As adoption of Sage Service Operations (SSO) is being widely accepted within the Service Management client base, a major consideration is the use of “Assignments” and where they should best managed. It is my opinion to transition from the Service Management method of resource assignment upon a successful adoption of SSO within your organization in an attempt to eliminate confusion during product on-boarding and transition.
Dispatching and Managing of Field Personnel
For clients that have incorporated Sage Service Operations (SSO) into their organizations, almost immediate gains of efficiency are being realized in the dispatch and management of field personnel and subcontractors. While Service Management offered assignment tracking and dispatch via the DBoard, SSO leverages this functionality seamlessly and near-time to the field personnel actually performing the tasks. The “old-school” way of waiting for schedule call-ins, paper service tickets and timesheets are essentially eliminated. The visibility of a field personnel’s schedule, tasks, and work to be performed is available via the web on platform agnostic devices.
What are resource assignments and how does the functionality differ between programs?
First off, SSO is an extension of Service Management and Job Cost and can potentially provide cross-functionality with your field personnel. Do you need a tech in the morning to work on a job installation task and then have them perform an emergency call in afternoon? SSO can be used to assign these segregated tasks as the day progresses. As the technician performs their tasks for the day, they will receive automatic updates via their phone and/or internet connected device to reflect changes to the scheduled assignments.
Earlier I mentioned that scheduling and dispatch can be done in either Service Management or Sage Service Operations. This is an important concept and requires consideration as to which method you wish to use. While SSO has a modern interface for scheduling and is, in my opinion, easier to use, some clients have opted to stay with service management due to familiarity. Ultimately, your configuration is determined via settings in the SSO Admin portal.
Work Order Assignment
The most common assignment is a “Work Order” assignment and is tied to a service location in Service Management. Additionally, assignments can be to Jobs via a Job View pulldown located in the Dispatch Scheduler. For Service Management based activities, assignments can be made by either the SSO Scheduler or directly via the assignments tab in a Workorder.
If using the Scheduler view, select the view from dropdown in left grid and simply drag the appropriate workorder, recent activity or job to the Technician or Subcontractor on the right grid. Your selection can be assigned to multiple individuals and/or subcontractors as necessary. If you are a “Supervisor” only the respective resources assigned to your user role will be available for assignment. Filters and Groups can be created to limit the resources and left grid pick list items available for selection.
By selecting the appropriate time frame, it is possible to view schedules daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. If using the Alt Day option, users display timeframes similar to Service Management DBoard.
As in the service management module, roll assignments is available to roll uncompleted work to another day.
To view the assignments for a specific workorder, simply click on the workorder in the grid. It is also possible to manage technician call-in activity in the same view. In the event a Technician or Sub does not have access to an internet connected device to manage statuses and time collection it can be managed directly by another individual such as a Supervisor or Dispatcher with rights to do so.
Assignment of Jobs to Personnel
One of the more interesting uses of SSO is the assignment of Jobs to personnel, subcontractors and equipment. Leveraging the SSO interface to Job Cost enables tracking and dispatching resources from one interface which historically has been segregated. Jobs are simply accessed using a drop down in left grid of dispatch scheduler.
Once the job is selected, use the job drop down to expand the cost codes assigned to job. Select the appropriate codes and drag the code to the appropriate party to be assigned to perform the work. Multiple parties can be assigned to a cost code as necessary.
Expanding the functionality of SSO to create Daily Field Reports enables Supervisors, Project Managers, etc to track resource assignment for projects they are responsible for.
Once the field report is created, use the Assignments tab to create job specific assignments for Employees, Subcontractor and Equipment.
Assignments created for jobs appear in the user assignments page in SSO when they are logged into system
Once a resource selects the appropriate assignment, they click on it to complete the activity associated with it.
Resource assignment can also be created for Jobs outside of a Daily Field Report. Assignments created outside of a Daily Field Report will not be reflected in the report. The functionality is essentially same as those created above.
All assignments for a specific job can be managed in the Job page located in SSO. New assignments can be created here as well but as previously stated will not reflected in Daily Field Reports.
All Facets of Field Operations
As discussed above, Sage Service Operations (SSO) can be leveraged to manage resources for not only Service Management but also Job Based activities. Through continuous client feedback and adherence to industry best practices, SSO has evolved into a product suite cable of bringing field operations for all facets of the construction and service industry to the back office seamlessly and competitively.
I hope this article has informed the audience to some of the basic fundamentals of the product, and resource management specifically. By no means is it a document touching on all of the features, functions and benefits of the Sage Service Operations suite. As a matter of reference, the Sage Training Manual for SSO was used for screen shot presentations.
If you have any additional questions about this or any Sage 300 CRE associated products, please contact us for a comprehensive overview and demonstration.
Authored by: Paul Mink, Senior Sage 300 CRE Consultant