Author Topic: looking for software/advice  (Read 406 times)

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Offline lilshawnTopic starter

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looking for software/advice
« on: June 02, 2024, 07:03:26 pm »
So, after 16 years of being a electronics service technician for a small amusement company with an employee count of 2 (me and the owner), I have accepted an offer of a position with a much larger  amusement company as the service department manager... for much MUCH larger pay.  and now, I am responsible for 2 service techs and possibly more in the future. YAY ME! I have subordinates!

But, now i'm tasked with screwing a handle on things.

Also but... after approximately 5 years WITHOUT a service manager, 3 of those years without ANY service technicians, and about 1 of those years without any KNOWLEDGEABLE technicians... I have quite the task of finding a handle and some screws to even screw on. there is just stuff EVERYWHERE, assets in shop with stuff removed to repair other machines... parts for stuff we don't even deal with anymore... components that need to be serviced/repaired.

so, I think a good place to start is see what we got... and get it somewhere where we can begin to deal with it.

My main issue stems from before, where I had to deal with keeping track and maintaining somewhere between 200 and 300 pieces of equipment in about 70 to 80 different locations - This was something that was easily done with some hand made asset tags, and a small notebook filled out with locations and machine asset numbers/serials. - I am now to be responsible for somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500+ pieces of equipment in several hundred locations. Before, we might have 2 or 3 locations that have the same name and we could just say something like "West End Luigi's" ... now i might have 10 places with the same name and it's not going to be viable in the long term.

My next issue is that I now have tons of parts to keep track of... Extra components, FRU's, Passive electronic parts, etc. as well as tons of machines to keep track of.

My next issue is that this company has now begun embracing technology. after 70 years, they have finally moved away from paper run sheets and have been doing things over their smartphones. Whatsapp and so on. They are currently testing some software for some other aspects of the business (routing and scheduling) that i will get some more info about. I would like to also embrace this change here.

...

so if the existing software solution won't work for what i need... I feel like I'm going to need some software of my own.

in a nutshell I am in search for some kind service department management software that i can:

- keep a list of locations
- track the assets in those locations
- generate and service tickets for those assets in those locations so they can be assigned to techs
- track parts (in and out) used repairing those assets

if possible...

- push the generated service calls to some kind of app on the service techs smartphone

pipe dream if possible...

- a website API or some kind of database integration that would allow location owners to be able to sign in to a place on the company website, be shown the list of equipment in their location,  and be able to put in a service request for one or more of them...A self Service portal.





I know this is a tall order, but... if anyone knows of, and uses this kind of software in their job, and that software ticks off most of the list and can recommend it to me...  that would be great!



Something I should also mention... I kind of have a proclivity for choosing software that fits some ideals I have...

I'm not really interested in cloud solutions if can help it, I would ideally like to just buy some software install it and have everything stored locally.

I'm not really interested in subscription software. If I'm paying for software... i'd like to do it just once and that's it. I want to use it until i'm dead, or need something else.

I guess I'm generally opposed to paying a monthly or yearly fee to have someone else store something when i can store the data for literally free. (though sadly, it seems you may not be able to get away from subscription based software these days) or paying for a limited time use program that will disable itself after they release the next version to force you to buy the new one... And if a company decides to go tiddies up? you don't get left high and dry other than just having some outdated software... that still works.

I'm a real fan of open source software and absolutely support those that I do use I whatever ways i can.

I'd also like to stay away from having to have several different pieces of software if i can help it... i don't really want a ticketing software and a separate inventory management software and then a different asset tracking software and then a client management program and a bla bla bla and a whatever.... so, unless all the software's all integrated together and accessing the same database (something an all in one solution would be doing anyway) and as long as i'm not having to re-enter information that is already been entered and stored in some other program needlessly, I would be okay with seperate software solutions.

"Repair desk" seems like it's pretty close, but monthly/yearly subscription based


thank you for your time and putting up with my psychostimulant fueled writing.



------------------------
ADHD sidenote


so in the beforefore time (1997) i worked for another company as a tech that was quite large, and they had some software that was DOS text based. i believe it was called something like "ServiceManager" but i'm not 100% sure... it was 25 years ago.

but, even though it was only ASCII text based, it did much of what I kind of need to do... it tracked parts, and assets, and technician repair orders. the lady that was the service manager would do up all the work orders for the day, print out a dozen sheets, stuff them in our hands, and I would go out and repair stuff.

the sheets had the location, address, machine with the issue...and what it's issue was. When I'd get there and do the work, the worksheet had areas to fill in... the work performed, parts and the part numbers that where used in the repair, areas for electronic meter readings and so on.

at the end of the day, i'd hand in all my sheets, and the lady would put it all back into the software. the software would remove part inventory used from the part database. the repair details would get slotted into the machine history and be filed away in computer land.

This was handy because if we got a call from them again later on and we would bring up the machine in question, and it would display the last few repair orders, and when they were performed and what was done to fix the issue... but if they called about an issue again and see that 2 months ago we fixed it for the same issue again... we could look more deeply into why it's done the same thing again.

if i needed a part, i could go to my computer, load up basically a cripped down version of the software i believe called "ServiceView" (couldn't generate orders or change things or anything like that) but you could do stuff like look up a part number and it would tell me where it was, how many of them there where, what our cost on them is... and what their retail price was.. where we order them from...and so on. I can look up a client and see the machines there and their history.

honestly, if i could dig up who made that software... it's successor (if it exists) could work.

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Offline nctnico

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Re: looking for software/advice
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2024, 07:30:58 pm »
I think one of my customers is using this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoo
It is open source but you can also just get a subscription and have them deal with all the hosting problems.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline lilshawnTopic starter

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Re: looking for software/advice
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2024, 08:10:36 pm »
I think one of my customers is using this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoo
It is open source but you can also just get a subscription and have them deal with all the hosting problems.

thank you for your suggestion! just had a look at their site, it looks like it's almost what i'm looking for... shame you get clomped into a monthly subscription.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: looking for software/advice
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2024, 08:15:46 pm »
I think one of my customers is using this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoo
It is open source but you can also just get a subscription and have them deal with all the hosting problems.

thank you for your suggestion! just had a look at their site, it looks like it's almost what i'm looking for... shame you get clomped into a monthly subscription.
I don’t think you fully understood the suggestion: as an open-source program, you can host it yourself. But doing so requires a hosting provider as well as expertise (to make sure you’re not creating a security nightmare), and takes time, which is why it may well be sensible to pay for their hosted product.
 

Offline lilshawnTopic starter

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Re: looking for software/advice
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2024, 08:23:30 pm »
sorry, my cursory look at the website led me to believe you may choose any one of their app components and use it as much as you like for free, but any additional components you may need you have to buy the per user subscription service, where you attain access to all them.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: looking for software/advice
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2024, 08:27:20 pm »
sorry, my cursory look at the website led me to believe you may choose any one of their app components and use it as much as you like for free, but any additional components you may need you have to buy the per user subscription service, where you attain access to all them.
Correct — for their hosted version. If you want to go to the hassle of hosting it yourself, you can. It’s open source, so they have to (and do) provide the source code.

Open source does not mean that services are free. It means the software is.
 

Offline abeyer

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Re: looking for software/advice
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2024, 09:42:19 pm »
Correct — for their hosted version. If you want to go to the hassle of hosting it yourself, you can. It’s open source, so they have to (and do) provide the source code.

Well, sorta... The core of the platform is open source, but some of the features and components advertised on the website aren't, they are part of the enterprise product and available on top of the open source core only if you pay for them. You can see which features are available in the community edition here: https://www.odoo.com/page/editions
 
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Offline lilshawnTopic starter

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Re: looking for software/advice
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2024, 10:03:47 pm »
ahhhh i see. they've kinda hidden the free "community edition" away out of site on a different page.

i had to reinstall my PFSense box last week due to a hard disk failure. i was looking and looking for the free version and i couldn't for the life of me find it. i actually had to google to find the page with the download. same kinda thing... it was hidden out of the way.

thanks guys, i will look more into this!
 


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