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portatour® schedules for the current and six further days by default, taking into account the home location you entered as starting and end point of your route. In the Schedule Parameters section on the portatour® tab, the following parameters can be changed individually. After changing parameters, click Update Schedule or Create Schedule in order to receive an adapted schedule from portatour®.
If your route should not be calculated starting from your home location, because of an overnight stay or you are already on the way, you can set a different starting point:
- Last Customer / Appointment: The schedule will be calculated starting from the last customer or last appointment. The last customer is set when you press Called Now (or Missed Now) on the customer's page, in section Call Settings (see section Last Call). The last appointments is set when clicking Now at the appointment's Call Settings (see section Appointment Took place). Only calls and appointments from today and yesterday are considered. After selecting this option, portatour® highlights the Last Customer / Appointment and the respective time:
- Customer: Use this option to manually select customers as starting location. Enter the search term and click the lookup icon next to the search box:
Use the standard Salesforce Lookup window to select the customer:
To select any customer outside the schedule as starting location, open the customer and click on the link As starting location in the Call Settings / Next Call section:
- Manual: Use this option if you want to start your route from a different point than a customer- or appointment address. After you have clicked on update schedule or create schedule, portatour® opens a window where you can set the location.
Enter the desired starting address in the fields, click on Geocode and then OK. Alternatively, you can also click on a location on the map, which can also serve as starting point. Use the zoom and slider function on the map to find your desired location. The manually entered address remains the starting point until you select a different option (e.g. Last Customer/Appointment).
By default, the schedule is calculated from the moment you click the button update schedule. The drop-down menu shows now.
If the current time is outside of working hours, portatour® uses the beginning of the next working day as starting time. The start time can be delayed in 15 minute intervals, in case you run the calculation during a work break or in course of a call preparation and therefore do not drive off immediately. You can also select one of the next 31 days as start time. The starting time of work, as set in the options, will be used as starting time.
portatour® creates schedules for a period of 7 days by default, taking only registered working hours into account (see section Working hours). 7 days is the recommended setting because each weekday comes up once in the schedule.
A reduction of the scheduling period to between 1 day and 6 days limits the possibilities for portatour® to optimally schedule customer calls accordingly. Use this option if you want to call manually included customers as soon as possible.
An extension of the period of 8 to 28 days makes only sense if you have to arrange appointments with customers a longer time ahead. However, 3 points should be taken into account:
- The number of calls is limited to 125 in the scheduling period. If you schedule for four weeks (=20 working days), an average of about 6 calls per day is possible. For three weeks there are about 8 calls per day, for two weeks about 12 calls per day, for one week about 25 calls per day. portatour® aborts the calculation if more calls are achieved due to your call settings. If this is the case, shorten the scheduling period.
- The scheduling period is limited to the shortest call interval of your customers (see section Call interval and Call interval). Therefore, you can use the whole four week long scheduling period if none of your customers has a shorter interval than 28 days. However, if (for example) the call interval of one customer is set to 14 days, the maximum period for calculation is also 14 days.
- Generally, the longer the scheduling period, the more complex and thus longer the calculation. 4-week schedules for many possible customers may take more than one minute of calculation time.Only use scheduling periods beyond 7 days if the calls in the following week(s) are actually of interest to you.
For planning mode, you have the choice between Complete and Reservations and Appointments only. In the Complete mode, scheduling includes activated appointments (Events) and reserved customers in combination with further customers who are activated for portatour®. In the Reservations and Appointments only mode only reserved customers and activated appointments are included in a schedule.
Here, you can specify whether the break should be Schedule today or whether you Already had a break today. For work break scheduling, the work break settings of the portatour® user settings are used (see section Work Break). This drop-down menu will not be shown, if work break is generally switched off.