Lookout AMS provides our clients with real-time visibility of the asset location and condition, while also providing a chronological listing of the asset’s history so that decisions can easily be made for resource allocation. Some of the key features of Lookout AMS are:
-The ability to manage assets at multiple physical locations from a single portal
-The ability to grant user permissions to the system by physical location
-The ability to transfer assets between physical locations while maintaining asset history
-The ability to track asset transfers by integrating with carrier systems for package tracking
-The ability to track all maintenance and operation actions for individual assets
-The ability to track safety stock levels by product
-The ability to create deployment forecasts for each asset
-The ability to create groups of assets that are designed to deploy together
-The ability to manage components of an asset individually and as a whole
-The ability to print asset license plates
-The ability to perform full-text searches for all data points of an asset record
-The ability to configure system processes in accordance with client operating procedures
-The ability to define system workflows to be in line with client operating procedures
-The ability to provide standard and customized reports for operations management
-The ability to provide BI (business intelligence) to management for strategic decision making
-The ability to provide native RFID support for automated location tracking
Lookout AMS has a hierarchical schema for managing locations. The highest level of the hierarchy is the company. The company is the organization that makes up the network of facilities where assets are physically located. All user accounts, facilities, vendor profiles, and base product profiles are established at the company level.
Underneath the company are facilities. Facilities are physical locations where assets are located. All zones and locations are established at the facility level.
Underneath the facility are zones. Zones are physical or logical areas in a facility that allow the facility to be partitioned into smaller areas for ease of management. For example, if a facility has a security cage for sensitive items, the security cage can be set up as a zone in Lookout AMS to allow the locations and assets in the security cage to be segregated from other locations and assets.
Finally, underneath the zone is the location. The location is the actual storage or service location of the asset.
By utilizing this hierarchy, organizations can build a complex network of facilities, zones, and locations where assets are either stored or deployed for service. In addition to the flexibility of creating complex networks of facilities within an organization, user access can be managed by the relationship between organizations and the facilities that make up the organization. User access can be scoped to the organization, where the user would have visibility to all assets at all facilities in the organization. Or the user can be scoped to a particular facility, where the user only have visibility to the assets located at the respective facility.
In an effort to force referential integrity for asset properties, Lookout AMS supports the ability to create profiles, or templates, for assets. There are two levels of asset templates: Base Products and Products.
Base Products is the main template for an asset, and contains properties that all Products derived from this template will inherit, such as the vendor where it was sourced, OEM model numbers, vendor model numbers, etc. and other properties that are always the same for all Products that are derived from the Base Product.
After Base Products are established, Products are created. A Product is a more granular template that is derived from the Base Product and contains more granular properties such as unit of measure, weight, physical dimensions, and other unique characteristics. For example, a Base Product for a shirt is created that defines the vendor and the vendor product number. Next, three (3) separate Products that are derived from the shirt Base Product are created: one for size small, one for size medium, and one for size large. Even though all three Products are different in physical characteristics, they are all derived from the same Base Product since they all share the same Base Product properties.
Once Base Product and Product templates are established, Products are used to create records for individual instances of physical assets. For example, in the exercise above we established a Base Product for a shirt, then created three (3) Products; one for each size. If a pallet with 90ea shirts (30ea small, 30ea medium, and 30ea large) is received into a facility, the user would utilize the Product templates that correspond to the size of the shirts to create the asset records for the shirts when they are received into Lookout AMS. This simplifies the receiving process for the user, and ensures that all of the information that describes the asset is consistent across all records of receipt.
In addition to all of the properties that an asset inherits from the Base Product and Product templates, there are a number of properties that are associated to each unique asset. Since Lookout AMS is an asset management system, it records standard properties of an asset such as asset name, description, condition code, lot numbers, manufacturer serial numbers, manufacturer model numbers, and many other unique properties.
In addition to standard properties, Lookout AMS supports adding custom properties for individual assets by allowing the user to create key/value pairs of information to uniquely identify the asset. For example, if a user notices that the paint is faded on an asset, she can create a key/value pair where “Paint Condition” might be the key and “Faded” is the value. This allows the user to query on “Paint Condition” as a property of the asset on future reporting.
Once assets are received into Lookout AMS, actions are performed on the asset such as location transfers, scheduled maintenance, cycle counts, deployments, or any other action that an organization performs throughout the normal life cycle of the asset. In Lookout AMS, these actions are called Status Types. Status Types are defined at the company level, and are simply verbs that describe what is being done to an asset. Examples of Status Types are Ship, Receive, Transfer, Cycle Count, etc.
Once Status Types are created, they can be arranged into workflows. Workflows define how certain Status Types are linked together to form an organizational process. The ability to define workflows allows an organization total flexibility in developing operating procedures that align with business rules and objectives. Once workflows are defined, asset processing is limited to the Status Types that are defined in the workflow. For example, if an organization creates a status type called Maintenance Queue, a workflow can be defined that states that the asset cannot be processed for shipment until maintenance has been performed.
The Asset History records are the most valuable piece of information in Lookout AMS, as they are used to create reporting and business intelligence to help organizations make decisions. Asset History is the chronological record of status type changes for an asset. These records detail the lifecycle, or provenance, of an asset. As actions as performed on an asset, a record is created that captures key information related to the action, including when the action happened and who performed the action. These records are used to determine the current state of an asset in a workflow, and is used to determine what other actions can be performed next on an asset.
As an asset moves from facility to facility for storage, service, and final decommission for disposal, asset history records play a key role in describing how the asset was utilized throughout its service life, as well as provide investigative information to help decision makers search for trends in asset useful life, meantime between failure, or many other key performance indicators that can be used for future acquisitions. The longer an asset in managed in Lookout AMS, the better the integrity of the information becomes in regards to how an asset was utilized.
When certain actions or activities are performed on an asset, supporting documentation may be needed for compliance or auditing. Lookout AMS supports uploading supporting documentation for each asset. For example, if an asset requires annual calibration, the calibration certificate can be uploaded into Lookout AMS so that the document becomes a permanent artifact of the asset’s history. Or, if an asset is shipped, shipping documentation such as Bills of Lading, photos of the asset prior to shipment, etc. can be uploaded into Lookout AMS so that they can be utilized in the event that freight claims or other reports of survey need to be conducted.
As data is collected in Lookout AMS, customized reports can be created that provide insight to the information that matters the most for the consumer of the reports. Reports can be run in real-time and exported to Excel for further analysis, or can be subscribed to so that the report arrives via email at predesignated days/times. In addition to reports, BI tools can be created to help automate decision making. When organizational business rules are applied to data, there is no limit to the amount of automated insight that can be leveraged for strategic decision making.
Lookout AMS is designed to be a simple tool for the user on the front end, while being a powerful tool for the enterprise on the back end. The simplicity of the user interface (UI) allows Lookout AMS to be used on small screens and large screens alike, and was specifically designed with touch-based devices in mind. The combination of the simple UI with a mobile device, such as a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, creates a unique user experience (UX) that provides a mobile solution that doesn’t sacrifice application features for convenience.