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Updated with 2208 features !

With the 2202 release, SAP Business ByDesign offers a dispatching board in the service order work center, which will allow a service planner to assign a service order to employees based on their availability.

To make use of this functionality, one must scope it in via Business Configuration, under the Service Orders business topic.

With this business option scoped, the resource availability functionality takes the service order assignments into account when calculating the workload of the employee.

The following functionality is made available to the service planner:

  1. A work center view called Dispatching Board is added to the Service Order work center. Using this, the service planner can get an overview of unassigned service order items, and assign them to employees based on their workload.

  2. The Resource Search can be assigned as part of the Service Order work center. Using this, the service planner can find resources based on the skills and availability.

  3. The resource calendar that is launched from the resource search shows both the project tasks as well as the service orders that are assigned to the employee.

New work center views

For the service performer who accesses the Field Service and Repair work center, their resource calendar can be accessed via the Common Tasks.

Note: This feature is not available with the resource calendar that is based on committed work - this would cause the scoping option for the Dispatching board to appear read-only. To enable it, please go to the scoping question under Project Management → Project Resource Management and select the Resource management scoping option describing the resource availability search based on planned work specified at the project task.

Dispatching Board

With release 2205, the dispatching board was improved significantly to enable the service planner to get an overview of the work that needed to be assigned to service performers, and what their availability is like. As you see from the screenshot below, we have 2 parts - the list of service order items, and the list of service performers.

Dispatching Board

List of Service Order Items:

The core use case we wish to satisfy with 2202 is to provide visibility on the unassigned service order items that are due. The default query that is executed fetches unassigned service order items that have their Requested date in the coming 7 days. Using the standard list functionality, the user can create and save query "favourites" to fetch service orders they need.

The dispatching board lists only those service orders that have been released on the header level, or whose items have been released for service execution. Those that are still "In Preparation" or "Completed" are not visible - the availability calculation of an employee does not factor in these service order items.

List of Service performers:

The list of service performers gives a 7 day view on their availability, with each cell depicting the number of free hours for each day. It follows the same color coding scheme as the resource calendar - Green if the user has free hours, orange if the user is on leave, red if overbooked (with the minus sign indicating the number of hours the employee is overbooked by).

The user adds employees to the employee list above, using the "Add Resource" button. Once added, it continues to be present until explicitly removed by the user - the list is prepopulated with the list of service performers that were present the last time the user worked on the dispatching board.

Against each cell, there is a button group with the action "Assign" - which allows the user to assign the selected service order item to the employee for the selected day.  On clicking the Assign button, the system assigns the employee as service performer to the service order item, and recalculates the employee's availability based on the assignment. This is automatically saved, the assigned service order item automatically disappears from the list above, and the availability calendar automatically refreshed to display the updated availability.

Speedy Assignment

View assignments

To view an employee's assignments on a particular day, click on the number for the cell corresponding to that date. This opens up a new table under the list of service performers - which shows the service orders items (and project tasks) planned for that day.

Assignments for the day

Spreading workload

If the workload from a service order item needs to be spread across multiple days, you can use the "Adjust" action button within the Assignment details table. This launches a pop-up that allows you to distribute a number of hours across days, and also specify the start time for each of these assignments.

Pop-up to adjust workload

Note: The work distribution done via the adjustment pop-up will not be visible when a user opens up the service order. This would be visible in the employee's resource calendar.

Assignment to a non-working day

If a service order item is assigned to an employee on a non-working day such as the weekend or a public holiday, it shows up in the dispatching board via the "negative hours" that are displayed on that holiday

Assignment on non-working day

Such an assignment is allowed with the 2208 release. This cannot be done via the dispatching board, it is currently possible only when the assignment is done via the Service order details UI.

Resource Calendar

The resource calendar would show the service order assignments in conjunction with the project tasks assigned to the employee.

Resource Calendar

The service order assignments are clustered under a header "Assigned Service Orders" to prevent the calendar from appearing too cluttered.

The service performer can access their resource calendar from the Field Service and Repair work center, via the Common Task "Show Resource Calendar".


Known gaps in the resource availability for service order assignment

  1. Intercompany service orders processing: The intercompany service order is a "mirror-service order" to what is created for the customer, that is linked to it via this purchase order document. If the employee is assigned as service performer in both the service order as well as its mirror, this would appear to double the workload of the employee, as both would be visible in the resource calendar. This would cause the resource availability for the requested date to be incorrect.

  2. Assignment on a non-working day - If the service order item's requested date is on a non-working day (weekend or public holiday), then this is only possible when done via the service order details UI. The Assign action in the Dispatching Board still shows up as read-only for a holiday.

As you would have noticed, we have covered most of the gaps that we had mentioned when this functionality was released with 2202. Please leave me a comment if you have any feedback to give regarding this functionality. Thank you for reading !