HVAC Dispatcher Best Practices

Hello All,


We're long time users of ESC and really like the software and learn things all the time. 

I am looking for input on how everyone handles dispatches on their dispatcher board. I am not our company's dispatcher, hower I am in process of creating written processes and procedures and am taking a good look at our dispatching.

Currently any service work that we have on hand goes into the "service to do" column. In addition, we also have a "Jobs To Do" "Jobs On Hold" and "PMs To Do" Columns, where these respective dispatches all land.

Our dispatcher primarily schedules our techs once a day, usually at end of day for the next day. Our techs only receive one dispatch at a time.

What I would like to see is all of these work dispatches scheduled under each tech instead of just sitting in one column. My partners seem to believe, as do I, that by doing it this way, we would get a much better picture of the work on hand at any given time. 

So I'd like to hear or get some advice from our community on how you do things. Here are some things I'm pondering -

  • If we do start putting dispatches under the techs and let's say these dispatches stretch out over a week or two (maybe more) how do you manage them? It seems to me like you would be constantly shifting dispatch dates and moving things around.
  • What's best way, whether keeping dispatches in a "to do" column or under a tech to make sure something doesn't get lost in the sauce.
  • How do you handle a dispatch when the tech needs parts or makes recommendations? We created a column and status called "needs parts" which when the tech selects it, goes off his device (acts same as complete) and goes to a column on the EDB where our office works on taking care of recommendation. This generally works well for us but we do run into issues when the job isn't complete, such as a multi day PM.

I'm trying to make things easier for our dispatcher to get into scheduling things and get out of the "squeaky wheel gets the oil" mentality. Any tips, suggestions, resources would be very much appreciated.



  • Sorry for such a long reply below, we use 5 columns for scheduling:

    Unassigned: New service calls automatically go here when entered. The dispatcher's goal is to keep this column empty by moving directly onto a technician's schedule, or moving to the Ready / Firm Schedule / Waiting columns below by the end of each day.

    Ready: Dispatches that are ready to be scheduled as time permits.

    Firm Schedule: Only used when the date cannot change, this keeps critical jobs from getting lost in the list of ready dispatches. This column is typically empty or has a couple dispatches at most.

    PM Contracts: Agreements that are posted to dispatch automatically go here, and get moved to Ready / Firm Schedule columns when we get approval to perform the PM - several of our PM customers require separate PO#'s for each visit, have to schedule downtime, etc.

    Waiting: Any dispatch that is waiting for the customer to approve a recommendation / waiting on parts to arrive / waiting on another service company (new building with no power, etc.) & the dispatcher adds notes. This gets reviewed every day or two to see if we can move the dispatches to the Ready / Firm Schedule columns.


    The technicians only have two options to remove the dispatch from their tablet so it's easy for the dispatcher to keep up with these two columns:

    Job in Progress: When the dispatch isn't complete / waiting on customer approval. If the technician determines that extra parts will be required, they will add that part info to their dispatch notes. The dispatcher checks this column throughout the day for any required parts & makes sure they get ordered ASAP if we don't have them at our warehouse. The dispatcher then moves it the Ready / Firm Schedule / Waiting columns above by the end of the day.

    Job Complete: When the dispatch is complete & ready to invoice. The dispatcher will read through the tech notes & modify any spelling errors, remove part info & costs from supply houses, etc. When finished editing, they move to the Invoice Now column where someone else takes care of creating & sending the invoices.


    Each morning, the technicians come in & review the dispatch board so they have an idea of where they will be going throughout the day (we set the mobile tablets to only display one dispatch at a time so we can easily reschedule).

    We also created a Priority called "Parts" with a bright pink color so the techs know which dispatches will require parts from our warehouse before they leave in the morning (these parts get pulled & marked the day before by someone in the warehouse).

    Our dispatcher is scheduling throughout the day, and we often call / text the technicians when their schedule gets changed so everyone stays on the same page.

    We only schedule the technicians about one day in advance at most... otherwise you are correct, it's a lot of date changing & moving around; the four columns keep everything in control for us. As far as determining the amount of work on hand, the dispatcher & technicians know this just by looking at each job description. Sometimes the estimated man-hours gets entered as a note on the dispatch, but most of the times it's not.

    I'd be interested to hear from others in the community as well, as I'm sure there are ways we can improve our process.

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  • Hi Lance,

    I just checked on here because I noticed not a lot of activity so sorry for the delayed response. Thanks for your input, I'll have to re-read a couple of times, but I think for the most part we are doing similar processes. I'm trying to get our dispatcher to schedule the work week on the board (at least 3-4 days) but it's good now, as things get crazy, this goes out the window. Once I have some time to further digest what you wrote I'll follow up. 



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  • Lance we use a similar progression for our board as well. Unassigned for all inbound booked calls regardless of type HVAC Demands, Plumbing, Tune Ups, Follow Up Phone Calls, Quotes. Standby column for when we are full capacity and try and fit customers in before a firm scheduled appt. Need Parts, Parts Received, and Debrief columns as well. Techs only have 3 status options. Traveling, Working, and Off Job. We dispatch only 1 call at a time. I have been thinking about breaking out the invoice flow process to a different dispatch board all together to hit all the steps for follow up happy calls and cross marketing as well. Its not perfect but it keeps the dispatch moving to the appropriate areas with the right transfer to tech codes set up so different team members can handle their respective responsibilities.

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