How to Use Universal Resource Scheduling URS With Dynamics Field Service

Author: Charter Global
Published: February 26, 2019
Categories: Microsoft

Universal Resource Scheduling (URS) is a Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement solution. In essence, it enables organizations from many different industries with different scenarios to assign resources to jobs and tasks.

URS can be used to assign the best resources to tasks and projects based on:

  • Availability of resources
  • Required skills
  • Promised time-frames
  • Business units
  • Geographical territory, etc

URS are very useful to field service organizations that often use it to schedule mobile resources to location-specific jobs and tasks (or work orders) as their resources travel to various locations. Next, URS schedules the resources with closest proximity to work orders, as work orders are generally performed onsite. So, this eventually reduces travel time and costs.

URS schedulers are very effective for finding and assigning the most relevant resources for a job or requirement. From simple maintenance, repair work, installations to anything else, URS finds the best people for the job with ease and speed.

Additionally, URS comes with the Field service module and can be seen once field service has been installed.

Creating Work Orders

One of the most important components of field service are the work orders.  This helps define the kind of work that needs to be performed. With URS, it is possible to find the best hands to perform tasks at a given time.

Below are the major components of Field Service and URS:

  • Bookable resources (URS)
  • Resource requirements (URS)
  • Work orders (Field Service)
  • Resource bookings (URS)
  • Schedule tools – schedule board, schedule assistant (URS)
  • Resource Scheduling Optimization (installed separately) (URS)

There are also three scheduling options available based on the level of automation. These are:

1. The schedule board- which allows for drag and drop

2. The scheduling assistant- a semi automated tool

3. Resource scheduling optimization- a fully automated tool which needs to be installed separately.

How to Book Resources for Work Orders Using URS

To book a resource for work orders in field service using URS you have to follow the following steps-

Firstly, create a work order with all necessary information.

Once a complete work order is created and saved, there is a related requirement entity which is generated based on the work that needs to be performed.

This requirement entity is what helps find the resources needed for the work order. It is what is assigned to the resources.

There can be a 1-1 relation between requirements and work orders but a work order can have multiple requirements as well.

Once a requirement is created it inherits a range of information from the work order including:

  • Name (work order number text)
  • Work order (lookup reference to work order)
  • Work location (typically set to onsite by default, meaning a latitude and longitude must be set. Location agnostic work orders are supported)
  • Latitude
  • Longitude
  • Service Territory
  • Duration
  • Start / End date
  • Priority
  • Characteristics
  • Preferred/restricted resources
  • Fulfillment preference

Additionally, work attributes can also be edited in the requirement before scheduling it.

Finally, once a work order and requirement are ready to go and scheduled then you can use the URS to find the most suitable resource for the job.

URS Uses

There are several ways to use URS for scheduling. One is by using work orders and requirements, and then clicking on the book button on the top ribbon. This kick starts the URS assistant, which shows the available resources for the work. The resources listed are based on their characteristics for the specific work and their availability.

Other ways to book a work order is through the schedule board which gives a drag and drop option. Now, here you can even reschedule or reassign a work order if needed.

In addition, the resource scheduling optimization is a fully automated way to book appropriate resources. It runs on predefined criteria and can be activated with the run now button on the ribbon (but it needs to be installed and configured first to be used).

Charter Global

In conclusion, good resource management involves an understanding of how much effort a task requires and assigning the right person for the job. So, the Charter Global team also offers a resource management solution that empowers global project teams to make the best out of project scheduling optimization, workload balance, and a general increase in productivity.

This article was written by Shashank Harsh for Charter Global.

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