To use the dispatch system, there are a few steps that must be taken first.
1. Go to Settings > Preferences > Notifications tab, and ensure that 'Enable Phone Notifications' is checked. See Notification Preferences for more info on Notification preferences and how they work.
2. Go to Personnel > Personnel Management and pick whichever personnel member you want. You'll need to enable 'Notify by Phone' by clicking on the 'X' and turning it into a checkmark.
3. Click on 'Edit Personnel Details' to view this personnel's details, and make sure that the system is calling the correct phone number by choosing it from the 'Phone to call' dropdown. Each Personnel can have up to three phone numbers stored, and this way you can keep them handy and switch between them as needed.
Now that everything is set, you just need a new assignment that will dispatch. See Booking an Assignment for info on creating an assignment.
On the client and personnel side of things, you only need to ensure that that the 'Notify by phone' and/or 'Notify by email' options are enabled.
Clients and personnel don't have to take any action themselves - they will simply get notified of various assignment statuses or availability.
Dispatches and Notifications
Dispatching and notifications are actually two different types of a similar thing. When we refer to 'dispatching' or 'dispatches', we mean the automated search for appropriate personnel, and the messages sent in pursuit of that. 'Notifications' are generally inter-assignment communications to clients or personnel, such as if an assignment's status has changed, or to confirm an assignment.
The types of notifications include:
- Confirmation - a call or email to notify the personnel or client that they have (or someone has, in the case of a client) been assigned to this assignment.
- Reservation - this is a special type of pseudo-dispatch that is intended for an HRM user to pro-actively ask a personnel to work the assignment, without actually assigning them yet.
- Status update - a call or email to notify the personnel that some aspect (time, date, etc...) of the assignment has changed.
- Cancellation - a call or email that will notify the personnel or client that the assignment has been cancelled.
The Dispatch Manager
Clicking on Assignments and then 'Dispatching' will lead here. This is the overview of all of the current dispatching going on in the system.
There are two main display options: 'Active' and 'Completed' dispatch. You can filter either one by Client or Personnel Type, and there is a search box as well. 'Active' dispatch is for assignments that are currently looking for people, while 'Completed' dispatch is a list of assignments that have been completed - either by finding someone, or by running through every candidate without success. The 'completed' dispatch page will keep a 7 day history of dispatching, in case you need to look back to find information.
Every entry will contain a number of fields, as you can see above: Clicking on a 'view details' icon () will take you to the dispatching details page for that assignment where you can keep tabs, if you wish, on its status.
The next column contains the status of the dispatch for that assignment - basically what is happening with it. The 'play' icon () means that this assignment is currently dispatching to find people. The 'pause' icon () means that dispatching is on hold for this assignment, and no calls or emails are currently being sent. Lastly, the 'stop' icon () denotes an assignment that has completed dispatch.
You can click on the play or pause icon in order to toggle the state of an assignment's dispatching. Clicking on the play button will cause the dispatch - much like an old tape player - to pause. Similarly, clicking on the pause icon will cause dispatching to re-commence.
The rest of the columns are informational. As stated above, if you see a number other than '1' under the '# of Assignments' column, that means that the system is dispatching for a stack.
Lastly, click on the 'details' icon () in order to view the dispatching details.
Once an assignment is created and dispatching, you'll see a little 'phone' icon (or a 'pause' icon if dispatch is paused for that assignment) - this means that the system is actively looking for people to fill this assignment.
1. Click on the assignment to view the assignment summary. and you'll see a link on the bottom right called 'Dispatch Details' (with the same phone or pause icon).
2. Clicking on this link will lead you to the Dispatch Details screen. Here, you can view the status of an assignment's dispatching. The possible options are:
System is waiting this person's turn to call them.
This personnel has calling disabled and the system won't call them.
- The system has called this personnel, and either it was busy, they didn't answer, or they answered but did not respond to prompts.
- The system has called this personnel, and they declined the assignment.
The system has called this personnel, and they accepted the assignment.
- System is waiting this person's turn to email them.
This personnel has emailing disabled and the system won't email them.
The system has emailed this personnel, and they didn't respond to it.
The system has emailed this personnel, and they declined the assignment.
The system has emailed this personnel, and they accepted the assignment.
Personnel can accept or decline this assignment from the recieved email or phone call, and when the dispatching has found someone to accept, the assignment's status will change appropriately and turn blue, showing them as assigned.
You can still book, reserve, and cancel people as usual, but this will automate much of your daily personnel search.
Something to keep in mind: When you're dispatching for a 'stack' (see stacks), they all share a single dispatch queue. In this case, you may see more than one personnel entry listed as 'Answered - Accepted' and such.
Personnel will also receive notifications under other circumstances:
- When they are reserved
- When an assignment is cancelled
- When the time of an assignment is changed