With organisations of all sizes operating across various geographies, keeping on top of budgets and expenses is crucial for operational efficiency and a great customer experience in the current economic climate.

For any organisation that provides a service, setting financial expectations, budgets and agreements is integral to managing successful work orders and relationships. Landing in April 2023, the not-to-exceed (NTE) function from Dynamics 365 Field service allows organisations to effectively manage their work order costs. This is an especially useful function for businesses and organisations that routinely manage work order costs from multiple sources. Now, organisations can assure clients they can stay within a pre-approved work order cost, streamlining the communication between clients and service providers.

How does it work?

The “not-to-exceed” (NTE) function is a way to set a maximum limit on the cost of a work order, which helps manage costs and ensures that they do not exceed a certain amount without approval, at any time throughout a work order lifecycle.

For example, the below figure shows a NTE value set to $1,000 with cost margin 20% for a specific work order.

Figure 1 – Not-to-exceed form with record details

This function provides a new layer of assurance to both customers and contractors, allowing the service provider to stay within the pre-approved costs given by the customer. This limit also ensures that frontline workers, including vendors and subcontractors, stay within the pre-approved cost for work orders, mitigating the risk of these going overbudget.

Business users can also set up NTE values for ‘price’ and ‘cost’ on work orders. These values are automatically applied to the work order based on the customer, incident type and location of the work. Alternatively, business users can enter NTE amounts directly on the work order. This gives business users more certainty on the financial expectations of a particular work order, helps them to manage costs and keeps them in line with customer or vendor expectations.

Additionally, notifications are easily set up to alert service managers and frontline workers when the NTE value is nearing or exceeding budget. This can help prevent overspending and ensures that the customer’s financial expectations are met.

What are the benefits?

To summarise, the benefits of this new NTE feature are:

  • Streamlined communication between contractors and service providers
  • Costs of work orders are pre-approved, improving operational efficiency
  • Gives businesses more clarity on outgoings and budget requirements by providing visibility of forecast spend on larger work orders
  • Effective monitoring of expenses and tracking if work order value is exceeded
  • Improves client/service-provider relationships.

When is it available?

This feature will be available to customers in April 2023 and is applicable to any customer who has a limit on what they can charge their customer without requesting approval. This feature is also suitable to customers who set limits on the work order cost which is especially useful when vendors are contracted to perform the work.

Setting a NTE value ensures that costs stay within the pre-approved limits, allowing customers to track when an NTE value is exceeded, which can be useful for monitoring expenses and keeping them in check.

The NTE function is 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 help support with your Dynamics 365 Field Service implementation, please contact us here.