Customer story: JavaScript Gantt widget for project planning with NAV

Posted by Ute Gillet on Oct 25, 2018 1:56:00 PM

Resource planning for pest controllers

Pest controlling has more and more become a highly complex service business, no longer being a mere matter of setting traps or placing baits but meanwhile also including making service contracts to ensure that the trap systems in the infested buildings will be checked and equipped on a regular basis. Moreover, comprehensive regular documentation is mandatory for the pest controller as well as for his customer. Pest controllers with a big customer base nowadays can’t do without consistently being supported by software. For this reason, many of them use the ERP system Microsoft Dynamics NAV that simply lets them better manage customer contracts, recurrent on-site services, invoices, and inventory.

It won’t work without a documentation system

With Pestsoft, the Austrian software manufacturer nector offers an optimum supplement for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.  The software presents the data stored in NAV in a comfortable interface with a comprehensive documentation system for managing the documents for contracts, audits,training certificates forservice technicians, and above all a clear reporting system. Pestsoft also enables trend analyses and evaluations of selected periods.

 

Overview wanted for planning short-term orders

Of course, the pest controllers not only have to plan long-term recurrent on-site services but also short-term orders. A customer wished for a visual planning board as additional function in Pestsoft for gaining better overview of his staff’s assignments and thus their free capacities. During their research for a visual resource planning, nector came across NETRONIC’s Visual Jobs Scheduler. The Gantt add-in already covered a large part of the desired functionality. But, however, as nector’s responsible developer, Michael Hartl, puts it:

“Our planning table needs flexibility in terms of connectivity of our individual solution and hence the standard VJS was not an option for us. But since NETRONIC knows Microsoft Dynamics NAV and has developed an own visual planning board for the Project module of NAV and has a developer team for HTML5/JavaScript, they immediately grasped what we wanted".

HTML5/JavaScript Gantt Widget

NETRONIC only needed six weeks for developing a Gantt widget that nector integrated into their Pestsoft solution. The result is an overview of orders and resources with a lot of functions supporting the pest controllers with their planning.

nector pestsoft staff planning

  • The Day view shows the employee’s workload with their according deployments (job planning lines)
  • The different workflow states like “planned”, “disposed”, “finished”, “technically released” are indicated by differently colored bars for a better overview.
  • Selecting a planning line will open an infobox at the right edge showing more details of the deployment and also explanations of planning conflicts like date, capacity and quality conflicts.
  • A tooltip appears when hovering with the mouse above a bar, giving additional information on the deployment.
  • Feedback of the service technicians will directly be displayed in the planning line thus also allowing for a review of the IS data of the past.
  • Accepting short-term orders gets ensured by creating placeholder resources in NAV containing predefined allocation aids like kind of service order, qualifications etc. In the planning table, the planning line can then be moved onto an appropriate free resource by drag and drop.

nector pestsoft placeholder resources

Right from the start: Fit for the future with the NAV Web Client and JavaScript/HTML5

Right from the start, nector had designed their business solution in way that customers solely use it as cloud solution in the Dynamics Web Client. To begin with, the pest controlling business is a very mobile one and second, it often has little IT resources to keep an own complex surrounding. This “fit for the future right from the start” principle was now also applied to the development of the visual planning board. Here, NETRONIC consequently uses JavaSript, or HTML5 technology, respectively. At the same time, they didn’t provide nector with a self-contained add-in but they developed a Pestsoft-specific JavaScript UI-Widget that understands the planning-relevant business logic of Pestsoft. This gives Pestsoft a tailor-made HTML5 planning tool with a specific API that not only understands their own business solution but also seamlessly integrates with Dynamic NAV.

Sascha Hermann, head of development of NETRONIC:

“We are committed to combining our planning tables expertise with our JavaScript/HTML5 experience and our Dynamics NAV knowledge so that we hold ready for our partners a unique offering: Within shortest time providing them with a Dynamics NAV HTML5 Gantt chart UI Widget that they can equip and modify dynamically via a specific API - and all this by C/AL (or AL in Dynamics 365 Business Central) and without having to be an HTML5 specialist."

Next expansion level already planned

The second expansion stage will bring a deployment backlog which will enable the planner to directly drag and drop unplanned orders to a free capacity of an employee.

“The impetus for the development came from a customer. Today, however, the positive reactions of customers and prospects make us realize that this visual planning board brings a huge benefit for pest controllers and with this also for our software.”

                                                                                                                                                                 - Josef Walder, CEO of nector

More information

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Topics: NAV Gantt add-ins, Dynamics NAV Visual Scheduling, HTML5 Gantt Charts, Case Study