One of the first and most important tasks for implementing eSSETS is to design your Places hierarchy. The primary purpose of Places is to answer questions related to your locations. Where is it? How do I get there? How big is it? How does it fit in the overall scheme of things? Who is responsible for it? Are there pictures? Drawings? Floor plans? Schematics? What's it costing me to maintain it? What resides inside of it?Is there anything else I should know about it? And the list can go on and on...
Places Tree Hierarchy Structure
Places are for either a logical grouping or a physical location. Examples of logical grouping might be "Midwest" or "Projects". A physical location could be a campus, a building, a floor (level) within a building, or a room within a floor. If possible, try to keep your Places hierarchy to five levels or less. While the system can accommodate more, some of the reporting selections only go five levels deep.
Filtering Places lets you easily find what you are looking for. You can filter with any category in your Places hierarchy. For example, to answer the question "What is it's history?", you simply click on a Place name. When the Place dialog appears click the list icon in the top right corner. A new box will open where you should select "Activities." That takes you to a filtered view of Activities for that particular Place. You can also go to the Activities List, click on Filters, and select Places filter section from the filtering dialog.
Hint: If you frequently search Activity history by Place name, you can "pin" the Place filter to the Filter bar of the Activities List.
The Places tree can be used for controlling permissions---who can see what. If, for example, Sam only works at Campus 1, the admin can set Sam's permissions so that when he logs in he only sees the subset of Places under Campus 1. He will not be bothered by the "noise" of Campuses 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Below is a list of the types of information you can enter into or view in the Place dialog.
- Type - This is a drop down list with selections that provide a label that can be used for reporting.
- Maintainer - Primary users (not Requesters) can be designated as the responsible person for a Place. A Contractor Organization can also be designated as a Maintainer. An Action List item can be configured to notify this person or Organization if an observed condition is outside of a defined tolerance level.
- Organization - This field will only appear if configured to do so from Account Settings>Miscellaneous. You may choose to use this to identify Lessors from which a Place (property, building, office space) is leased.
- Square feet/meters - Either square feet or square meters can be entered. Alternatively, if the Place being edited has "children", you can select the option to calculate the space by "rolling up" the space of its’ children. Note that you can enter either square feet or square meters, and the system automatically calculates the other for you. This can be especially educational for the poor people in the US that must continue to suffer through archaic measurements inherited from Great Britain. We decided that, over time, we'll present all measurements in both metric and archaic US.
- Notes - This is intended for free format notes to describe the Place that do not fit neatly in its structured attributes.
- Addresses - Physical and/or mailing addresses
- Geo-Code - Latitude and Longitude can be used for Places that do not have a mailing address
- Contact Methods - Websites, phone, fax and email addresses
- Attachments - While an attachment in itself is not an attribute, it sure can tell you a lot. It can be a picture, a floor plan, a drawing, a specification---about any kind of image or document that provides knowledge about the Place. Currently, whatever image you attach first is used a thumbnail in the Places List.
Places Action Buttons
So, you clicked on a Place name. The Place dialog box magically appeared. Besides entering or just viewing information displayed therein, what else can you do? Take actions by clicking on one of the Action buttons.
- Activities - takes you to a listing of the history of the Place. Entries appear with the most recently completed item at the top of the list. This can include financial Transactions, Service Requests, Action Lists, Attachments, Notes, Reservations, and possession Transfers. Just about anything that happened to that Place can be recorded as an activity.
- ToDoQ - This button takes you to a list of open jobs (Service Requests and Action Lists) associated with the Place.
Clone - Let's say you run a chain of restaurants. You defined all the rooms at one of your properties. If other properties are the same, or even very similar, you can save time by cloning the first one. Clicking the Clone button launches a wizard giving you the opportunity to select just which portions of the Places tree you want to copy, and giving you the option of renaming and re-addressing in the process.
There are different ways you can construct your Places tree. One of those is to click the Organize button at the top of the Places list. This will launch a dialog box allowing you move around Places. The dialog box will look something like this:
Insert Places - Organize screenshot
Click the "Add " button at the top left of the Places list. This will open a yellow input area at the top of the dialog, as shown in this example. After naming your Place and selecting the Type of Place from the drop down list, click the Save button. The new Place is now at the top of your Place tree. The next step is to drag it and drop it where you want it in the tree structure. You do this by clicking on the row (somewhere other than the Place name hyperlink), holding your mouse button while you drag it down. If it is going to be a child of an existing parent Place, you will want to expand the parent by clicking the + in front of the name before trying the drag and drop. This may take a little practice. If you want the Place to become a child of a parent, then drag it slightly to the right of the parent name. When you let go of your mouse button, it should land where you were pointing. If you miss, just click and hold and try it again.
Insert Places - Add New screenshot
Places Setup Wizard
Another option to help you get Places setup quickly, is to try the Places Setup Wizard button at the top of the Places List. This will start with a list of Templates containing Place names within tree structures that are common for certain types of organizations. Our list of templates is growing all the time. Simply pick one that looks reasonably close to your industry, and the wizard will step you through selecting whatever subset of the template you want to use. The wizard allows you to rename the Places to fit your naming convention. After you're done, you can reorganize the list by using the Add/Organize button at the top of the Places list.
Places CSV Import
Another option to populate your Places tree is to use the CSV Import function. While this is on the Account Settings menu, we recommend you enlist help from the eSSETS support team if you want to go this route. The import is pretty picky. Every column needs to be just right, or you'll get a list of reasons why it did not complete, sometimes eliciting violent notions towards your computer or others in your vicinity. In the interest of world peace, let us help.