To help understand how BlueWorx-Crew can work for you, here are some key concepts over its use, capabilities, restrictions and integration within the BlueWorx solution.
BlueWorx-Crew is a separately licensed component to the BlueWorx product. Once licensed there is no restriction on the number of licensed BlueWorx users that can use this functionality.
Work Order Assignments
BlueWorx-Crew uses the assignment method configured in core BlueWorx. This means if you've elected to setup BlueWorx to use Work Centres assignment type then this will be the level of assignment available in Crew. Details on the available assignment types in BlueWorx can be seen here under the Order User Assignment setting. Note that Crew does not work (as it's illogical) with Order Setting 0 - No Filter All WO for the Users Maintenance Plants will come to the device.
Work Order Scheduling Types
BlueWorx-Crew currently works with the following SAP Scheduling Types (as of SP4):
|Scheduling Type||Forwards||Backwards||Capacity Requirements||Current Date||With Time||Auto Schedule ON||Auto Schedule Off|
|Forwards||Y||Allows you to set the Start Date, with no time. Will auto calc the End Date is Auto Scheduling is on.||Fields the same but dates and times saved as entered on the screen.|
|Backwards||Y||Allows you to set the End Date, with no time. Will auto calc the Start Date if Auto Scheduling is on.|
|Only Capacity Requirements||Y||Must have a Start and End Date.|
|Current Date||Y||SAP on Save sets to Current Date. End Date auto calculated|
|Forwards In Time||Y||Y||Allows you to set the Start Date and Time. Will auto calc the End Date and Time if Auto Scheduling is on.|
|Backwards In Time||Y||Y||Allows you to set the End Date, and Time. Will auto calc the Start Date if Auto Scheduling is on.|
|Only Capacity Requirements In Time||Y||Y||Must have a Start Date and Time and End Date and Time|
|Current Date In Time||Y||Y||SAP on Save sets to Current Date and Time. End Date and Time auto calculated|
Assigning People as BlueWorx-Crew Managers
BlueWorx-Crew management functionality is accessible from within the BlueWorx application where a user is configured via BlueWorx Admin as 'In Charge Of' one or more Work Centres'.
Work that a BlueWorx-Crew manager has been personally assigned is accessed in the standard BlueWorx way. Work assigned to their crew (list and details) is accessible only via the My Crew tile in BlueWorx.
Note that the Crew Work Order list may also include their own work depending on their BlueWorx and SAP configuration and assignments.
The work allocation in standard SAP uses the capacity per Work Center and not per individual. Our functionality follows this same logic in showing capacity information at the Work Center level.
Crew Manager will only work with Orders that have Capacity Requirements set in their header:
In terms of showing remaining work commitment against a Work Center, we have deliberately differed from SAP's approach in how we display this information:
- Work Allocation - Typically SAP will allocated the work assigned over the available capacity for the assigned work centres. For example: a 40 hour job allocated to a work centre with 8 hrs capacity per week day will allocate 8 hours per day.
- Displayed Work Capacity - Half way through the week and with no work having being undertaken, the work allocation in SAP will still show an even spread.
BlueWorx Crew Manager
- Work Allocation - Uses standard SAP as above
- Display Work Capacity - Half way through the week and with no work being undertaken, the work allocation will show planned minus work to date spread over the remaining work days until the SAP allocated end date. This includes a full capacity allocation for 'today'. This allows the Crew Manager to see that they have resource (or time sheet entry) issues that need to be addressed where work falls behind schedule. Their actions could then include: assigning more resources; prompting work order updates from personnel; or speaking to the maintenance planners to re-plan the order
- Backlog - The remaining work for all Work Orders allocated to the Work Centre whose end date is less than today.
BlueWorx-Crew Role in the Resource Planning and Management Process
BlueWorx-Crew has been designed for the tactical management of work order people resources within the formalised regular planning process and period (i.e. the weekly plan) at a 'field staff level' by their direct supervisors. Crew is not designed to replace the standard processes of SAP Plant Maintenance Order release and resource leveling functionality.
BlueWorx Field Orders created on the device are not available for Crew functions until they have been synced with SAP and returned to the device.
Limitations and Performance
Like BlueWorx, Crew has logical limitations for its use. These limits can be hard limits (for example associated with device capacity), or performance limits (for example the sync time being impacted by waiting for data assembly and transfer. The majority of these limits arise because BlueWorx is working offline and therefore has to take all the required data to the device. This is as opposed to an online application which can request the data from the back-end system (SAP) as required.
It's not possible to say with any precision what the limits are because:
- Technical Limits - Goes to the device capabilities and capacity; Order numbers and their content in terms of operations, long text, associated Notifications, etc
- Performance Limits - Goes to the SAP system performance; network speeds; device capabilities and capacity; personnel expectations
What can I do to get the best performance?
- Don't attempt to use BlueWorx-Crew functionality as a full SAP Order and resource management solution. Remembering that BlueWorx-Crew is aimed at providing a tactical solution to help manage field resources and not as a replacement for proper, more advanced and intensive SAP planning and resource leveling
- Limit the period being reviewed (back and forwards) to limit the data and calculations being performed
- Use on devices with good performance in terms of CPU processing, memory and storage space
- Use, where possible, on networks offering good connection speeds
Overview Capacity Updates
The charts used to give you an overview of work centre capacity come from SAP and are updated only on BlueWorx Crew Manager synchronisation. As of SP10 calculating the capacity and its display can be disabled for customers that perform such operations outside of SAP.
Operational split personnel assignment restrictions
If your elected to set BlueWorx up to use split assignments of personnel at the operation level then the following restrictions apply:
- You are limited to assigning a maximum of seven resource assignments.
- You are limited to using the assigned Time UoM from the SAP Work Order Operation.
- You are limited to whole assignments except for hours which allow for .1 increments (i.e. 10 minutes). All others units are whole numbers (i.e. 1 minute, 1 day, 1 week, etc)
Like SAP standard the number of split resources assigned to an Operation will not update the 'people' figure which will remain as originally assigned. This is a deliberate design decision because, while it is technically possible to adjust the value, the available variations in split % between resources makes it too complex for what is a tactical planning solution. Customers wish to introduce this functionality should adjust the SAP Function: /soltius/pm_iw32_oper_splits as described in the article Crew Manager Architecture.
BlueWorx-Crew does not cater for splitting the Personnel Order Operation assignment over different time periods.
Assignment of personnel to sub-operations
Assignment to Operations in BlueWorx via Crew is restricted to full Operations and not Sub-Operations. However, if sub-operational assignments are made in SAP, then such assignments are correctly applied on Order sync.
Online updates and syncing
Changes made in terms of the following will attempt to be processed in real time on Save to SAP:
- Functional Locations
- Work Assignments (according to the assignment type in use)
- Work Centre
- Planner Group
Other changes that a BlueWorx-Crew manager might undertake in an Order like Object Assignments; Components; Measurement Documents will wait for the next BlueWorx or BlueWorx Crew Sync to be processed in SAP.
Where BlueWorx is offline then the changes will be added to the BlueWorx outbox for processing on next Sync.
No supporting data
The BlueWorx-Crew can download Work Orders, related to their Crew, without downloading associated supporting objects. This includes Equipment, Functional Locations, Classification Data, Measurement Points and Documents.
Profiles do not restrict BlueWorx Crew Orders
The Orders that a normal BlueWorx user sees when they sync are dictated by their BlueWorx profile settings. In standard SAP you can assign work to personnel in SAP but they can not see these Orders in BlueWorx because of their profile restrictions (by design). BlueWorx profiles do not however restrict the BlueWorx Crew Orders. They will therefore see all Orders, within the BlueWorx administration time periods. So just like standard SAP, BlueWorx-Crew can allow you to assign personnel who will not necessarily receive the Work Order in BlueWorx. This would be an usual and undesirable situation that can be avoiding by ensuring BlueWorx Profiles are compatible with BlueWorx-Crew assignment decisions.
Note: Crew managers must however have at least one active profile, even if this profile returns no relevant data.
BlueWorx-Crew functions will technically work on all devices (browser, tablets, phones). However the gantt control (planning board) is only displayed in online browser versions. The Calendar control more than compensates for the lack of gannt control in a practical sense.
Syncing BlueWorx-Crew data
BlueWorx-Crew data syncs at the same time as the standard BlueWorx sync, it just includes additional information.
Released Orders only
Like BlueWorx the Crew manager only returns released Work Orders to the device.
Work Order Operations complete
Work Orders will remain in BlueWorx-Crew until the same BlueWorx admin and profile settings as used standard BlueWorx orders are applied.
Zero Total Work means no Order
If the total planned work on an Order is equal to zero then it will not be retrieved by BlueWorx.