S2000 Win Dispatch Software

Dispatch Software for your Business

Dashboard View, actual customer names have been changed to client name for privacy. Each tech name at the top would be your different field technician names.
Dashboard View, actual customer names have been changed to client name for privacy. Each tech name at the top would be your different field technician names.
Right clicking on an active cell will allow you to change the status of the call.
Right clicking on an active cell will allow you to change the status of the call.

S2000 Win Dispatch Software

Service companies with field technicians need an easy way to keep track of jobs on the go and employees that perform said jobs, Dispatch Software is an ideal way of doing so. If you do your dispatching manually, what do you think the odds are of losing one or two jobs in the paper shuffle if you are keeping track of all of these jobs on pieces of paper? Being with a company that has several technicians out in the field I can tell you that the follow up on some of the jobs in progress can cease to exist simply because they have lost track of one, two or more of the tasks taking place. This is where computer aided dispatch software comes in and fills in those gaps, helping to prevent data loss.

We have tried to do this with Excel and I will be the first to admit that I think Excel is an absolutely marvelous tool, but the tool is only as good as the data that is put into it. When you have software that is tailored to the task at hand, which is the Dispatch of Service Technicians, these tasks are much more simplified, leaving less room for error.

With the dispatch service software we have chosen, S2000, you have a choice of a couple of dashboards, one is classic and the other is time based. Time based is good if you know exactly how long said jobs will take and you must enter those times. The Classic Dashboard is what you see in the screen-shot above, it does not require you to enter times. The service we are in, the job times can vary greatly, all depending on different circumstances, so entering a time is not really going to show a true picture.

S2000 Tool Bar

S2000 Tool Bar Icon Key

Numbers Start at the Left
 
 
1. Close window
7. Squeeze Cells
13. Suspended
2. Zoom In
8. Notified
14. Completed
3. Zoom Out
9. Acknowledged
15. Custom Time Stamp1
4. Format Cell
10. No Answer
16. Custom Time Stamp 1
5. Lock Cell Size
11. Travelling
17. About
6. Expand Cells
12. Started
 

Data Entry into S2000 Dispatch Software

The most time consuming part you will experience with your computer aided dispatch software is when you first purchase it, that is the initial data entry. We never did check if the company we purchased the software from includes the data entry into the cost, you may want to check into this. If you do not have a person who can enter the data for you or you simply do not have the time to enter all of the information, they may be able to do it for you or recommend someone who will.

I have gotten stuck a couple of times on the data entry and had to place a call to them, they were very quick with their responses. Every time I called a speedy resolution was found for whichever minor issue I was experiencing, I only had to call two or three times.

Color Coding on the Dispatch Service Software - You will notice there are different colors in place for different work orders. We have chosen different colors for different service areas, for example; Southern Alberta is light green, Northern Alberta is light blue, BC, Sask and Manitoba have all been coded with different colors. Dispatch is given a color key that they can refer to until a time comes when they easily remember which color goes where.

Technicians and Sub Contractor names are listed across the top, so let us say Bob lives in Southern Alberta and he has a job assigned to him for Northern Alberta it will be easy to see that there is a mistake, there will be a wrong colored work order for his area.

S2000 Color variations on the Classic Dashboard for easier clarification.
S2000 Color variations on the Classic Dashboard for easier clarification.
Shows different colors on the top bar of cells for work orders that are at different status points.
Shows different colors on the top bar of cells for work orders that are at different status points.
This menu comes up when you first log in, suggesting the operations that should be performed.
This menu comes up when you first log in, suggesting the operations that should be performed.

Colors at the Top of Cells

The colors at the top of your cells all have a meaning, for example:

  • A Cell that has red at the top means this job is suspended.
  • Green means the job is started.
  • Purple means the job has been acknowledged.
  • Blue is Technician has been notified.
  • Yellow is no answer.
  • White is Traveling.
  • Dark Grey is completed.
  • Technician out to lunch is light Grey.

You will be able to choose from different levels of service required, some jobs are going to be more urgent than others. You can see dots on the graphic with the four cells showing, one dot is red and the others are green. Red in this example means the job is critical and is under a time constraint. A green dot means it is something that is expected to be done within the next three business days, for example.

The Selected Cell will also show a bit of detail on what is required for that job, if you highlight the cell which holds the job you are interested in, more info will be brought up on the bottom of your screen, please refer to the larger screen shot to view these bottom cells.

Putting calls received onto your Dispatch Board

On your menu in the header for the Dashboard above you will see the heading DBoard, fourth from the left, you will select this and it will open a menu, from there you will choose either Classic Dashboard or Time Based Dashboard. (You can only do this once all of your data has been entered, all sites, all address and all other necessary details.) We go with the Classic Dashboard because times are not always valid in our industry.

  • Once you have chosen your Dashboard it will bring up a menu showing the date, you will verify that the date is correct, employee group, employees, center and salesperson. All our dispatch people need do is make sure the date is correct, the rest is selected for them as a default. There will be tabs at the bottom of your screen which if clicked will toggle you back and forth between different data screens.
  • The default screen that first loads on your Dashboard is your Customer Look-up view. This is the first screen that auto opens and it is the last screen that gets closed. A point on closing screens, always click the icon with the red x (left top side below menu bar) on the menu bar to close a screen, do not click the right top corner x, you will close everything.

The menu shown when you right click on an active work order cell, you will see there are different tabs holding different data.
The menu shown when you right click on an active work order cell, you will see there are different tabs holding different data.
A view of reports that are available.
A view of reports that are available.
Window shown when creating a work order, the lines pointed to are important to fill out.
Window shown when creating a work order, the lines pointed to are important to fill out.

Once viewing your Dashboard, which is pictured here, from your menu bar you will choose the heading Tasks then 'Service' and from that menu choice you will choose 'Create New Work Order.

You will be asked several questions

  • Your first choice is choosing your customer from your database, once you pick the customer from the list all of their info will be brought in for you.
  • You will click through several data gathering questions, the most important for our company is the priority of the call, the nature of the problem and of course the location.
  • You will be given opportunity to enter notes, add attachments, add parts from your parts list, the S2000 software can monitor your inventory for you.
  • Once your work order appears on the dashboard, it you have not yet assigned it to a technician you can simply drag it over to the chosen techs column and it will create a record of when it was given over to that technician by dispatch. The first column on the left of the dashboard is for unassigned jobs, this is a column you need to keep an eye on and make sure those jobs do get assigned.
  • You can arrange your techs in the columns however you choose, that is all done in the setup but can be changed at any time you need to. We have ours arranged by geographic area, first will come the Southern techs, then the Northern and then the other Provinces will follow in our chosen order.
  • On a side note S2000 Win Dispatch Software can keep a complete set of accounting records, you would not need to have separate accounting software, it all depends on to what extent you wish to use the software.

Key Things to Remember

  • Everyday you must roll your E-Cards from one day to the next, you can do this at the end of your day or at the beginning of your next day.
  • Dispatch personnel must be given medium access in order to create work orders.
  • You can have more than one person logged in at the same time, we have it set up for four to be using the software at the same time, it is only a matter of seconds and the changes or additions made to the dispatch board will be visible to all users logged on.
  • When you purchase the software you need to let the company know how many users you need logged on at the same time.
  • It is important that your dispatch watch the board, enter the data correctly and follow up on jobs that have been carried forward and enter in notes as to the reason why. You have the ability to add notes, parts and separate file attachments to all work orders.
  • As a rule of thumb you get what you pay for in most cases. If you want software that is going to easily keep track of your service industry calls you must do your research, take a test drive of the software, do not buy the Dispatch Software just because it is cheap.

Summary

We use S2000 Dispatch Service Software strictly for dispatching. Our dispatch people have been made familiar with the software and thus far all have given it a thumbs up. We have looked at many different dispatch software programs, some were far too complex - had to be straight forward and reasonably simple, some were web based - not good if the internet goes down, some are extremely high priced and not worth the cost; S2000 Dispatch seems to fit our needs on all levels.

If you are a service company and thinking about purchasing Dispatch Software or have a question, feel free to drop a note in the comment box and we will give you our honest opinion. We are in no way Affiliated with S2000, it just happens to be the software we chose and so far we are quite happy with it.

FYI: We did pay more than $1,000 for this, quite a bit more, but less than $30,000 which some software distributors charge for their Dispatch Software. If you see something out there that seems extremely cheap please do check out the capabilities and how user friendly the software actually is.

There are several different providers if you are looking for field dispatch service software, we all have different needs, make sure what you purchase covers all of your specific needs. If ever in doubt that the software is capable of a certain task that you require, ask the software developer service personnel for all the specs before making your final decision.

S2000 Update:

The company has been using this software for at least a couple of months now and it does meet our needs, it's fairly easy to navigate your way around and has many more capabilities than what we are using it for. We wanted it for keeping track of dispatch jobs only, we keep our bookkeeping and all other parts inventory separate just because that's the way we have always done it up until this point.

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