It was New Years Resolution time and my wife was on my case to get more activity into my daily life. With my new pedometer (not the best Christmas present I had ever received) strapped to my hip I was sure I would be up to the 10,000 steps a day challenge, but was disappointed to find that, on a typical day behind the desk, I was lucky if I walked 2,500 steps... and most of those were to get a cup of tea!!
Clearly something had to be done to make sure that I recorded more activity on a daily basis.
Now, that got me thinking about how we record activity in RS-SQL and how you can maximize the use of its Activity Sets. So the first question has to be: what are Activity Sets? Heres the manual explanation:
In order for you to illustrate the value of your work for a client, you must first capture all the work that you have done. Activity Sets provide a way for you to tailor how you capture the detailed history of the services you provide a client.
Essentially, this means you can select the Actions associated with the work you are doing and place them into groups (Activity Sets) that will be automatically recorded when the activity happens. Actions are things, such as PULL, DELIVER, PICKUP, DESTROY, etc...
Lets put that into a simple example. When a customer requests a filefolder to be returned, you create a delivery workorder. The delivery workorder has an Activity Set associated with it, so you can decide what Actions you want to record against this delivery. It would be typical to want to record at least two; Firstly the PULL of the filefolder from its location; followed by a DELIVER action. This way you can charge one fee for the PULL and a different fee for the DELIVER action.
However, Activity Sets can be setup per account, so lets give an example where the customer asks for the filefolder to be placed into a plastic bag (a real example), and you want to make sure you always charge for the bags. You would have three activities in this accounts Activity Set:
These three Actions would always be applied, for this account, and you can apply the appropriate charges. Now you never have to count the number of bags at the end of the months and will never forget to bill for this additional service.
Activity Sets can also help record activity that you dont actually charge for, but want to report on or monitor. For example, lets say that I only charge a single transport fee for going to a clients location, I could create an Action named something like TRANSPORT. This way only one transport charge would appear regardless of whether I was undertaking a Pickup and/or a Delivery. However, if I only have this TRANSPORT Action recorded how would I tell if I was actually carrying out a Pickup or Delivery? So for a Delivery I could have the following Activity Set:
And for a Pickup I could have:
Now, if I checked the activity I could easily count how many items I had recorded with a DELIVER action and how many had a PICKUP associated with them, while all the time the customer was only charged a single TRANSPORT fee.
If you take some time to understand Activity Sets, you can often greatly reduce the number of Other Service workorders that you are creating based on manual counts of activity that took place during the month. This automates the billing much more and reduces errors and omissions in your invoicing.
So now, with my new nightly walk (ok, not every night) to get closer to the 10,000 daily steps (thats about 5 miles or 8 kilometers if you are counting) I guess, if I could record my personal Activity Set, it would look something like: