As FMIS turns 30, here is the story of how an IT start-up went from its first fixed asset module to providing asset management in 40 countries worldwide.
FMIS Fixed Assets v11 release
The latest version of FMIS Fixed Assets software, v11, has now released. It brings with it significant improvements in many areas, especially for high volume users and those who want to see even more detailed reconciliation reports on their fixed assets at year end.
Many of our clients have already upgraded to the latest version free of charge, but if you are still running an older version, upgrading is normally quick and easy and most importantly free. For more information, or to request an upgrade to FMIS Fixed Assets v11, simply contact us using the form below or via the support page.
Not yet using FMIS Fixed Assets?
If you don’t currently use FMIS Fixed Assets software, you may be interested to know that we offer free upgrades to all our clients. Whenever we make an improvement, we offer it free to all our clients. To find out more about FMIS Fixed Assets, have a look at our product page or get in touch with us directly.
Fixed Assets v11 release – upgrade request
Education – research loan equipment case study
Our customer is a world class university providing research facilities. They required a system allowing them to control the short term loan of specialist research equipment. FMIS provided a full asset tracking and loan service using the Equipment and Maintenance module within FMIS. The key requirements of the system included rapid access to any equipment item available within a particular date range and that loans could be pre-booked within a key calendar view, which has been configured around the equipment specifications.
Researcher request equipment
All students have access to the system through fixed assets integration with Active Directory. Every student who is part of the research group can make a request for equipment. Using the extensive search capabilities the equipment is booked to the loan diary/calendar.
A full history and extensive set of attributes are held for each piece of equipment. The equipment items can be allocated in advance for as many potential researchers as possible. Equipment is formally issued to a researcher and a full audit trail is maintained.
Students are reminded by email of the exact return dates. The system equipment managers are regularly alerted to those pieces of equipment not returning within agreed time spans, this can be via email or by workflow alerts.
Any malfunction or failure in the use of the equipment can be recorded and the correct remedial action routed through work orders. The issues can be raised as part of the Research Portal.
Equipment and inventory
A full history is maintained for the complete life-cycle of each piece of equipment. Replacement planning and total cost of ownership can now be managed with ease.
Transfers and physical Audits
Equipment can be transferred between different departments and owning groups. A full audit can be conducted using barcode scanning facilities.
Utilisation and reporting
A number of additional reports were added to the standard product incorporating the feedback from the customer.
Engineering Sales Order Processing case study
The customer, a comprehensive professional services firm providing design solutions to private and public sector clients, required an efficient sales order processing system integrating with Deltek Vision. Key requirements included: billing interface with Vision, accounts payable interface via invoice matching, strong control over product item master records, including complex bill of material assembly.
Sales Order Processing
The sales order can be made up of many combinations of assemblies, items and services. As a user constructs the sales order the system provides real time control over margins and build specifications. The system allowed an easy set up of all required parts and a straight forward authorisation trail.
Fulfilment: purchase or stock
The purchase order will be automatically routed to the preferred vendor for the associated items within the bill of assembly. Vendor selection can be overridden on the sales order if required. The user can also select the item to come from stock, selecting a specific batch quantity or serial number to be added to the packing list. Any final purchase orders will be emailed to the vendor once any authorisation has been completed.
Vendors receive the purchase order by mail or by email. A system alert manager monitors the progress of the purchase against the required delivery dates. Purchase order amendments can be raised at any time. Utility bills and other contracted costs can also be entered as purchase contracts.
Each category of product has its own set of attributes to be used when recording the eventual receipt of the goods or service. Any serialised item can have make, model, year of manufacture, serial number or any other items captured by electronic entry, manual entry or through the punch-out service.
Equipment and inventory
Any IT equipment is logged into the physical asset register passing on all of the prior information collated to date. The Equipment system allows for asset tracking and automatic reconciliation with the Fixed Asset register.
Vendor invoices can now be easily matched (two, three or four-way) against the system. The batch of vendor invoices are automatically generated into the Vision Accounts Payable system. Any variances, subject to route and category limits, will automate the production of a new purchase order change request.
All part/full shipments will generate a billing entry in Vision with the correct sales order references, quantity and values. Shipping documents can be formatted and templated by the system.
Barcoding in hospitals
NHS Trust required a flexible solution
The technician team in the Trust Services division within University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust uses FMIS Barcoding and Equipment modules to keep track of everything from high-end human patient simulators through to laptops and even syringes. The department not only need to be able to track and identify a wide range of fixed assets and inventory across different departments, but also require the flexibility to loan many of them out for periods to other areas of the Trust and beyond.
Equipment and Maintenance
FMIS Equipment and Maintenance module allows a full log of any maintenance work carried out to be logged and future work planned for and scheduled ensuring that maintenance plans are adhered to. The module’s full life cycle tracking functionality combined with the simple creation and disposal of fixed assets means that the purchase, warranty, repair, maintenance, assignment or transfer of equipment is centrally logged and easily accessible to staff members within the team at any time.
Integration of FMIS Barcoding with the Equipment and Maintenance module simplified the process of data collection and attribution significantly. FMIS arranged for the scanners and durable branded labels to be sent directly to the Trust in Bristol and worked with their IT departments to ensure that all hardware, IT security and sourcing requirements were met within budget. Even after implementation of the project, FMIS developers worked with the team to provide additional functionality to enable the handling of more complex equipment loans. The ongoing support package means that an experienced developer or consultant is available to answer queries and handle any issues.
Fixed assets audit at the Express
The Daily Express Newspaper Group needed to reconcile their fixed asset register entries in PeopleSoft through regular barcode audits. FMIS provided a mechanism where data was extracted using core PeopleSoft routines to identify asset groupings, scope and boundaries. These extracts were loaded into the FMIS Barcoding module and then used to produce a set of automated matching criteria. A set of keywords, codes and classifications were downloaded onto barcode readers which were then used for the final audit at different sites. The key requirement was to audit high-value asset categories.
Planning and preparation
A number of key boundaries, scopes and objectives are set for sections of the fixed asset register. The key words are analysed from the field asset categories and description fields and used to build up a set of key markers on the barcode scanners.
Extract from PeopleSoft
PeopleSoft has in-built facilities to provide downloads for the fixed assets barcode audit exercise. Some particular audit runs are taken from the test system to prove the concept. Some developer time is required to ensure the pre-built routines are optimised.
Load FMIS matching routines
Using customer and location knowledge, a set of algorithms are loaded into their fixed assets register, allowing the system to automate the matching of items loaded into the barcode scanner with the details uploaded from the fixed asset register.
Barcode scanners are used to load approximately 250 assets per day. Each asset is barcoded, and certain information entered from operator prompts on the barcode scanner. All data is uploaded through synchronisation.
Find matches and produce mismatch reports
Once the audit is complete matches are run and fine tuned until at least 90% of all equipment items are matched back to the fixed asset register using the intelligence built into the matching algorithm.
Produce bulk adjustments for PeopleSoft
Fixed Assets produces the results file in the correct format for PeopleSoft. This file is uploaded into PeopleSoft and a mass changes batch is run.
Produce final financial account in Fixed Assets
The fixed asset register within PeopleSoft has updated barcode, serial numbers and location information. Any disposals required are also processed. A match has been achieved between the physical barcode register and the fixed asset register.