When Microsoft introduced Dynamics for Field Service back in 2015, a new era of Field Service Management (FSM) has been started. But also did Microsoft change the DNA of the Dynamics portfolio by adding verticals to the Dynamics platform for the first time.
Field Service was a solution that could be found in the ERP side of solutions. Because a Field Service engineer had to fulfill workorders where planning and time management, stock and inventory management, asset management and invoicing were crucial functionalities. And they still are of course, but where ERP systems are very robust and reliable, the nature of an ERP product makes it hard to implement changes fast and this situation limited the efficiency of the Field Service employee every day.
The reason why Microsoft changed the Field Service solution from the ERP side towards the CRM side of the Dynamics platform was to add agility and flexibility to the Field Service solution. A robust process is now maintained and supported by a super flexible product Dynamics 365 Field Service while the robustness is still maintained in through the CDS. And that is needed.
Let’s start with the customer. You can imagine that having a Field Service engineer at your place for fixing the heater for example is not a complex process. It is what we call a linear process. First step is to get in contact with the Heating company to explain the problem. They offer a solution to send a Field Engineer over. You accept the offer and the Field Service Engineer is dispatched. His task is to fix the heater and close the task. He might have used out-of-car-stock products to fix the heater and he needs to write is labor. That will be invoiced to you. And then you’ll pay the invoice. So far so good, and basically many companies are doing Field Service this way.
But the world changed, and within the process many touchpoints with the customer are now needed. If we use the above example, you can imagine that while planning the engineer, you want to know what time exactly the engineer arrives. Or better, you want to follow the engineer on his route. But also does the company in the example wants to know from your side how the heater is performing, so reading the sensors of the heater could lead to a better diagnosis of the problem. Which could lead to sending a more experienced engineer, or an engineer with the right equipment (or both).
Now your heater is fixed you don’t want to get into these problems again. So you want a subscription where your heater is maintained preventatively. And to check what’s going on, you installed a heater app to control and manage the heater. The heating company send you an invite to explain your experience with the app to manage your expectations, just to get the question answered: How can they improve their service? Don’t forget to press the hare button…
The functionality of the Field Service product completely changed from a simple reactive ERP process to a personalized pro-active connected service. Dynamics 365 Field Service is created with that flexibility in mind. The Dynamics 365 Connected Field Service receives the IOT sensor data, where it is connected to a customer Asset. This Asset is maintained by the workorders which are used to dispatch Field Engineers. With the resource management and planning tool, the complete planning of dispatched engineers is created and the Field Engineers can use their mobile app to see the details of the Workorder. From that point they can see their service tasks, view the customers dossier and read the sensor data. When fulfilling the workorder the Field Engineer is able to write is used inventory products and labor. While saving the invoice and the customer survey is send.
Field Service Resources
Field Service overview: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service/overview
Field Service Community: https://community.dynamics.com/365/fieldservice/b/fieldservice
Field Service on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLNvs4itqQM
2020 Wave 2 New Features: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365-release-plan/2020wave2/service/dynamics365-field-service/
Steven Vlaanderen Oldenzeel
Partner Technical Architect for Business Applications
Microsoft Western Europe