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Ryan Plourde, Crowe

14 Frequently Asked Questions About Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service

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Dynamics 365 Field Service is a powerful addition to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 family, bringing amazing benefits for field service management. It can solve the top challenges faced by the modern field service organization.

Read: Top 5 Challenges of Field Service and 10 Ways Microsoft Dynamics 365 Can Help

From a more technical perspective, these are the key takeaways from a recent session by the Crowe CRM team:

Field Service Work Order and Scheduling

Q1: What is a Work Order? How is it different from a Case?

 A: A work order has information on what work needs to be done. It is the set of instructions for the Field Technician to follow.

  • It is used to coordinate and schedule resources and activities. It can be used for different types of work, such as installations, repairs, or preventive maintenance.
  • It is usually created from an agreement, a Case, or on its own. Once the work is complete, it is reviewed and approved by a manager.
  • A Bookable Resource in Field Service is anything that needs to be scheduled. This most commonly includes people, equipment, and physical spaces.

Q2: What are Incident Types in Field Service?

 A: These are types of issues which a customer reports based on work order. It includes all the necessary service tasks, products, services, required skills, and estimated work order duration. This is an essential parameter, from a management and worker point of view, for analytics.

Q3: What are Time-Off Requests in Field Service?                                      

 A: If one of your field technicians is going to be on vacation, it's essential to log the request so that a dispatcher can see the time-off request on the schedule board when scheduling a work order.

Q4: What are Work Order Types in Field Service?

 A: Different work order types are created to reflect the different types of work that your company offers, such as inspection, installation, etc.

Q5: What is Resource Scheduling? How can Scheduling be done for a ‘Bookable Resource’?

 A: Scheduling enables organizations to regulate interactions between customers and company resources. For scenarios where the customer is expected to travel to the company's location, the facility scheduling feature can coordinate physical spaces and related resources.

  • The Dispatcher or scheduler is responsible for ensuring that work orders (or requirements) are matched with the right resources in order to create bookings in a given time slot
  • A manual approach would be to drag and drop requirements to resource time slots.
  • A fully automated approach would be to adopt Resource Scheduling Optimization (RSO) that automatically schedules requirements to the best resources based on predefined rules.
  • A semi-automated approach would be to use the Schedule Assistant tool that recommends available and most appropriate resources.

Q6: What is a Schedule Board? How can we track resources on it?

 A: The Dynamics 365 for Field Service schedule board provides an overview of resource availability and bookings you can make. Before you use the schedule board, it is important to set up the views and filters to your preference.

Q7: What is Resource Scheduling Optimization? Do I have to pay extra for it?

 A: Resource Scheduling Optimization (RSO) is an add-on capability for the Dynamics 365 for Field Service application that enables you to automatically schedule work orders for the most appropriate resources by optimizing bookings for the shortest travel time, available work hours, and many other constraints.

  • This add-on evaluates routes and automatically schedules bookable records to minimize travel time and maximize working hours and more based on your configured objectives, such as “minimize travel time” and “maximize working hours.”
  • This is not available in Trial Instances. You need to purchase an RSO Add-on, and its cost is $30/user/month. Also, you should have at least one purchased D365 Enterprise Edition license.

Q8: What are Agreements in Field Service? How are they different from Entitlements?

 A: An agreement in Dynamics 365 for Field Service provides the framework to automatically generated work orders and invoices. They are ideal for preventative maintenance-type work.

  • An agreement allows you to choose how often work orders will be generated (for example, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly) and the details of the work order (such as incidents, products, services, and service tasks).
  • Entitlements for work orders allow field service organizations to dynamically apply price lists and discounts to work order products and services based on work order attributes and date range factors. This parallels how organizations might offer case entitlements in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service.

 Field Service Mobile App

Q9: What is the Field Service Mobile app? How can it benefit organizations?

 A: Field Service for Dynamics 365 brings the power of field service with smart scheduling and resource management to mobile devices. The Field Service Mobile app gives field technicians the information they need to get to a customer location and complete work orders quickly.

Q10: Where can I get the Field service mobile app?

 A: To get the mobile app, search and download Field Service Mobile by Microsoft from Windows, Apple, or Google Play app stores. Field Service Mobile requires Field Service versions 7.5.5 or 8.2+.

Q11: Which pre-settings I would require to use the Mobile app?

 A: Before field, technicians can use the Field Service Mobile app, a Customer Engagement administrator needs to install the Field Service Mobile configuration tool and related mobile project.

You need to install the Woodford solution for Dynamics 365 (by Resco) prior to using the Field Service Mobile app.

Q12: Can I use the Field Service Mobile without Internet Connection?

 A: Yes! Field Service Mobile (mobile) lets you work online or offline. Online mode requires an Internet connection; offline mode does not.

  • The system administrator configures the app to sync when it launches, when information changes, or every few minutes.
  • When you’re working online, information continuously syncs with the server, so you don’t need to sync your device manually. To work offline, simply tap the offline button.
  • When you're working offline, the information you need is downloaded to your device.

 Q13: Can a Field Technician use it to complete a work order?

 A: The Field Technician can deny/accept a work order, see the location of work order on a map, update work order details, add notes, pictures, recordings, and even create a follow-up booking if the customer is not satisfied. The technician can also close the work order after taking the customer’s signature once the job is done.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service

Q14: How much does the Field Service module cost?

 A: The Field Service costs $95. per user per month. The Remote assist for Field Service mobile (an advanced add-on for the mobile app) comes with a price of $65. per user per month. The basic customer engagement plan that’s mandatory with Field Service comes with a price of $115. per user per month.

If you are interested in evaluating Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service contact us online, at 877-600-2253 or [email protected].

Find out why Crowe should be your Microsoft Dynamics 365 specialist.

By Uma Kaliaperuma, Crowe, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner www.CroweCRM.com

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM 

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