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Demystifying Resource Configuration in Dynamics 365 Field Service, Part 1 of 2

Demystifying Resource Configuration in Dynamics 365 Field Service, Part 1 of 2

Dynamics 365 Field Service offers a wealth of configuration options for the resources you will be scheduling. Microsoft’s documentation describes these configurations without context making it difficult to understand their overall impact on the system. Never fear, PowerObjects is here! Our goal with this 2-part series is to demystify the configuration settings and help you understand the system-wide impacts. Let’s start with some basic definitions:

Requirement Groups allow you to create multiple requirements that must ALL be met before a work order can be booked. Each section of the requirement can have multiple options for meeting that one requirement.

Resource Crews allow you to schedule a group of people all together. Every resource in the Crew is booked. For example, if you have a group of folks who always work together putting new roofs on houses and they have a special truck with their tools, you would want to put those resources together as a Crew.

Resource Pools allow you to book a group of people without assigning any specific resources to the job. Unlike a crew, all members of the pool are not necessarily scheduled when the Resource Pool is booked. Imagine if you have a group of 10 people who perform demolition services. Every day you need to divide those people up into 3 different worksites, depending on the workload at those sites each day. You could book the Pool 3 times in one day and then assign the individual people to those 3 bookings once you know how much work needs to be done at each site.

OK, now let’s jump into demystifying configuration settings. We’ll start at the very beginning with the Bookable Resource record.

Bookable Resource Record

Let’s begin completing the Bookable Resource record:

Resource Type: How do you know which one to choose?

  • If the resource has a license in your Field Service system, select User.
  • If the resource is a person or company that you’re paying to do work for you, select Contact (person) or Account (company).
  • If the resource is a piece of equipment (such as a truck, specialty tool, or machine), select Equipment.
  • If the resource is a group of people (and their machines) who typically work together, select Crew.
    • If the group sometimes works together and sometimes doesn’t, you’ll want to investigate Requirement Groups. We previously blogged about scheduling multiple resources with requirement groups in a three-part series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
  • If the resource is a physical space (such as a building or a room), select Facility.
  • If the resource is a group of people with a similar set of skills or capabilities, select Pool.

Time Zone

It may seem obvious to consider the time zone for the Resource, but we’re mentioning it anyway. When your Resource opens a booking, the date/time for that booking is going to adjust based on the time zone selected on their Resource record – NOT the time zone selected in their personal options.

You may need to remind Resources to be certain their personal options for time zone align with the settings on their Resource record. Otherwise, everyone could end up confused.

Start Location and End Location

This is one of those selections that’s going to have a BIG impact throughout the system. You need to think carefully about your setup. In order to use Resource Address or Organizational Unit, you need to have your system connected to maps and have geocoding active.

If you’re planning to use Resource Scheduling Optimization (RSO), you must have the Start Location and End Location for each Resource, and they must be the same. Otherwise RSO will give unpredictable results.

  • Location Agnostic means that this resource won’t be going onsite to perform work. In other words, it doesn’t matter where they’re located because they won’t be traveling.
    • We don’t intend for these folks to travel, so they don’t show up on the Schedule Board in search results.
  • Resource Address indicates that the Resource is going to be starting at their “official” address.
    • The option selected under Resource Type (User, Contact, or Account) tells you the record type that will hold their official address.
    • For Users and Contacts, the official address is typically their home address. For Accounts, the official address is typically a business location.
    • The record that holds the official address needs to be geocoded for this selection to work.
  • Organizational Unit presumes the resource will be starting at the address listed on the Organizational Unit record.
    • The Organizational Unit record must be geocoded for this selection to work.

Display on Schedule Board and Enable for Availability Search

Again, seems sort of obvious, but let’s take a look. If you have Resources that are going to be manually scheduled (such as Tier 2 support folks who only respond to emergency calls or operate as backup when Tier 1 gets behind), you’ll want to display them on the schedule board, but not enable for searching.

And that’s it… you can now click Save and you’ve created a Bookable Resource. Congratulations!

In Part 2 of this series we look at the other associated items that impact scheduling for our Resources.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

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