Shepherd Service Item Tracking; Even Down To The Last Screw

Published on February 7, 2022

Over a machine’s life it often becomes necessary to replace component parts or assemblies. It may be the case that the parts requiring replacement are not important enough to merit modeling in the equipment hierarchy, such as a screw* or a simple wire. These items need not have their own service history therefore Shepherd allows the technician to record their use and, if they are inventory items, to cost them post-service at the point of processing time and materials. If the items used by the technician are recorded as non-inventory items, then, of course, there is no costing to transact because that costing occurred in the past upon billing.

However, if the item undergoing replacement is important enough to have earned it a place in the equipment hierarchy, the technician will trigger the replacement functionality in the mobile application as shown below.

Shepherd Service Item Tracking; Even Down To The Last Screw

A replacement service allows the technician to identify which component he is replacing with a new item when he records part usage.

Doing so triggers Shepherd to:

  1. Set the replaced item as “inactive and retired”
  2. Infleet the new item so that it takes the replaced item’s position in the hierarchy.

In-fleeting and ex-fleeting are the process whereby Shepherd instructs NetSuite to cost an item via item fulfillment or inventory adjustment when the item is used.  Shepherd then creates an equipment record representing that used inventory item and may, if configured to do so, also recognize that component as a NetSuite fixed asset. The equipment record then exists for maintenance purposes, while the fixed asset exists for the purpose of recording asset value and depreciation over time.

Common examples include the replacement of an old engine on a truck with a new one or the installation of a new solar panel at a solar power plant. The advantages of recording an equipment replacement in such detail are many.

  • Both the old and the new components will have their own unique service history. 
  • Likewise, each may have their manufacturer’s warranty whose effective period may not begin until the moment of installation.
  • Shepherd also automates the recording of all these details. In the case of 3rd party service, both the install and the uninstall service may even be independent revenue events.

Recording replacement in such detail is not appropriate for all businesses nor in all circumstances.  Shepherd’s configuration allows your administrator to stipulate if and when such detail is necessary.  A simple rule of thumb is that if the component is important to build its own service history, then record the replacement in detail. Contact us to discover what these possibilities would look like as part of your company’s processes.

* Many screws are, in fact, important enough merit equipment modeling.  Several of Shepherd’s customers use screws so critical (and expensive!) that they mean the difference between a water-tight and air-tight machines’ ability to operate under extreme circumstances.

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