Customer Engagement & Dynamics CRM Forum


By Dian Taylor posted Sep 15, 2020 12:55 PM


In July 2020 the release notes for wave 2 came out for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform and on August 3rd we were able to enable these features for early access. I’m writing a series of articles on these new features. Previously I wrote about the updates in Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Customer Service Part 1 and Part 2. In today’s article I’ll discuss Dynamics 365 Field Service features and updates. There were also a lot of updates for Dynamics 365 Field Service in this release which means I will also break this article up into two parts. In this first part I will discuss the following topics:

  • Functional Locations and Asset Hierarchy
  • New Work Order Summary Report
  • Enhanced Requirement Work Hours Calendar
  • Dynamics 365 Field Service Mobile App Enhancements
  • Travel Outside Work Hours (RSO ONLY)
  • Inspections generally available

Functional Locations and Asset Hierarchy

This is definitely one of my favorite new features in Dynamics 365 Field Service, maybe also because this has been an item on my wish list for quite some time! This feature allows users to build out physical spaces at a customer location, without having to use the account entity. We will use the new ‘Functional Location’ entity to build out this hierarchy of locations. Let’s say that at the customer account A. Datum Corporation there are several spaces like floors which might have several conference rooms, a mail room and a lobby and a roof area is where the AC is located. There are also two additional buildings that have a different address. Using functional locations we can build the hierarchy of these physical locations. Additionally we can associate customer assets to these locations as well so we will be able to show where exactly a customer asset is located. This is going be very helpful for technicians as it will help them understand where exactly they would need to perform the work and where the customer assets are located. Functional locations can have addresses associated with them, but I wouldn’t enter addresses if they reside in the same building as the account (I.E Different floors, conference rooms, mailroom, lobby etc). If you would setup a functional location for another building that would have a different address, then you should enter the address at the functional location record. This is used so that when a work order is created that is related to a functional location that has a different address than the related service account, it will override the address on the work order.

Functional Locations have a N:N relationship with the account entity, so if you need to reuse them for a different (sub) account you can do this. However, it’s really easy to build out the functional locations! You can access functional locations from the service area in the field service app under Assets. They are also accessible on the account form as a tab called “Assets and Locations’ has been added to the account form. You can very quickly add functional locations by right clicking on the ellipse on the right side and selecting ‘+ New Location’. And guess what?! You can move functional locations around by dragging and dropping them on the screen. WHOA! Neat feature!!

Now that we’re discussed functional locations and how we can associate them to accounts, I also wanted to mention that these locations are also available on the work order record. (This is also why it’s important to make smart decisions on when you want to give a location its own address). When a functional location is picked for a work order, it will use the address on the functional location. If there is no address, it will use the address of the parent. This is why you would want to give buildings a different address, but not floors or conference rooms. Please check out my video below that goes deeper into this type of functionality. Other places where functional locations can be used is Agreements and Cases. When work orders are generated from either of these entities, the functional location will be mapped over to the work order.

New Work Order Summary Report

There is a new fancy looking Powerbi report/dashboard added to Dynamics 365 Field Service. You can access the report by opening the Dynamics 365 Field Service app where it’ll show under the new ‘Analytics and Insights’ section. There are several filters on the top of the screen that you can use to filter the data. You can select a date range, and/or filter on the following fields:

  • Customer
  • System Status
  • Work Order Type
  • Sub Status
  • Service Territory
  • Technician (this includes all resource types)

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that at some point the PBIX file of this powerbi report will be shared with us so that we can make tweaks to it if necessary.

Enhanced Requirement Work Hours Calendar

In this article I wrote about the work hours calendar for resources that had been changed to a much nicer experience. This change happened in 2020 Release Wave 1. In this release the same enhanced experience has made it to resource requirements. You can take a look at the enhanced work hours calendar by navigating to the service area of the Dynamics 365 Field Service app where you will find ‘Resource Requirements’ under the ‘Scheduling’ section. When you click the Modify Calendar button on the command bar you’ll see the new updated look of the calendar.

Dynamics 365 Field Service Mobile App Enhancements

When you log into the Dynamics 365 Field Service Mobile model-driven app, you’ll see there are a lot more entities that have been added to the app. Click on the hamburger icon on the top left of the screen to see the a list of entities. You’ll see that ‘Products’ have been added to the ‘My Work’ section. A new section called ‘Assets’ has been added containing ‘IoT Alerts’, ‘Functional Locations’ and ‘IoT Devices’. The ‘Other’ section has been removed. Another new section is ‘Time Reporting’ where ‘Time Off Requests’ (moved from the ‘Other’ section) and ‘Time Entries’ have been added.

When a technician opens a booking in the Dynamics 365 Field Service Mobile app they’ll see a few improvements. The booking status field has changed from a lookup to a drop down field which makes it easier to select a status. When accessing the Customer tab the address fields are merged together which makes it easier to read while taking up less space in the form. When clicking the edit button a popup window will open with all the address fields listed.
All sub grids with no data will show an action to add a record (I.E Add work order service) and grids that have data will show up to five records.

According to the Microsoft docs site there are some additional updates:

  • Push notifications to send alerts to technicians – I wasn’t able to find where to enable or configure these. When I scheduled work to myself there was no push notification, which makes me think this feature will come later.
  • Customized Reporting – coming later
  • Offline enhancements (such as sync performance improvements, manual force sync, and the app runs offline by default).
  • Record service with photos, videos, and files up to 32 MB.

Travel Outside Work Hours

This feature is for RSO only, so if you or your organization are not using RSO (Resource Scheduling Optimization) then you can skip over this part. This feature allows us to configure resources to allow for travel time outside of their set work hours. Here is an example. Jack’s work hours are from 9AM to 5PM. We can configure Jack’s resource record to allows Jack to travel for 30 minutes outside of his work hours. This means that 30 mins before or after his shift starts or ends, he can be scheduled to travel. So if we have a work hour that requires 1 hour of travel time, we can schedule this work to Jack which will start at 8:30 AM (30 mins outside of his work hours). Whether or not someone can travel outside of work hours and how much time is allowed to travel outside of their work hours to be configured on the resource record. Take a look at the video below for details.

Original Post:

1 view