Are you looking for ways to rapidly group dispatches by location or type of work needed? If so, take advantage of the Priority, Zone or Type fields in the Dispatch Entry Screen. All three fields can be used as filters when viewing the Electronic Dispatch Board (EDB) and are great for running dispatch reports. Here are some examples of how these fields can be used.
- Zone – Allows up to 7 digits to be entered. This field is usually the zip code of the customer’s location. However, you can use alpha-numeric characters to break zones into more memorable areas such as North, West, Uptown, etc. Because this information is generally permanent, you are better off modifying this field on the Customer Entry screen instead of doing for each dispatch on the Dispatch Entry screen.
- Priority – This field accepts up to 6 digits. You can use numbers in this field to prioritize your customers. Prioritize by changing the promised date and time and think about using alpha-numeric codes to specify the type of work that needs to be done. Examples of this include things such as (R) Repairs, (I) Installs, (CB) Call Backs, (ROUGH) Rough In to name a few.
- Type – This field usually defaults to COD or CHG to let your technicians know if they have to collect payment in the field. If your technicians can get that information from the Terms instead, you can use this field for something else as well. Accepts up to 3 alpha-numeric characters.
Once you’ve entered information in one of these fields for the dispatch, you can use those fields to filter your dispatches on the EDB.
To access the EDB press the F5 key, or go to Dispatch → Electronic Dispatch Board. Once you’re on the EDB, click on the EDB Options Icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
Now that you’re in the Electronic Dispatch Options, you can use one of the three fields to filter your dispatches: the Zone, Priority, or Type.
Once you’ve entered the filters and click the Save button, now your EDB will only show the dispatches that matches what you’ve entered as a filter for that Board.
Warning: These filters affect EVERYONE that is using the same board! To avoid heart attacks as your co-workers watch dispatches suddenly seem to vanish, we highly recommend setting up your own dispatch board or at least communicating with others in the building before applying filters.
In addition to filtering the EDB, you can also use these same fields to narrow down your search when running a Dispatch Schedule Report to track your dispatches. To access this report, go to Dispatch → Reports → Dispatch Schedule.
Written by Enrico Chatman
Featured in July 2009 Newsletter