Schedule qualified resources

Completed

A resource is a person, piece of equipment, or facility that can be scheduled to work on an item. Not all organizations use the same dispatching models when they schedule resources to conduct work. For example, a professional services company that specializes in break-fix scenarios may primarily schedule internal people to conduct service work. A big box retailer, however, may only use independent contractors to do things like install carpet, kitchen cabinets, or appliances. You may also have companies that schedule consults with customers. In those scenarios, they may need to not only schedule someone, but also a room and/or a machine to help in the consult.

Dynamics 365 Field Service allows organizations to define the resources that they need to schedule items in the application.

Organizations can define the following types of resources:

  • Account: Defines a resource associated with a Dynamics 365 account record. These typically represent external organizations that you leverage to perform work. For example, you might define an account resource to represent a 3rd party company you use to handle carpet installations.
  • Contact: Defines a resource associated with a Dynamics 365 contact record. These typically represent individuals outside your organization such as an independent contractor that does installation services for your company in a specific area.
  • User: Specifies the resource as an internal user working for your organization. These typically represent employees and are mapped to a Dynamics 365 user record.
  • Equipment: Defines resources that represent a specific piece of equipment, such as a large piece of machinery, mobile workstation, video projector, or another item.
  • Crew: Represents multiple resources that are always scheduled together as group and are not scheduled individually, such as a cleaning or survey crew.
  • Facility: Represents a facility that can be scheduled such as a building, room, or service bay.
  • Pool: Represents a pool of resources that have something in common such as all being electricians or tied to a specific region. Pools are typically used as placeholders, until an individual member of the pool is assigned to the item.

Which type of resources an organization defines is going to depend on their use case scenarios. To explain a little more, let’s look at an organization that provides cleaning services to both large organizations and individual households.

  • Large Organizations: Typically, when dispatching cleaning services to large organizations, companies will have cleaning crews consisting of multiple people. In this scenario it is important that all the members are being scheduled together at the same time. For this reason, we would create a cleaning crew resource that would include multiple individual resources.
  • Individual Households: Here, we are not likely scheduling multiple people but rather a single resource to clean an individual home. Even though you are still scheduling people to provide a cleaning service, the approach is slightly different because you are dealing with a single resource vs multiple resources. For this reason, we would just define the individual resources that provide the cleaning services.

Scheduling Resources

Now that we understand the types of resources we need to schedule, we need to ensure they are qualified to work on the items being scheduled. Different items typically require resources who have specific qualities in order to be scheduled for the item. For example, if you are scheduling someone to perform a security system install on a specific brand of security camera, the person being scheduled should likely be a certified installer and have experience installing that specific brand of security camera.

To facilitate these scenarios, you can define skills and roles that can be added to items being scheduled and resources that can be scheduled to work on items. When an item is scheduled, resources that possess the skills and/or roles defined on the record will be suggested as options.

The options available include:

  • Resource Roles: Specifies role(s) in an organization that can be associated with different resources. Roles can be added to specific recourses and schedulable items like a work order to ensure that only resources with that role are suggested as people to work on an item.

    • Examples of common resource roles include: developer, solution architect, technician, and functional consultant.
    • A single resource can have multiple roles assigned to them. For example, a resource may have a developer and technician role assigned to them.
  • Resource Skills: They specify a specific skill or certification that can be associated with different resources. Resource skills can also be used to support specific scenarios where resources may need to possess specific access to something, like a building or need a specific level of security clearance.

Examples of Resource skills include:

  • A certification like A+, MSCE, etc.
  • A skill set like C#, Azure, Exchange, etc.
  • Access or security clearance like Building 12 access, or level 1 security clearance

It is very likely that a single resource might have multiple skills assigned to them.

  • Proficiency Models: Are used in conjunction with resource skills to define how proficient someone is on an item. Proficiency models can be leveraged to define different types of scenarios.

Product Proficiency

Security Clearance

Familiar

Level 1 Clearance

Good

Level 2 Clearance

Skilled

Level 3 Clearance

Highly Skilled

Level 4 Clearance

Master

Level 4 Clearance