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The Maintenance Management Blog

December 28, 2022

Going My Way - MAPCON Routes

Image: 2 maintenance workers"Nothing should lead you aside from your planned route." ― Sunday Adelaja

MAPCON has a lot of cool and beneficial features that help maintenance be more efficient and productive. One of the best I've run across is found under the Assets tile. It's called Routes and once you get a look at it, you'll be running to use it. What are routes? Think of a snack truck driver who has designated stops for businesses and companies to replenish the sugary/salty treats. MAPCON Routes, essentially, have the same idea. A route is a series of stops a maintenance technician takes to perform similar or repetitious jobs in different parts of the company.

A route provides better efficiency for maintenance. The supervisor can plan the route logically so that a lot of work is done in one part of the facility before moving to the next (instead of tiring out Bob by having him go back and forth from one end to the other).

A route saves the supervisor from issuing multiple work orders. Instead of six work orders for the same inspection in six buildings, the supervisor creates one work order and includes the six stops in the Route. If you're not using routes, you're missing out on a great feature (and probably making Bob run all over the complex).

Let's look at Routes to see how they work.

Lookup tab. Of course, this is a list of your existing routes. Don't forget that the Site/Zone drop-down menu can be used to look at routes in other spots in your company. Double-click on an existing route for its details. Click on New Record or jump to…

Stops tab. Route # - This can be a number or a basic name. Eye Wash Inspection Route, Lights-Exit and Safety Route, Crawlspace-Inspection and Cleaning Route. This field is required.

Desc. – If the name doesn't tell you what's to be done, add it here. Check and Inspect All Safety and Exit Lights for Six Main Buildings; Scrub, Dust, and Remove All Spiders From All Crawlspaces in Three Buildings.

Generate WO – When you're finished, create a work order from this route.

Fill in the Site and Zone (both required).

The Rating is optional but is a priority setting. ("Bob, this is critical. Those daddy longlegs are getting to be a real mess.")

The checkbox next to Rating is one you'll probably want active. Print Route Form with Work Order. I'll explain how this works later.

Over on the right is a smaller window for adding checklists and work order types.

Below is the large window to add the stops in the route.

CD – Is this for a Cost Center, Equipment, or Location?

The next required field is to specify the code 'item.' If there's an associated description, it will show in the next field. Ditto with the Location field.

The final box is if, later, you decide that a particular stop can be inactivated.

Using the Crawlspace route – CD: Location; EQP/LOC/CC Building A; Desc: Main Building

Add additional stops as needed. In the above example, Buildings B and C might be the next two stops.

MAPCON gives you the option of changing the information of each stop. For instance, Stop 1 might the Location of Building A., or Stop 2 could be the Cost Center of Laboratory 4.

This is all within the Summary category. If you click Detail, you have a larger window for the description of each stop as well as one for Special Instructions. ("Wear gloves when you handle the black widows, Bob.")

Safety Procedures tab. Again, Summary and Detail categories. Choose from a list of procedures. This tab is optional but useful in certain situations. ("Be extra aware of the brown recluse spiders, Bob.")

Notes tab. Extra special instructions. ("If you see a camel spider, Bob, hightail it out of there.")

PM Procedures tab. Select from the already created list of these procedures, add details, and then click the Inventory category to include items. If you input data in the last category, you will have to designate which stockroom you're pulling from and the item quantity. ("Better bring at least five cans of Spider Be-Gone, Bob.")

For familiarity and consistency, note the cycle of the preventive maintenance job. Will Bob be cleaning the crawlspaces weekly? Monthly? Quarterly?

Attachments tab. Similar to other listing attachment tabs. A suggestion is to attach a map of the route Bob is to take, noting the most efficient 'path.' You could mark the crawlspaces in each building for him to check. Attachments can also include other documents such as those safety regulations, images, and weblinks.

Open Work Orders tab. Check any open WOs associated with this route. Of course, nothing will be there as we're still in the creating part of routes.

Costs tab. Totals to add in as they are known. This is a great way to track the efficiency and cost of sending Bob through those spider-infested crawlspaces.

Save the record and you have your route ready to go.

What's next?

Now that you have a route or three created, how do you use them?

1. As mentioned, click the Generate WO button in the route and you'll be taken to a new WO form. Fill out any extra appropriate information.

2. Open a new work order. Fill in the required data at the top. Below the option field of Submitted By is a required field with a drop-down menu. Choose Route. Double-click on the next window and choose your route. Again, add any other information in the work order tabs as needed.

What does Bob see?

However you dispatch the work order, it shows up in the worker's email. Review the Stops tab in Routes creation. The window of stops is what is in the PDF file, but only if the Print Route Form with Work Order box is checked. Otherwise, Bob receives the basic information about the crawlspace inspection without any stops and may not know if any changes have been made (as in, you added the crawlspace above Building 4 because large clusters of wolf spiders have been reported).

I've mentioned before in other posts that Routes are cool! Instead of Bob receiving three or four separate work orders for each crawlspace, he receives one listing those stops. And since this is a routine maintenance job, having a route like this is beneficial so you don't have to create the work order stops each time.

For answers to Route questions, call MAPCON at 800-223-4790. Our expert support team will assist you with anything route-related…or MAPCON-related.

("I forgot to ask you Bob if you have arachnophobia. Bob? You still there?")


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: MAPCON, CMMS, maintenance — Stephen Brayton on December 28, 2022