Ok, yes i know there are actually 6...... But that's a testament to the team getting some amazing new features in the product for us!!

  Work order completion surveys with Microsoft Forms Pro

Will be released in October 2020 for End Users, Makers & Administrators.

Business value

Businesses need a mechanism to run customer satisfaction surveys to ensure they are meeting the expectations of their customers through their service delivery.

Feature details

This feature enables administrators to configure work order completion surveys using Forms Pro in order to solicit feedback and present the survey natively as part of the customer's experience.

Thoughts

Customer Sign Off and straight into the billing cycle. That is what this functionality will give us, No more customer not paying bills because of X,Y & Z - You will have a signature signing off the work when the engineer leaves site. Forms Pro was the obvious choice here with its CDS integration via Power Automate.

  Integration with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

Will be released to  Early Access in August 2020 and General Availability in October 2020 for End Users, Makers & Administrators.

Business value

When technicians are conducting a service call, they often need to create purchase orders to order parts for their customers. This feature integrates Field Service with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management purchase orders to make it more seamless for technicians to purchase parts and increase first-time fix rates. 

Feature details

With this feature, technicians using Field Service can easily and seamlessly initiate purchase orders that flow into Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management without switching apps or initiating manual workflows outside of Dynamics 365.

Thoughts

F&O Integration with Field Service here is awesome. I don't know how many times i have had to configured and add fields into the standard FS process to give it a more enterprise feel. The new Integration will really allow the bigger customers to follow their PO processes. 

 Travel outside of working hours

Will be released to  Early Access in August 2020 and General Availability in October 2020 for End Users, Makers & Administrators.

Business value

Customers can define various travel policies across the company while technicians can define their traveling rules and limits outside of working hours based on their preferences. This ensures all of the data necessary to create accurate schedules is available in the system.

Feature details

Sometimes technicians start their day at the site of the first assigned job instead of their home or office address. The goal of this feature is to allow resource travel outside of working hours to accommodate various scenarios for starting and ending points in the trip. Technicians travel time availability can be scheduled independently of working hours so that jobs that require extra travel outside of working hours

Thoughts

Yes Yes Yes (Thank you Dan)  Now this might more a UK requirement i think. We have lots of customer who will have their engineers be onsite for 8am (Start of their working day) this means traveling outside of hours or to/from hotels after work. having the ability to schedule these rules will be A-MA-ZING 

  Field Service inspections

Will be released to  Early Access in August 2020 and General Availability in October 2020 for End Users, Makers & Administrators.

Business value

In many cases, field service technicians need to capture a set of answers to questions as part of offering service. For instance, a technician might need to conduct safety checks before servicing a piece of equipment, or perhaps need to inspect pressure levels or remaining liquid in a machine. In other cases, technicians might need to perform an inspection after the work is complete, or the inspection itself might constitute the entire work order. Performing inspections is a key part of proactive service and preventing additional break-fix service calls.

Feature details

This previously preview feature is now generally available. Field Service includes the capability to define and capture inspections. It enables customers to

  • Create an inspection through a designer experience.
  • Associate an inspection with a work order.
  • Complete an inspection via a mobile experience (including the Field Service Mobile application).
  • Capture the inspection results for analysis or further action.

Thoughts

Using the old Resco inspections was something that was ok but not the best in the world, I previously worked with a partner who created a full embedded HTML inspections/survey tool. Having used this already and seeing how easy it was to use i am very excited to start showing this to potential customers.

  Technician Locator

Will be available for Public Preview in December 2020 for End Users, Makers & Administrators.

Business value

One way for service providers to help delight end customers is to provide clear communication and status around scheduled service appointments. This communication includes confirmation, reminders, and details on the expected technician arrival.

Feature details

The technician locator capability of Field Service includes: 

  • Sending scheduled service confirmation notifications to the end customer.
  • On the day of service, sending a reminder with a link to track technician location and estimated arrival time.
  • A portal application from which end customers can view scheduled service details and technician arrival details

Thoughts

If i am honest this is something that i have always thought was lacking out of the box. Yes you can create workflows and SMS alerts when the Bookable Resource completes the job before you etc but this was always a pain to do. This way you can get more alerts right away and this might be enough for some customers.

  Functional Location 

Will be released to  Early Access in August 2020 and General Availability in October 2020 for End Users, Makers & Administrators.

Business value

Both assets and locations can be complex and have hierarchical models. Understanding the hierarchy of an asset or a location such as a large office building or campus site helps technicians find the asset quickly and easily onsite. This feature provides an enhanced authoring experience for creating hierarchical models and a location identification feature on work orders that allows dispatchers and service managers to pinpoint the location of an asset within a physical space so a technician can deliver faster and more efficient service.

Feature details

With this feature you can model your customers’ physical spaces. You can build a location hierarchy and link your assets to a functional location. For example, you can model a physical space with a hierarchy that includes campus, buildings, floors, rooms, and common areas, as well as link assets to the related functional location. When creating work orders, you can select a functional location so your technicians can quickly check the asset's location. Admins will be able to build location hierarchies with intuitive tools.

Before this release, you had to create different service accounts for assets to differentiate between locations when dealing with large customer sites. This feature adds necessary flexibility when dealing with large customer sites, such as campuses, manufacturing facilities, and farms. Now, you can use a single service account but store the location of your assets through the functional location hierarchy. You can also add location data to any work order independent of an asset. It also opens up a more natural way to deal with equipment that moves between areas within a large site, such as mobile equipment like tractors and projectors.

Thoughts

About 50% of the customers i speak to have assets that are fixed in one location and they will not move - Nuts and bolts into the floor etc. But the rest of the customers i speak to in other areas like healthcare and manufacturing will not have a fixed location for the devices, This means that an engineer could spend the first hour of the work order just trying to find the item. Now with the Hierarch and Location this is going to make a big difference in the way we can sell this to the customer.

Full Release notes can be found here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365-release-plan/2020wave2/service/dynamics365-field-service/