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How to schedule in Dynamics 365 for Field Service

By Abi Shende, Senior Functional Consultant, Arbela Technologies

Field Service capabilities extend Microsoft Dynamics 365 to provide a complete Field Service management solution, including service locations, customer assets, agreements, preventative maintenance, work order management, resource management, product inventory, purchase orders, returns, scheduling and dispatch, mobility, collaboration, customer billing, and analytics. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service helps you:

  • Optimize your service schedule with efficient routing, resource skill matching, and reduced travel time.
  • Increase first-time fix rates and on-time delivery performance.
  • Enhance real-time communication and collaboration among customer service, dispatch, field agents, and customers.

In this article, we will review the options available to the Scheduler/Dispatcher to schedule a Work Order once it is created.

Although it is possible to start with a default Schedule Board, it is important to configure it based on your specific needs before you start scheduling work orders. For example, if you have multiple territories, you may want to configure a Schedule Board for each territory that includes only the resources (service reps/technicians, equipment, trucks, etc.) for that territory. Each schedule board can be shared with specific users i.e. dispatchers for respective territories.

There are two options available for the dispatcher to schedule a work order.

  • Schedule a Work Order manually
  • Schedule a work order using the Book option

Note: In addition to the above two options, Field Service also offers Resource Scheduling Optimization to schedule multiple work orders (booking requirements) on a recurring basis (for example, every night) without manual intervention.

How to Schedule a Work Order Manually

There are 3 ways to manually schedule a work order.

  1. Right-click on an unscheduled booking from the list of booking requirements at the bottom of the schedule board and click Find Availability.

This finds available resources based on the requirements such as skills, customer preferences, resource restrictions, territories and work hours.

Here’s an example that illustrates the result of this option.

As you can see, the available slots show the travel time from the address where the resource would be located to the service location. This enables the dispatcher to select the resource that would be closer to the service location.

  1. Drag unscheduled work orders from list view to the schedule board.
    Using this option, the dispatcher simply selects an unscheduled work order from the list at the bottom and drags it to an available resource/time slot on the schedule board.
  2. Block out a slot on the schedule board directly and select an unscheduled work order to schedule.
    Using this option, the dispatcher selects an available slot for the resource he or she is trying to schedule. This opens a window that allows the dispatcher to choose a work order to schedule during the time slot.

How to Schedule a Work Order Using the Book Option

Schedulers and dispatchers can use this option from the Work Orders list or from the Work Order form immediately after it is created, without having to navigate to the Schedule Board. The dispatcher selects the Work Order that needs to be scheduled and clicks the Book button the command bar.

Here’s the result of this action for the selected Work Order.

As you can see, the results show the estimated arrival time, distance and travel time for each available resource. The dispatcher can select one of the available resources and click Book to schedule the work order.