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What are Booking Journals? Field Service Booking Journals summarize the working, travel, and break time across technician activity records and use that information to calculate an internal resource cost. This summarization process may not be transparent and can at times be confusing. But with a little time, Booking Journals can become a useful source of information.
To understand how Booking Journals fit in, we will first review the Work Order process and the important Field Service entities used in this process.
Let’s start with a story.
Who, what, when, where, why, and how are the basic questions in creating any story, and Field Service work is a type of story. There is a technician who works on an asset at a time and place for certain reasons and in certain ways.
All this information is stored in several Dynamics 365 entities. Field Service Work Orders answer the where, what, why, and how questions. Field Service Bookable Resource Bookings (or just Bookings) answer the who and when questions.
The Work Order entity holds the service location, asset, issue, and a list of tasks to perform.
The Booking entity holds the name of resource (technician) and date and time they are supposed to perform the work.
Note that there may be more than one booking for a work order, either because there is more than one technician required, or one technician is scheduled across more than one day.
A dispatcher normally schedules an appointment for a technician to start the process. The technician then changes the status of the Booking to indicate progress. So, a Booking can have statuses of:
Field Service creates a time tracking log, and then converts that log into blocks of time. Booking Timestamps holds the activity log. The Booking Journal holds the summarized activities. Both entities are under the Work Order.
The Booking Timestamps entity holds the date and time of status changes. It is an activity log of when activities start and end, and when the entire Booking starts and ends.
The Booking Journal entity holds a summarization of these activities. It converts the timestamps into blocks of time corresponding to resource pay types:
Summarizing the above six Booking Timestamps results in four Booking Journal records:
The Journal Types are mapped to the Resource Pay Types in Field Service settings.
A Resource Pay Type is simply a markup percentage to apply to the resource hourly rate.
These Resource Pay Types can be used to track costs for a booking. Field Service will multiply the Hourly Rate field in the Field Service Resource record times the Hourly Markup % field of the mapped Pay Type, times the duration of these blocks of time.
Consider this example:
The hourly rate applied to the Duration is $45 ($30 x 150%) and the Total Cost field in the Booking Journal will be $67.50 (45/hour x 1.5 hours).
Booking Journal records are only created when the Bookable Resource Booking is set to a status of “Completed.” Canceled bookings will not have Booking Journal records.
The process used by Field Service to summarize Booking Timestamps into Booking Journals is a bit complicated.
What can be confusing is that any activity outside of normal working hours is considered overtime, or business closure. So, travel, working and break time are summed together.
In this example, work hours are defined at 8 AM to noon, and 1 to 5 PM. Here, all the timestamps are outside of normal business hours on a day when the business is not closed.
How does Field Service summarize this? As one block of billable overtime for billable and non-billable activities; traveling, break, and working hours.
Also, no Booking Journal records are created if the Booking status is Canceled, even if there has been billable activity.
Outside of the standard fields in Dynamics 365, the important used fields are:
|msdyn_billable||If this journal is billable. Display Name: Billable. Type: Two Options.|
|msdyn_duration||The total duration of this journal record. Display Name: Duration. Type: Whole Number.|
|msdyn_endtime||The end time of this journal record. Display Name: End Time. Type: Date and Time.|
|msdyn_journaltype||Type of journal. Display Name: Journal Type. Labels: Working Hours, Break, Travel, Overtime, and Business Closure. Type: Option Set.|
|msdyn_starttime||The start time of this journal record. Display Name: Start Time. Type: Date and Time.|
|msdyn_totalcost||The total cost the company pays to the resource. Display Name: Total Cost. Type: Currency.|
|msdyn_unitcost||The hourly cost the company pays to the resource. Display Name: Unit Cost. Type: Currency.|
Dynamics 365 entities can be enhanced with new fields, workflows, and plugins. Some examples:
Use these notes as a guideline to what Dynamics 365 Field Service 8.x offers, and what can be modified, and when to transfer time tracking to other software.
As this is an introduction to Booking Journals and not the full features of Field Service resource handling, please see the references for additional information.
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