Calendars and Resources
For many providers, Calendars are far removed from the events and resources they’re intended to describe and manage. Service coordinators, asked to schedule installations, trouble tickets, and maintenance windows, may fail to book or even double book appointments. Manual calendaring of resources often fails to consider holidays, while also suffering reschedules when unanticipated events lead to staff shortages.
Vision addresses these problems by tightly binding the availability of resources to the events which must draw from them. To do this, Vision employs a scarcity-based calendaring framework to ensure that events cannot be created utilizing resources that either do not exist or are already committed.
The Vision calendaring framework allows specific resources, including humans, equipment, or event categories, to have one or more calendars created for their use. Once created, calendars are assigned functionality based on their intended use. Calendars are described as having informal or formal blocks of availability. These slots are assigned to resources of specific types. Overlapping scheduling is allowed or disallowed at this time. For example, an installation calendar may be composed of a number of 2-hour, non-overlapping slots which allow only installers to be assigned.
Further, calendars may also prohibit or allow the same-day scheduling of events, as in the case of a schedule for a piece of equipment. If a bucket truck is required for a specific job, it may be scheduled in advance, but you may not wish to schedule that same equipment for a local job today if it’s obligated for use in the next county later the same day.
Lastly, how a calendar receives its events, or the source, is also defined. Calendars may have manual assignments, but Vision offers greater versatility by allowing and enforcing the creation of scheduled events through tickets and tasks. An emergency dispatch calendar receives its events strictly from either an escalated trouble ticket, or manually from a manager of sufficient permission levels.
Ultimately, any given event on a calendar that requires it be assigned to specific resources must be assigned by either a person, (i.e. Service Coordinator or Scheduler) or by automated assignment function in Vision. On a period preceding the day of event, a Coordinator reviews the calendar, and drags and drops events on to available resources, obligating them to that event that day and time. Drop construction events may be dragged onto a specific vibratory plow or drop crew. Installation events may be dragged and assigned to specific installers.
In the event of a sudden loss of resources, requested cancellation, or other unanticipated event, authorized personnel may reassign and move events to meet the specific requirements of the day.