An ERP system for manufacturing companies is not complete without functionality for maintenance.
It is not a forgone conclusion that maintenance should be part of the ERP system. There is a lengthy history of questioning whether it would fit better in an MES system than in an ERP system.
Microsoft has decided maintenance fits in the ERP system. One can buy specialized third-party software dedicated to maintenance, but integration with the ERP system will be missing. Creating the integrations yourself is quite a task. Maintenance capabilities built alongside core ERP functionality has many advantages that we will discuss in this article.
With update 30 of Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) for Finance and Operations we now have “Asset management” to work with in the core product, resulting from Microsoft’s acquisition of the rights to IP from Dynaway in 2018. Let us review five important integration points.
1. Integrate with MRP and the production order scheduling system
Machines under maintenance, scheduled maintenance, and repair activities should not be loaded with production order jobs. The production order jobs should be scheduled around the maintenance activities. When the maintenance functionality for preventative maintenance is used, MRP will be asked politely to not schedule planned production orders on the dates that preventative maintenance is scheduled. Most maintenance operations may not take a full workday. In that case, MRP should reduce the day length of the working day to retain scheduling accuracy.
In D365, maintenance work would appear as a project activity in the scheduling system. The standard D365 system allows project activities to be scheduled just like production orders: operation or job scheduling. The nature of maintenance makes scheduling on the resource required, not on the group.
After a maintenance work order is scheduled, we see the maintenance work as a project job activity.
The hours of maintenance we see there are exactly what we see on the maintenance work order.
When we run Production order scheduling, we will see this maintenance workload. Only when using finite scheduling can we prevent the system from scheduling production orders on maintenance days.