Scheduling Services in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

Scheduling Services in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

The Service Calendar in Microsoft CRM 2013 allows you to view your organization's daily, weekly and monthly schedule of service activities and appointments.

Services can be scheduled in the calendar based upon available resources, location, capacity and effort required.

The key functional areas and entities used for scheduling a service in the Service Calendar are:

  • Resources
  • Work Hours / Capacity
  • Resource Groups
  • Sites
  • Selection Rules
  • Services

Follow the steps below to setup some basic rules-based service scheduling.

Define your resources

The first thing you need to do is to define which users and resources are required to deliver your services.

Users

Navigate to Settings > Administration > Users

Create your user or select an existing user. Select the chevron next to the user's name and then select the 'Working Hours' entity:

You will now be presented with a calendar view of that user's working hours.

Double click on the calendar to open the 'Edit Schedule' window and select your chosen edit option.

In the 'Weekly Schedule' window you can now define the days that your user works and specify any business closures that must be taken into account.

Click on the 'Set Work Hours' hyperlink to define the working hours, breaks, service restrictions and capacity requirements for that user. See the note below about Capacity versus Effort.

Save your changes and repeat the process for any other service users.

 

  • Facilities / Equipment

    Navigate to Settings > Business Management > Facilities Equipment

    Define your resource and work hours exactly as you have defined your service users but from this different screen. See the note below about Capacity versus Effort.

  • Resource Groups

    Once you have defined your resources (users, facilities, equipment) you can add them to groups. For example, you may want to split your Engineers into groups based upon their experience level e.g. Senior Engineers and Junior Engineers.

    To define your Resource Groups, navigate to Settings > Business Management > Resource Groups

 

A note about defining Capacity and Effort (excerpt from the online CRM Help Files)

"You can set up services and resources in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to take into account different-sized facilities or the experience levels of your users when a service is scheduled. This is known as capacity scheduling. Capacity is a relative unit that you define. For example, you could define capacity in a bicycle repair shop as the number of bikes the shop has room to accommodate at the same time. If a repair bay has room for four bike-repair stations, the repair bay can accept four bikes for repair or inspection at the same time.

Capacity can also measure skill level. For example, a junior bike technician has the ability to perform one bike inspection per hour, and a senior technician has the ability to perform four bike inspections per hour. If two bikes must be inspected in one hour, it takes either two junior technicians, or one senior technician who can perform the inspections in half the time.

When you add effort required into the selection rule, every time a user searches for an available service activity time, the selection rules inspect the resources for capacity available. If the resource is scheduled, then that resource's capacity is reduced by the effort required for the service. This is repeated every time that a service is scheduled requiring that resource, until the capacity is exhausted.

Capacity is defined in the resource's working hours. Effort required is defined in the service. You can think of capacity as "how much money you have" and effort required as "how much something costs."

For example, the repair bay has a capacity of four. A bike repair requires an effort of one and a tandem bike repair requires an effort of two. The first time the repair bay is selected, its capacity is reduced to three for that time. The next service activity scheduled is for a tandem bike. This reduces the repair bay's capacity by two. The repair bay has the capacity of one left, which means it could accept another bike repair, but not a tandem bike repair."

Define your Services


Your services and their selection criteria are defined in Settings > Business Management > Services.

Firstly you need to define the name of your service,

Next, you can build your selection rules for how resources can be selected against your service activities.

Selection rules can be simple rules that select a resource from a list or they can be nested rules and sub rules to create more complex selection criteria.

When you add your Selection Rule, you first need to define how many resources should be selected and from which site. At this time, you can also specify what Selection Criteria is to be used and you can enter the minimum Capacity score that is required for this service activity.

Once you have selected Quantity, Site and Capacity, you are then able to select which resources and resource groups can be selected to deliver this service activity.

Schedule a Service Activity in the Service Calendar

The Service Calendar is available in Services.

Service Activities can be created in the Service Calendar as well as normal Appointment activities and will appear as a colour block.

Your service resources are listed on the left hand side of the calendar and you have the ability to see a daily, weekly or monthly view for a defined date range.

To schedule an activity, click on the 'Schedule' button at the top of the calendar.

The 'Schedule Service Activity' window will open. In this screen you need to select one or more Customers, the required Service and can also filter on Resources, Site and Dates/Times.

Click on 'Find Available Times' and the system will use the selection rules defined against your Service to propose all Resources with availability and capacity to meet this service activity requirement.

Select your preferred time slot and click on 'Schedule'.

You will then need to give your Service Activity a Subject heading before you Save and Close.

Your Scheduled Service Activity will now appear in the Service Calendar against the selected resource:

The following table shows the predefined colour coded blocks within the Service Calendar:

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