Using D365 Portal Enabling Contractors to Digitally Capture Customer Sign-Off

One of the business requirements that we have been working on is to digitally capture a customer sign-off on a time sheet and output this to PDF.

On the face of it this is a routine requirement but there were several conditions that required us to look beyond the regular Dynamics 365 mobile apps.

In delivering its support services to students the company receives funding from a government agency. This work is carried out through a network of external contractors who individually work autonomously and don't hold a corporate email address for this organisation.  

To remove any bottlenecks from the process and ensure that the company receives payment from the government agency the crucial requirements were:

  • The company's contractors must sign a time sheet when a job is completed and have this countersigned by the student
  • Once signed, the time sheet must be automatically output as a PDF to provide supporting evidence for invoicing 
  • For reporting and audit purposes this must be an entirely paperless process with each completed time sheet, including signature images, stored in Dynamics 365

The company works with as many as 1500+ contractors, often on an infrequent basis. As these aren't employees or external users that will regularly update the system we needed to identify a solution beyond the regular mobile apps available to D365 users.

We found that the most effective approach would be to deploy a Dynamics self-service web portal.

Using the Field Service app, processes have been developed to create Work Orders when new requirements are received. Once a job has been allocated to contractor they will be assigned a time sheet that they must sign together upon completion.

The Time Sheet entity is published in the D365 web portal which enables contractors to log-in as portal users where they can manage these assigned jobs.

To complete a sign-off they'll enter an arrival time and track how long the engagement lasted including details of any breaks to ensure the correct time is billed.

To capture each sign-off, our developers have configured the Time Sheet record on the portal to include signature pads that are completed by both parties. This can be easily done using a mobile, Surface or within a desktop browser.

More detail about how to add a signature pad to Dynamics 365 can be found in this post by SMS Management and Technology.

A URL path for each signature image is tracked in Dynamics 365 and each image is displayed on a Portal Time Sheet record as shown below for the customer / student and the contractor / learning provider.

To complete the process and enable completed Time Sheets to be easily provided in support of new invoices issued we firstly created a workflow that automatically outputs the Time Sheet to a Word template. 

Finally, using Microsoft Flow a further automated process is run to converts these Word documents into PDF files.

With the company processing several hundred Time Sheets each week this is a vital process for the business. Thanks to Dynamics 365 and other connected Microsoft technologies we've been able to successfully demonstrate how the company can work smarter by transforming the handling of these workflows. 

To learn more, or if you need help with a similar requirement please get in touch!

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