Today’s field service companies face mounting pressure to complete jobs faster and increase profits while growing a loyal customer base. However, many times the right systems and processes aren’t in place to help combat disjointed intake issues, miscommunication between the office and technicians, scheduling complications, and growing fleet costs. In order to combat these common issues, leading field service companies are turning to technology and increasing customer satisfaction with Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 Field Service is changing the way companies complete work.
Streamlining Intake and Work Order Management
When scheduling resources to go on-site with customers to complete service, it needs to be tracked, scheduled, and managed. Within Dynamics 365 Field Service there’s a built-in case to work order process that streamlines case intake to work order generation.
Cases can be autogenerated from emails that integrate with the system, through an integrated support portal, or through manual entry. All open and active cases can be viewed in a single screen and filtered by priority, origin, status, creation date, customer, and more.
By drilling down into a specific case, you are able to gain more details about both the open case and the customer. The ribbon at the top of the view indicates the stage the case is in and the level of urgency. As you move through each stage, additional details or informational fields are available to ensure users have all the information they need to complete the job request.
Work orders can be automatically generated directly from the case intake screen.
When the work order is created, all information from the initial intake form and from the customer account record are automatically generated within the work order.
Specific details related to the project can be updated on the form, including priority or work order, incident type, work order type, and more.
This structured process workflow ensures that all information required to complete a job is included and nothing falls through the cracks.
Within the work order, you can designate:
- Data and time frame the technician will be on-site to complete the job
- Specific necessary products required for the job
- Customized job task list
- The task list is automatically generated based on the job or service type. Each task list is completely customized during system set-up, but can also be changed within the specific work orders when needed.
- Address information
- Geographical mapping data visual
- Record log information
- Additional notes and details as needed
Managing Scheduled Maintenance
Regular service can be scheduled within the system as an agreement. The details that are captured within the system are the same as a work order, however, you have the ability to designate:
- How often the maintenance should occur
- The customer’s preferences such as employee, start time, or day of the week
- Booking flexibility options
- How many days prior to the work order should be scheduled
Resources and Scheduling
Within Dynamics 365 Field Service you can strategically schedule resources that are the best fit for the job based on their skill set, availability, geographical location, and more. This all starts with setting up the profiles and information for each of your resources. Each technician’s profile can be set up to include:
- Standard hourly rate
- Proficiencies with various skills and their level of skill
- Roles/positions they hold
- General start and end location
- Home address, office location, other
- Work hours
Each of these areas are configured based on your organization’s specific roles, needs, skills, certifications, etc.
As you’re scheduling resources to complete work, you can either drill into a profile to gain access to all information on that technician, or right-click for a visual graph of their skills and a list of all roles.
On the graphical schedule board, generated work orders automatically appear at the bottom of the screen. Each work order can be dragged and dropped onto the schedule board for the resource or technician that will be completing the work. The system will not allow work orders to be scheduled for resources that lack the required skills and proficiencies, additionally, the system will only allow work orders to be scheduled in the correct time frame windows.
You have the ability to sort or search for specific techs by name, location, or certain skills. The map also offers icons that indicate office locations, bookable resources, booked work orders, and unbooked work orders. The color-coded icons make it easy to understand where technicians are going and what other work orders are in the same area. This capability allows you to save on fleet and fuel costs by optimizing routing. As additional work orders are assigned to a technician, the route line is adjusted on the map, giving you clear visualization of where your techs are going.
With the mobile application of Dynamics 365 Field Service, technicians have access to all customer and work order details from any mobile device or tablet. A tech can log into the mobile app to find a list of all work orders assigned to them and the time window for completion. Any changes to those work orders made in the office are updated in real-time on the mobile device. This means that when a customer calls to cancel service, or make a change to their request, the technician is informed in real-time.
Each work order includes a map with GPS instructions to arrive at the worksite. This eliminates any need to switch back and forth from Dynamics 365 to other applications.
While on-site, the technician has access to all job details, required parts, historical account information, and contact details he or she needs to effectively complete the work.
We know that often times additional work is discovered during the first visit. Rather than routing that information back to the office through a call or on paper, the mobile app allows technicians to generate new work orders immediately. That information flows directly back into the main system, updating the scheduler and other users that a new work order was created.
Once the work has been completed, the technician can collect the customer’s signature directly on the mobile device certifying completion.
Depending on the location of your work, there may be times that technicians do not have internet access. The mobile app is available offline, and still allows your users the same functionality as if they were connected. Information can be changed or updated and is saved automatically until the device is reconnected to the internet, at which time the data is synced back to the main system.
Time can be logged towards a specific work order, ensuring all time is correctly billed to the appropriate customer based on actual time on site.
Dynamics 365 is an industry-leading platform that not only offers the core features and functionality that Field Service companies need in order to schedule and complete work more efficiently, but also offers advanced, innovative capabilities.
IoT integrations enable you to install sensors on specific devices that you would like to monitor. Each device can be individually set up to monitor the performance threshold of the item, or could be set to monitor for triggers such as heat levels, reduction in speed, and more.
The system will auto-generate alerts or work orders based on certain notifications coming from the IoT devices. This allows you to prevent service or production downtime for your customers before they even know there is an issue.
Geofencing and Time Tracking
Geofences can be set up for accounts so a technician’s time is automatically tracked to that account once they enter the pre-defined geographical area. The time is then stopped when they leave the area. This eliminates any need for each technician to manually enter and track their time. Additionally, it resolves any human error issues when it comes to tracking time to jobs.
Invoicing schedules, complex rate structures, different billing types, and more can be set up within the system to match your business processes and needs based on different customer types.
Dynamics 365 Field Service is an end-to-end solution that can help modernize your Field Service company to become more efficient and productive while reducing costs and increasing customer and employee satisfaction. To learn more about how Field Service technology could help your company, reach out to the experts at Stoneridge Software.