Service Management in Business Central

How ExpandIT integrates with Dynamics 365 Business Central Service Management

Dynamics 365 Business Central Service Management is typically used to manage service contracts, service orders, and service items.

It provides the ability to identify parts for a service item, such as the original bill of material; keep a service history of items; ownership history; and warranty claims. It provides the ability to identify parts for a service item, such as the original bill of material; keep a service history of items; ownership history; and warranty claims.

Let’s look at service contracts, service orders and service items in detail:

Service Contracts

Service contracts within Business Central provide key pieces of functionality including:

  • Set up maintenance cycles per service item.
  • Define billing cycles.
  • Set up warranty pricing across contracts.
  • Schedule service which includes multiple different service items over different periods but on the same exact contract.
  • Automatic generation of service orders based on the contract details.

Service Orders

Service orders are typically what ExpandIT Field Service software integrates with. Important features of service orders in Business Central include:

  • Service orders allow a customer to create a record of what needs to be serviced and what was serviced.
  • Service orders are similar to sales orders but have lines which are found on the service item worksheet. This is very similar to the planning lines found on a job.
  • With service orders you can have one or more service items on the order itself and each of those items can have its own service item worksheet.
  • Service orders have reason codes which enable a company to track errors and the reason behind those errors. This leads to better business decisions and adjustments to forecasts and costing.

Service Items

Service items are not required for service orders but if you are wanting to use Business Central for the historical tracking it is definitely suggested to use them.

    • Service items define what needs to be serviced and link to the service item worksheet, which has the details behind what makes up that service item.
screen shot of service item worksheet
  • Service items allow a customer to track historical information against a single item. Components of a service item can be tracked as well as other service items and inventoried or non-inventoried items that make up the end item.
  • Service items also allow you to track the customer, the current shipping location of an item, the warranty start and end dates for an item, which includes the ability to create a percentage you may charge or credit in that time frame, and it also allows for troubleshooting guides.
  • Within service items there is a skills feature which allows the customer to specify a skill set required for a service item. This can be matched to a resource for planning purposes to make sure that the right person and equipment is sent out to a job.
  • Resource lines can be added to a service item to define the hours expected to be at the site. With these detailed lines on the job you are building the budget of the service request.

Business Central and ExpandIT workflow

Below is a quick overview of the connection points and workflow between Dynamics 365 Business Central Service Management and ExpandIT Field Service software.

  • A service order, and possibly a service item worksheet, is created in Business Central. The service order and all of its data is pulled from Business Central into ExpandIT.
  • The service order is planned in ExpandIT and the field technician consumes the time and materials. The time and materials are approved and the data is sent back into Business Central. Time and materials are consumed in the Business Central service order.
  • ExpandIT is able to pull data from the Business Central environment through an extraction of data which can be run multiple times per day. The extraction of data is all the new and modified records.
screen shot of table in Business Central
  • The ExpandIT planning board allows the dispatcher to know what new work needs to be completed. If the service order is created in Business Central, it is pulled into the ExpandIT system without duplicating work.
  • All needed information for planning is automatically pooled when the extraction process runs while pulling the service order.
  • ExpandIT also pulls in service items and the service item worksheet details if they are entered in Business Central. This is displayed on the work order in ExpandIT.
  • Once all of the information needed for planning is in ExpandIT the dispatcher is able to quickly drag and drop the service order onto the planning board. A work order is created which holds all of the details from Business Central and will have planned visits against it.
  • Any resource or equipment, that needs to be scheduled to get the job done, can be linked together. Once the work order has been planned and is in a status of appointed or accepted it is visible to the mobile device of the resources or resource assigned.
screen shot of Planned Lines in ExpandIT
  • Within the work order all of the details from the service order are visible and able to be edited.
  • The service item from Business Central goes to the task tab in ExpandIT. The service item worksheet from Business Central is on the lines tab in ExpandIT under the planned lines. From here additional material or resource lines can be added to get the correct information to the field technician.
  • All of the details that were pulled from Business Central are on the work order in ExpandIT. This is visible to the mobile user without having to re-enter or double enter anything.
  • If the service order is set up with all of the service items and service item worksheet details the only thing to manually enter from ExpandIT is the planning entry (scheduling).
  • The service technician can see the work order, view all work details, and track time. It is possible to break out travel time and work time based on the work types within Business Central.
screen shot of time approvals
          • When the approved time and material orders and statuses are complete the data is sent back into Business Central. The tables in ExpandIT can be viewed, edited or resolved if there are any errors.
          • The records are converted so they can be consumed in service order in Business Central. The actual time and material is sent to the service lines page at the service item level.
          • Once the data is on the service lines page you can determine what needs to be shipped, invoiced, and consumed.

ExpandIT provides a Field Service Management solution for real-time data access and mobile technology that makes it possible to reduce field technician frustration and improve customer satisfaction. The ExpandIT solution is cloud-based and accessible from any location, at any time, on any device. Whether on a tablet in a factory or on a mobile phone in the field, ExpandIT software provides access to critical job information and the ability to track key job-related tasks.

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