A new, exciting and smoking hot feature for URS (Universal Resource Scheduling) was released in EMEA just earlier this week. It is the ability to enable quick scheduling for any entity in Dynamics CE that uses URS. How? Where? And why? Let’s take a look.

When do I need Quick Book?

Even though the Scheduling Board is probably the strongest feature in URS, there are several scenarios where it’s a bit too complex and unnecessarily rich on information. Say you are a sales organization that uses URS for scheduling those initial meetings for your sales representatives where they travel to the customer location. You also have several people who book these meetings for the sales representatives while being on the phone with the customer, so it needs to be quick and efficient when they book.

So in this scenario your sales organization decided to enable the Opportunity entity to use for these meetings. You’ve also used a Flow or a Workflow to create a Resource Requirement in the background that populates the Latitude and Longitude based on the Account address related to the Opportunity. This way you can schedule the sales representatives meetings based on travel time.

If you want to know more about how to set up the scenario above you might find these previous articles helpful:

How to enable a entity for Scheduling
How to use a workflow to create a Resource Requirement with filtering
How to use a flow to create a Resource Requirement with filtering

Where do I enable it?

Start by opening the Resource Scheduling app (1), navigate to Settings (2), Administration (3) and choose “Enable Resource Scheduling for Entites”
and open the record of the entity, in this case Opportunity, that you want to enable Quick Book for.



Scroll down…

There you go!

And how does it play out?

So what this settings does is that if you use the Book button either on the Opportunity form or an Opportunity view something resembling quick create opens in the right pane. I would say that the Quick Book contains five smaller features.

1. Available dates


To start with – please notice that the top part of the Quick Book form only show dates where there are resources available by making all other dates grey. It also honor your Resource Requirement to and from dates so all other dates are grey too. This way you get a quick overview on what days might work for both you and your potential customer to set up a meeting.

2. Available slots

On the lower part of the Quick Book form you can see what slots are available and how many resources that are available per slot. If you want a really quick booking you’d just pick a slot and click on Book and it will pick the Resource with the least amount of travel time.

3. Choose between available resources

But I also have the option to actually see the Resources‘ name and travel time by drilling down in one of the slots. Quick and easy to choose!

4. Specify a particular Resource

Another option is to search for a specific Resource and only see their available slots. Might be if the customer have a certain Resource requested or if you know one of the sales people who have a low utilization rate that you want to do something about.

5. Open the Schedule Board

And lastly, if none of these options suits you and you really need to see the schedule board – there’s a quick button for that too in the bottom of the form (that Dan Gittler thought of everything didn’t he?).

Summary

This feature is like a newborn baby, it comes and brings a lot of joy! It will be helpful in many situations (unlike a newborn baby actually) just as it is now but there are a few things missing though. For example – some kind of configurable sorting of Resources so you still are in control that your internal resources get prioritized before my external. None the less, I’m super stoked and I hope you are too!

Until next time – Just keep Scheduling!