Things to Consider During a Microsoft Dynamics Field Service Implementation

microsoft

Companies get a Microsoft Dynamics Implementation of the Field Service module done to set up mobile workforces. They do so to deliver onsite services to their customer locations through mobility, workflow automation and scheduling algorithms.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service is most common used by the following industries:

  • Manufacturing
  • Utilities
  • Healthcare
  • Equipment Maintenance

People from the Manufacturing industry use the Field Service app to manage onsite device maintenance at hospitals and clinics, a task generally undertaken by medical device manufacturers. People from the utilities sector, especially the fiber optic cable sector, use the Field Service app to deploy technicians to sites from where outages are reported. Healthcare service providers use the app to deploy healthcare workers to administer medicine and other kinds of care to needy patients and Facilities managers use Field Service to deliver repair and maintenance services for heating and cooling equipment.

Easier said than done. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service app is one of lesser celebrated apps in the Dynamics 365 family, but among the more useful ones when it comes to responding to a crisis. Hence, while having it installed, one must take extra precautions to ensure a smooth implementation of the app so that when work begin on it, the results come along seamlessly.

Written below is everything one must consider while getting a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service Implementation done:

It will seem more like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation, instead of a Dynamics 365 Sales or Dynamics 365 Service implementation. Since the implementation has been divided into four (4) parts, end users will have to consider these:

  • How will work orders be generated? What information is needed to generate them? Will they be based on incoming calls or on emails or will they be generated automatically as part of some service agreement? Is it possible for customers to create them through a portal? Most importantly, how will one find out whether it is ready to be scheduled or not?
  • What will scheduling and dispatching be like? What will the dispatcher be like, while manually scheduling work items in need? What would a semi-automated solution look like?
  • How will field agents complete onsite work? What is it that they must have on the ticket? What kind of information will they be entering? Will their mode of working be online or offline?
  • When is an item billed as soon as the work is over? How does one deal with follow-up work? How exactly are billing and inventory adjustments carried out?

How does one Geocode Addresses?

It must be understood that Dynamics 365 Field Service uses latitude and longitude to determine location information. All addresses are geocoded in order to be easily identifiable on maps and must be used to compare locations in order to identify the closest resource.

Here is how it works. Field Service uses Universal Resource Scheduling to schedule work orders. The configuration in such that it comprises both defining items in URS and configuring Field Service Settings. Thus, the very first thing one would want to do is configure mapping since it is not enabled by default. This must be modified in the app by first selecting ellipsis, then Resource Scheduling under Administration, Scheduling Parameters and finally setting the Connect to Maps field as Yes. As soon as the Field is set as Yes, it ensures that the schedule board and schedule assistant use the maps to schedule items. By default, Dynamics 365 Field Service uses Bing Maps. However, using separate mapping providers becomes a possibility by inserting the mapping application programming interface key for the provider.

This is how addresses can be Geocoded. In addition to this, a geocoded address can also be defined for accounts, users and contacts.

How does one configure resource scheduling options and how?

For this to happen, you must answer some questions first. The first one is what type of resources would you need? How will resources be scheduled? Is the app simply going to be used to schedule work orders? Or will there be a need to consider other entities as well? Finally, how does one deal with time off?

These and more questions must be considered before you plan a Dynamics 365 Implementation in Australia or anywhere else.

Summary: These are questions you must answer and possibilities you must consider before going in for a Dynamics 365 Field Service Implementation.

About Sam William

Sam is a principal consultant within Dynamics Square, focusing on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. He has been working with ERP for almost 10 years, and NAV (Navision) for more than 5 years around the world. He is involved with all aspects of Business Central and NAV practice.

View all posts by Sam William →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *