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Schedule of Rates
Tips and tricks
Upgrades and updates
Yes. When in editing mode, you can add links to other documents or to pages on your intranet. Highlight a word or phrase in the Advice screen and click on the 'Links' button.
Go to Settings|Advanced, check the box marked 'Turn on Editing Mode' and click on Update.
You can now edit the text on the diagnostic screens, change the linked items, or replace a link with a message to the user. You can also edit the Tips, the Damp Screens and the Advice screens. You can also turn off icons on the Home page.
M3Locator Plus makes diagnosis of repair problems easy. Call centre staff, perhaps with little knowledge of repairs or maintenance, can record accurate reports using the application. But M3Locator Plus is about more than that.
It also contains the entire M3NHF Schedule of Rates, and is designed to be used across your organisation both by call centre operators and technical staff, to provide a comprehensive and efficient system for using a M3NHF Schedule of Rates in your repairs and maintenance service.
M3Locator Plus provides several excellent tools for finding items within the M3NHF Schedule of Rates. Users can search for items by any word or phrase. It's even possible to look up items by item code - ideal for those who have memorised all the codes, or perhaps more likely a handy way to check contractor invoices.
One of the most useful features is the store facility. Any schedule item can be added to the store, allowing users to build up a works schedule. Quantities can be changed and comments added and of course M3Locator Plus keeps track of the total cost and allows you to apply uplifts. The works schedule can be exported for printing, imported into Microsoft Word or Excel, saved to disk or sent to your repairs ordering system.
Advanced users can develop templates which will automatically generate schedules of repair items from a standard definition. For example, look for ‘voids' and the standard list of jobs required will be produced.
To make M3Locator Plus more accessible to technical staff and those out of the office, it is easy to use on tablets and other portable devices. Most customers have a corporate licence that allows you to install the application onto as many systems as you like within your organisation. So there is no extra charge to deploy it on surveyors' laptops too.
For a demonstration of M3Locator Plus functionality or for help implementing any of the suggestions above, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Schedule of Rates
Why are some of the items in M3Locator Plus not in the M3NHF Schedule of Rates in our Housing Management / Jobs ordering system?
These are probably the service contract items - you can tell because they do not have a rate. These are included in M3Locator Plus to provide a convenient method of ordering repair works under a service contract but they are not part of the M3NHF Schedule of Rates. You can see all these items listed under 'Service Contracts' in the SOR Browser.
We can supply you with these items in a format suitable for loading into your main system. Or you might choose to replace the service contract items with a message, perhaps with the phone number of the relevant contractor. You can do this by using the edit mode in M3Locator Plus.
From Release 6 of the M3NHF Schedule of Rates the Service Contracts items are included in the main Schedule.
Go to Settings|Edit SOR and you will see several options. You can edit the Schedule of Rates directly in M3Locator Plus and export it as a Word or CSV file or you can import CSV files produced by other applications.
If you are using the M3NHF Schedule of Rates you can still amend it but your changes are saved separately and merged with the main Schedule. This means that the core Schedule is not overwritten and can be updated without overwriting your amendments.
If you want to reduce the number of SOR items displayed in M3Locator Plus we recommend that you use the filters feature (Settings|Filters). This lets you hide items that you do not require but you can retrieve them at any time.
If you have created additional or amended SOR items, then you may want to move these to be included in with the new M3NHF SOR 6.1 or ROS 6.1. Simply upgrading will preserve your current settings and amendments, but M3Locator Plus can also help you transfer old amendments to the new M3NHF Schedules.
In M3Locator Plus, choose Settings and then select Edit SOR and Global Changes. The section entitled 'Moving additional and amended items from one SoR to another' will display all the Schedules on your system, together with a file of additional items you have created. Just drag the file across from one schedule to another to include the amended items in your new M3NHF Schedule of Rates.
If you have made amendments to the diagnostic screens, such as editing the text, changing the items to which problems are linked and so on, you will probably want to bring these across to your updated version of M3Locator Plus as well. Whether you want to move all your changes, or only some, we can help you - please get in touch to talk through the options. But be reassured, by upgrading you will not have to make all those amendments again!
M3Locator Plus has been updated with the latest Repair Ordering Schedule and the M3NHF Schedule of Rates. Customers subscribing to the M3NHF SoR and ROS can now access the updated codes through M3Locator Plus.
Version 6.1 of the Repair Ordering Schedule adds 176 new items, almost doubling the number that can be reported. Many of these new items can now be found through the diagnostic screens.
It's easy to switch to any of the M3NHF Schedules; just go to Settings, select Manage SoR and click Select SoR. You can pick the schedule you would like to use from the dropdown list. M3Locator Plus will restart with the new schedule loaded.
Tips and tricks
There are some settings that tend to be used in very specific circumstances and are usually hidden. It's easy to add them if you need to.
- Prevent access to the store. If you want to stop access to the store, perhaps for a specific group of users, in the Variables section of settings.xml, add <STOREOFF>0</STOREOFF>
- Close down M3Locator Plus when a code is selected. In normal operation, M3Locator Plus will check on startup whether there is another instance already running and will give it focus. Problems can occur in this process though if M3Locator Plus is opened from within another application. You can force M3Locator Plus to close down when you click a code and leave the software. Just add <CLOSELOC>0</CLOSELOC> to the Variables section of your settings.xml file:
- If you are using the Direct Transfer method, M3NHF Schedule codes are not normally copied to the clipboard. To ensure codes are always copied, add <COPYON>0</COPYON> to the VARIABLES section of settings.xml
Once you have added these settings, checkboxes for them will appear under Settings and Advanced so in future you won't need to manually edit your settings.xml file.
I'm getting a 'file access denied' message when trying to change the settings or save Store files - how can we fix this?
M3Locator Plus is being prevented from saving files by the operating system. You need to amend permissions to allow users to create and write files in the main M3Locator Plus folder and its subfolders.
You will get this message if you are running M3Locator Plus Version 3 or lower and have upgraded from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 7 or 8. The solution is to upgrade to the latest version of M3Locator Plus.
If you click on the M3Locator Plus logo on the Home page you will see a button called 'Check for New Version' which links to our server. If it detects that a newer version is available it will offer you a link to the setup file. In some cases the system may not be able to detect your version number or licence details - please contact us directly if that's the case.
You may also get this message when you try to send SOR items to another application. This will be because M3Locator Plus is trying to invoke an ActiveX control and you do not have the right permissions on the system.
Some of our users are getting the message 'File Object failed to load' several times when starting M3Locator Plus - how can we fix this?
The most common error that you might get when starting M3Locator Plus is 'Warning: File Object failed to load' (and you will probably see several other error messages regarding files). This means that M3Locator Plus cannot find its DLLs. There are two of these:
And you will find copies in the main M3Locator Plus folder.
The installer will try to install and register the DLLS in the M3Locator Plus folder. This may fail because the installer is not running with sufficient permissions. Even if the installer is successful M3Locator Plus may not find the DLLs because it is being executed in a different context to the one in which it is installed.
M3 supplies an executable called dll_reg.exe which you will find in M3Locator Plus's components folder. This will install and register the DLLs in windows/system32. This is often enough to get M3Locator Plus running.
The executable is also useful when you are running M3Locator Plus from a file server but it is being executed on the client. You can run it on each client to provide the DLLs, making it unnecessary to install M3Locator Plus on each client.
The executable may also be useful when you are running M3Locator Plus from an application server and need to install the DLLs on the servers where the application is being run.
However, you may find that you need to install the DLLs manually using regsvr32 from a command line. For example on some server OS you may need to install the DLLs in a folder other than /system32 (refer to your OS documentation for details). If you use regsvr32 we recommend that you do so with the system switch like so:
This may resolve issues where M3Locator Plus is available to administrators but not to users.
If you have followed these guidelines and are still having problems do get in touch by sending details of how you are trying to deploy M3Locator Plus to email@example.com. We will do our best to help but you will appreciate that network configurations can be complex and we cannot advise on all possible circumstances.
Go to Settings|Advanced, check the box marked 'Turn on Editing Mode' and click on Update.
You can now edit the text on the diagnostic screens, change the linked items, or replace a link with a message to the user. You can also edit the Tips, the Damp Screens and the Advice screens and select which icons appear to users on the Home page.
- If there are supplementary drawings you can use the left/right cursor keys to page through them.
- The escape key will close the M3NHF Schedule of Rates item display window, the advice window and the help window.
You can right click on any M3NHF Schedule item to bring up a menu of options - these will vary depending on what you right click, but can include:
- Copy. This will add the M3NHF Schedule item to the clipboard - copying the whole item, not just the code.
- Quantity. Handy when M3Locator Plus is integrated with systems like Orchard to which you want to send a quantity. This option lets you bypass putting the item in the store and amending the quantity there.
- Time. If time slots are enabled, the right click menu will display them both as slots and in minutes.
While in the M3Locator Plus store you can right click on items to choose from a number of options:
- Copy and paste M3NHF Schedule items
- Cut selected items (You can select an item by left clicking it. Once selected it will appear highlighted)
- Send items. If the Direct Transfer option is enabled to send items to a repairs ordering system then individual items or a group of selected items can be sent using this shortcut.
This is a file association problem. You need to associate .hta files with mshta.exe (described as Microsoft HTML Application Host).
Here are some options that you may not have spotted
- Do you want the advice screens to open automatically? If you want the advice screens to open every time a user visits a page, go to Settings and select Display, and tick automatically open advice screen.
- Is the tips screen animation too slow or jerky? This can be a problem in Citrix or similar environments. You can turn off the animation effect by selecting Settings, Messages and then Turn off Tips animation.
- Do you want to export the M3NHF Schedule for use in another application? Go to Settings, select Edit SOR and click Export SOR. From here you can export your M3NHF Schedule to Microsoft Word or Excel, or as a database.
M3Locator Plus can be installed in minutes and is easy to use. But training can help you bed M3Locator Plus into your organisation and really make the most of what it can do.
"The training you provided has generated a real enthusiasm for using and developing the M3Locator Plus product amongst all my team members who now all see the benefits and potential that it has in promoting consistency in our repairs service."
M3 supplies training for front line staff in using the software to diagnose repairs accurately, and following your organisation's policies and procedures.
Advanced training in configuring M3Locator Plus to follow your policies and procedures is available for IT staff, customer services managers and technical staff.
Book your training.
Upgrades and updates
There is no charge to existing customers for upgrading to the latest version of M3Locator Plus and we encourage every customer to do so.
To see if a new version is available, with M3Locator Plus open, just click the logo in the top left hand corner of the home screen, and click on 'Check For New Version'. This will tell you what version you are using, whether an update is available, and give you the option to download the installer for the latest version right then and there.
M3Locator Plus is regularly updated with bug fixes and new features, so it's a good idea to check every so often to make sure you're up to date. We will announce major new versions on our website.
Any problems upgrading? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Want to install M3Locator Plus on to another computer?
Just ask your IT controller to help you. The installer includes the complete application. We don't issue patches for M3Locator Plus, so the installer is for the complete version and can be used to install the application on a system that has not had M3Locator Plus installed before.
- What will happen to my settings?
Where you click ‘check for new version' or use the installer, your existing settings will not be overwritten. M3Locator Plus will automatically detect the existing version and preserve all settings and any amendments you have made. Naturally we recommend that you backup your existing installation in case anything goes wrong.
The installer that you download to update M3Locator Plus can be used both to update your current version (without overwriting your settings and amendments) and to install the complete application onto a system without a previous installation. The only difference is that, if the installer cannot detect an existing version, you will need your serial number.
It's also surprisingly easy to copy over the majority of any amendments you have made from one copy to another because M3Locator Plus saves amended files in one place. Contact us for more details.