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Conference #3… some things never change.

Well, I’m closing in on the third major conference that I’ve exhibited at…  and each one gets better, but they all have a lot of up front headaches and tasks to complete.  Last year, my partner took care of all these tasks, but this year I’m covering it…  For those of you with an idea and you’re thinking about doing a tradeshow, here are some of the tasks that you’ll need to be prepared to tackle.

  • Finding people to work the booth.  Now, if you’re a decent sized company this isn’t a big deal, when you’re small like I am, finding people to help that aren’t in the middle of a project go-live can be a challenge.  Plus don’t forget there is travel, corporate shirts, and if the people aren’t familiar with your stuff, some level of training..,.  no shortage of work there.
  • General conference requirements.  So many silly little things that take time, like booth selection (critical), insurance requirements, registration, press releases and general administrative stuff that you have to do in order to exhibit.
  • Booth design.  Another big one.  For SAPPHIRE, it’s a little nicer because they do the graphics and stuff for you, but you still need to design what you want and they print it for you.
  • Swag…  after our first conference, like it or not, it’s a requirement.  if you don’t have a toy to give away, very few people are going to give you the time of day.  Incredible how a $1 trinket brings people in.
  • Company shirts for your crew.  Another simple one, but still needed.
  • Sales pitch…  what are you really trying to accomplish.  it’s great to collect names, but at the end of the day it’s about sales.  If I just wanted names, I could go to a list broker.  What I need is connections…  true human interactions.  And since you have a limited time to make that connection you need to know your game plan.  For me, it’s tough because I know the products so well, I get excited about “features”.  But I need to remember to focus on benefits…  so many pieces like that.  then of course, making sure your team is on the same page.
  • Then don’t forget the logistics of getting everything to the conference.  you buy all that swag in advance…  but you need to get it to Orlando.
  • Try to get a list of who’s going.  I’ve discovered this is tough.  with all the privacy laws/contacts, no one wants to give out information.  This unfortunately makes it tough to target certain companies or certain people.  I believe I’ll get a list of companies that will be attending, and the list of speakers…  but it won’t be easy to prepare in advance.  (good thing I’m good at improvising).

Trying to stay on top of all of this can be exhausting.  Especially when I still have my day job requiring way more of my time than I’d like 🙂  Anyway, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the level of effort required to setup for the conference.

BTW.  if you can make it to Orlando, I’d like to see you.  Booth 495B.  Thanks for reading,

Service Management – Equipment Status

I’m pulling another post out of my archives.  Today I wanted to talk about the serial numbers, but today I want to focus on the system status’ you will encounter and what they mean to you.  Like everything in SAP, there are a lot of possible status’ out there, but I’m going to concentrate on the common ones you will see, and the some of the headaches you may encounter because of them.  Here’s the most common equipment status you’ll encounter:

AVLB:  This is the easiest one to deal with, but the least informative.  This status is pretty much the same as saying I exist, but I don’t know where.  If you have the status AVLB, then you use it in scenarios from or to the customer.  Typically this status is assigned if you manually (or in mass) create the equipment record and it hasn’t been assigned to anything yet.

ECUS:  This means that the equipment is at the customer.  If this status has been assigned, then you won’t be able to use it for outbound deliveries, or material movements (at least if you have stock checking turned on).  The only thing you can do with this status is an inbound delivery or Lock it.  You may also see this status combined with EDEL (which means that it is customer owned and on a delivery).

ESTO: This means that the equipment is in stock at your facility.  it could be any plant or location, but it is now in stock, and you can no longer perform an inbound delivery, but you can do material movements on the serial number and you can do an outbound delivery.

EDEL:  This means that it is on a delivery.  If you have an open delivery that has not been PGI’d or PGR’d, then you will see this status with either ECUS or ESTO (which will tell you if it’s an inbound or outbound delivery).  This can be a particularly nasty status.  I’ve seen many instances where deletion of a delivery does not always reset this status.  (Next post I’ll talk about how to fix things that get messed up).

ELOK:  This is the same as marking the equipment for deletion.  Once you set this status you can’t do anything with the serial number.  If you need it, you can unlock it again, but as long as this status exist, the serial might as well NOT exist =)

I hope this helps explain the status’ a little better on the equipment.

Service Management – Using a General Task List

One of the really nice features in service orders is the ability to default in a General Task List (routing).  Now the functionality isn’t perfect.  One of my pet peaves on using the general task list is that you have enter in the labor time and duration (not just time) when you start using the task list…  but it’s a small price to pay.

If you are familiar with transaction OISD, you already know that you can assign a general task list by plant/service material.  However, one of the things I often run into with clients is that the task lists aren’t specific to a service material (DIEN), rather they are specific to a material or group of materials. For that reason, SAP is so kind to provide a user exit:

IWO10020

this exit lets you impose your own logic on the general task list selected for the service order.  In our case, we a looked at the material in the task list header.  If the servicable materials = material in the header of the task list, bingo, add it to the service order.

You may have other rules that are more generic, product hierarchy, material group, or whatever you use to make a general group.  This way you have the ability to create the task list one time, and have it automatically pulled into every service order that matches your criteria.  This will help your planning and save your service technicians the time of entering in this data every time.

Hope you found this useful,

 

Service Management – Service Order Number Range

Here’s a simple little post about something that recently came to mind as I’m getting ready to cut over to productions, so why not mention it to you as well.  Whenever you create a new service order type, you must remember to set the service order number range.  Like so many areas in SAP, number ranges don’t get transported (if they do, you will likely mess up something else…).  But because of this, it’s often overlooked until you start testing.

Now for full details, check out a previous post of mine:  http://paperstreetenterprises.com/?p=729
Consider this a helpful reminder as you move your configuration 🙂

thanks for reading,

 

Service Management – Configuring the Repair Procedure

Well, sometimes it’s good to revisit old topics, especially for any new readers to my stuff.  I did some posting on SDN for a quite a while (in fact, those posts inspired my books).  Anyway, this topic is so integral to SAP SM, that I thought I’d cover it again.  This post is actually a good one about the SM repair procedure that I think is helpful, especially if there are any newbies to service out there looking for good info 🙂

http://scn.sap.com/people/michael.piehl/blog/2013/01/04/service-management–configuring-the-repair-procedure

Thanks for reading,

How much communication is too much?

This is a question I personally struggle with, because like so many of my friends remind me, I don’t think like everyone else.  For me, I don’t like to be pestered, but at the same time, if someone pings me once a month or so, it helps keep things fresh in my brain.  But I’m curious, is that enough communication when I want prospects to remember me?

Currently, for any of my potential prospects, I try to ping them with a short email every month or two.  And then I try to send out a mailchimp email every few weeks as well, something that might talk about a feature of my product, or a common problem in service or production.

I’m curious, what’s too much vs. not enough in your world?

Thanks for reading,

Avoiding the Let Down…

Well, this week, I finally finished a spec that I’ve been working on for quite a while.  in fact, if you saw my post yesterday, you saw what I’ve invested a lot of time into.  I’m very excited with this new piece of the JaveLLin puzzle and right now I’m taking a deep breath.  The problem is that how do I take the momentum and keep going.  Right now, I’m struggling to find where to direct my energy, rather than experience a let down and just coast for a couple of weeks.

Well, those of you that know me, know that I don’t do well without a new goal.  I’m the type of person that is either driving toward a goal or tends to spiral a bit into a funk.  At the same time, I’ve been driving so hard, that my wife is begging to see a bit more of me 🙂  So I’m again sitting at the crossroad of where to go next.  Of course, I have a list of development a mile long, and I know what piece I want to build next…  but I also have a huge conference coming up and I need to focus on marketing.  So, priorities are starting to pull me in multiple directions

I’d love to hear from any of you…  what do you do when you complete a big project or goal?  do you celebrate?  do you jump to the next thing on the list?  do you stop and reevaluate?

Thanks for reading,

Service Management – Create a Repair Order w/Multiple Objects

Now, I’m probably a geek, but this idea got me excited when I first came up with it, and now that it’s reality, I couldn’t wait to show it everyone.  This all ties back to the multiple serial number concept I’ve talked about about before.  the idea is that a customer calls and want to calibrate 4 widgets.  In the standard, out of the box Service management, you have no choice but to create 4 notifications, and either manually create the repair sales order, or make 4 separate orders.  This may fit your business model, but many clients I’ve worked with really wanted a single order with everything tied together.  Well, with Renovation, you can do just that.

repair sales-01

So, for this example we will create a brand new notification with multiple objects on it.

We press the button repair sales-02

repair sales-03

And now you see the enhanced create repair order screen.  At the top you notice that you have the option to add lines to an existing sales order (it must be configured as a repair order).  Then you can select one or multiple serial numbers to create.

On the bottom is the real magic.  Depending on your business, you can select to add one sales order line per serial number, one per material (so it will group all the similar materials into a single line/service order) or even create one repair sales order for each object.

In the background, it ties the object to the sales order, as well as any documents created at the same times (inbound delivery or service order).  This is really important if you need to keep your history up to date in the equipment record.

I’d love to hear you thoughts on this.  I’m pretty excited, but if you think of something that would be a great addition to this, I’d love to hear it, and most importantly, if you’d like to see more of this, let me know.  I haven’t done the videos for this yet, because if you saw a recent post, I’m trying to make the front end more professional and I”m looking for some help to do it.

As always, Thanks for reading,

ABAP Web Dynpro – Adding a Custom Dropdown w/Search Help

I recently struggled for a while with my latest challenge.  I’m back in the Web Dynpro world and I was trying to add a custom drop down list to the service material (for anyone that has used this, wouldn’t it be nice to only see the service materials, not the full pulldown for any material?).  Anyway, the issue I encountered is that if the data element has an explicit search help defined (matnr/matsv both have this).  Well, you can just override this.  I found that you need to explicitly turn the search help off.  Here’s the example code to do it.

in my example, MATSV is an attribute within a node.

data: NODE_INFO type ref to IF_WD_CONTEXT_NODE_INFO,
L_NODE type ref to IF_WD_CONTEXT_NODE.
data: LT_VALUESET type WDR_CONTEXT_ATTR_VALUE_LIST ,
L_VALUE type WDR_CONTEXT_ATTR_VALUE.
L_NODE = WD_CONTEXT->GET_CHILD_NODE( ‘REPAIR’ ).
NODE_INFO = L_NODE->GET_NODE_INFO( ).

***Fill value table: LT_VALUESET
*** the next line is needed if you find that just assigning the value set isn’t working or if you know
*** there is an explicit search help assigned.
NODE_INFO->SET_ATTRIBUTE_VALUE_HELP( NAME = ‘MATSV’ VALUE_HELP_MODE = ‘111’ VALUE_HELP = ” ).
*** ‘111’ is for automatic search help.  set the help to blank.
*** then you can set the value set for the attribute.
NODE_INFO->SET_ATTRIBUTE_VALUE_SET( NAME = ‘MATSV’ VALUE_SET = LT_VALUESET ).

It seems I only need to remove the search help when the search help is directly tied to the data type.

thanks for reading,

Chrome Remote Desktop

Well, if you ever need to do remote work into your machine, my friend Chris found a pretty decent solution.  I had been using Gotomypc for a while, and it worked well, at a cost of $100/yr/computer.  I was keeping 3 computers updated, so ti was getting spendy.  I also used Teamviewer from time to time, and it worked great, but depending upon the network settings of the client I was working for, it wasn’t always available, while gotomypc was always working.

Then Chris told me about Chrome remote desktop.  it’s free, and so far works everywhere.  It’s been pretty solid, but there are certainly some things that worked better in gotomypc.  Here are some of the drawbacks:

  • Can get very slow, even while typing on the machine, or you might encounter sticky keys.  For example, I attempted to copy and paste something into a word document, and it pasted it about 20 times.  yikes.
  • occasionally, the mouse stops working, and the only option is disconnect and reconnect.
  • No mobile app to do a quick connect on my phone or ipad.

None of these are show stoppers for me, and if you run multiple computers, this is a great free way to handle this.  If you need a little more stability, Gotomypc is a great option, but it is $100/yr/machine.  Not super expensive, but if you need to control multiple computers, it is worth the money.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts, Thanks for reading,