A Brief Guide to FieldOne for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

*** OCT 2016 UPDATE - Field Service is now part of Dynamics 365 ***

Read an updated post about our Field Service solutions

A Walk-Through Tour of Field Service for Dynamics 365


Towards the end of 2015 Microsoft announced the availability of FieldOne Sky for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

As the name suggests FieldOne is a field service management solution for generating work orders, scheduling these service requests and equipping field personnel with resources that empower them to do their job with maximum efficiency.

This includes using a mobile application to log completed jobs against a work order and in depth analytics for clear insight into field service activities.

Built into the framework of Microsoft Dynamics, FieldOne Sky leverages its existing service capabilities and extends CRM with brand new field management entities. This features a scheduling service to calculate and optimize work orders making it an obvious solution for organisations that want to develop smarter processes that cut travel time, optimize resources and reduce costs.

By connecting Dynamics CRM with FieldOne service delivery is transformed to create happy clients and profitable processes.

What type of people use FieldOne?

Field Personnel

FieldOne Sky is for organisations that have teams of field agents delivering work on their behalf.

This can include: health & safety inspection, heating and air conditioning engineers, plumbing and electrical contractors, appliance installation and servicing, surveyors and maintenance and cleaning personnel.

With FieldOne and Dynamics CRM, agents receive job notifications by text, email or phone. Using the mobile app they can see scheduled work orders, read job notes, get driving directions, manage stock and parts on their van, take notes and upload images.

The FieldOne mobile app means that agents are able to accept new work orders, confirm they are on their way to the next scheduled job and submit sign off confirmations when work is completed, or create a follow up work order if another visit is needed.

Despatchers

Back in the office, dispatchers create work orders, schedule these jobs and notify field agents when a new service request has been scheduled and allocated.

Thanks to the integration with Microsoft Dynamics integration they can automatically calculate location and travel time, check available resources to schedule efficient service visits all from within the CRM interface. A future update will also include the option of adding route optimisation for an incremental cost.

Each work order can have an incident type to define the service task to be performed, the skills needed, required parts and duration of the job. This profiling can then be used to source the most suitable individual for the job based on a combination of factors which can include their availability, competency, inventory and other factors.

Having created work orders the dispatcher posts them to the scheduling board.

This provides a graphical representation of the status for scheduled work and resource availability enabling informed decisions to be made about when items can be completed. Options are available for both manual and automated scheduling of work orders.

The work schedule is the command centre for despatchers. This combines a map, Gantt view and job details tab enabling routine actions to be carried out including scheduling planned orders and seeing a graphical overlay showing the regional location of their team today.


Managers

With a wealth of field service available in CRM, managers can utilise dashboards to measure performance and use this insight to drive service delivery improvements and prevent potential issues.

Field Management & CRM - Integration in Action

Here’s a workflow example to demonstrate how a full process cycle is handled by the integrated CRM and FieldOne solution, from an initial service request to resolution.

A service request comes in from a client reporting a faulty air conditioning unit. Their staff are starting to shiver!

The service representative triages the call and logs a case in CRM.

The individual can see this client has a maintenance contract with a service level agreement. It’s clear that an on-site visit is urgently needed to fix or replace the malfunctioning unit. This case needs escalating!

These actions alert a despatcher in CRM to schedule a priority visit.

By applying the FieldOne Sky capabilities that now exist in CRM the despatcher can rely on its powerful algorithm to automatically schedule a new work order based on the client's location, unit type and agent availability.

FieldOne has found a slot in the schedule this afternoon. An agent is scheduled to complete a separate installation job by noon at another site 25 miles away. The engineer has a spare unit on his van so this new order is booked for 1.30pm.

The engineer receives an automated alert instructing them to attend this site.

It turns out the motor had failed so the replacement unit is fitted, the client has signed off the completed job and their staff are now warming up.

This job detail comes back to CRM which means this action could then trigger an automated email asking the client for their feedback – which is again tracked and reported in CRM.

This is just a simple example to highlight the efficiency resulting from the integration between these products and it underlines CRM’s increasing role as a hub that connects all key processes to a single interface to improve processes and gain greater insight across all business areas.

CRM Entitlement

May 2016 Update: Initially launched as FieldOne Sky for CRM Online, this solution has now been rebranded as the Field Service module for Online edition and On-Premise (in preview initially) and is available for an additional cost.

FieldOne Mobile App

As highlighted the FieldOne mobile app is a crucial component in this process to keep field agents in sync and work offline.

This is based on the Resco mobile app for CRM and a limited licence for its use is included as part of a separate Microsoft agreement for Dynamics CRM Online Professional and Enterprise licences that must first be completed.

Essentially, for any clients who are not currently using the Resco mobile app this agreement provides access to the essential FieldOne functionality only. To access the full Resco mobile capabilities, i.e. non FieldOne functions, would require a separate purchase.


Conclusion

Whereas CRM was primarily regarded as a tool for sales, marketing and office based service teams its integration with FieldOne Sky is further evidence of Microsoft Dynamics growing footprint with the addition of fully end to end servicing.