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Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby mchegger » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:12 am

I am looking for tips to be used for Mitchell scheduling. I would like to know if anyone has any solutions to help with daily scheduling and if they could share it? Thank you, Marcus
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby carrieswanlund » Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:20 pm

mchegger wrote:I am looking for something outside of Mitchell that can be used for scheduling. Unfortunately the hundreds of requests to revert to the old scheduler have fallen on deaf ears. I would like to know if anyone has an effective electronic solution out there to help with daily scheduling and if they could share it? Thank you, Marcus


Marcus, are you using the scheduler as "delivered"? If yes, it will be very frustrating. There are changes you can make that will make it work. What problems are you having? And, I ask because I was ready to go back to paper and pencil and my staff refused to make appointments until we customized it. - Carrie Swanlund
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby mchegger » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:44 pm

Thanks for responding Carrie. The problem is I like to make the appointments for the morning, so I can spread out the customers and not have them slam my advisor and I. So there are 2 parts, the time the people are supposed to show up, and how long we estimate their vehicle to be in the shop. So If I schedule six 4 hour appointments in the morning everything gets so narrow I can't tell who it is, or what it is for. It is impossible to determine, at a glance how many LOFs I have scheduled. I cannot tell how much work I have scheduled for that day, because the RO hours and scheduled hours are different. Furthermore, there is no way to determine how much work in progress is happening. So my biggest beef is I cannot see how many hours I have booked, the customers name, and why they have come at a glance. Any feedback would be great! Thanks
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby carrieswanlund » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:49 am

mchegger wrote:So there are 2 parts, the time the people are supposed to show up, and how long we estimate their vehicle to be in the shop. So If I schedule six 4 hour appointments in the morning everything gets so narrow I can't tell who it is, or what it is for. It is impossible to determine, at a glance how many LOFs I have scheduled. I cannot tell how much work I have scheduled for that day, because the RO hours and scheduled hours are different. Furthermore, there is no way to determine how much work in progress is happening. So my biggest beef is I cannot see how many hours I have booked, the customers name, and why they have come at a glance. Any feedback would be great! Thanks


1) Use the resources. We made three columns. Drop Off, Waiting, and Unassigned. When you make an appointment using this resource vehicle it will make the waiting appointments its own column. You can make your own resource headings by clicking on "configurations", "Scheduler Set Up", "Add/Edit Scheduler Resources". Make sure you enter them in the order you want it to read left to right. You can't change the order once they have been entered.

2) I put a quick note for what they are coming in for next to their name. Smith, John (LOF)

3) I think most of us have our appointments scheduled for first thing in the morning and having a block of "time" is not realistic. No 4 hour job takes a perfect 4 hour block of time so that one frustrates me also. Using the resource will help that a bit.

4) When an appointment becomes so large it fill up the day I click the "all day" and it will move it to the top of the schedule. It's not really all day but it moves it out of the way.

5) In the resource by date view you can see how many hours have been "sold" at the top of each column.

6) You can also color code each vehicle. "configurations", Scheduler Set Up", "Add/Edit" states.

- Carrie Swanlund, 15th Street Automotive 253-840-2250
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby Pauls Automotive » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:35 pm

Hi Carrie,

Thanks for the information. I have recently started to use the scheduler in earnest and I found this very helpful.

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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby mchegger » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:46 pm

Thanks Carrie, I got it. I will give it a try.
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby murraymotive » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:32 pm

carrieswanlund wrote:1) Use the resources. We made three columns. Drop Off, Waiting, and Unassigned. When you make an appointment using this resource vehicle it will make the waiting appointments its own column. You can make your own resource headings by clicking on "configurations", "Scheduler Set Up", "Add/Edit Scheduler Resources". Make sure you enter them in the order you want it to read left to right. You can't change the order once they have been entered.


This is a great use of the Resources field. We'll give it a try and report back.
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby BERGMANS1 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:24 am

murraymotive wrote:
carrieswanlund wrote:1) Use the resources. We made three columns. Drop Off, Waiting, and Unassigned. When you make an appointment using this resource vehicle it will make the waiting appointments its own column. You can make your own resource headings by clicking on "configurations", "Scheduler Set Up", "Add/Edit Scheduler Resources". Make sure you enter them in the order you want it to read left to right. You can't change the order once they have been entered.


This is a great use of the Resources field. We'll give it a try and report back.


If the resources fields were adjustable for width this would likely work great for us. I tried setting it up for waiting, loaner 1, loaner 2 and unassigned. But with most of the appointments in the unassigned area it gets so cramped in that one 1/4 of the schedule it isn't really useful for me. If I could make waiting, loaner 1 and loaner 2 smaller and the unassigned area larger it would probably work.

Great suggestion though, I had not thought about using it that way.
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby carrieswanlund » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:54 am

If the resources fields were adjustable for width this would likely work great for us. I tried setting it up for waiting, loaner 1, loaner 2 and unassigned. But with most of the appointments in the unassigned area it gets so cramped in that one 1/4 of the schedule it isn't really useful for me. If I could make waiting, loaner 1 and loaner 2 smaller and the unassigned area larger it would probably work.

Great suggestion though, I had not thought about using it that way.


1) I agree the field size becomes unreadable. I have spoke with both Mitchel and Bolt On Technology about that one also.

2) As far as loaner 1 and 2. Could they be in the same column but color coded? Go to "Scheduler Set Up", "Add/Edit Schedule States" then add the loaner and the color. That way you know who has the loaner at a glance.

Just thinking out load....does each loaner need a column or could it be just color coded and in the unassigned column? You noted that most of your appointments are in the unassigned column. That way you would have two columns that are easier to read (larger).
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby murraymotive » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:03 am

BERGMANS1 wrote:If the resources fields were adjustable for width this would likely work great for us.
Great suggestion though, I had not thought about using it that way.


I came here to write exactly this. It was like yessssss and then nooooooooo. Gah, another disappointment. :cry:
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby BERGMANS1 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:33 am

carrieswanlund wrote:
If the resources fields were adjustable for width this would likely work great for us. I tried setting it up for waiting, loaner 1, loaner 2 and unassigned. But with most of the appointments in the unassigned area it gets so cramped in that one 1/4 of the schedule it isn't really useful for me. If I could make waiting, loaner 1 and loaner 2 smaller and the unassigned area larger it would probably work.

Great suggestion though, I had not thought about using it that way.


1) I agree the field size becomes unreadable. I have spoke with both Mitchel and Bolt On Technology about that one also.

2) As far as loaner 1 and 2. Could they be in the same column but color coded? Go to "Scheduler Set Up", "Add/Edit Schedule States" then add the loaner and the color. That way you know who has the loaner at a glance.

Just thinking out load....does each loaner need a column or could it be just color coded and in the unassigned column? You noted that most of your appointments are in the unassigned column. That way you would have two columns that are easier to read (larger).


Ultimately I have an average of 10 cars being dropped off between 730 and 900, which makes even the full screen scheduler cramped width wise. Anything that I do to reduce the full screen view is going to be a bad thing. I set it up to only have two resources, wait and unassigned. In theory it is great. Problem I have is I then get 2 lonely cars in the wait column and the other 8 to 10 cramped in the unassigned column.
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby carrieswanlund » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:51 am

You can use the appointment tab for a quick glance for the day.

Go to "Scheduler Options" and change the look back to back one day. It will give you yesterday and all appointments forward. You can drag the headings to be in the order you would like them. Once the time has passed the appointment turns red.

I called Mitchell yesterday and they are still working on a fix that would make the appointments readable without printing. I think most of us have our vehicles dropped off in the morning and don't want to go back to printing a schedule to be able to read it.
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby JimQuesta » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:01 am

Good afternoon everyone,

I've been following the discussions here with great interest. We have moved into Version 7 so we could take advantage of the features in the new scheduler. While there is some reluctance and the phrase "why can't it be the way it used to be" is uttered from time to time by the people here who hate change, I can tell you that the other service writer and I have made some adjustments to our work flow that have made it a very nice part of our daily work flow.

I've taken a couple of screen shots that show how we use the new scheduler. Most of our work is done from the Technician view. I have each technician color coded, and two additional columns labeled "None" and "unassigned". I use those last two as place holders for all incoming appointments. As they come in, I adjust the size of the appointments to view the work scheduled, and pay less attention to the amount of hours used. For us, hours are fluid - a simple oil change can expand until a service that can last 4 hours. While another one will only be 30 minutes. See the screen shot labeled "Start Of Day.pdf"
Start Of Day.png
Screen shot of how we start out most days
 

As the vehicles arrive, we assign the work to various technicians based on their skill levels and expertise. After they are assigned and they start work on the first vehicle, we assign the 2nd vehicle to their slot. as the time is used, we would adjust the work to show what's actually happening in the shop. As work progresses and technician load becomes heavier for one and lighter for another, we would adjust based on the remaining availability and expertise. If something happens where a technician suddenly becomes unavailable, we can contact the customer and let them know their vehicle will need to be held over or rescheduled. See the screen shot labeled "Daily Process.pdf"
Daily Process.png
Screen shot of actual work in process shown in the scheduler
 

Any work that leaks into the next morning is put under that technicians schedule for the following day based on a "best guess" of time left to finish the job.

This obviously wont work for everyone, but it allows us to really plan the day as the day goes along and to react to issues and problems as they arise. Maybe this can help someone else who is having issues adjusting to the new Scheduler. :)
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby timbre4 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:07 am

JimQuesta wrote:Good afternoon everyone,
Maybe this can help someone else who is having issues adjusting to the new Scheduler. :)


Thank you very much for these creative real-world examples you've shared to improve the current user experience.
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby John C. » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:20 am

carrieswanlund wrote:
mchegger wrote:So there are 2 parts, the time the people are supposed to show up, and how long we estimate their vehicle to be in the shop. So If I schedule six 4 hour appointments in the morning everything gets so narrow I can't tell who it is, or what it is for. It is impossible to determine, at a glance how many LOFs I have scheduled. I cannot tell how much work I have scheduled for that day, because the RO hours and scheduled hours are different. Furthermore, there is no way to determine how much work in progress is happening. So my biggest beef is I cannot see how many hours I have booked, the customers name, and why they have come at a glance. Any feedback would be great! Thanks


1) Use the resources. We made three columns. Drop Off, Waiting, and Unassigned. When you make an appointment using this resource vehicle it will make the waiting appointments its own column. You can make your own resource headings by clicking on "configurations", "Scheduler Set Up", "Add/Edit Scheduler Resources". Make sure you enter them in the order you want it to read left to right. You can't change the order once they have been entered.

2) I put a quick note for what they are coming in for next to their name. Smith, John (LOF)

3) I think most of us have our appointments scheduled for first thing in the morning and having a block of "time" is not realistic. No 4 hour job takes a perfect 4 hour block of time so that one frustrates me also. Using the resource will help that a bit.

4) When an appointment becomes so large it fill up the day I click the "all day" and it will move it to the top of the schedule. It's not really all day but it moves it out of the way.

5) In the resource by date view you can see how many hours have been "sold" at the top of each column.

6) You can also color code each vehicle. "configurations", Scheduler Set Up", "Add/Edit" states.

- Carrie Swanlund, 15th Street Automotive 253-840-2250


Dear Carrie, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!!
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby murraymotive » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:09 pm

JimQuesta wrote:Good afternoon everyone,

I've been following the discussions here with great interest. We have moved into Version 7 so we could take advantage of the features in the new scheduler. While there is some reluctance and the phrase "why can't it be the way it used to be" is uttered from time to time by the people here who hate change, I can tell you that the other service writer and I have made some adjustments to our work flow that have made it a very nice part of our daily work flow.

I've taken a couple of screen shots that show how we use the new scheduler. Most of our work is done from the Technician view. I have each technician color coded, and two additional columns labeled "None" and "unassigned". I use those last two as place holders for all incoming appointments. As they come in, I adjust the size of the appointments to view the work scheduled, and pay less attention to the amount of hours used. For us, hours are fluid - a simple oil change can expand until a service that can last 4 hours. While another one will only be 30 minutes. See the screen shot labeled "Start Of Day.pdf"

As the vehicles arrive, we assign the work to various technicians based on their skill levels and expertise. After they are assigned and they start work on the first vehicle, we assign the 2nd vehicle to their slot. as the time is used, we would adjust the work to show what's actually happening in the shop. As work progresses and technician load becomes heavier for one and lighter for another, we would adjust based on the remaining availability and expertise. If something happens where a technician suddenly becomes unavailable, we can contact the customer and let them know their vehicle will need to be held over or rescheduled. See the screen shot labeled "Daily Process.pdf"

Any work that leaks into the next morning is put under that technicians schedule for the following day based on a "best guess" of time left to finish the job.

This obviously wont work for everyone, but it allows us to really plan the day as the day goes along and to react to issues and problems as they arise. Maybe this can help someone else who is having issues adjusting to the new Scheduler. :)


This certainly looks great. Our issue is once order hours show up and the availability re-adjusts our calendar turns into a convoluted mess of text abbreviations. Thanks for the input, though. It helps to see those enjoying the new scheduler from time to time. :D
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby peopleschoice » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:26 am

So, we downloaded version 7 for the scheduler option and it seems to work pretty good for us, except one thing. When I make the appointment it will send an email to my customer confirming the appointment. That's not a problem, but when I move it to the next day to show it as time the tech is not available it will send another email....and the customer get's confused. Is there a way to remedy this? I quit trying to use the scheduler until I can figure out a work around.
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby ricmorin » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:07 am

peopleschoice wrote:So, we downloaded version 7 for the scheduler option and it seems to work pretty good for us, except one thing. When I make the appointment it will send an email to my customer confirming the appointment. That's not a problem, but when I move it to the next day to show it as time the tech is not available it will send another email....and the customer get's confused. Is there a way to remedy this? I quit trying to use the scheduler until I can figure out a work around.

Welcome to the Forum.

We have the same problem and M1 is aware of this. For now, don't move the appointment, just make a new block of time on the next day. We made a fake customer called overflow work and schedule it under that.
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Re: Tips To Make This Scheduler Work

Postby peopleschoice » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:31 pm

Thanks Ric. I thought about that as soon as I wrote the post.....will do that for now and wait for M1 to figure out what to do.
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