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Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby pfainc » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:55 am

Coming from the scheduler from version 6x and before (I have been using it since 1995!) I am quite disappointed with the new 'improved' schedule. I was forced into this upgrade as version previous to 7 are no longer supported yet I was still paying my monthly fees... but I am rambling..

First complaint is the schedule is not fully integrated with manager. Dates and times are not reflected in manager at all. On the order screen the promised date is not updated by the schedule date. Tech sheets schedule and promised dates are useless now where it was used frequently before. We are on version 7.2 and this still isn't resolved? Maybe I am missing a step?

Since I don't use ANY of the advanced features in this scheduler it is very tricky to use. Especially when scheduling an appointment for later in the day. I am using the old school method of creating an order, then clicking options, then clicking appointment. Drop off time defaults to 8:00, Start time defaults to when the appointment screen opens. End time is calculated based on order hours. This is all well and good when we make the appointment in the morning, but if it is near closing time and I am scheduling, the scheduler automatically rolls the job into the next day, so now I have to manually set the start and end times being careful to get the time exactly right (which is darn near impossible)

I assign jobs to technicians in the morning - not when i schedule I just need to keep my daily job hours under x hours.

The custom appointment layout does not save configuration so every time I close the program and restart, I have to re-setup the appointment screen.

The method of clicking and dragging out an appointment and linking that block of time to a particular pre-built estimate simply does not work for me. There is too much guess work and clicking back and forth between manager and scheduler to get the time accurate.

Any help is appreciated. My schedule is so messed up, it affects my work day negatively.
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Re: Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby Silky7 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:40 am

Bruce,

I'll have one of our technicians that specializes in assisting with the new Schedule setup and training reach out to you.
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Re: Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby pfainc » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:53 am

Silky7 wrote:Bruce,

I'll have one of our technicians that specializes in assisting with the new Schedule setup and training reach out to you.



Thank you
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Re: Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby pfainc » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:29 pm

Silky7 wrote:Bruce,

I'll have one of our technicians that specializes in assisting with the new Schedule setup and training reach out to you.


He called and it ended up being very frustrating and him saying his supervisor asked him to terminate the call.

First off I know I can be stubborn and somewhat difficult - I will make that clear right now.

I tried to tell the tech how I wanted to get scheduling done and he was very good about navigating the schedule, showing me configuration tips and such however none of those tricks resolved my issue
I had to stop him several times because he kept going on a tangent so I kept stopping him.

By the end I asked him to schedule a revision for a particular day
- he does his thing and I see 2 scheduled times for the same name
- He says that is a place holder and you just have to delete it
- I say that doesn't sound right, he assures me it's normal.
- I say that is too clunky - create 2 and delete 1?
- He says its because of the way I made him create it
- I say lets do it your way, again. I deleted all appointments for the test subject (my personal record), I move the 2.3 hours of work back to a revision, I delete the order, I searched WIP to be sure the order was gone and I searched the appointments to verify there was no scheduled time.
- He tries again, right click the appointment day, select new appointment, put my name in and the hours field populated with 2.5 hours - he says 'the system sees you have a revision waiting and it put that time in for you.
- I stop him right there. The particular revision is 2.3 hours not 2.5, and I ask what if there were 7 revisions? How did the system know I wanted to perform the revision work at all? He said the system knows. I told him I didn't believe that. He assured me it was normal.
- Call terminated

The first time he started a new schedule item it defaulted to 0.5 hours with the same revision and no order started, the second time he started the exact same way (no order started and 1 revision with 2.3 hours on it) and it defaulted to 2.5

He also stated that the technician work sheet never showed the scheduled date in version 6.4 and I know that is false. 7.x tech sheets show the order created date as both the scheduled date and promised date. In 6.x those fields showed the actual scheduled date and promised date chosen in the scheduler

Is this really normal behavior?
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Re: Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby Johnny5 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:50 pm

Manager won't schedule from a Revision. The intended workflow is a revision once sold is transferred to an RO, with the work sold, and appointment is then created. From my testing the Promised time and Start time are correct if you create an appointment for an open order. It does sound from your narrative that you have not completely read the instructions or setup the required fields.
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Re: Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby pfainc » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:32 pm

Schedule 2.jpg
 
Schedule 1.jpg
 
Johnny5 wrote:Manager won't schedule from a Revision. The intended workflow is a revision once sold is transferred to an RO, with the work sold, and appointment is then created. From my testing the Promised time and Start time are correct if you create an appointment for an open order. It does sound from your narrative that you have not completely read the instructions or setup the required fields.


I have tried to make the 'recommended work flow' work in my shop but it is too cumbersome and offers far too many opportunities to introduce error.

Secondly this narrative was not directed by me, it was a record of the observation of the Mitchell support tech's actions. I asked him to guide me through the scheduling process based on a typical phone call I receive multiple times a day: Customer call, wants to review an estimate we gave them in the past and wants to schedule a time. His process was:
- Go to the next day with time for the scheduled work
- Right click an available time slot - click NEW
- Select the customer name ( I used my name and vehicle) [when I did this right now my scheduler defaults to an 8.5 hour job, not sure why all my parameters are set up hours of operation and such but the start time says 12:00AM, finish time 12:00 AM)
- Click create new (estimate) and Customer order comes comes up with an empty order - he went to revision, sold the revision and put it in the order, and scheduled it again under options

I did not guide him there. I wanted to know how Mitchell wants me to schedule the job in the way I am presented every day. I still don't have an answer. I am muscling through doing time calculations either in my head or trial and error. I do not assign work to techs in advance - it is not practical.

Technician work sheets that are printed after scheduling them for a future date do not reflect schedule dates.

Attached are 2 screen shots - one of my scheduler setup and the other of a new schedule window after I enter my name and vehicle.

What am I doing wrong?
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Re: Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby ricmorin » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:11 pm

Bruce,

Sounds like the Mitchell guy created the appointment first, then made an Estimate second? That may be why you had 2 appointments? Not sure, but that workflow sounds like a lot of extra steps.

Here every appointment gets an Estimate. With an Estimate I can best determine time loading; that's what's important to me. We create the Estimate first, whether it is from scratch or the transfer of a Revision; makes no difference. Once we know how much time will be needed, we switch over to the Scheduler screen. I believe my SA has both open side by side for easy viewing. We look for the next available slot that will accommodate that time load. Once found, we click back to the Estimate, click on Options>Appointment and enter the date, time and other fields as needed. Occasionally we'll switch back to the Scheduler to make sure it all fits right. We order the day and adjust the jobs to fit around drop-offs and waiting appointments.

I'm not a big fan of the schedule either. It's not tailored to how real shops actually work in regards to time loading IMO. I was disappointed when this first came out, but it's getting better and it does have some features the old one didn't, like resource allocation (don't use). I would really like to see a feature where a drop-off appointment can 'flow' around a waiting appointment so we have a better understanding of our daily loading; much rather have that than resources. What we have now is somewhat limited but definitely usable; it took a while to develop a match to our process.

Feel free to give me a call some time and we can go over some other ways this scheduler may work for you. You're just one state away, maybe even get together. I'm up for a road trip!
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Re: Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby pfainc » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:33 pm

ricmorin wrote:Bruce,

Sounds like the Mitchell guy created the appointment first, then made an Estimate second? That may be why you had 2 appointments? Not sure, but that workflow sounds like a lot of extra steps.

Here every appointment gets an Estimate. With an Estimate I can best determine time loading; that's what's important to me. We create the Estimate first, whether it is from scratch or the transfer of a Revision; makes no difference. Once we know how much time will be needed, we switch over to the Scheduler screen. I believe my SA has both open side by side for easy viewing. We look for the next available slot that will accommodate that time load. Once found, we click back to the Estimate, click on Options>Appointment and enter the date, time and other fields as needed. Occasionally we'll switch back to the Scheduler to make sure it all fits right. We order the day and adjust the jobs to fit around drop-offs and waiting appointments.

I'm not a big fan of the schedule either. It's not tailored to how real shops actually work in regards to time loading IMO. I was disappointed when this first came out, but it's getting better and it does have some features the old one didn't, like resource allocation (don't use). I would really like to see a feature where a drop-off appointment can 'flow' around a waiting appointment so we have a better understanding of our daily loading; much rather have that than resources. What we have now is somewhat limited but definitely usable; it took a while to develop a match to our process.

Feel free to give me a call some time and we can go over some other ways this scheduler may work for you. You're just one state away, maybe even get together. I'm up for a road trip!



The way you describe is exactly what I do, it gets tricky when scheduling near the end of the work day because the start time defaults to when the appointment screen is first opened, so if you get a call at 4:45 and have a 3 hour appointment to schedule, the scheduler automatically rolls it into the next day. I set the days to the desired day, then get the time mismatch error dialog that covers part of the time screen, then I set the start time to 8:00am and then fiddle with the end time to get it to match order hours. Often 3.3 hours turns into 3.5 scheduled hours because 11:18 is hard to figure in your head all the time

Where are you located? I am in South Portland Maine
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Re: Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby BERGMANS1 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:00 am

Sounds like I enjoy a good challenge as much as the rest of you.

We normally do it a little differently but end up in the same place.

Customer calls or comes in. If it is a new customer, I start a file for them. If they are existing, I access their file.

What ever they are coming in for goes into sub estimate 1. Unless they are dropping off for the current day, in that case I create an estimate/repair order right then.

Next, I go to the scheduler and pick out a good day and time. I create the appointment, set the time they are coming in and how long I expect the work to actually take.

Fast forward to the day before the customers appointment.

Near the end of the day, we go into the scheduler and create an estimate for each of the appointments for the next day. We transfer whatever is in sub est 1, to the order screen but we leave it as an estimate. We call each appointment to confirm and order needed parts if it has not already been done.

At this point on the WIP screen, everything that is in the form of a repair order or invoice is here. Anything in estimate form is an appointment for tomorrow.

We do not create estimates for each appointment until the day before the actual appointment. I don't like the clutter. Yes, I know I can select to filter out anything in estimate form, but don't care for the extra clicks and I don't want to hide my appointments.

As the customers drop off for their appointment, we confirm their info and what they are coming in for. Then, we convert to a repair order and print needed paperwork.

Leaving the appointment on the scheduler and keeping it OUT of estimate form until the day before creates less work. If someone moves an appointment or cancels, I only have to move/cancel the appointment on the scheduler, I don't have to worry about the estimate on the WIP because there isn't one.

If you create an estimate first, it puts an appointment on the scheduler and then you have to move it. Instead, I make the appointment first and put it where I want it. Then, from the appointment I create the estimate so I don't end up with double appointments for the same customer.

Long read I know... hope it helps though.
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Re: Scheduler gripes (yet again)

Postby ricmorin » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:02 am

The way you describe is exactly what I do, it gets tricky when scheduling near the end of the work day because the start time defaults to when the appointment screen is first opened, so if you get a call at 4:45 and have a 3 hour appointment to schedule, the scheduler automatically rolls it into the next day. I set the days to the desired day, then get the time mismatch error dialog that covers part of the time screen, then I set the start time to 8:00am and then fiddle with the end time to get it to match order hours. Often 3.3 hours turns into 3.5 scheduled hours because 11:18 is hard to figure in your head all the time

Where are you located? I am in South Portland Maine


Yup. That's why we will refer back to the Scheduler to make sure nothing wonky happened.

My town is Hooksett which is just outside Manchester.
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