5Resources

Resource Entities

The ongoing management of resources typically involves managing one or more entities among calendars, work schedules, shifts, work skills, and work zones.

Calendars, Work Schedules, and Shifts – This involves creating calendars that illustrate when a resource is available for work and when they are off duty. Between calendars, work schedules, non-working time, internal activities, holidays, and shifts, a great deal of flexibility is available in the application. Some parameters can be set in advance for planning, and others are considered more day-to-day adjustments.

Work Skills –This refers to the correlation between what is required to complete incoming activities, and which resources have the capabilities to accomplish them.

Work Zones – This refers to the area within which a resource is able or allowed to travel to complete activities.

Time Zone Settings

When you configure the application, it is possible to set different time zones for users and for resources. These time zones are used in different contexts on different pages. Here’s an overview of how time zones are displayed throughout Oracle Field Service.

Today's Date

The time zone of the currently logged in user is used when determining today's date. Let’s say it is 1:00 PM, Jun 10 in a UTC+00:00 time zone. If you log in as a user who is in UTC+12:00 time zone, after logging in you see that the current date is set to Jun 11. This is because, in the user's time zone it is already 01:00 AM, Jun 11.

Where is it Used?

Today's date is used as the initial date on these pages in Oracle Field Service Core Application: Activities, Daily, Offline synchronization, Dashboard, and Print route. For example, on the "Activities" page, it is the date for which the activities are shown after you log in to the application. You can change the date on these pages to see the information for another date. Nevertheless, when you click the date field, the calendar widget shows you today's date in light blue color. This screenshot shows the calendar with today’s date highlighted:
This screenshot shows the calendar highlighting today’s date.
The same behavior is present in Oracle Field Service Mobile for Android and iOS. When a field resource logs in, today's date is marked with light red color on the date selection panel in the header, as shown in this screenshot:
This screenshot shows the current date marked in red.
When a field manager looks at the Calendars page in Oracle Field Service Mobile for Android and iOS, then today's date is marked in light red, as shown in this screenshot:
This screenshot shows the current date marked in blue.
The same date is used in Oracle Field Service Core Application when searching for activities "starting today".

Current Date of the Resource

The current date of the resource is always determined in the time zone of the resource. You can activate the route and start an activity only on the current date of the resource's time zone.

Changing Past Activities

Every instance has a specific time when all the data that is related to the previous day is frozen and can't be changed any more. This time is configured in the Overnight work section on Business Rules, shown in this screenshot:
This screenshot shows the Overnight work setting on the Business Rules page.
For example, you have configured that the working time is 5 hours since midnight in the Eastern time zone. This means that at 5:00 AM in the Eastern time zone all data for the previous day becomes frozen.
Important: If you configure an instance to use in several time zones, you must set the time zone on Business Rules to the most "western" time zone. If the work is performed several hours after midnight in this most "western" time zone, then you must also specify the number of hours after midnight.

Time View in Oracle Field Service Core Application

Time view displays aggregated information for the hierarchy of resources. The information is presented in the same time zone to look consistent on the time line. The time zone is determined as the time zone of the resource selected in the resource tree on the left of the page. The current time, which is shown as a red vertical line is also in the time zone of the selected resource, shown in this screenshot:
This screenshot shows a red vertical line, which indicates the current time.
Note: The only exceptions are the resource hint, activity hint, and activity label. Information on the resource hint is displayed in the time zone of the resource this hint belongs to. Information on the activity hint and activity label is displayed according to the rules described in the Activity related information section later in the topic.

Manage page in Oracle Field Service Mobile for Android and iOS

The Manage page in Oracle Field Service Mobile for Android and iOS shows the information similar to the Time view. The difference is that there is no resource selected in the installed app. The information is shown for the list of resources identified as a group, and the group is configured by a user. Since it is not possible to identify which resource time zone must be used as the primary time zone, the time zone of the currently logged in user is used instead.
Note:
  • The only exceptions are the resource hint, activity hint, and activity label. Information on the resource hint displays in the time zone of the resource this hint belongs to. Information on the activity hint and activity label displays according to the rules described in the Activity related information section later in the topic.

  • When a user opens the non-scheduled or non-ordered activities on the right of the page, the activity identifier shows information according to the rules described in the Activity related information section later in the topic.

Organizations with Multiple Time Zones

If your organization operates in multiple time zones, it is important that you configure both, the field resource and activity time zones correctly. Configuring these time zones is even more important if they are different. A field resource sees all the data in their own time zone, but when the activity (customer) is in a different time zone, both times are shown as appropriate. The activity time zone is used for notifications and can be used in APIs (for example, for sending messages). Typically, the time zone of a physical location is used for notifications, but you may use your preferred time zone, such as your headquarters time zone or any other in which you prefer to get notifications.

Resource related information

Information that is related to a resource and the resource’s route is entered in the resource's time zone. It includes:
  • Route Status (queue_status), includes the time when the route was activated

  • Reactivated (reactivated)

  • Resource working hours (calendar)

  • Resource on-call hours (oncall_calendar)

Time view shows this information differently in Oracle Field Service Core Application and Oracle Field Service Mobile for Android and iOS. See the earlier sections for more details.

Activity Related Information

Time related information on an activity is displayed and entered in the time zone of the resource for which the activity is assigned. This information includes:
  • Start (ETA)

  • End (end_time)

  • Start - End (eta_end_time)

  • Delivery window (delivery_window)

  • Activity Time of Booking (atime_of_booking)

  • Activity Time of Assignment (atime_of_assignment)

The only exceptions are:
  • Time slot or service window (depending on what is used for the particular activity type)

  • SLA window

These properties are either in the resource time zone or in the customer time zone. It depends on the SLA and Service window use customer time zone field set on the activity type. Time view shows this information differently in Oracle Field Service Core Application and Oracle Field Service Mobile for Android and iOS. See the earlier sections for more details.

User related information

All user related information is shown in the time zone of the user. It includes:
  • When the user was registered

  • When the user was updated

  • When the user logged in last time

  • When the user changed the password

  • Date and time till when the user is blocked

Collaboration

Each message in Collaboration includes the time when it was sent. This time is shown in the time zone of the currently logged in user.

Change a Resource’s Organization

You can change the Organization for bucket and Organization unit resources. Resource types such as field resources, tools, and vehicles inherit their parent’s Organization.

  1. Select the resource in the resource tree.

  2. Click Resource Settings > Resource Info.

  3. Locate the Organization field and select the desired Organization.

  4. Click OK.

    The resource is displayed under the selected Organization in the resource tree.

Provide Access to Group Actions for Resources

You can provide access to users to select multiple users of a user type to perform actions such as deactivate, unlock, delete, or activate.

If a user doesn’t have the permissions to change the resources or users of a particular User type, then the user can't select such resources or users. Verify the Can create users of the following user type setting on the Configuration > User Types > General tab.
  1. Click Configuration > User Types.

  2. Select the user type for which you want to provide the access.

  3. Go to the Screen configuration tab and click Resources under Application screens.

  4. Click Click to add and select Activate, Deactivate, Delete, Set Collaboration Group, and Unlock.

  5. For each button that you just added, click Add new visibility and then click Save.

    The Activate, Deactivate, Delete, Set Collaboration Group, and Unlock buttons are displayed on the Resources page, when a user with this permission selects a resource.

Calendars, Work Schedules, and Shifts

Whether they are set at the organization unit, bucket or resource level, overall calendar options are made up of combinations of work schedules, shifts, working, and non-working time. Ultimately they represent a holistic view of who is available or not available for work at any given time on any given day.

Here are a few rules regarding the hierarchy of calendars in general, and their levels of precedence:
  • Work schedules, shifts, and working time applied to a bucket or an organization unit, by default, also apply to all resources that fall under that bucket or organization unit.

  • Calendars created or adjusted at a lower level override the calendar at a higher level. In other words, the calendar that you have set up at a resource level overrides the calendar that the resource may have inherited from its parent entity. However, the work schedule defined at the child level doesn't override the non-working time defined at the parent level.

  • A calendar at the individual resource level applies only to that resource and overrides all other calendars.

To better understand calendars and their potential components, we must define the different options. The components of a calendar are:
  • Work Schedules: Work schedules contain multiple shifts and non-working times. Work schedules are the mechanisms for grouping these items, so that they can be applied to a single resource, a bucket, or an entire organization unit. Work schedules represent the highest level of calendar options.

  • Shifts: Shifts are used to define the different working times as defined by an organization. They can be created once and used by a variety of work schedules, simplifying the assignment of schedules. In addition to work schedules, shifts can also be assigned directly to organization units, buckets, or resources.

  • Working Time: The time frame in which a resource is scheduled to work that does not comply with one of a company’s standard shift definitions.

  • Non-working Time: Non-working time is used to identify known absences such as bereavement, illness, holidays, and vacations.

Earlier portions of this guide covered the creation of work schedules, shifts, and non-working time. This section will concentrate on assigning those calendar options to entities on the Resource Tree (organization units, buckets, resources). While the process is the same for each, depending on what you select on the Resource Tree, the implications differ. This ties back in with the explanation of the calendar hierarchy.

When associating calendar options with higher-level entities (organization units, buckets), their child resources assume the same options. However, if you set options at the resource level, they take precedence over their inherited settings. For the purpose of this guide, the steps for building calendars at the resource level are covered. The steps are the same for organization units and buckets, so simply select them from the Resource Tree instead of individual resources.

Add a Work Schedule or a Shift

You can assign a work schedule or a shift to a resource, bucket, or group. You can also define the on-call schedule of a resource using the Calendar view.

  1. Click the hamburger icon and click Calendars.

    The calendar appears for the resources in your group or bucket.
  2. For the resource for which you want to modify the calendar, click the shift for the required date.

    The modify calendar dialog box appears for the selected resource and date.
  3. To change the work schedule or shift for the resource, update these fields:

    Name Description
    Schedule This list includes work schedules and shifts. Select the work schedule or shift that you want to apply to the resource.
    End date The date on which the new work schedule or shift ends. Click No date specified to apply it for an indefinite time.
  4. To add the details of on-call for the resource, click On-Call and update these fields:

    Name Description
    On-Call Schedule The field that specifies that the resource is on call. When you select an on-call shift, the on-call color coded icon that is attached to the shift appears. When you add this shift to a resource, this icon is displayed on the Dispatch Console, Manage, Calendar, and Resource Calendar pages, and on the resource avatar. Select On-Call. An On-Call shift visually shows the resources that are available to be contacted outside a regular working shift. If you have not activated an On-Call shift, it is not suitable for activity assignment - either manually or in routing optimization, and is not used in capacity calculations. However, when you activate an on-call shift, activities can be assigned to the resource.
    End Date, Repeat If you are adding the shift for a short duration, say 5 days, enter the number in the Repeat field. The value in End Date is automatically adjusted. If you are adding the shift for a long duration, say a month, click the calendar in the End Date field and select the end date. The number of days is automatically calculated and displayed in the Repeat field. The dates between which the shift is applicable is also displayed.
  5. Click Submit.

Add a Shift to a Resource's Calendar

Shifts are standard patterns of working time. They determine when a resource is available for work. Shifts applied at the resource level override the shifts applied at a higher level in the resource tree.

  1. Select a resource from the resource tree.

  2. Click Resource Settings > Resource Calendars.

    The Resource Calendars page displays.
  3. Click the date for which you want to add a shift.

    The Add Shift dialog box displays.
  4. Complete the fields.

    Field name Action
    Shift Select a pre-configured shift from the drop-down list.
    Start date Select the start date of the shift.
    End date Select the end date of the shift, if applicable.
    Comments Enter comments, if any.
    Recurrence-Repeats-Daily Apply to schedules such as every other day or every 3rd day. If you select this option, add the frequency of occurrence in the field Days between occurrences.
    Recurrence-Repeats-Everyday Applies to every day schedules that repeat without exception and without any modification options.
    Recurrence-Repeats-Weekly Apply calendars that have a regular weekly pattern. Select the days that apply to this shift using the check boxes for the individual days. Indicate the frequency of this pattern weekly by adding a value to the Weeks between occurrences field.
    Recurrence-Repeats-Yearly Occurs every year from the selected date entered in the From day until the date entered in the To day field.
  5. Click OK.

Add Working Time to a Calendar

Working time differs from shifts in that it represents start and stop times that may differ from the pre-defined shifts. Use working time when resources work a different number of hours than they normally do or when they work at a different time of the day than the other resources.

  1. Click the hamburger icon and click Calendars.

    The calendar appears for the resources in your group or bucket.
  2. For the resource for which you want to modify the calendar, click the shift for the required date.

    The modify calendar dialog box appears for the selected resource and date.
  3. Fill up these fields:

    Field name Action
    Schedule Select Custom Working Time from the drop-down list.
    Note: You can create only one on-call shift per day. If you create a second on-call shift, the first one is deleted. You can remove an on-call shift, if you assign a schedule for a resource. You can't remove an on-call shift, if you assign a regular shift, custom working time, or non-working time.
    Start Time Enter the time when the resource's work is to begin.
    End Time Enter the time when the resource's day ends.
    Points If you are using points to cap activity assignments, you can enter them here. These points work the same way as points associated with a shift.
    Comments Enter any comments that you would like to provide for the change in timings.
    End Date Select the end date for the schedule.
    Repeat Number of days starting from the day selected on the calendar to which the new working time applies. The start and end dates of the new schedule are displayed below the field.
    Keep the Non-working days Select this check box to retain the existing non-working days in the resource’s calendar. This check box is selected by default.
    This screenshot shows the dialog box where you add the custom working time:
    This screenshot shows the fields to add the custom working time.
  4. Click Submit.

    The new schedule is displayed on the calendar.

Add On-Call, Non-Working, or Custom Working Time to a Calendar

Use non-working time to identify times when a resource, an organization unit, or a bucket is not available for work. You can use the custom working time to specify a custom schedule for a resource. Similarly, you can use the on-call option to specify the time during which a resource is available on call. Be aware that you can change the calendar, only if you have the Read-Write permission for Resource Calendar on the Resource/User Info context layout structure.

  1. Click the hamburger icon and then click Calendars.

    The Calendar view appears for the group or bucket assigned to you.
  2. Select the bucket, group, or resource for which you want to change the calendar.

  3. Click the date for which you want to add the non-working time, custom working time, or an on-call schedule.

  4. Click On-Call and update these fields:

    Name Description
    On-Call Schedule The field specifies whether the resource is not working, is working in a custom schedule, or is on call. Select Non-Working Time, Custom Working Time, or On-Call. If you select the blank option, the existing on-call schedule is removed and the earlier schedule is restored.
    Reason If you have selected Non-Working Time, select the reason for which the resource is not working. For example, Others. This field is not displayed if you have selected Custom Working Time or On-Call.
    Start time, End time If you have selected Custom Working Time, select the custom start and end time of the schedule. This field is not displayed if you have selected Non-Working Time or On-Call.
    Comment If you have selected Non-Working Time or Custom Working Time, enter a comment. For example, Daughter’s graduation day, or Dentist’s appointment at 4:00 pm. This field is not displayed if you have selected On-Call.
    End Date, Repeat If you are adding the shift for a short duration, say 5 days, enter the number in the Repeat field. The value in End Date is automatically adjusted. If you are adding the shift for a long duration, say a month, click the calendar in the End Date field and select the end date. The number of days is automatically calculated and displayed in the Repeat field. The dates between which the shift is applicable is also displayed.
    Keep the Non-working days Select this check box to retain the existing non-working days in the resource’s calendar. This check box is selected by default.
  5. Click OK.

    If the non-working time can be applied, the resource is marked as a non-working resource for the selected date range. If the non-working time can't be applied, a warning message appears. If you click OK, the non-working time is applied, but a warning message appears on the resource tree for that resource on that day. Non-working time can't be applied if the technician has anything other than repeating, shift, or mass type of activities assigned on this route. The activities on the resource’s route, other than mass and repeating activities, are rerouted or assigned to the bucket, if these conditions are met:
    • The routing plan has the Enable reoptimization check box selected.

    • The resource meets the routing plan filter conditions.

Delete Items from a Calendar

When you want to remove a work schedule, shift, working time, or non-working time, or override an item from a resource’s calendar, you can delete it.

Note: When you delete an item from a resource calendar, the resource reacquires any like items that are set at a higher level. For example, if you delete a work schedule from a calendar, the resource reacquires the work schedule of it's bucket or group.
  1. Select a resource from the resource tree.

  2. Click Resource Settings > Resource Calendars.

    The Resource Calendars page displays.
  3. Click the check box next to the item that you want to delete and then click Delete.

  4. Click OK.

Add the Find Nearby Inventory Action to Part Details Page

Field Resources can find out the availability of an item with any of the nearby technicians. You must first configure the context layout of the Part details page to display the Find Nearby Inventory action on the Parts details page.

The Find Nearby Inventory option is available based on these rules:
  1. The Find Nearby link is active ONLY if these conditions are true:
    • Your company has a subscription to Smart Collaboration and Smart Location or Oracle Field Service Enterprise edition or Oracle Field Service Professional edition.

    • Collaboration is enabled and configured for the user type and user.

    • User location information is available and the location permission given in the browser.

    • Nearby resources are available for the current user and at least one nearby user is online.

    • Find Nearby action link is added to the Part Details context for the user.

    • User activated the route.

  2. The Find Nearby Inventory tab shows the number of users who hold this inventory within 50 miles distance from the resource. The distance is based on the Nearby Radius field configured on the Business Rules page.

  3. The Find Nearby Inventory tab displays the travel duration only if these conditions are true:
    • Your company has a subscription to Oracle Field Service Enterprise edition with Google Maps.

    • You have enabled the Enable Real Time Traffic check box on the User Types page.

To add the Find Nearby Inventory action to the Parts details page:

  1. Click Configuration.

  2. Click User Types.

  3. Open the Screen configuration tab.

  4. In the Application screens section, click Parts details.

    The Parts details context layout structure appears.
  5. Under Action, click theClick to Add link.

  6. Select the Standard action screen option.

  7. Select the Nearby Resources with Parts check box and then click OK.

  8. Click Add new visibility.

    Read-only is selected by default.
  9. Click Save.

The Find Nearby Inventory button is now available on the Parts details page.

Add a Plug-in to the Parts Details Page

You may have created a plug-in that lets Field Resources order a part from the warehouse or from a vendor. To display a link to the plug-in on the Parts Details page, you must configure the context layout of the Parts details page.

Prerequisite: You have added the plug-in on the Forms & Plugins page and configured it.

To add a plug-in to the Part details page:

  1. Click Configuration.

  2. Click User Types.

  3. Open the Screen configuration tab.

  4. In the Application screens section, click Parts details.

    The Parts details context layout page appears.
  5. Under Action, click theClick to Add link.

  6. Select the Plugins option.

  7. Select the check box for the plug-in to be displayed and then click OK.

  8. Click Add new visibility for the newly selected plug-in.

    Read-only is selected by default.
  9. Click Save.

The plug-in is now available on the Parts details page.

Resource Work Skills

To ensure that a resource has the ability to perform the assigned activities, you must correlate the incoming activity skill requirements with the skills specified for each resource.

The work skill functionality is what that correlation is based on. You first set up work skills and then assign them to resource records, with the appropriate levels of qualification set for each. Incoming activities are also assigned work skills based on certain conditions being met. The application matches up the resources with corresponding skills during routing. For more information about how to add work skills, see the Configure Oracle Field Service chapter. In this section, we’ll cover a common administrative task – assigning work skills to resources to help ensure that the right resource is being assigned the right work by routing.

Work Skill Group Considerations

Work skill groups are bundles of work skills that can be assigned to resources, similar to individual work skills. The difference, however, is that work skill groups may already contain predetermined qualification levels of certain skills, whereas when assigning works skills one at a time, you can define unique qualification levels for the resource.

If there is an overlap in qualification levels between what is defined within work skill groups and individual work skills, then the resource is considered to have whichever is the highest. Work skill groups are assigned in the same manner that work skills are (less selecting qualification levels), so this section only describes the process of assigning work skills. Editing existing work skills for resources is another common task, and it is also accomplished in the same manner as initially assigning skills.

Assign Work Skills to a Resource

Work skills are the competencies that each resource is qualified to perform. A resource without work skills is not considered for activity assignments. You can assign work skills to resources through the Resource Info page.

  1. In the resource tree, click on the group or bucket that you want to add the new resource to.

  2. Click Settings > Resource Info from the drop-down list.

    The Resource Info page displays.

  3. Click the plus icon in the Work skills field.

    The Add work skills window opens.

  4. Assign a preference level for each work skill using a scale of 1 to 100.

    A higher number means that the resource has a higher chance of being allocated the task. If a resource performs this task only occasionally, enter a lower number.
  5. Click Save.

    The resource is now assigned the skills and will be considered for work only if their qualification level meets or exceeds the level in the activity record. These guidelines are applicable:
    • If no individual skills are defined for a resource, then the application interprets that the resource is qualified to perform all of the skills at the highest qualification level. This is the default setting.

    • When qualification levels are set for at least one work skill, then the resource is considered to have only that specific skill. The resource is not considered for work requiring any of the other skills.

    • A higher ratio number increases the likelihood that this resource will be assigned activities with this work skill. If the ratios are conflicting, the application uses the higher ratio. If the work skill group ratio conflicts with the individual work skill ratio, the application uses the individual work skill ratio.

Resource Work Zones

Work zones provide two major capabilities—the first is to define the areas within which a resource is allowed to work (or is restricted from working outside of). The second is to support the ability to cap or stop activities from being booked at certain times on a zone-by-zone basis (capacity management).

You can assign work zones to resources through any level within the Resource Tree (group, bucket or resource). An exception is temporary work zones – you can set them only at an individual resource level. If you set work zones at a group or bucket level, then their child entities (resources) inherit the same settings. If you set work zones at the resource level, then those settings override any higher-level settings. Given those rules, ensure that before assigning work zones, you have selected the correct entity from the Resource Tree. The process of assigning work zones is the same for all levels. This document includes the steps for assigning work zones to individual resources.

Add Work Zones to a Resource

Work zones define the regional areas in which technicians are permitted to work. When you add a work zone to a resource, any work zone shape or custom map layer that is added to the work zone is displayed on the map. Work zone shapes and custom map layers help you visualize your work area better.

  1. Select the resource from the Resource Tree.

  2. Click Resource Settings and then select Resource Work Zones from the drop-down list.

    The Resource Work Zones page displays for the selected resource.

  3. Click Add new.

    The Add Resource Work Zone for <resource name> dialog box appears.

  4. Complete these fields:

    Field Description
    Work zone Select the work zone from the drop-down list.
    Display additional zones in the drop-down list Select the box to view all the active work zones. For the group or bucket that this resource is in.
    Ratio Type a value between 1 and 100. A higher number increases the likelihood that this resource will be assigned activities in this work zone. If this is a work zone the resource works in daily, or if it is a preferred zone for the resource, enter a higher number. If this resource only works in this work zone occasionally or only by exception, enter a lower number. You can assign multiple work zones with different ratios to one resource.
    Schedule Section
    Temporary Select this check box to create a temporary work zone for a specified period of time.
    Date Start Enter the date that this work zone assignment starts.
    Date End [Optional] If this is a temporary assignment, enter the date that this work zone assignment ends.
    Recurrence Set the schedule for the work zone if the resource is alternating between work zone assignments. Resources can cover different work zones on different days of the week. Use this feature to change a resource’s work area on certain days of the week. Select the frequency of recurrence and the days on which to recur.
  5. Click Add.

    The work zone is added to the resource. If any work zone shapes are added to this work zone, they are displayed on the map.

Remove Work Zones from a Resource

If a resource doesn’t want to work in a specific region, you can delete the work zone from a resource’s record. Deleting a work zone has a major impact on the activity assignments.

  1. Select the resource from which you want to delete a work zone.

  2. Click Settings > Resource Work Zones.

  3. Select the work zones you want to delete from this resource.

  4. Click Delete.

  5. Click OK.

    Any activities associated with these work zones will no longer get routed to this resource. Deleting a work zone from a resource does not delete it from the application. It will still be available to be assigned to other resources as needed.

Assign a Temporary Work Zone

You can assign a temporary work zone to a resource, for the resource to perform a work outside the usual work zone. Temporary work zones override all regular work zones of the resource for the defined period of time.

  1. Select the appropriate resource from the Resource Tree.

  2. Click Settings > Resource Work Zones.

  3. Click Add new.

    The Add resource work zone for [resource name] window appears.

  4. Select the Work Zone that you want to assign temporarily to the resource.

  5. Select the Temporary check box.

  6. Adjust the Date Start and Date End dates.

    Date End is mandatory for temporary work zones.

  7. Click Add.

    The work zone is added.

There is no need to remove temporary work zones once the date has passed. They expire on the end date and the normal work zones take precedence. These rules apply to temporary work zones:
  • The End Date is mandatory.

  • You can assign temporary work zones only to resources. You can’t assign them to buckets or groups.

  • Only the Everyday recurrence is available for temporary work zones.