FAMIS Tips & Tricks
FAMIS Service Requests
Do you need to request a service from Facilities Management? Watch our video webinar:
Then, you can login to FAMIS Self Service on the NUPortal through the steps below:
How to Find Your Building
One of the most important details in logging a Service Request with Facilities Management is where the problem is. But what if you go to enter the building for the request and you can't find your building?
The SIMS Crosswalk can help you figure out the Building Number assigned to your building. Just type in a part of the description or address, and you can find what you are looking for!
- Go to the Facilities page of the NUPortal.
- Click on SIMS Crosswalk in the "Facilities Management Resources Portlet."
- Enter in any information you know and click "Search."
- Note the Bldg_Number in the first column of the results to use in your Service Request.
Progress Updates From Technicians on Work Orders
Have you ever wanted to know if a technician has responded to your request?
Or, if you know they have, would you like to know what they did to complete the job?
In conjunction with the rollout of FAMIS Mobile, comments entered by technicians regarding the work they performed now appear on the work order and can be viewed in FAMIS Self-Service under the Service Description heading.
Help! We need more detail!
FAMIS Self Service is great for quickly making requests to Facilities Management for service, but a lack of detail about a request can cause unnecessary delays. You don't want that!
If your request doesn't fit any of the choices on the list, then you need to choose Other. However, then you need to give as much detail as you possibly can, so FM understands the task, personnel, time and materials needed.
Using Advanced Search in FAMIS Self-Service
Have you ever needed to find a service request in FAMIS Self-Service that doesn't appear in any of your request lists?
Luckily, FAMIS Self-Service has an Advanced Search feature with more robust search criteria than the pull-down menus!
WHERE can this be found?
On the Display Service Requests screen, Advanced Search appears next to the standard Search menu pull-down.
WHAT Criteria Can Be Searched?
Advanced Search allows you to search by several different criteria, including Service Request Number, Requestor Name, Funding Type, Status, Request Type, Location, and Entry Date.
HOW Can I See My Search Results?
Once you've entered the criteria for which you want to search, simply click the Execute Query button at the bottom of the screen to see your results!
Service Request Search
The FAMIS Web tool makes searching for Work Orders and Service Requests much easier.
- You can access FAMIS Web from the NUPortal or at https://famisweb.northwestern.edu.
- In FAMIS Web, you can search for WOs by Requester or building or assignee or other information.
- You can look up a building number or requester name at entry with the look up tool .
- Need help? Hover your mouse over the for extra tips.
You can right-click on fields in FAMIS to access other forms or lists that you can search:
- Right-click a Work Order Number in the Current Schedule or Work Order form to get to the WO Closing and WO Cost Summary.
- You can also right-click to view List Values for an entry field.
You can also click Help in the top toolbar, and choosing "Keyboard" will show you a list of Shortcut Keys, such as:
- F7 to Enter Query
- F8 to Execute Query
Installing Java 8 for FAMIS Admin
Having trouble with FAMIS Admin after installing Java 8? Wanting to install Java 8 but are afraid FAMIS Admin won't work? Follow the steps below for a successful installation!
Install Java 8
Java 8 is required for FAMIS Admin. You may get a message that your version of Java is out of date when opening FAMIS Admin.
- Install Java 8 (you can download Java 8 either from the Java website or from the prompt you may receive from Java when opening FAMIS).
- Go to the Start Menu (you may need to search or click on All Programs to find Java).
- Choose Configure Java.
- Select the Advanced tab.
- Scroll down to find Advanced Security Settings.
- Un-select both Use TLS 1.1 and Use TLS 1.2.
- Click Apply.
- Click OK.
You may now try to open up FAMIS. Make sure you check "I accept the risk and want to run this application" from the Security Warning prompt and click "Run." If FAMIS will not open, you may need to add it to your exceptions list.
Add FAMIS to Exceptions List
- In the Start Menu, select Java > Configure Java (same as Step 2 above).
- Select the Security tab.
- Select Edit Site List (at bottom right).
- In the Exception Site List pop-up window, enter https://famis.northwestern.edu.
- Click Add.
- Click OK.
- Click OK (to close out the pop-up windows).
FAMIS should now open using Java 8.
For a list of supported browsers, please see: FFRA Systems Vendor-Supported Browsers.
Listserv Tips & Tricks
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Learn more at Resources & Help.
Parts are easy to find
The two main ways to find Parts are through the Cognos BI Parts Alias Lookup Report and the FAMIS Materials Catalog.
- Use the Cognos BI Parts Alias Look-up Report to search by part numbers, vendor numbers, and nicknames.
- Use the FAMIS Materials Catalog to search by part number, category, manufacturer or vendor.
If you leave the warehouse field blank when searching, the search will return from all warehouses.
For more information, see: FAMIS Parts Look-Up Options
Part UM Conversions and Adjustments
Do you need to order a Part from a Vendor who uses a different Unit of Measure for Purchases?
You can set up a UM Conversion to ensure that the correct quantity is ordered and received for your warehouse:
- Query the Part Number in the Part form.
- Click on the UM Conversion button.
- Query the Part Number to make sure the UM Conversion you want doesn't already exist.
- If the UM Conversion is not there, then enter in the Vendor's UOP and Conversion Rate.
In the example below, there are  EACH in a BOX.
For more information, check out our job aid on the Unit of Measure for Parts .
If you didn't get the UM Conversion entered in time before your Purchase Order, simply enter in a Quantity and/or Price Adjustment:
- Double-click the Quantity Adjustment or the Price Adjustment form.
- Enter in the Part Number to be adjusted.
- Verify the Bin Location.
- Choose the Adjustment Type.
- Choose the new on-hand Quantity or Unit Price for the Part.
- Enter in Comments to explain the reason for the Adjustment.
Coming Soon: FAMIS Mobile Upgrade!
Since the initial FAMIS Mobile launch in the Spring of 2015, we have taken your feedback and partnered with Facilities Management and the App's developer to bring you an updated version of FAMIS Mobile!
Some of the changes:
- The first two lines of a Work Order's Task List now appear on workbenches and Task List now appears as a Sort criteria.
- Timecard entries now turn green when approved by a Supervisor.
- The status of the individual Labor entry now appears under the Hours Entered on the Timecard and the status turns green when approved by a Supervisor.
- Time entries exceeding the standard 8-hour shift appear as a second bar on the respective day on the Timecard.
- A badge detailing the default pay code for the work order appears on the right side of the entry when viewing in the Timecard.
- When entering Labor from a Work Order, you can now adjust the date forward or backward and not receive an error.
- Numerous other minor bug fixes and performance improvements.
Keep an eye out for this latest version, and be sure to download it when it becomes available later this month!
Searching for Work Orders in FAMIS Mobile
Unable to find the work order number for that job you completed earlier today?
Looking for the number of a work order you closed out earlier this year?
Use the Search for WOs function!
Using Search for WOs
Sometimes it may be difficult to find the work order you're looking for using the filters within the individual workbenches.
Instead, use the Search for WOs function to search for any work order in FAMIS using a variety of search criteria.
- Find and tap on Search for WOs in the main menu
- This will open up Search for Work Orders.
- Tap on any field by which you would like to filter and enter in your search criteria.
- When you're ready to proceed, tap on "Search" in the upper right-hand corner and your results will appear.
Looking for a Closed Work Order?
Are you looking for a work order that has been closed? No problem!
Search for work orders that are no longer active by unchecking the box next to Active Status Only.
Setting Notifications in Mobile
Mobile users, did you know that the app will send a variety of notifications to your device to alert you of work assignments etc.? Are you receiving these pop-up notifications? If not, follow the steps below to make sure you do!
- Tap the Settings button on your device.
- Tap Notifications in the left hand column and then tap NU Facilities in the right hand column.
- If the slider next to Allow Notifications isn't pushed to the right, tap it to do so and adjust any other sliders below it to your liking (or copy the configuration in the photo below).
- Warehouse Users, follow the steps above and also make sure that your Warehouse Notifications within the app are set to the warehouse for which you would like to receive notifications.
Once you've taken these steps, you should be all set to receive notifications from FAMIS Mobile!
Workbench Sorting in FAMIS Mobile
Would you like you to see the work orders in your FAMIS Mobile workbenches sorted in a different order?
Use the Sort feature at the top of the work bench!
- When viewing a work order workbench, tap on the word Sort in the upper right-hand corner.
- You can now sort your workbench using the WO Number, Description, Location, Due Date, and Status fields.
Tap the Arrow to sort that specific field in Ascending or Descending order.
Tap and hold on the icon of three lines and you can drag that field into another spot in the list to change your sort order further.
- When you're finished, tap Done and your workbench will now be sorted differently.
Quick Tip: If you don't like your new sort, simply go back in and tap "Reset" and the bench will restore to its default.
My Favorites Workbench
Mobile users, do you have work orders you frequently use that are difficult to locate using other workbenches?
A new workbench, My Favorites, has recently been added to FAMIS Mobile, and you can use it to store work orders you may want to access regularly.
- To add a work order to the My Favorites workbench, locate the work order however you prefer (e.g., Search for WO, from another workbench).
Open the Work Order and scroll toward the bottom of the details screen. There you will see a line that says Favorites with a box next to it
- Tap the Favorites box. You should see a check mark added in the box. Then tap Submit in the upper right corner to save your changes.
- Now, when you open your My Favorites workbench from the main menu, you should see the work order has been added.
Quick Tip: To remove work orders from your My Favorites work bench, you can either 1) close the work order, or 2) remove the check mark from the Favorites line within the work order, tap Submit, and upon refreshing your workbench the work order should be removed.
Checking WO Crew When Purchasing
Accurate Billing is Crucial!
Did you know that while you are entering a Requisition for a WO, you can check which crew (and billing) is currently on the Work Order?
While you are creating a Requisition, you can add the WO number as a cross-reference. You can also check the crew on the work order.
- Enter the WO number in the FAMIS WO field
- Click the magnifying glass icon
The FAMIS crew will display. If this is the wrong crew for this work order, cancel out of the Requisition and get the crew corrected on the WO in FAMIS before you go back to NUFinancials to create the Requisition.
Change PO to Correct WO
You can also make changes to the PO to update the correct WO associated with it if the need arises.
- Navigate to the PO Change Request entry page (see Submit a Request to Change a Purchase Order )
- Change the FAMIS WO and/or check the FAMIS crew.
- Submit the PO Change Request to PRS for approval.
Closing/Canceling a PO Using the NUFinancials PO Change Order Request Center
As the end of the Fiscal Year approaches, here is a quick review of how to best close or cancel an open Purchase Order through the NUFinancials PO Change Order screen.
Following the steps below will allow you to successfully Close or Cancel your Purchase Order in both FAMIS and NUFinancials.
- In Step 2 of the PO Change Order Request Center, do NOT check the box next to "Check here to close PO."
- Clicking that box will cause the PO to remain open in FAMIS.
- Instead of closing the PO in Step 2, proceed to Step 3 and cancel/close each line of the PO separately.
- This will allow the PO to process the cancellations and will close each line individually in FAMIS as well.
- Once all lines have been canceled/closed in NUFinancials for 5-7 business days, the header level will automatically close as well, closing the PO in NUFinancials.
FAMIS Fields in Lifecycle Viewer
You can see the FAMIS Part ID and FAMIS WO cross-referenced in the NUFinancials LifeCycle Viewer.
These fields are also noted in the Requisitions Detail page, the new Requisition Printable version, the Approval Inbox, and the Purchase Order Inquiry page.
Navigation: Purchasing > Purchase Orders > Review PO Information > LifeCycle Viewer
- For Business Process, select PROCURE2PAY
- For Document Type, select the document type (Invoice or Voucher, Purchase Order, Requisition, etc.) for the search
- Click Search
- Click View LifeCycle hyperlink
- Double Click on the lower Requisition or Purchase Order icons to see the FAMIS fields
LifeCycle Viewer graphically displays the existing documents for a transaction. You can find other documents by starting with one known document. For example, if you have an invoice number, use the LifeCycle Viewer to find the corresponding Purchase Order which would have the FAMIS WO and FAMIS Part ID information.
FM Match Exceptions
You have match exception(s)!
You got an email about a match exception, now what? Some are easy to resolve, some take more steps.
You get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with lots of text saying that Rule XXX is the issue.
Check out the Match Exception Report explanation to figure out what the match rules mean!
You can review the match exception status for purchase orders by using the Voucher Inquiry.
There is a 7min video on the Voucher Inquiry: Voucher Inquiry: Find Match Exceptions .
- In NUFinancials, navigate to Accounts Payable > Review Accounts Payable Info > Vouchers > Voucher
- Enter the Purchase Order number in the Purchase Order range fields
- Click Search
- In the result set at the bottom of the page, review the match exceptions
Missing Receipt Match Exception
One of the most common match exceptions is related to a missing receipt. Most likely the invoice for the item(s) has arrived at Northwestern and Accounts Payable has entered a voucher for this invoice. The receipt entry is missing from the 3-way document match. The system recognizes that the receipt is missing and sends you the email.
First, did you actually receive the items or services for this line on the purchase order? That may be hard to know if someone in the FM shops is overseeing the receipt of these items and services. It is a good idea to check-in with this person, but who is it? Good question!
FM has a system of putting the responsible person's name in the Attention To field when creating Requisitions. That makes things easy, but where can you see that field? Use the Purchase Order Inquiry!
- In NUFinancials, navigate to Purchasing > Purchase Orders > Review PO Information > Purchase Orders
- Enter the Purchase Order number
- Click Search
- In the result set at the bottom of the page, review the purchase order lines
- Click the icon on a line to open the Schedules page
- On the Schedules page, look on the Detail tab, in the Attention To column for the name of the person to contact. Contact this person to ask if the items or services have been received and the invoice should be paid. If the person communicates that items or service have been received and it is acceptable to pay the vendor, you can enter a receipt for the purchase order line(s), resolving the match exception. See Receipts in the Purchasing tab of the Curriculum page.
Other Match Exception Issues
Other match exceptions may require initiating a PO Change Request to resolve the exception.
For more information on the PO Change request, see the PO Change Request training options in the FMS815 Requester Advanced Topics section in the Purchasing tab of the Curriculum page.
Receiving Parts on a Purchase Order
Have we received everything on that Purchase Order for the part reorder?
A shipment came in and you need to enter receipts for Inventory Purchase Orders. What is the best way to see which receipts have already been entered? There are two menus that display receipts on Inventory POs.
Hot Tip! Make sure your User Profile is set to the correct warehouse (click the User Profile menu option and update the warehouse on the User Profile)
Option 1: Navigation: Purchasing > Purchase Orders
- Search (, enter PUR#, then ) by the Purchase Order Number (ex. PUR1234567)
- Click Receipts (button in lower right corner)
- Review the list of receipts
Option 2: Navigation: Receiving & RTV > Receipts
- Search (, enter PUR#, then ) by the Purchase Order Number (ex. PUR1234567)
- Review the list of receipts by using the navigation arrows to scroll.
Find reports quickly in Cognos
FM036 Part Reorder Report
The new FM036 – Part Reorder Report is now available in Cognos BI and ready to use by FM Warehouse staff.
Some features include:
- Ability to run by Warehouse, Manufacturer, Part Category, and Vendor
- The report can be run for more than one Warehouse at a time
- The option to run the report by Parts to Reorder (parts that need to be ordered) or Parts to Reorder or Receive (parts that an FM warehouse currently does not have enough of in stock to meet minimum stocking levels within FAMIS)
- The Manufacturer and Vendor ranked "1" in FAMIS are now shown within the body of the report
- The report outputs as an Excel document so columns can be easily filtered and data can be copy/pasted into NUFinancials
- Increased flexibility in allowing users to see the information which will best suit their needs
Quick Tip: Do you need to show a particular vendor all the parts that you need to order from them along with all the parts you have still currently have on order from them? Run the report with the following prompts:
- Option: Parts to Reorder or Receive
Getting Emailed Reports
Do your reports ever take too long to run? Instead of waiting for Cognos to complete the report, you can have it emailed to you once it is ready. Just choose the "Run with Options" arrow icon to the right of the report, and select to have the report emailed to you.
NOTE: The Cognos BI FM032 Job Cost FAMIS Billing Summary and Detail Report replaces the following reports as of January 1, 2015:
- FM008 – Job Cost – FAMIS Billing Summary
- FM009 – Job Cost Labor Detail Report
- FM010 – Job Cost Materials Detail Report
- FM011 – Job Cost Work Order Detail Report
- FM012 – Job Cost Invoice Detail Report
- FM026 – Job Cost FAMIS Billing Summary (Extended)
How much has that job cost? Good question!
There is a new job costing report to help you understand the costs associated with a Facilities Management services and projects!
All the information you were used to seeing in 6 different reports is consolidated into 1 report!
Navigation for School/Department Users:
In Cognos > Finance, Facilities and Research Administration > School > Budget/COA
- Select FM032 Job Cost FAMIS Billing Summary and Detail Report
- Enter or select report filter criteria.
- Don't forget to click Next at the bottom of the page for more filter criteria options!
- Then, run the report!
What's so great about this report?
- The previous job cost reports displayed in the HTML format and required drilling on links to see details on labor, materials, and invoices.
- The new job cost report displays in Excel with spreadsheet tabs to easily review the summary and detail information.
- There are new search fields such as FAMIS Projects and Work Orders, Requester, or Building.
Need help running reports?
Keyword Search in Cognos
SC029 FM Open Encumbrance Report
The SC029 FM Open Encumbrance Report – which shows all of the open POs for a certain chartstring – can now be run by the "PO Creator/Buyer" as well as the "WO Assigned To."
The SC029 has also been re-sorted to show the most recent POs first, and will now run straight to Excel rather than HTML.
Need help running reports?
Viewing Service PO information in Cognos' FAMIS Ad Hoc
Did you know that Contractor Service POs are processed through FAMIS as Miscellaneous Costs?
Did you know that you can report on these POs in the new Misc Cost Star of FAMIS Ad Hoc?
- Login to Cognos via the "System Login" portlet of the NUPortal.
- Choose Query Studio.
- Choose the FAMIS_ADHoc data warehouse.
- Choose the Adhoc 2.0 View "Misc Cost Star."
- Insert attribute columns that you would like to view (such as "Vendor Name" or "Invoice Date") by double-clicking on them from the left-hand menu.
- Right-click column headers to "Filter" and "Sort" the results.
- Choose to "Run Report" in the format (HTML, Excel, etc.) you prefer.
Changing Your Workbench Display
Have you ever wanted to change the way information displays in some of your public workbenches, such as "All Active Work Orders" in the Current Schedule Workbench?
It's as simple as changing these Public workbenches to a Private Workbench, and changing the Display options.
- Open the workbench (Current Schedule, Service Requests, etc.) and choose the Public Workbench you want to update in the top drop-down menu.
- Click "Edit."
- In the new window, Choose to "Duplicate" the Workbench option, and type in a New Folder Name (such as "John Doe's Active Work Orders").
- In the "Display" tab, choose your Primary and Secondary Sort fields, such as Start Date or Status, and the Sort Order. Ascending means the Field you choose will sort A-Z, 1-9, or oldest date to latest date. Descending is just the opposite.
- Change your Display Order of Columns, but choosing a column and clicking "Move Field Up" to move the column display to the left of the workbench, or "Move Field Down" to move it to the right of the workbench.
- Click "OK" to keep your changes.
Closing Work Orders
You can Close a Work Order by right-clicking in the Work Order field from the Work Order form or the Current Schedule form and choosing to "Close" from the drop-down menu, and of course by querying the Work Order in the Work Order Closing form.
- Click Labor tab to review time charged to the Work Order.
- Click Materials tab to review Parts charged to the Work Order.
- Return to the Work Order tab to type in the Status: "CLOSED."
- FAMIS might ask if you want to change the Complete Date from the date someone updated the Status from Complete to today's date. Choose "Yes" or "No" as you feel it is appropriate.
*Did you get a message saying that you couldn't close the WO because of open POs? Talk to your PO Requester about getting the POs received so you can close your Work Order.*
Printed Work Orders
Work Order print outs now include the following information:
- Building Type (ex. Dorm, Sports & Rec , etc.)
- Related WOs (parent, child)
- Attached Files
Related Work Orders
Where can you see related WOs in FAMIS?
In a Work Order form:
Viewing Attachments in FAMIS
How can you view attachments in FAMIS?
In the FAMIS toolbar:
Add Attachments (p.12): FAMIS Navigation Basics
Working with Workbenches
Do you have a favorite workbench that you wish was set up a little differently to be more useful for you? You can duplicate and customize a workbench!
Access: if you have access to the Current Schedule form or SR Workbench, you can customize workbenches.
How: Training Guide with screenshots, How to Create and Use Workbenches .
- Navigate to a workbench you want to duplicate and customize
- Click Edit at right of the Folder field
- Always click Duplicate!
- Enter a new name for your workbench
- Click OK
- Use the Display tab to select the sort order within a column and the column order for display
- Use the Filter tab to filter out data (ex. inactive statuses, maintenance type, assigned to, etc)
- Click OK
- You can view your new workbench in the Folder drop-down menu
WO Cost Summary
WO Cost Summary (or Find Labor, Materials, and Miscellaneous costs on work orders)
Do I need to close this work order?
First check that the labor, materials and miscellaneous costs on the work order are fully entered, accurate and complete. If so, then you can complete the work order.
WO Cost Summary is located in the Work Orders menu.
By navigating through the tabs, you can review labor, materials and any miscellaneous costs.
If there is an issue with labor charges, speak to the technician who performed the work to get the error corrected.
If there is an issue with materials listed, speak to the warehouse personnel who charged out the materials.
If there is an issue with miscellaneous costs, speak to the contractor who performed the services or the FM Financial Manager.