Dispatches in ESC have a lot of capabilities and features, but that doesn't mean they are difficult to create or manage. Creating a single dispatch in ESC really takes only seconds.
Creating the Dispatch from the Customer
- The first thing you'll want to do is recall their profile in the Customer Center. This can be achieved by clicking on the Customer Center button on the icon bar and then using the Search field on the toolbar to locate the customer. The search panel has the ability to find a customer by their name, address, phone number, email address, contact names or even by keywords in their Location Notes.
- The selected customer's information will show in the Detail panel on the right side of the screen. This allows you to determine if the customer is eligible for service and if there are any special requirements.
- From here, you may either right-click on the customer and select Add Dispatch from the menu that appears, or click the Add Dispatch button in the Detail panel.
- You will immediately be brought to the Dispatch screen. All required fields will already be filled in for you and you will be able to Save this dispatch at any time. The Default Lead Time in your dispatch settings will set the Promise Date and Time for you under the Schedule tab and it will be assigned to your default technician.
- You'll want to select a Service Request Code under the General tab to tell your technician what the issue is and/or what work needs to be performed. You may also wish to enter more detailed information in the Dispatch Notes.
More detailed information about all of the other fields and what they can do can be found in the Dispatch Screen Overview.
All mandatory fields will be filled in by ESC when the dispatch is generated, so it is possible to click Save at any time. However, we do recommend visiting each tab and entering as much information as you have.
Set the Schedule
- If you wish to schedule this dispatch for a specific technician immediately, you can do so by clicking on the Schedule tab. Select the Technician you wish to send by clicking either the Add Technician button and double-clicking on the Technician's name or click the drop-down menu in the Technician field.
- The Date Promised and Time may also need to be set for the time that the technician should be arriving at the customer's house (the time quoted to the customer).
If you do not wish to set the Technician and Time yet, the dispatch will appear under your default technician on the Electronic Dispatch Board. You may then schedule the dispatch right from the board.
If you know what equipment the technician will need to focus on, you can tell them by heading to the Equipment tab and putting a check next to any unit that needs to be serviced.
To edit or add information on a piece of Equipment, highlight the item and click the Edit button. If you need to add a new piece of Equipment, click the Add New button. Enter as much information as you have and then click OK on the Edit Equipment box.
You can also add Inventory Items and Billing Codes to a dispatch. This will tell the technician what they need to take with them to perform the service. It also makes ordering parts for the dispatch or building a quote faster. When the dispatch is invoiced, those parts will automatically be carried to the invoice.
- To add parts, click on the Parts tab.
- Select the Warehouse the parts will be pulled from.
- Begin typing in the part number or click the drop-down arrow to open the Inventory Search screen to enter the item you wish to add.
- If necessary, update the Quantity and Price fields for this item.
- Repeat for every item that needs to go along with this dispatch.
Creating Dispatches from the Dispatch List
It is also possible to create new dispatches directly from the Dispatch List. This option will not automatically fill in a customer's information for you. So creating new records from the Customer Center is normally the recommended method.
- Start by clicking on the Dispatch List button on the icon toolbar.
- Click the Add Dispatch button on the toolbar. This will bring you to the New Dispatch screen. The only information that will be filled in will be your default settings: Dispatch Number, Date/Time Received, Type, etc.
- The first field at the top is the Customer field. Here, you'll want to type in the name of the customer (last name first) in order to assign this dispatch to a customer. You can also click the drop-down arrow to the right of the field to open the Customer Search screen.
The Customer Search screen will allow you to look up the customer you wish to assign to this dispatch by their Last Name, Location Name, Address, etc. Click on the customer Billing or Location address to assign them to the dispatch.
- Now, you may continue creating the dispatch with the same steps as above: fill out the Service Request Code, Dispatch Notes, etc.
- Click Save on the toolbar and the dispatch will immediately be available for viewing and scheduling on the Electronic Dispatch Board.
More Ways to Dispatch!
There are several places in ESC that will allow you to generate a dispatch quickly.
- There's an Add button on the toolbar of the Electronic Dispatch Board that will allow you to create new dispatches right from any board.
- The Quote and Sales Invoice screens both will allow you to generate a Dispatch from the Activities menu. Dispatches created from a Quote or Invoice will carry over the customer information, parts and billing codes, as well as any Job or Agreement numbers added to the transaction.
- Agreements will generate dispatches when customers are due for service visits. The Schedule tab of the Agreement will track the customer's service patterns so that it knows when each customer is due for a visit. When a user runs the Post Schedule to Dispatch option under the Agreements menu, any customer due for service within the chosen time frame will have a dispatch created for them.