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Blogs 19 March 2018

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service

Fieldservice

Expand the effectiveness of your field service engineers 

Microsoft launched Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service in 2017, but the consultants of Dynamic People already implemented this unique solution for Handicare in Heerhugowaard before the official release date. It was the very first time that this platform – at that time known as Field One – was deployed in the Netherlands. “We had faith in this technology from the beginning and so did Microsoft,” declares Kevin Hendricks. “The acquisition of Field One was of strategic importance to Microsoft, because on the service site they had a lack in their portfolio.”

Handicare installs stairlifts on site for disabled and elderly people. For the scheduling of the field service engineers the planning department was using a field service application that was not directly linked to the CRM. “As a result of that, certain administrative actions had to be done twice. That is not only a waste of time, it also increases the chance of making errors. Nevertheless, Handicare was a pioneer because they started with a field service application in an early stage where others still try to plan their service activities without the help of any field service module and that is very laborious and inefficient.

My advice to all these companies with engineers on the road is to have a look at a similar company to see how they have organised and structured their planning with a field service module. It will open their eyes and show them directly the great benefits of it. It does not necessarily have to be the Microsoft solution, although for me there is of course only one taste. Field Service is a full grown solution that can compete with the best, even with the ones that have been on the market much longer,’ states Kevin.

“The biggest advantage of Field Service is that it fully integrates with – and even becomes a part of – Microsoft Dynamics 365. In the situation that this is the CRM that you are using – and that was also true for Handicare – this is the logical next step. These types of implementations are quite time consuming and as a consequence of that also expensive so if you can build on further on the existing CRM you can limit the expenses for the implementation.”

The cutting edge of Project Service and Field Service …

Functional and technical consultant Kevin Hendricks has a good knowledge of nearly all the ins and outs of most Microsoft products. He understands the need of service oriented companies to optimise the deployment of the field service staff and resources. “Sometimes people think that Microsoft 365 for Project Service is the ideal package to plan these kinds of actions, but I am convinced that Project Service is positioned for a higher level. We implement Project Service when a company plans projects over a long period of time. With that sort of projects you have to deal with different issues like the formation of teams with a variety of tasks, monitoring the progress of the projects and the project costs and invoicing.

Both solutions have been developed to schedule people and time. But when the main focus of a company is service and repair work, there is no doubt that Field Service is the preferable choice. It offers everything you can wish in terms of tracking, routing, planning of Service Level Agreements and so on. One does not exclude the other, because there certainly are customers that make use of Project Service and Field Service as well. It can go hand-in-hand perfectly, as they both fully integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and they both make use of the same innovative schedule board. So you just have one single scheduling board that shows you everything at a glance.”

An essential tool for proactive and connected field service

Dynamics 365 for Field Service helps the back office to manage and instruct the field service engineers proactively. Customers can be informed better than ever before about the time of arrival, the time span and the work done. This results in happy customers.
“You can optimise your resources and make your technicians more effective. Time, equipment, routes and follow-up actions can be planned very efficiently. This way the planning department has total control and the engineer that is driving around can manage everything on his mobile devices. It has become an indispensable part of the traditional tool box. Field Service is a great value-add for every service oriented organisation with a clear customer focus. Call us for an appointment and we will demonstrate to you how Field Service can help you to improve the productivity of your employees and how it will improve the customer satisfaction.”