Within Eralis Job, there are two primary methods of scheduling staff and resources against a job. These methods are:
- Integration with Microsoft Project
- The built-in scheduling tool
The Scheduling tab provides certain configuration and setup options for both scheduling tools.
The Integrate to MS Project checkbox is the switch that enables the Microsoft Project integration functions. Once this option is enabled, several new fields, buttons and screens become available in Eralis Job to facilitate the integration into Microsoft Project. Once the integration has been enabled, it cannot be disabled due to the nature of the changes and updates that are processed. Please note that additional Eralis licensing is required to use the Microsoft Project integration.
The Project File Folder is a folder that the system uses to save the Microsoft Project plans that are generated through the Microsoft Project integration processing. This folder will also contain the resource pool project plan that is used to link the projects together for a clear view of the overall resource allocation. This folder is relative for each client machine, so it must point to a directory that can be accessed from all machines. UNC paths can be used.
The Document Group for Project Plans option defines the document group that will be assigned to all the project plans created against a job. These automatically generated project plans are attached to the job the same way that other attachments can be linked to a job. These attachments are grouped together for ease of access. Document groups are created under the Job Configuration menu.
The Create Pool Project button is used to automatically generate the global resource pool project plan that allows resources to be shared between multiple projects. The resource pool is a standard function within Microsoft Project that creates a standard project plan containing the company resources (staff and equipment) available for allocation to operational projects. When a new project plan is created for an operational project, the project plan is linked to this resource pool which allows the operational project plan to share the pooled resources. By opening the pooled resource project plan, the company is able to see all the projects that a specific resource has been assigned to. By clicking on the button, the system will automatically generate the shared resource pool project plan, called JCPROJECTPOOL.MPP, in the Project File Folder that has been specified.
The Global Resource Sync function provides a quick way for the company to populate the global resource pool project plan with available company resources. The system will copy the staff in the Employee Master Data table, and the resources configured in Job Resources to the global resource pool project plan. In this case, the Schedulable field must be set to YES and the field MSP Resource ID must be blank.
The Create Quote Lines from Scheduled Entries option allows the information entered in the built-in scheduling tool to be pushed to the subjob in the form of quote lines. This allows the company to graphically schedule the estimated start date and duration of a job, and use that information to form the quote for the job. The quote values can always be altered on the Quote tab of the job without impacting the schedule, if required. However, this option is linked to the status of the job. As soon as a job is moved into a status that is configured with Editable for Estimates =N, the system will stop creating or updating quote lines.
The Create Activities from Schedule Entries option causes the system to create an activity within SAP Business One for the scheduled task. To do this, the staff member record in the Employee Master screen needs to be linked to a valid SAP Business One user account.