Field Service: Appointments - Log - Calendar: What are your thoughts?

  • 11 June 2021
  • 7 replies
  • 732 views

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

We are a field service company. We have multiple staff on one appointment and may have multiple appointments in one day. I want to minimize any pain with using tablets and software in the field. We are experiencing several “pain points” in Acumatica and I’m interested discussing how others are solving or working around issues.

Some of our Big Pain Points:

Appointments: Workflow no longer restricts what actions can be performed.

Appointments: Paused status, staff can start a new log line. Once Appointment is Started, another log line is added.

Appointments: Once Appointment is complete and a needs to be reopened, it clears the logs or if the Timecard is processed, you can’t Reopen.

Appointment: It takes too many clicks to Pause, Start, Complete a line. Expectation is it should function like a stop watch or the old time punch cards.

Appointment: When completing one appointment and starting another, time is lost or a back date has to take place by the staff. It would be ideal if there was some type of Complete Appt and start Next option.

Calendar: Almost useless. It gives a view of expected Appointment times but there is no update with actual. If it’s going to show expected, it should also show actual logs. Or there should be another calendar that shows logs.

 

What are your thought on these or post your own.


7 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

@amajors we are also a field service company and ran into similar hindrances. See my notes below. I’d be happy to get on a call with you to share ideas. 

Some of our Big Pain Points:

Appointments: Workflow no longer restricts what actions can be performed. Not sure what you mean by this, but workflows can be customized to allow/restrict certain actions as needed. 

Appointments: Paused status, staff can start a new log line. Once Appointment is Started, another log line is added. Pausing appt, then resuming appt will complete log line 1 and create log line 2 with in process status. We informed our techs not to create new lines and let the system create it for them. This was not an issue for us, thankfully. 

Appointments: Once Appointment is complete and a needs to be reopened, it clears the logs or if the Timecard is processed, you can’t Reopen. Agree that this is a pain…. We had to implement strong checks and balances and ingrain the procedures in our techs. It is not often, but when we do have to reopen appointments, we have to deal with this reality. 

Appointment: It takes too many clicks to Pause, Start, Complete a line. Expectation is it should function like a stop watch or the old time punch cards. Our businesses may be different, but we don’t really mess with the line statuses. We have techs use the Log and associate that with a service line item so the status updates from the Log. Our techs Start appt, create log, perform work, change log to completed, change service line status to not finished or leave it completed, then Complete Appt. It is a handful of steps but it’s been reduced as best as it can be in our use case.  

Appointment: When completing one appointment and starting another, time is lost or a back date has to take place by the staff. It would be ideal if there was some type of Complete Appt and start Next option. 

Calendar: Almost useless. It gives a view of expected Appointment times but there is no update with actual. If it’s going to show expected, it should also show actual logs. Or there should be another calendar that shows logs. Yeah the calendar board is way behind the competition in terms of dispatching capabilitie. We’ve been working with Acumatica to make meaningful enhancements (coming in the next year or so). 

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Hi @amajors

I have a couple of suggestions and questions to you 

  • Appointment workflow: as a recommendation, if you still want a dropdown to indicate a custom stage, create events and color code an inquiry you can use User Defined Fields or Attributes. 
  • Appointment Pause/Resume Status: you mention that you have experienced problems with these actions, could you explain these?, would you be willing to go in a call with us to share your experience and what would be your expected result? 
  • Appointment Reopen action: what is the reason behind wanting to reopen a completed appointment? you do not need to reopen the appointment to make corrections, you can do this when the Appointment is in status Completed
  • Appointment number of clicks: this is something we are constantly working on improving. If you are willing to join in a call with us, we could discuss your workflow and maybe offer some notes on how to reduce the number of clicks. 
  • Appointment, start next automatically: I have created an Idea with this item

    Calendar, show actual: I see you already created an idea with this item

  •  

Let me know your thoughts, 

Anacarina Calvo

 

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

Hi @amajors

I have a couple of suggestions and questions to you 

  • Appointment workflow: as a recommendation, if you still want a dropdown to indicate a custom stage, create events and color code an inquiry you can use User Defined Fields or Attributes. I have considered this and may do this. The main issue at the time the old workflow was disabled was the way the actions changed based on the workflow status. We had instances where guys in the field were clicking actions that they shouldn’t have selected causing issues.
  • Appointment Pause/Resume Status: you mention that you have experienced problems with these actions, could you explain these?, would you be willing to go in a call with us to share your experience and what would be your expected result? ​​​​​​​We have multiple staff on appointments. Sometimes there were bugs in the versions that caused issues. Some of the staff start at different times on appointments. All the logs were started because it was easier to set it up to auto create logs that would need to edited than to have the users remember to create logs from scratch. The mobile app would take way too many clicks to for someone to pause or start new logs and the menu was confusing to them because they would end up pausing the whole appointment instead of their log line. They might be going to lunch but others on the appointment may continue to work Than resuming the whole appointment would cause extra lines or travel lines to appear and need to be deleted. I really had to customize the mobile app menus to get us to a usable state.
  • Appointment Reopen action: what is the reason behind wanting to reopen a completed appointment? you do not need to reopen the appointment to make corrections, you can do this when the Appointment is in status Completed I don’t recall all of the reasons this happened. Some of it had to do with staff not being on the correct appointment and their logs should have been on another appointment. Some of it may have been still trying to learn the system and accidentally opening resulting all logs being lost.
  • Appointment number of clicks: this is something we are constantly working on improving. If you are willing to join in a call with us, we could discuss your workflow and maybe offer some notes on how to reduce the number of clicks. Just setup a meeting and our team would love to help talk through this.

Thank you for creating an idea!

 

Userlevel 3
Badge

Abe, thanks for your questions. Sean, thanks for your answers. I learned from this. Improving the calendar board is very important when we try to convince prospects to buy the Acumatica Field Service Edition. ToonSix@intercs.com

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

@amajors we are also a field service company and ran into similar hindrances. See my notes below. I’d be happy to get on a call with you to share ideas. 

Some of our Big Pain Points:

Appointments: Workflow no longer restricts what actions can be performed. Not sure what you mean by this, but workflows can be customized to allow/restrict certain actions as needed. They removed the “workflow stages” restrictions. I know that you can now get into a workflow window to change how things flow but we used the workflow dropdown to indicate where a job was at in its process. It was a nice field to create events and color code inquiry with.

Appointments: Paused status, staff can start a new log line. Once Appointment is Started, another log line is added. Pausing appt, then resuming appt will complete log line 1 and create log line 2 with in process status. We informed our techs not to create new lines and let the system create it for them. This was not an issue for us, thankfully. We have had all kinds of problems with the mobile app and the Start/Pause/Resume/Complete actions. I had to end up disabling some of the actions in the Mobile so our techs would stay bought into the system. There were so many errors and bugs it was awful. 

Appointments: Once Appointment is complete and a needs to be reopened, it clears the logs or if the Timecard is processed, you can’t Reopen. Agree that this is a pain…. We had to implement strong checks and balances and ingrain the procedures in our techs. It is not often, but when we do have to reopen appointments, we have to deal with this reality. 

Appointment: It takes too many clicks to Pause, Start, Complete a line. Expectation is it should function like a stop watch or the old time punch cards. Our businesses may be different, but we don’t really mess with the line statuses. We have techs use the Log and associate that with a service line item so the status updates from the Log. Our techs Start appt, create log, perform work, change log to completed, change service line status to not finished or leave it completed, then Complete Appt. It is a handful of steps but it’s been reduced as best as it can be in our use case.  We have multiple staff on one appointment and they take different breaks or have different time. It was (and still needs improved) not user friendly to use the mobile app to manage time/logs.

Appointment: When completing one appointment and starting another, time is lost or a back date has to take place by the staff. It would be ideal if there was some type of Complete Appt and start Next option. 

Calendar: Almost useless. It gives a view of expected Appointment times but there is no update with actual. If it’s going to show expected, it should also show actual logs. Or there should be another calendar that shows logs. Yeah the calendar board is way behind the competition in terms of dispatching capabilitie. We’ve been working with Acumatica to make meaningful enhancements (coming in the next year or so). 

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Hi @tfacemyer 

 

The action of Pausing an appointment will look into the Log tab and any line with status In Process will be changed to status Paused and time will be captured on the End Date and End Time.

The action of Resuming an Appointment will look into the Log tab and resume any line with status Paused, this is, the system will add new Log lines with status In Process, will capture the time on the Start Date and Start Time columns, and any line that had status Paused will be changed to status Completed.

If the system is not behaving in this way, please create a case.

 

We currently do not have any integrations with the companies mentioned but will review their information to gain some additional feedback as we can continue to improve the design & functionality in the Calendar board area.

 

On the mobile app, improving the usability is a something that we are constantly working on. A suggestion to simplify the UI would be to hide unused fields, actions and tabs using security rights, to simplify the process for the employees.

 

Hope this answers the questions. If you would like to discuss further, please let me know and we can schedule a call.

 

Anacarina Calvo

I have struggled terribly with Acumatica Field Service. We do multi-day appointments quite often and in testing on 2021R1, the pause function on the mobile app is not reliable. We spend more time doing timecard reworks than it’s worth. The scheduling function is very clunky also and there is no calendar integrations that I am aware of. It would be great if Acumatica integrated with Housecall pro or Workwiz. Or..redesigned the module in a similar fashion to those very easy to use apps.

The mobile app is pretty complicated to use for the techs as well and we have issues with the time it takes the tech to fill out information. Having to find the different tabs on the mobile app that are a very different layout than the web app makes training and accuracy a difficult thing to achieve. 

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