Do you know the frustration when a device in your office has broken and you would have to send an email about it to someone and you just don't have the time or don't know who to send the mail to. Or the frustration as a maintenance professional when you just get an email that a coffee machine in this huge building is broken, and you have to send 3 emails to figure out where it actually is. ATS, Automated Ticketing System to the rescue.
What it does
ATS automatically collects data from sensors and devices and when it detects something is broken or needs attention, it automatically creates a ticket and assigns it to the maintenance person closest to the problem with the expertise to handle the problem according to rules made by your company. Maintenance professionals have their own mobile app where they see their current tasks, their locations and priorities.
The maintenance professional have several options. Once they receive the tickets, they can accept and start working. They can raise an issue saying they have a problem fixing the issue or assigned task. Once, they are done, they can mark the issue resolved for now.
It also provides a dashboard for managerial or monitoring purposes with the list of personnel and the list of tasks assigned for each personnel. We have a plan to add many more features to both the android application and the dashboard. For now, a prototype of its working is near to complete.
How we built it
We have a PHP backend with MySQL database that keeps track of the tickets, persons and rules in the company. It also receives the data from the devices and locations of the personnel with the Tieto API and uses that data along with the rules crafted by your company to automatically assign the tickets. We also built an android application for maintenance personnel, where they can see their tasks to do, specific information, location and error codes from the machine that is broken. They can also report a problem regarding the broken machine using the app. The foreman can control the flow of tickets manually, if needed, using the web dashboard. We also constructed a simple Arduino-based sensor and simulated the data generation and posting it to the backend.
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge was the lack of time. We came up with this idea during Junction, so we did all the planning during Junction, which decreased the amount of time available for coding, so we didn't have time to add all the features we wanted and improve the user experience and usability. We also had problems with getting our mockup sensor to work with our backend. The problems were mainly focused around Windows's serial port drivers. Nevertheless this won't have an effect on our programs functionality when the sensors have an API.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Effective utilization of infrastructure data. Crafting a full stack system during one day.
What we learned
As this was our first hackathon, the time we had available was smaller than we had initially thought and we learned that if you want to create something, you really have to take into account the time you have. Maybe next time we will create something that can be reasonably done in 48 hours and is still innovating and useful.
What's next for Automatic Ticketing System
Adding more functionality and features: Usage of GPS data from employees' mobile phones, providing the client's of the maintenance company access to a map of the problems and status of the problems in their building. Improvement and refinement of the UI for the mobile application and the foreman's dashboard.