Field Service, part of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016, contains the ability to create customer equipment. (Described as customer assets.) This can be useful when needing to record what equipment is installed at a customer’s location and helps when planning routine maintenance. In this post I will explain the concepts involved with customer equipment.
Customer equipment allows you to link a product to a service account, letting you know a product is in a customer’s possession. Records can then be maintained to track all work orders associated with the equipment. (Both for installation and servicing.) Customer equipment can be created as a result of consuming parts on a work order or by manually creating the equipment in CRM.
Maintaining customer equipment records is useful for conducting recalls, targeting upselling / upgrading initiatives and controlling servicing activities.
To illustrate the capabilities of customer assets I will look at;
- Setup of product Details
- Creation of a Work Order to Install Customer Assets
- Creating Assets via the Field Service Mobile Application
- Agreements for Preventative Maintenance
- Work Orders for ad-hoc Maintenance / Repairs
- Viewing Customer Assets and Associated Work Order History
Setup of Product Details
When defining a product several fields might come into play;
- The Field Service product type will show if the product is an inventory item or not. Typically customer equipment will be inventory items, although it would be possible to define them as non-inventory if stock is not maintained.
- Setting the “Convert to Customer Asset” option to “yes” will mean that a customer asset will be automatically created if the part if used on a work order.
The field agent can convert any part manually to a customer asset, even if the Convert to Customer Asset option is “No”.
Creation of a Work Order to Install Customer Assets
A work order can be created that will include one (or more) products that will need to be converted into customer assets. Below you can see I have created an example with a work order to install a fire extinguisher has been flagged to convert to customer asset. As the field agent completes the work order these will automatically create customer equipment records.
It is also possible to create customer equipment directly in the Field Service options in CRM. Typically, you might do this if creating an agreement to service equipment that has been installed by another vendor.
Creating Assets via the FieldOne Sky Mobile Application
In the mobile application the field agent can record that these items have been used. Notice the field “Generated Asset”, the field agent can click on this link to add additional information specific to this piece of equipment.
To create the customer asset the line status of the product needs to be changed to “Used”.
When the work order is completed this equipment will be automatically added as a customer asset against the account. Below you can see the associated view of customer assets on my account, and the fire extinguisher just used has been added.
Agreements for Preventative Maintenance
Having created the customer assets, either manually in CRM or via an installation work order, you may wish to create an agreement to schedule routine preventative maintenance. I will cover the logic of creating customer agreements in another blog post, please consult that for full details on how agreements operate.
When I add a service or product into my agreement, I can relate them to the customer asset. In my example, I have added a general gardening service of 2 hours and linked it to the pond. (Possibly not the best example in the world but I hope you appreciate the concept.)
Work Orders for ad-hoc Maintenance / Repairs
In addition to work orders that relate to agreements, whenever a work order is raised the incident can be optionally linked to the customer asset. Allowing a history of any repairs to be maintained. See below how the “incident customer asset” has been entered.
Tip: The field name of “primary incident customer asset” might be slightly misleading! You don’t have to have an incident type to have a “primary incident customer asset”. Although as the use of incidents in FieldOne Sky is recommended it is likely that you will.
You do not / cannot assign the “primary incident customer asset” on an installation work order. As the installation has not been completed the asset does not yet exist.
Viewing Customer Assets and Associated Work Order History
To view customer assets on the service account navigation to the customer assets option;
You will then see an associated view giving a list of all the assets for this account;
Opening the asset will give more information (as shown below), including a list of any related work orders and associated assets.
If a customer no longer has possession of a piece of equipment you can deactivate it from the customer equipment screen. Also, if this piece of equipment is re-assigned to a different account you can a change the account associated with the piece of equipment. The service history for the asset will “follow” the asset, meaning that you can still view all of the previously completed work orders on the asset even though the account has changed.