Providing ongoing service to customers is an important part of any business, and one that can represent a source of customer satisfaction and loyalty – to say nothing of the addition to revenue. Still, tracking and managing service are actions that are not always easy, and Dynamics 365 Business Central has come to the rescue with a set of tools to help and support repair shop/field service operations. These tools can even be used in business scenarios including complex customer service distribution systems, industrial service environments with bills of materials and high-volume dispatching of service technicians with requirements for spare parts management.

Service management tools as provided by Business Central allow for:

  • Scheduling of service calls and the set-up of service orders
  • Tracking of repair parts and supplies
  • Assignment of service personnel based on skill and availability
  • Provision of service estimates and service invoices

What’s more, coding can be standardized, contracts can be set-up, discounting policies can be configured and route maps for service employees can be created.

Generally speaking, there are two aspects when it comes to service management: Configuring and setting up your system, plus using it for pricing, contracts, orders, service personnel dispatch and job scheduling. To that end, Business Central performs the following tasks based on specific areas:

  • Setting Up Service Management – This includes fault codes, policies, default documents and templates.
  • Planning Service – Here, you can manage service pricing, create service items and understand how to monitor progress.
  • Fulfilling Service Contracts – Create and manage contractual agreements between you and your clients.
  • Delivering Service – As its name implies, this area of function allows you to provide service to customers and invoice service orders.

Let’s take a closer yet brief look at each of these elements:

Setting up Service Management

There are a few things you will need to set up before you can start using Service Management features in Business Central, beginning with establishing coding for standard services, symptoms and fault codes and the service items and service item types that your company’s customer service needs demand. When you set up Service Management, you must decide what services to offer customers and the schedule for those services – keeping in mind that a “service” is a type of work performed by one or more resources which is provided to a customer (for example, a type of computer repair) and that a “service item” is the equipment or item needing servicing (for example, the computer needing repair, installed for a specific customer).

Services can be set up via Business Central as part of a group or related repair/maintenance items.

Planning Service

Through the magic of Business Central, you can set up the standard tasks required to fulfill your customer service requirements; to accomplish this, you must determine what service items and offerings your service organization supports – and at what price. Business Central also provides some statistical tools that you can use to determine how well things are going while identifying areas that need improvement.

Fulfilling Service Contracts

Want to create contract templates that include necessary information such as customer, start date of contract and invoice period? It’s all possible with Service Management by Business Central.

After you set up such templates, you can customize the resulting contract to keep track of service hours or other items that may vary from customer to customer. You can also set up a contract manually via a service contract quote and even adjust your service pricing to keep track of discounts that a specific client qualifies for, all by specifying the discount amount on the Service Contract page.

Delivering Service

Imagine being able to deliver service according to the contracts that you have created and the service orders that you have committed to fulfilling…Business Central provides features for this, as well, in which your service techs or dispatchers will find outstanding service orders easy to locate when they use the Dispatch Board.

Another way to review pending service orders is to utilize the Service Tasks page; in this view of your service obligations, you can see where in your service workflow an order has change its status to reflect interactions with your customer.