In the process of deploying our solutions to 100+ communications operations across North America, we have come to realize that no two operations have the same combination of needs relative to their inventory management. This lead us to develop MCM’s Enhancement Applications. Enhancement Applications allow you to add functionality to your Core Solution on an as-need basis.
The following apps are among the most valuable software enhancements available for our LifeCycle 360⁰ Solutions based on the problems we’ve identified among our client base.
Challenge –Customers needed a simple way to provide their user agencies access to a list of the assets they are responsible for. The manual process of sending excel spreadsheets became a tedious and cumbersome task that tied up resources that couldn’t afford to be tied up.Solution – The WAM SL app was developed to provide end users a way to view and manage the same asset records that were being housed in the core solution database. Through the WAM SL, web users may be given the ability to view assets that have been assigned to their departmental agency in a read only capacity; or, at the discretion of the software administrator, web users may also be given permissions to update and populate certain data fields when they are responsible to manage that information. This tool is a powerful way to get the right people involved with the process of real-time asset tracking.
Challenge When it comes to service management, supervisors and technicians get bogged down with the process of generating work orders in the midst of repairs piling up on the shelf. It also proves to be overwhelming to have officers walk in the shop unannounced with the expectation that their repair must be handled right away.
Solution – While the problem above suggests the need for more efficient process management, the Web Service Request Manager is designed to streamline the request process by automating work order generation and allowing the shop personnel to communication with the end user electronically. The Web Service Request Manager gives web users the means to submit a service request for their agency and/or asset by filling out a standard, pre-determined form via the web app. Upon submitting the form, a new work order will be generated and notifications will be sent out to the shop personnel responsible for completing the repair.
The supervisor and/or technician receiving notification of the request will be able to communicate with the requesting party and let them know when it’s time to drop off and pick up their equipment. Throughout the process, web users may also monitor the progress of the service request as it is filled by the service provider. This type of help desk functionality bridges the gap in our current solution offerings by making the solution more user-friendly to the requester and limiting the amount of data entry required by the shop personnel.
Challenge – Our users were looking for an easier way to step away from their desk / laptop to manage asset data for special activities such as audits of remote locations or receiving shipments of new assets into the inventory management software. The ability to scan barcodes was requested as well.
Solution - The MAA allows many of the asset management functions of the core solutions to be available through a mobile computing, barcode scanning device. This application allows all asset records to be synced and downloaded to the device (via cradle or wireless network) before the remote activities begins. Once synced, the handheld app provides a simplified way of capturing, tracking, and managing all assets from a remote or field location. The MAA app provides the tools to perform audits of locations, updates to individual and multiple asset records, and exchanges (swaps) of serialized equipment using barcode scanning technology.*Application is proprietary and compatible with select devices.
Challenge – While the MAA application is perfect for field based asset management, many of our communications shop customers who are responsible for site & infrastructure management needed the ability for mobile work order management. Field technicians often find that connectivity to the network or internet is not available at the most remote sites, requiring them to hand write tickets and enter this information a second time electronically upon returning to the office.
Solution - The CommSHOP Mobile Sync app is true to the name, allowing users to take the full capabilities of the asset and work order modules off-line and out into the field. Field technicians can sync their laptop through the web service provided with this application before leaving the office, and then take the latest asset and work order data into the field to perform their tasks – which may include updating asset records and / or creating new work orders. As the user returns to have network connectivity again, the application should be synced back to the database to upload all record changes captured in the field. This eliminates the need for double entry of data and streamlines the workflow process.
Challenge – One of the most important concepts of the communications industry today is interoperability – the process of ensuring that the public safety community can communicate across city, county, and state borders and on numerous radio systems, allowing them to respond to the call when needed the most. In effort for this to happen, radio system administrators need an efficient way to manage the assignment of radio IDs on their system to both their own subscriber users and to users of their neighboring agencies as they work to achieve interoperable communication.
Solution– MCM’s Radio ID Management application provides the capability to track the assignment of multiple radio IDs to each subscriber asset record, eliminating the need to manage radio IDs in a separate spreadsheet or database. The app allows radio system managers to identify which systems their subscriber agencies need to interoperate with, and also which ID ranges on those systems are available for each subscriber agency. As IDs are issued to individual radios, the application will proactively monitor the assignment process to ensure that no IDs are duplicated or assigned outside the appropriate range for a given subscriber. Multiple IDs may be assigned to an individual radio asset to prepare the unit to communicate on numerous radio systems.
Challenge – Today’s economy is requiring government agencies to do more with less – achieve greater results with the same or fewer personnel resources. When it comes to managing asset tracking software, it can be difficult to justify having a dedicated resource responsible for keeping up with real-time changes to data in the software.
Solution – MCM recognized this problem and created the Workflow Alerts 360° application to work for the customer, rather than the software only being a tool requiring full time oversight. While there is no way to completely remove the human element required in effective asset management, this application will help limit the time required to manage data by proactively triggering alerts to certain personnel based on asset and work flow process changes. These triggers send e-mail notifications and create on-screen alerts in the core software application to the users who have subscribed to the alert, thus serving as a reminder for action when pre-defined data elements change or timed events occur. Alerts can be defined as low, medium, and high priority to help monitor activities, changes, or transactions. By having the software reach out to the end users based on the workflow processes defined around inventory management, this solution will reduce the time investment required to efficiently manage data.
Challenge – A large, complex radio system with multiple tower sites spread over an expansive geographical area comes with its share of challenges for a system manager. With regard to effective asset management for such a significant, mission critical investment, making operational decisions based on raw data in the form of reports can prove to be one of those challenges.
Solution – SightMAP 360⁰ was developed to help make operational decision making easier by bringing asset and service management data to life through graphical representation of the information displayed over a multi-layered ESRI map view. By allowing managers to see a picture of all of their radio tower sites & asset locations with the ability to drill down into these locations to access detailed information from the inventory management software, SightMAP 360⁰ brings clarity to the big operating picture. This application will not only allow managers to see where their assets are located, but it also provides the capability to graphically display open work order activity and flags to alert when specific attention is needed at one of the sites.