Many companies have tools and other equipment that require special arrangements in order to be used on jobs.
For example, suppose a particular job needs a backhoe.
Your department may have a backhoe, but you need to reserve it in advance;
you might also need to make other arrangements to ensure that the backhoe is available when you get to the job site
. The same sort of consideration may apply to special testing equipment (e.g. portable chart recorders),
scissor jacks, tow motors, forklifts and so on -- anything that must be at the work site in order to do a job.
Obviously, it's useful for your work orders to include references to this kind of equipment. This ensures that workers know they need the equipment to do the job. It also makes it possible to track your use of the equipment ('How much do we really use the backhoe?'). Finally, it lets you add the expense of using the equipment (e.g. gasoline for a backhoe) to the cost of the work order.
One simple way to track such equipment is to treat it as if it's a person in your Employee table.
When a job needs the backhoe, you can a demand for that employee to tell workers in advance that the backhoe is required.
(and that they have to make any special arrangements to get the backhoe to the job site).
The demand can be for either inside or outside and either by job or hourly; depending upon how the equipment is to be billed.
After the job, you can actualize to record the length of time the backhoe was used (and therefore the cost of use).
In order to distinguish such specialized equipment 'personnel' from real personnel, you might create specialized 'Trades' for various types of Specialized Equipment. Every Employee record for specialized equipment can have the 'Trade' field set to its type Specialized Equipment. This makes it simple to separate specialized equipment from people in work order reports.
You can use the same approach to add specialized equipment requirements to preventive maintenance tasks as well as normal work orders. For example, if a particular PM inspection requires specialized testing equipment, you could assign the equipment as 'personnel' to the PM task.
To view the history of specialized equipment usage, you can do report on inside or outside labor filter the report by 'employee'.