The recent Resource Scheduling Optimisation update for Dynamics 365 Field Service provides a new soft booking lock feature helping you to avoid double-booking resources.

Resource management and scheduling are at the heart of field service management. Resource scheduling is a powerful tool for service organisations to triage unscheduled work orders/cases and assign the nearest eligible technicians to deliver service to customers.

Soft booking locks reduce double resource bookings

Historically, the resource scheduling optimisation feature in Dynamics 365 Field Service left existing bookings scheduled with the preferred resource/time requested, leaving it up to the dispatcher to make the final decision on which resource to allocate where.

As part of Microsoft’s 2022 release wave 2 plan for Dynamics 365 Field Service, the new booking lock enhancement helps schedule many jobs simultaneously, maximising overall utilisation and minimising total resource travel time. The new booking lock option gives customers the ability to constrain scheduling by resource and/or time (see figure 1). This means that if a resource or time slot is already booked, the system prevents other jobs from being scheduled in that allocated resource or time slot.

Figure 1 – Scheduling lock options field in the Resource Scheduling Optimisation

With the implementation of this new feature, the Resource Scheduling Optimisation function has been greatly improved to avoid overlapping bookings associated with soft booking lock constraints. It now handles the soft booking lock constraints similarly to the hard booking lock constraints. This update means it is now more difficult for dispatchers to accidentally schedule overlapping bookings, reducing the overall risk and enhancing the scheduling quality as a result.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of this new enhancement are:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Greater scheduling accuracy, by preventing duplication of bookings for the same timeslot, enabling more efficient management of time
  • Each resource is assigned to only one job at a time, avoiding unnecessary travel or downtime by field service agents
  • Greater visibility into the scheduling process, allowing potential conflicts to be identified and adjustments made to optimise scheduling.

When is it available?

The new feature is available now and is applicable to all customers looking to optimise their work order scheduling.

The lock constraint improvements are a valuable addition to the functionality of Dynamics 365 Field Service. Combining this feature with the automated scheduling capability, resource optimisation and more, can help empower organisations to drive process management and automation.

If you would like to find out more about how Incremental can support your Dynamics 365 Field Service implementation, please contact us.