“FindIt” Stores Parts search tool

 

FindIt uses standard Microsoft .Net technology to provide a “Google-like” search for Stores parts and equipment numbers. The inability of many maintenance computer systems to make these searches easy and fast have made FindIt a tool that is very popular with tradespeople, planners and both Maintenance and Storeroom supervisors.

Our 17 minute video explains FindIt’s benefits and features in detail. Click here to watch video.

Basic Storeroom searching

FindIt is accessed with a single click on a Desktop icon. A search involves entering a number of words or numbers that are included in any of the fields in the Stores database, in any sequence. FindIt also searches our unique supplementary data. For example, FindIt adds the complete word where common abbreviations are used, adds alternative spelling (e.g. “adaptor” and “adapter”) and adds words in common use by tradespeople where these are not found in the data (e.g. an “insert” if the data contains “coupling element”).

For example, a search for a “6311 SKF bearing” would produce a short list of items as shown below:

Note that the terms “6311”, “SKF” and “Bearing” are found in any field (up to 10 fields). In some cases “Bearing” has been abbreviated to “BRG”.  Note that the information in the database used in this example is very typical, because the entries are inconsistent, with some part numbers in the manufacturer’s part number field and some in the description field, as an example.

A typical search result is shown below.

Note that the number of “hits” is displayed on the screen. If the number is very large, additional data can be added to the entry field to reduce the length of the displayed list.

The FindIt response time is almost instantaneous. The time to search in a database with over 75,000 SKU’s is about half a second. The file sizes are small enough for key Maintenance people to keep a copy on their home computers where they will find it very useful in assisting with searching for parts without going into the plant. FindIt is also a useful backup system if your CMMS is unavailable.

Equipment number searching

FindIt includes an additional search function, with a separate Desktop shortcut, to provide easy searching for equipment numbers. This helps people who originate work orders to ensure that they enter the correct asset identification number.

Multi-site searching

FindIt supports multi-site searching. The default is the local plant, but other sites, or all sites, can be added during a search.

Supplementary search data

As part of the FindIt setup, we add many additional search terms. Here is a small sample:

“Adaptor” will find “adapter” and vice versa

“Condulet” will find “Body, conduit outlet”,

“Light bulb” will find “Lamp, incandescent”,

“Allen head” will find “Socket head”

“Plummer block” will find “Pillow block” and vice versa.

“V-belt” will find “V belt”, “Vbelt” or “Belt,V,” and any of these terms will find all the others.

Search logic

Every space in the search entry box starts a new search for the next word or number. If you are searching for a “phrase”, such as a “3 groove pulley”, entering a backslash instead of a space will find the phrase. In this case entering “3\groove” would find “3 groove”. The backslash will also find the first word in a description, e.g. \tee will find the word “tee” (as in a pipe fitting) but not “steel”. The backslash is particularly useful with fractional dimensions, which may be entered with a dash or a space (e.g. 1-1/2 or 1 1/2).  Two fast searches using 1-1/2 then 1\1/2 will find them all.

Data updates

The FindIt data is populated from Excel spreadsheets downloaded from your CMMS and is completely independent. FindIt data is in a single file stored on your server (and can be copied to home computers), making updates easy.

We can update data at any time you feel that it is necessary as Storeroom information changes. We will send a reminder every three months. As an alternative we can train your system administrator to update your own data. Updating is very straightforward and retains the supplementary search data when stock items are added to or deleted from your CMMS.

Once every two years and at no cost, we will completely update the supplementary data as supplied. We can also add any additional supplementary search terms that you may want.

What FindIt won’t do

FindIt does one thing only. It leads you to the correct stock number in your Storeroom for the part you want, or to the correct equipment number. In addition, some relatively “static” data (such as bin numbers) is included. However, it will not link parts to equipment (as in a spare parts list) and it will not tell you the quantity on hand – for that, you’ll have to transfer the stock number to your maintenance system. You won’t need to write the numbers down because in most CMMS’s the Windows “copy” (CtrlC) and “paste” (CtrlV) functions can be used to simplify this transfer.

While FindIt looks like Google it is not Google. It won’t ask you “Did you mean…?” and it will only find words and numbers that exactly match words and numbers, or parts of words and numbers, that exist in your CMMS database or in FindIt supplementary data.

Because FindIt is independent of your maintenance computer system, the information is not automatically updated so some new stock items may not be found. The FindIt entry screen shows the date that information was last refreshed.

System requirements

FindIt will run on any Windows PC running Windows 7 or later, or Windows XP, with Office 2003 or later. MS Access is not required.

Pricing

FindIt, including initial data preparation, is priced at CAN$4,290 per site, with discounts for multiple sites. Data updates are CAN$300 per event, or CAN$600 for the first update if it includes training of your system administrator to perform your own updates. At no additional cost and if requested, we will refresh all supplementary data once every 2 years.

FindIt was designed for finding parts in a Maintenance Storeroom, but can be used to simplify searching in any large database – everything from a technical library to a membership list.

FindIt is a product of Veleda Services Ltd and North Cove Technical Services