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The Service Agreement Register

You can use this register together with the 'Service Agreement' Maintenance function and the fields on flip F of the Contract record to create regular Activities relating to a particular Contract. For example, if a Contract requires you to make periodic calls or visits to the Customer (e.g. every two months or every six months), you can create Activities to remind you to do these tasks when the time comes.

The first step is to record the different patterns of follow-up Activities that you use in your business. You should record each pattern of Activities as a separate record in the Service Agreement register. For example, you might have separate Service Agreement records to create Activities every two months and every six months. You might also have separate records for different Activity Types (e.g. telephone calls, maintenance visits and so on), and for different Persons. Then, when entering a Contract, specify on flip F which of these Service Agreements is to be used for each Contract Item. Finally, when the Contract has been accepted by the Customer, use the 'Service Agreement' Maintenance function to create the follow-up Activities. This will create the follow-up Activities and place them in the Calendar or Task Manager of the appropriate Person, so they will be reminded to do the work when the time comes.

To create Activities using Service Agreements, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Service Agreement register by clicking (Windows/Mac OS X) or tapping (iOS/Android) the [Registers] button in the Navigation Centre and then selecting 'Service Agreements' from the resulting list. The 'Service Agreements: Browse' window will be displayed, showing all Service Agreement records previously entered. Double-click or tap a record in the list to edit it, or add a new record by selecting 'New' from the Create menu (Windows/Mac OS X) or + menu (iOS/Android). When the record is complete, save it by clicking the [Save] button (Windows/Mac OS X) or by tapping √ (iOS/Android). To close it without saving changes, click the close box or tap <.

    Each record in this register should represent a particular set of Activities that you want to be created from a Contract. The example illustrated below will cause a CV Activity (Consultancy Visit) to be created for Person FF every two months and an ET Activity (External Training) to be created for Person IP every six months.

    Code
    Enter a unique Code by which the Service Agreement record will be identified.

    Comment
    Enter a name for the Service Agreement record, to be shown in the 'Service Agreements: Browse' window and the 'Paste Special' list.

    Initial Days
    This field controls how the date of the first follow-up Activity is calculated. Specify here how many days after the Start Date of the Contract row (on flip F) this date should be.

    In the example illustration, the first CV Activity will be given a date that is 67 days after the Start Date of the Contract row (Initial Days + Days Between, 7 + 60).

    The Initial Days only applies to the first follow-up Activity. If you run the 'Service Agreement' Maintenance function for a particular Contract for the second time (e.g. for a second year), the Initial Days will be ignored.

    You can enter a negative figure in this field. In the example, if -30 had been entered in the Initial Days field, the first CV Activity would be given a date one month after the Start Date of the Contract row (Initial Days + Days Between, -30 + 60). The second CV Activity would be two months later (60 Days Between) and so on.

    Weekends
    Use these options to specify whether the follow-up Activities are to be allowed weekend dates.
    Ignore
    This option allows Activities to be created with weekend dates.

    Before
    Use this option if an Activity that would normally be given a weekend date is to be moved to the Friday before.

    After
    Use this option if an Activity that would normally be given a weekend date is to be moved to the Monday after.
    For example, the Start Date of a Contract row is a Tuesday. In the example illustration, the date of the first follow-up Activity should be 67 days later (Initial Days + Days Between). However, this is a Saturday, so this Activity will therefore be moved to the Monday after the weekend. The second Activity will be 60 days (Days Between) after the Saturday, not 60 days after the Monday.
    Use the grid to list the follow-up Activities that are to be created whenever the Service Agreement is used. The 'Service Agreement' Maintenance function will work through the grid one row at a time, creating Activities as instructed. If you need a complex set of Activities to be generated from a particular Contract row, you should think of those Activities as a cycle. You should enter one cycle in the grid.

    In the example illustrated above, the first row has 60 Days Between and the No. Of Times is 3. The No. of Times means the row will be implemented three times, so the result will be the placing of three CV Activities in Person FF's Task Manager 60 days apart. The first of these Activities will be dated 67 days (Initial Days + Days Between) after the Start Date of the originating Contract row. The second row in the example illustration will cause an ET Activity to be placed in IP's Task Manager. The Days Between is zero, so this will be on the same date as the third CV Activity. If the Maintenance period is long enough, the function will then return to the first row of the grid and another three CV Activities, the first being 60 days later, will be generated, and so on.

    Flip A

    Act. Type
    Paste Special    Activity Types setting, CRM module
    Specify the Activity Type that is to be used in the follow-up Activities. The Activity Type is a means of classifying the main purpose of the Activities (e.g. telephone calls, sales visits, servicing equipment).

    Persons
    Paste Special    Person register, System module
    Specify the Person who is to carry out the follow-up Activities. You can specify more than one Person, separated by commas.

    Comment
    The comment entered here will be copied to the Text field in the header of the follow-up Activities created using the Service Agreement.

    No. Of Times
    Specify here how many times the 'Service Agreement' Maintenance function is to repeat the row before passing on to the next one. Leaving the field blank has the same result as entering "1".

    Days Between
    Specify the number of days between each follow-up Activity. The example illustrated above will cause a new CV Activity to be created every 60 days, and a new ET Activity every 180 days.
    Cc
    Paste Special    Person register, System module
    Enter the initials of anyone that is to appear in the Cc field of the follow-up Activities. The Cc field is for Persons that are not primarily concerned with an Activity, but nevertheless need to know about it. The initials of more than one Person can be entered, separated by commas.

    Task Type
    Paste Special    Choices of possible entries
    Specify the Task Type that is to be used in the follow-up Activities. The Task Type controls whether the new Activities will appear in the Calendar or the Task Manager.

    Symbol
    Paste Special    Choices of possible entries
    Specify the Symbol that is to be used in the follow-up Activities. If the Task Type in an Activity is "To Do", the Activity will be shown in the Task Manager. The Symbol will cause it to be accompanied by a small image, so that the type of work that it entails can be seen at a glance.
  2. Whenever you enter a Contract where there is a requirement to create periodic follow-up Activities, record this using the fields on flip F of the 'Items' card:

    These fields allow you to create a different set of follow-up Activities for each Item on the Contract.
    Service Agr.
    Paste Special    Service Agreement register, Contracts module
    Specify a Service Agreement here. This will control the number and specification of the follow-up Activities created from the Contract row.

    Start Date
    Paste Special    Choose date
    Specify the date that is to be used as the basis for calculating the dates of the follow-up Activities.

    Referring to the Service Agreement illustrated earlier in this section, the first CV Activity will be 67 days after the date specified here (Initial Days + Days Between), and the first ET Activity will be 187 days after this date.

    You must enter a Start Date if you have specified a Service Agreement in the field to the left, otherwise you will not be able to save the Contract.

    End Date
    Paste Special    Choose date
    Enter the last possible date that can be given to a follow-up Activity here.

    This date can be later than the End Date or the Cancel Date of the Contract (recorded on the 'Dates' card). This can be useful if you want to schedule a call after the end of the Contract to check whether the Customer has renewed. However, if the Contract is cancelled ahead of term, you might want to change this date when you enter the Cancel Date, to prevent future Activities being created.

    It is not necessary to enter an End Date. There is no risk of creating Activities stretching into the future because you will specify a period when you run the 'Service Agreement' Maintenance function. No Activities will be created after the end of this period.

    Last Activity
    When you use the 'Service Agreement' Maintenance function to create follow-up Activities from a Contract, the date of the last Activity will be entered here automatically. If you run the Maintenance function again by mistake, no Activities prior to this date will be created, thus preventing accidental duplication. If you run the Maintenance function again for a later period, Activities will only be created from this date onwards.
  3. After saving the Contract, use the 'Service Agreement' Maintenance function to create the follow-up Activities.

    To use this function, first open the 'Maintenance' list by clicking (Windows/Mac OS X) or tapping (iOS/Android) the [Routines] button in the Navigation Centre and then clicking or tapping the [Maintenance] button in the subsequent window. Double-click or tap 'Service Agreement' in the list. The following dialogue box appears:

    Period
    Paste Special    Reporting Periods setting, System module
    Specify here the period for which follow-up Activities are to be created. Activities will be created from the beginning of this period or from the Start Date or the Last Activity Date in the Contract row, whichever is the later. They will be created up to the end of this period or to the End Date in the Contract row, whichever is the earlier.

    If no Activities are created from a Contract, a possible cause is that the earliest Activity Date (Start Date + Initial Days + Days Between) is later than the end of this period.

    Contract
    Paste Special    Contract register, Contracts module
    Range Reporting    Numeric
    Specify the Contract or Contracts for which follow-up Activities are to be created. A Contract does not have to have been marked as OK for Activities to be created from it.
    Click or tap the [Run] button in the Button Bar to run the function. When it has finished, you will be returned to the 'Maintenance' list window. Each new Activity will be connected to the Contract from which it was generated through the Link Manager and Workflow Manager. When viewing an Activity, you will be able to open the connected Contract record quickly and easily using the Link Manager, while you can open an Activity from a Contract using the Workflow Manager.
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