Crew dispatching is a feature in ESC that is used to group technicians to simplify dispatching. This will allow you to add multiple technicians to the dispatch schedule at once rather than manually entering each one individually.
For example: an Install Crew may have multiple Techs assign to the same job over the course of a few days, weeks, or months, etc.
To create a new crew, go to Dispatch → Enter Technicians, and create or recall a Technician who will lead the crew. Manually enter the crew name in the Member of Crew field and hit the Save button. To assign more Techs, recall or enter another Technician to add to the crew on the same screen. In the Member of crew field, click on the combo box to display a list of existing crews. Select the desired crew and save. Repeat this procedure until your entire crew has been created.
Dispatching a Crew
Create a dispatch normally on the Dispatch Entry screen. Before saving it, go to the Schedule tab and click the Add Technician button. Crews will appear at the top of the list. Select the desired crew and click Add.
Set the date and time you want the crew to start work and click OK.
This will automatically place all the members of that crew on the dispatch with the same promised date and time.
From this point forward, any time you change the status of one crew member you will have the ability to change the status of all the members of that crew. Simply answer Yes when prompted to update the status of all technicians or No to track their times separately.
Changing Crew Members
At some point you will need to change the people who make up the crew. ESC makes this process easy. Simply recall the technician you want to work with on the Enter Technicians screen and change the contents of the Member of Crew field. Select another crew from the list, manually type in a new crew name or clear the field to remove the technician from all crews.
Note: This has no effect on dispatches that have already been assigned to a crew. It only changes the crew members that will be assigned to new dispatches created from this point forward.
Deleting a Crew
To delete a crew, make sure no technicians are currently assigned to it. You can quickly see which technicians belong to crews by double clicking the tech on the Enter Employees screen.
Select the technicians that are still assigned to the crew you wish to delete and either clear the Member of Crew field or assign them to another crew. Once the last crew member has been removed, the crew will disappear as well.
Note: This has no effect on dispatches that have already been assigned to a crew. It only prevents the crew from being used on new dispatches from this point forward.
Written by Enrico Chatman
Featured in January 2010 Newsletter