This is another post in my series regarding Field Service for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016.
This time I am going to look at the concepts involved in creating resources. Before you can think about creating work orders you are going to need to create some resources capable of delivering the services on those work orders. A resource is essentially anything which can be scheduled, this might be a field agent, a piece of equipment, or even a CRM contact.
Note: You may wish to schedule contacts to enable scheduling of resources who are not directly part of your organization but you sub contract to.
You create Field Service resources using the “Bookable Resources” option in the field service administration area.
Each resource is first given a type. Valid types are “Generic”, “Contact”, “User”, “Equipment” or “Group”. More often than not your field engineers will be users. So let’s look at creating a user, one tab at a time.
In the general tab we select the resource type. In this example I am creating a user as a resource. Next we pick the CRM user.
You will need to have already created the user in Office 365 and given them appropriate security role(s) in the CRM security settings option.
We also define the time zone that the user works in. Important if you provide service across multiple countries.
If you have Project Service installed you may have a project service tab. My focus here is Field Service so I’m not going to mention those options! But it is important to know that resources are shared between Field Service and Project Service.
In the Field Service tab we next define various details about the resource.
Start and end location are used when calculating routes. In my example the engineer will start each day from his home address and end the end at the company address.
We also define what warehouse to take any inventory parts from. I ahev simply said the main warehouse. But one possible option here is to create a “Van” a a virtual warehosue. As the engineer maybe simply parts from the back of his van.
Next we define various scheduling options. Such as deciding if this resource should be shown on the Field Service scheduling board.
Next we define the skills the resource has by adding their characteristics and profiency levels. This information is later used in the scheduling assistant to ensure only qualified engineers are reccomended.
Next I can associate each resource with multiple resource categories. This might reflect the roles the resource can assume. In my example this resource could work as a technician or a health and safety inspector.
An important next step is to define the work hours of the resource. Do they work 9 to 5 Monday to Friday or some other working pattern? You access work hours form the navigation menu on the resource.
Selecting the “Work Hours” option will show the working pattern for this resource on a calendar. You can select the setup option to change the working pattern for a given day or every day.
Selecting setup gives access to a screen like the one below which allows definition of a revised working pattern.
Note: If the resource is on holiday this will also be reflected in this working calendar. I will explain the process of requesting, authorizing and viewing holiday patterns in a future post.
If you use territories it is also important to set the resources territory. (or territories) Belwo you can see that I have added this resource to both the east and west midlands territories.
The territory information on a resource and their work pattern will impact the way they show in the Field Service Schedule Board. Below you can see that the resource I just created is available from 9am and is shown in my view of resources working in the West Midlands.
Creating resources is a pretty simple thing in Field Service but still an essential step in configuring the application.