After the setup is complete there are two ways to import dispatches from AHS. The easiest method is to keep the EDB open on at least one computer. This will trigger ESC to check the email address you specified in the setup section every 90 seconds. If a new email has arrived a notification icon will appear in the lower left-hand corner of the EDB. Click it to begin processing the dispatch.
The second method checks the email account on demand. It can be triggered by going to Dispatch → Import from American Home Shield.
Importing or Matching Customers
Regardless of how the process is started you will then be taken to a screen where you can compare the customers in the AHS email with the ones in your database.
If the customer matches one of your existing customers, select that customer on this screen then click Match Customer. If they don't, modify the First Name and Last Name if needed and click Add Customer. Repeat this process for each email that is being imported.
Note: AHS doesn't separate first and last names in their emails. ESC tries to do this for you but can get fooled by customers that have a suffix, such as Randy Cole, Jr. In this case ESC would think the customer's last name was Jr. So double check the name before adding the customer.
Once all the customers have been imported or matched a results screen will display. Pay particular attention to any emails that weren't imported. ESC will not allow duplicate dispatches to be created so if AHS sends a status update or cancellation of a previously sent dispatch it will NOT be imported into ESC. As a result, it is generally worth looking at these failures in whatever email account you specified for failures in the setup.
Behind the Scenes
During the customer import process the following things happen in ESC:
- A new customer is created when the Add Customer button is selected. Information about the customer's contract, coverage notes and products notes will be added to the location notes for the customer. If the customer is matched with an existing customer, none of this information will be imported since it should already be there from the previous import.
- A Job with the customer's name is created for the American Home Shield customer.
- A dispatch is created for the customer and placed on the default technician's column on the EDB (this is usually Unassigned). The dispatch will have the description of the issue, service fee amounts and other information in the notes. The dispatch will also be associated with the job for American Home Shield. This is important for billing purposes.
Creating the Invoice
Once the dispatch has been created, you will work it as you normally would. After the dispatch has been completed you can create the invoice for it using any of the standard methods. When you do this you will see that the Billing To address is automatically set to the American Home Shield customer. The Ship To address will show the customer's address where the work was actually performed. This gives you the best of both worlds. American Home Shield is billed for the work performed yet all history and equipment are stored with the customer.
If the customer has a co-pay they are responsible for, make sure the invoice includes the amount owed by both American Home Shield and the customer. Then enter the customer's payment in the invoice using the Tender button within ESC or the Payments tab if you are generating the invoice from the Mobile Client. The balance will be owed by American Home Shield.
QuickBooks Note: When this invoice is posted to QuickBooks it will be sent to the Job with the customer's name under the American Home Shield customer.
Sage 50 Note: Because a job is associated with the invoice, you will have to assign a Job Category to each line item on the invoice. Once the invoice has been posted it will appear under the American Home Shield customer assigned to the job created during the import.
*Gmail treats emails more like chat conversations than individual messages. For this reason, messages sent from American Home Shield may become grouped together and will not import into ESC proper, if at all.