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Travel Time in Field Service

Travel Time in Field Service

Post Author: Joe D365 |

Tracking and minimizing travel time is critical for a field service organization’s success as it helps to lower operating costs. In addition, travel time estimates can help you communicate with customers more effectively by allowing you to give smaller time-range windows for arrival. And if your business allows you to charge customers for travel time, Dynamics 365 Field Service can automate that process for you.

There are several steps required in configuring your system to track travel time, both for estimating and potentially for charging on invoices. This blog will help you navigate the various steps easily.

The first step in tracking travel time is to determine your purpose. This will help you decide which configuration steps are needed in your system.

  • Give customers accurate arrival estimates
  • Schedule resources coming from different areas and make sure they arrive at the same time
  • Charge customers for travel time
  • Respond efficiently to emergency calls

Let’s start with the configurations needed, regardless of your purpose.

STEP 1: Enable Bing Maps

1. Navigate to Resources > Administration > Scheduling Parameters > Resource Scheduling.

2. Set Connect to Maps to Yes.

  • Follow the screen prompts to complete setup.
  • Bing Maps key will be applied automatically during setup.

3. Set Auto Update Booking Travel to Enabled.

  • This will update the travel time when you move a booking.

4. If you want to see Bing Maps on the Work Order or other forms, see Option Step #1.

5. LEGACY INTERFACE: If you prefer to use the legacy interface, follow these steps.

  • Navigate to Settings > Administration > System Settings.
  • On the General tab, scroll down to Enable Bing Maps and set to Yes.

6. OPTIONAL: To show Bing Maps on Work Orders and other forms.

  • In the legacy interface, navigate to Settings > Administration > System Settings.
  • On the General tab, scroll down to Enable Bing Maps and set to Yes.

Privacy Notice: When you connect to maps and enable geo coding, information is sent to Bing Maps. This includes schedule configuration and location-relevant work order details. This allows Bing Maps to determine the geo location of a specific address and calculate distance and travel time between locations.

STEP 2: Auto Geo Code Addresses

1. Navigate to Field Service > Administration > Field Service Settings.

2. Set Auto Geo Code Addresses to Yes.

  • While others may say this step is optional, we consider it necessary.
  • If this step is not enabled, then your Users will have to manually geo code every address in order for your travel time tracking to work.

STEP 3: Configure Resources

1. Navigate to Resources > Resources.

2. Ensure all of your Bookable Resources have the following settings on the Scheduling tab.

  • Display on Schedule Board is set to Yes.
  • Enable for Availability Search is set to Yes.
  • Start Location and End Location both contain data.
    • Depending on your settings, you will need to make sure Resource Address or Organizational Unit are geo coded also.
    • For more information about how this setting impacts scheduling and how to properly set up resources, see our 2-part blog on Demystifying Resource Configuration in Dynamics 365 Field Service: Part 1 of 2 and Part 2 of 2.

3. Ensure all of your relevant Work Orders have Work Location set to Onsite.

STEP 4: Configure the Schedule Board

1. By default, travel time is shown as separate from working duration.

2. If you want to turn that feature on or off, open Schedule Board Settings and adjust accordingly.

STEP 5: Configure Travel Charge information

NOTE: This step only applies if you will be charging travel time on invoices sent to some or all of your customers.

1. For each Service Account where travel time will be charged, open the Account record and navigate to the Field Service section.

  • Ensure the record is geo coded.
    • If you turned on auto geo coding above, then this has already been done.
    • If not, then select Geo Code on the menu bar.
  • Select an option for Travel Charge Type.
    • Hourly: charges for the actual travel duration.
    • Mileage: charges for the miles traveled.
    • Fixed: charges a set amount.
    • None: won’t charge travel time for this account.
  • OPTIONAL: Supply a monetary value for Travel Charge.
    • This will only be used if the product used for travel charges is not on the price list specified in the work order AND the product has no list price.
    • If all of the customers who you charge for travel pay the same rate, you should put that information on the product itself as the List Price or add this product to your Price Lists.
    • If each of the customers who you charge for travel pay different rates, then you should use this field.

2. Navigate to Field Service > Settings > Field Service Settings > Field Service.

3. Specify a product in the Travel Charge Item field.

  • This is the Product that will be detailed on invoices and is handled just like any other product in your database. It is subject to the same pricing rules as all other work order products and services.

4. OPTIONAL: Specify a Travel Pay Type in the Resource section.

  • This will separate travel pay from other types of pay for your Resources.

That’s it! In just 5 (relatively) easy steps, you’ve configured your system to automatically calculate travel time and add travel time to invoices where appropriate.

A Few Items from the “Also Good to Know” Category

  • The out-of-the-box travel time tracking functionality only supports calculations based on driving (not walking or flying).
  • You can enable real-time traffic info on the Schedule Board Map view. However, travel time calculations do not include traffic considerations.
  • Real Time Mode allows you to use a field technician’s mobile device running the Field Service Mobile app to show their current location at all times.
  • You can use Resource Schedule Optimization (RSO) to minimize overall travel time. RSO includes graphs that compare total working time to total travel time for analysis.
  • When booking manually, the Schedule Board will show travel time for all resources from their current location to the location on the Requirement being booked. (This is limited to resources that are within the Radius specified.) This allows Dispatchers to make a more informed decision when scheduling emergency work.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more tips and tricks. Happy travelling!

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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