbox in the Administration section of AIMS.NET, but now can be set up through Automation to be much more flexible. For instance, instead of having to close the work order in order to trigger the creation of the CM work order, you can now trigger it off of the actual Failed PM response code at the time the labor line is entered! This is a huge advantage because it allows you to pause the PM, complete the CM, then pick up on the PM where you left off. The CM work order will be attached as a child to the PM work order for extremely easy documentation.
• Default Reopen Status – Because an Automation rule can be triggered on events such as closing a work order, it was very important to add a new system default work order status for “Reopen Status”. When a work order is reopened, instead of just going back to your system default of “Open”, you can now have it go to a different status such as “Reopened WO”. This status can be excluded from Automation rules in the Condition section of the rule. If you want a rule to trigger only when it is closed the first time and not subsequent closures, this is easy to do by adding a Condition excluding the default reopen status. This obviously has other benefits in reporting so a reopened work order does not have to be reported as an Open work order that has not been started yet.
• Report Designer – The included Telerik Report Designer (“included” means FREE!) is now fully functioning for both hosted and on premise customers. This tool is similar to the AIMS Report Designer used in AIMS.NET, but can now be launched from inside of AIMS 3. With this tool, you can edit any pre-built report in the entire system, including the previously “hard-coded” reports that could not be changed in AIMS.NET. Every report has been built using this tool so every report can be edited using this tool. If you’d like to change a column, feel free. Want to add a chart? By all means! Anyone with prior knowledge of other report building solutions (Crystal, AIMS.NET Report Designer, etc.) should be able to pick up this new tool easily. For others, we are designing a special training class just for report building.
• Reports – Our Report Designer has been busy creating several new reports that you can find in the pre-built dropdown inside of the Reports component. Take a look and let us know what else you’d like to see in there. The new reports are Cost of Service Ratio, Equipment Lemon Report, Equipment Listing, KPI (built specifically for ECRI customers, but can be customized using the FREE Telerik Report Designer tool), Life Cycle Costing, PM Completion Analysis, and System Listing.
• Global Risk Change – The Risk Classification field is likely going to cause many customers to rethink their risk strategy. Even if it stays the same, the Risk Classification field should be set for all equipment after the conversion to AIMS 3. To assist with this, the Risk Global Push has been added to Equipment, Model, and Equipment Type. While the standard functionality mirrors AIMS.NET, the addition of Risk Classification is a huge bonus that everyone can take advantage of. For customers with both Facilities and Biomed/Clinical Engineering, the ability to completely separate and have unique risks will be extremely easy to push out with these tools.
As always, we would like to give a shout out to our AIMS 3 teams for the hard work they have put in the last couple months. On top of the design, development, reporting, and QA efforts, our conversion and implementation teams have doubled in size! AIMS 3 is being very well received both with AIMS.NET customers wishing to upgrade, and with new customers coming in at an unprecedented rate.