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The Maintenance Management Blog

April 01, 2022

Search...and you will find

"Search but seek." ― Lailah Gifty AkitaImage: magnifying glass looking at a word

Have you ever worked a word search puzzle, that square of jumbled letters in which you find a list of words? The words could be spelled out in any direction. Some of the funkier puzzles have the words spelled out in various shapes.

I don't know how you worked them, but I always started with words having double letters. Finding two letters in a row was easier than trying to see the entire word. Longer words were also easier to locate. (Did you ever notice, though, the task of spotting the last few words became more difficult the more circled words were on the page?)

Anyway, why did I bring this up, and how does it relate to MAPCON? Keep the concept of search tricks in mind and follow me over to your main window in MAPCON. What do you see listed near the top? MY MENU  MAIN MENU  DASHBOARD

Anything else? Do you see SEARCH? If not, and you have MAPCON Pro with the awesome Advanced System Utilities module, you're not using and missing out on one of the coolest features MAPCON has to offer. (Don't have Pro or that module? Then get on the phone and call one of our friendly representatives at 800-922-4336. They'll get you on the right track in short order.)

For those who DO have both, let's get you started right. You're the Admin, so go to that tile, then System Setup Menu>Group Profile. 'Out of the box' your CMMS will have several administration categories in place ready to add people. (You need a place to start.) Others you'll probably use are Asset, Inventory, maybe Technicians and Work Requestor. Of course, you can create groups for your specific business, but that's for another discussion. You decide what authorizations each group of users has. However, as a system admin, you want something special.

Double click on this profile, then go to the System Options tab. The first sub-tab is Enabling Security Options. The last check box is Allow MAPCON Search. Before you put a green check in there, be careful. You're about to open a powerful tool. (Don't let all the control go to your head. Relax. Breathe.)

Once you do click this box, another seven options open on the right. These are more allowances. Since any group can be given the ability to search, you can limit what each can do. For instance, you may not want everyone to create purchase orders ("Why are you buying a new semi?") As the SysAdmin, you should check all of them. Why limit yourself?

Image: mapcon main menuIf you've made the change, the system asks you to logout and come back in. I look at this as not bureaucratic malarkey. It's a security measure. It's a sort of 'confirmation' that you want this to happen. When you log in that SEARCH will be there.

Before you click on this, be warned…you are about to enter an arena not for the faint-hearted. All right, I'm being facetious. Actually, it is fun, but you'll quickly see how much power you have.

Before I venture into this much further, I'm going on the premise you've created Assets, Inventory, Work Orders, Purchase Requests/Orders. If not, or you have only some of these, many options in this search window won't be available. Some will be, but no information will result.

Into the Search - At the top is the blue search bar. Input a word, or two, or… Hit return (or enter) or click the magnifying glass. In the window below you'll see your results.

"I searched for everything with the word belt, and I see a total of over a thousand listings."

No problem. Let's narrow it down. MAPCON's search works like Google's. So, the search belt gets you everything containing that word whether it's in Inventory, Keywords, Work Orders, etc. If you know what type of belt you want, try that. Timing belt.

Image: search menu 1You ended up with even more? Quite possibly. Why? Because the system is now looking for any listing with two words anywhere instead of just one word. A solution is to add quotes. "Timing belt" Quotes mean you want exact phrasing.

"I want more than all timing belts."

Sure, add a plus sign. "Timing belts" + tension You'll receive all listings with the exact phrasing of timing belts but somewhere else in the listing will be the word tension. Insert a minus sign to exclude certain words. "Timing belt" – tension

Another symbol is the asterisk. The search for just belt may result in belt, belts, belting. Putting an asterisk before belt gives you only the listing with that word, not every form of the word.

"There's still too many."

Image: search menu 2No worries. Remember, you have the power. Slide your focus to the right. The downward arrow lets you view a dropdown menu containing the previous 100 searches. (Seriously? 100 searches? What size word search puzzle do you have?)

Then there's the row of icons for what was mentioned above. Inventory, Work Order, Requisition, Purchase Order, Equipment. Clicking one will exclude/include it in your search.

Ready to move on? Wait! Right click on any one of these for further option check boxes to use. You can enable or disable all of them with a click. Again, this helps narrow the search.

Have several sites and zones? The next two buttons help you be more specific in your search.

The icon with the question mark brings up a window explaining much I've already discussed. And, of course, the green X is standard in all lists. (However, do you really want over a thousand items exported to a spreadsheet?)

Let's look at the main search results window. Your list will have items with the name you input into the search bar highlighted in blue and a lot of associated information. You could see Work Order Number, Stock Number, Comments, Manufacturer Number, Vendor Items, etc. The accompanying icon correlates to the icons mentioned above. Hover the cursor over this icon to see the information formatted in another organized data fields window.

Do your results show a paperclip over a page symbol? That's to show there's an attachment (usually an image). Hover and view. Double click on one of the listings to be taken to where you originally input this item.

"Okay, I have my list. What do I do with the items?"

On the right side of the results window are four smaller boxes. Click and hold one of your items and drag it to one of the windows: To Copy, To Issue Part, To Requisition, To Purchase. That item will show in that box and, again, you'll be taken to the original records list for details/changes. This feature is one of the reasons you as admin, should be prudent with whom you give the MAPCON search option.

MAPCON Search. It's a powerful tool that lets you do so much in one place. If you'd like to discuss this feature in more depth, call 800-223-4791.


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: search, seek, find, hunt — Stephen Brayton on April 01, 2022