The Electronic Dispatch Board's (EDB) seven day view is a great way to see when dispatches are scheduled, how long they should take and find available slots in your schedule for new dispatches. Using this view makes it is easy to identify potential scheduling conflicts before they occur and reschedule them. When using this view, however, it is also important to reschedule the dispatches you didn’t complete each day.
The main reason for this is that each day when you log in to ESC the seven day view starts out showing the current day. If you don't scroll up on the board, there is a VERY good chance you will forget about the dispatch and end up with a frustrated, unhappy customer. The problem gets worse if you ignore it. In this situation the dispatch board now has to calculate and display all dates between your oldest dispatch and a week from today. All it takes is one dispatch with a promised date older than 4 months ago to start slowing your dispatch board down noticeably.
So, in order to keep things running properly, you need to keep pushing all incomplete dispatches for the day to the next day or fit them in to an open slot in your schedule. There are two main scenarios that you will run into that will require a dispatch to be pushed forward. Scenario one: a technician didn’t make it out to the job scheduled for that day. Scenario two: a technician needs to go back to finish the job on another day.
The first scenario is the easiest one to handle. If a technician didn’t make it out to the customer's site that day, all you need to do is drag the dispatch to a new date and time on the dispatch board. Alternately, you can recall the dispatch on the Dispatch Entry screen and change the promised date and time for the dispatch on the schedule tab.
The second scenario requires a few more steps because you will need to keep track of the time the technician has already spent on the job. In order to do that properly, you will first have to place the dispatch in an “Off Job” status. After that has been accomplished, change the status back to "Pending". Once it is in “Pending” status you may drag this dispatch to a new date and time slot on the EDB or manually change the promised date and time on the dispatch.
Do this on a daily basis and you'll make sure no calls slip through the cracks and your dispatch board continues to function flawlessly.
Written by Randy Cole
Featured in August 2010 Newsletter