In May 2017, IBM finally introduced the #1 most requested Maximo enhancement, budget monitoring! The 188.8.131.52 Feature Pack includes a new Maximo Budget Monitoring Application at no additional cost to the user. Prior to this, there was no Budget app in Maximo and users needed to either create their own or use a third-party solution. This post has been written to provide a high-level overview of the application.
What is it?
Budget Monitoring allows you to create budget records against transactions for a financial period that you define. By monitoring budget costs, you can ensure that projects or activities are completed within an agreed budget and improve future estimations.
What does it look like?
Included in the ‘Financial’ section of Maximo, the application is available to all Full Users or Limited Users who have access to the Financial modules within Maximo.
Once launched, the application looks like this:
As you can see, the application allows users to enter standard information such as:
- Budget ID and Description
- The Time Period you are interested in (Both Year and Financial Period)
- Supervisor (Budget Holder/approver)
The main functionality of the application revolves around Focal Points. This allows the user to select what they’re interested in and how the budget is defined. Options available as standard for the Focal Point are Locations, Assets, Work Orders, Chart of Accounts/GL Elements etc.
Once selected, Budget Lines can then be automatically generated by the application based on the Focal Points Created. So, for example, if Chart of Accounts was used as the Focal Point and the criteria applied to several different Chart of Accounts, one Budget Line would be created for each applicable Chart of Account record.
Each budget line generated allows budgets to be set against a range of different items for both cost and labour hours. The following screen shot shows the budget breakdown available as standard:
These budgets can be entered either manually through the UI, or through standard Import/Export MXLOADER functionality available in Maximo.
While standard options are available, the application also allows users to define what the rules are that dictate what Estimated, Committed and Actual cost are. This enables you to align this with your own Business Processes and ensure totals are calculated accurately.
As with most Maximo applications, the Budget Monitoring Application has several standard (internal) statuses, these are:
Budget lines can be generated for any records at the first three statuses, however budget figures will only be collected for records at APPR status. Standard Maximo Workflow can also be utilised to manage the approval process if required.
Once the rules have been defined, budget created and approved, the next stage is to collect the actual data. This can be performed manually from the Budget Monitoring Application, or scheduled as a Maximo scheduled (CRON) task. The data is then collected and shown against the budget lines. Reports can then be developed to extract the data if required (one report available as standard).
To summarise, highlights of the new application include:
- Provides budget monitoring within Maximo for all costs captured and raised in Maximo
- Highly configurable and flexible, allowing different focal points (of different types) to be added to a single budget application if required
- As with all applications in Maximo, workflow is available and additional fields can be added with minimum effort
- Budgets can be uploaded via spreadsheet, reducing manual effort of data entry and setup
- Fully integrated into Core IBM Maximo, meaning Companies have access to this application once they are using version 184.108.40.206
The main set back is that any costs that are not raised or held in Maximo cannot be included in the app. So, if some costs are only recorded in your ERP (SAP, Oracle etc.), they cannot be collected in this application. This could lead to costs being missed and Budget Holders thinking they have budget available when they don’t.
If you have any queries on the new Budget Monitoring application (or any of the other new capability in 220.127.116.11 such as Inspections), please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or another team member. We have been playing around with the new functionality and have a couple more tips and tricks to share!