Leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service for Product Rentals and Real Estate Management
August 22, 2023
4 min read
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service offers a range of scheduling possibilities. It enables the efficient management and allocation of resources, including personnel, equipment, and facilities, based on factors like availability, skills, and other criteria. Commonly, we see tables like Booking Resources and Customer Assets being utilized for these functions. But have you considered additional use cases? Can we repurpose this functionality to meet other business requirements? This article explores two cases where we repurposed Field Service functionalities for companies offering rental services.
Field Service Tables
Let's examine some Field Service tables, describe their functions, and then explore how they can be repurposed.
Bookings: This section contains details about scheduled appointments, resources assigned, and other booking-related information.
Bookable Resources: This section maintains data on service resources, such as technicians and equipment. It captures details about their availability and includes diverse types, such as Technicians, Vehicles, Equipment, Facilities, and more.
Customer Assets: These refer to physical items or equipment owned by the customer and managed within the system. Such assets can include products, equipment, machinery, devices, or any other tangible item the customer possesses. These items might require maintenance, service, or tracking.
Case 1: Renting Out Products
We worked on a project with a client who provides LED panels for both rent and sale. The client had implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Field Service. However, the delivery of the panels wasn't the primary focus. The main objective was to schedule the use of the panels, visualize in a calendar how long the panels would be in use by the end client, and allocate and reserve available panels accordingly.
We chose to repurpose Field Service slightly differently, making beneficial use of its integration with the Sales App. We repurposed an existing 'Bookable Resource' type and used that table as an instance for a product available for rent. We created a lookup to the Product and implemented logic to allow for selecting a Product for a specified rental period. Also, we developed custom logic on Quote and Opportunity for choosing available 'Bookable Resources' for the selected Product. Product selection was facilitated on Sales entities such as Opportunity Line and Quote Line. We added fields like 'Date From' and 'Date To' to mark the duration for which the 'Bookable Resource' would be rented, and 'Bookings' were generated with corresponding dates.
Additionally, both the Quote and Opportunity were enhanced with a custom Power Apps Component Framework (PCF) control, which simplified the Product selection process and offered a clearer view of its availability.
For sure, we adjusted some other Field Service processes and tables, the changes above were the most significant and worth to mention.
Case 2: Renting Real-Estate Objects
We had a few projects that provided automation for businesses in property management. One of them used the Field Service App.
It was easy to adapt because, among the 'Bookable Resource' types, we have a type called 'Facilities.' These are physical locations or spaces, such as service centers or repair shops, where service tasks can be performed.
Commonly, people expect the Field Service to schedule workers. However, it's sometimes overlooked that facilities can also be managed on a Schedule Board. This is exactly what was done in the aforementioned project.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service offers the following capabilities: Efficient Scheduling, Resource Management, Asset and Equipment Management, Work Order Management, and Route and Travel Optimization. This functionality accommodates a wide range of business types, and it's not limited to just fieldwork.
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