Jan 05 2009
Over the next few blog entries I will discuss how to define services that your organization provides, and how to resources and rules are added to these services to ensure that Microsoft CRM 4.0 selects the appropriate resources.
Defining Services Concepts
- Services are types of work that are scheduled and sold to customers.
- Users define the services that the organization provides to customers and assign which users, facilities, and equipment are required to perform the services.
- Users can schedule services with customers as service activities.
Selecting the Resources that Perform Services
For each service your organization offers, users can select the resources required, either as individual resources or as resource groups, to perform the service. To select resources, users create selection rules for the service that details what combination of individual personnel, equipment, and facilities, or resource groups is required when someone schedules this service.
For example, a user can set up a rule that a bike repair requires a bike technician and a specific set of tools.
Resource Selection Rules
In its simplest form, a selection rule is the list of users, facilities, or equipment that are required to perform a service for a customer and the rules that select them.
You can define resources by how busy they are, and whether the resources are from the same site or location.
For each service, you define at least one selection rule and select one or more users, facilities, and equipment to perform it. Using conditional sub-rules, you can further refine the resource selection. Microsoft CRM 4.0 displays your selection rules in a tree view.
A Resource Selection Rule defines the number and method for selecting resources within a group in addition to the amount of work required for a specific service. Additionally, the Resource Selection Rule also defines how resources are supposed to be used for a specific Service.
- The Resource Selection Rule defines how to select members of a Resource Group or team.
- It is also the link between a service and its resources
- It can be as simple as delegating one specific resource to a service or as complex as choosing X number of resources based on their skill level, how busy they are, and an additional resource by minimizing cost.
- Resource assignment rules including the defaults such as Least Busy and Most Busy.
Understanding the Difference Between ALL and a Quantity in a Selection Rule
Although you can consider ALL and Quantity similar to Boolean operators, they do not function identical to the operators.
In a selection rule, ALL can mean either of the following:
- If the rule is followed by a list of resources, then every resource listed is selected.
- If the rule is followed by sub rules, then every sub rule is observed.
Examples of selection rules that use ALL
The following rule requires all of the technicians in the resource group (no matter how many technicians are members of the group):
Rule – Select ALL from Technicians Resource Group
The following rule requires 1 technician and 2 interns:
Rule – Select ALL from
Sub-rule 1 – Select 1 Technicians Resource Group
Sub-rule 2 – Select 2 Intern Resource Group
The following rule requires all of the technicians in the resource group as well as
2 Tool Sets and 1 Tech Manual:
Rule – Select ALL from
Sub-rule 1 – Select ALL Technician Resource Group
Sub-rule 2 – Select ALL from
Sub-rule 2a – Select 2 from Tool Sets Resource Group
Sub-rule 2b – Select 1 from Tech Manual Resource Group
An example of a selection rule that uses a quantity
The following rule creates several possible combinations or choices from different resource groups:
Rule - Select 2 from
1 member of Senior Technician Resource Group or a set of 2 members of Technicians Resource Group
If you enter a quantity in the selection rule, the rule selects from a combination of all the sub rules under it that define equivalent resources. For example, one senior technician might equal two technicians or three interns. The quantity in the rule must be equal to or less than the quantity of sub rules or resources listed under it.
Types of Selection Rules
By using selection rules with ALL, a quantity, or a combination of both, you can create different types of selection rules:
- Simple selection rules. These rules require resources from a list of equal resources, both individuals and resource groups.
- Compound selection rules. These rules require a combination of resources, each selected by a sub rule.
- Complex selection rules. These rules require resources that follow multiple sub rules.
- Nested selection rules. These rules require resources that follow multiple sub rules within sub rules.
In the future blog entries, we will go through each one of the above rules.
Microsoft CRM Consultant
Unitek Microsoft CRM Services