From Chris Albanese: Spring 21 Feature: Resource Priority and Filtering

Salesforce Scheduler introduced a new feature in the Spring ’21 Release which allows you to control very precisely what resources are considered when scheduling an appointment. This provides many benefits and opens up the solution to address additional requirements.

Resource Priority and Filtering gives you an easy way to control and influence what resources are considered when scheduling an appointment. Up to this point it was the required skills of the Work Type and the Service Territory Membership that defined the pool of resources. Now you can layer on another filter. What are some use cases for this?

  • Gold/Silver/Platinum tiered service
  • Preferred Language
  • Fair distribution of work to resources (think Round Robin Lite)
  • Prioritized distribution of work (today I want all of my appointments to go to Connie)

It helps you address these requirements while, at the same time, keeps the number of Work Type Groups down to a minimum.

Check this out below write up and also this quick video demo.

Work Type Groups, Work Types and Service Territories

Let’s say you’re a bank and you offer appointment scheduling for general banking, lending and retirement and investing services. And let’s also say that you provide differentiated services based on the customer’s investments with the bank, where customers with lots of investments are serviced by ‘gold’ advisors, customers with a good amount are serviced by ‘silver’ advisors and everyone else is serviced by ‘bronze’ advisors.

By now you’ve probably figured out that for a given Service Territory, you can only have 1 work type from a given work type group.
Let’s look at a example:

  • Service Territory = Market Street Branch
  • Work Type Group = General Banking
  • Work Types = General Banking Gold, General Banking Silver, General Banking Bronze

If you want to offer Gold, Silver and Bronze General Banking Services, you might think you could add those 3 Work Types to the Market Street Branch. Well, you can’t because you can only pick 1 from the the General Banking Work Type Group. So you could create Work Type Groups for General Banking Gold, General Banking Silver and General Banking Bronze. And if you want to offer the same for Lending and Retirement Services you would wind up with 9 Work Type Groups when you really want 3.

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What you want the user to see – 3 Work Type Groups

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What they will see – 9 Work Type Groups

Resource Priority and Filtering to the Rescue

Resource Priority and Filtering allows you to offer only the 3 Work Type Groups but still ensure that Gold customers are serviced by gold bankers, silver by silver bankers, and bronze by bronze bankers.

What do you need to do? Leverage the Resource Priority and Filtering Feature – see the help and training article.
There is a new parameter the Resource Selection screen that allows you to filter the list of resources above and beyond what the required skills and service territory provide. Check out my example below for how to set this up.

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Example

When running the scheduling flow, use the Filter by Resource Ids parameter to consider only resources whose Tier matches the customer’s Tier.

New fields

To the account object, I’ve added a picklist field called Tier, with values of Gold, Silver and Bronze.
And to the service resource object a picklist field called Tier, with values of Gold, Silver and Bronze. I’ve also created a formula field on the service territory member object which equals serviceresource.tier__c. (this helps make the flow easier)

Flow Changes

In the flow, add a step to retrieve the customer’s tier. Also add a step to retrieve all of the service territory member records where the tier matches. Make sure that you retrieve the STMs after the location step, since we need to know the territory id. In the screen shot below, you can see that after the Location Screen, I’ve added the 2 get records, the loop and the 2 assignment steps.

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Then loop through all of the STMs you find to concatenate them together in a string. Here’s what’s inside the add SR ids to string assignment step in the screenshot above.

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Since there’s an extra comma at the end of this, I created a formula field to which excludes the last character of the string.

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And then assign the formula to the FilterByResourcesId string.

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Results!

Only 3 Work Type Groups are needed yet we can still provide Gold, Silver and Bronze service. In the screen shot to the right, 5 resources would have been returned without this feature, but I was able to limit the list to just the 2 gold bankers.

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Resource Priority and Filtering Guidelines

Like everything else in Salesforce, there are best practices, guidelines and limits to consider. For Resource Priority and Filtering, 50 and 10 are the magic numbers. 50 is the maximum number of Service Resource Ids that can be passed into the filter, BUT, you want to make sure that after the application of the relevant skills, territory and availability checks, the resulting number of service resources with availability is no greater than 10.

Part II – Using Skills and APEX to power Resource Priority and Filtering

Check this out to learn how to further extend this feature using Apex.

In the example above, we used a service resource custom picklist field to identify which resources had the Gold/Silver/Bronze “skill”. What if we wanted to use the skill object itself. In other words, we have set up skills for Gold, Silver and Bronze and we have assigned those to bankers accordingly. We want the flow to consider only those resources that have the both the skills needed through the work type group (and related work type) as well as the skill needed from the account tier.

Getting Records from 1 object where Service Resource Ids are in another object

Normally, I would say do this all in flow but in reality we need to do a loop inside of a loop – Find all resources in the territory who also possess the desired tier skill. Unfortunately, we cannot do this type of query in flow. As you might have seen with a simple web search, flow does not support the equivalent of a SOQL “IN” condition. But we can do this with an APEX class with an invocableMethod, and we can do it with just a few lines of code.

Create an invocableMethod

As you’ve probably seen in other blogs, invocableMethods extend the power of flow with Apex code. In my Apex class below, I’m accepting a list of service territory member records (the resources in the territory) and a skill record and returning a string which is a comma separated list of service resource ids of only those service resources with the skill.

Remember with invocableMethods, you pass in a list of something and it returns a list of something. In this example, we’re passing in a list of a user-defined type called ResourceFilter, which consists of a List of Service Territory Member records and a Skill record and the method returns a list of strings.

Apex class example

//this class returns a common separated string of service resource ids
//it accepts a list of service territory member records and filters those with the required skill
public with sharing class PriorityResources {

@invocableMethod
public static list<string> getResources(list<ResourceFilter> rfList) {
if (rfList==null) return new list<string>{''};
set<string> setResource = new set<string>();
set<string> setResourcewithSkill = new set<string>();
ResourceFilter rf = rfList[0];
//create a set of service resource ids from the stmlist passed in
for(serviceterritorymember stm : rf.stmList) setResource.add(stm.serviceresourceid);
try {
datetime dt = datetime.now();
//create a set of service resource ids that have the skill passed in
for(serviceresourceskill srskill : [select serviceresourceid from serviceresourceskill where serviceresourceid in :setResource and skillid = :rf.skillRequired.id and effectivestartdate <= :dt and (effectiveenddate = null or effectiveenddate >= :dt) ])
setResourcewithSkill.add(srskill.serviceresourceid);
}
catch(system.exception e) {
return new list<string>{''};
}
//convert the set of resource ids into a comma separated string
return new list<string>{String.join(new list<string>(setResourcewithSkill),',')};
}

public class ResourceFilter {
@invocableVariable(required=true)
public list<serviceterritorymember> stmList;
@invocableVariable(required=true)
public Skill skillRequired;
}
}

Flow Example

Like in the previous example, in the flow, add a step to retrieve the customer’s tier. Also add a step to retrieve all of the service territory member records where the territory matches. And also retrieve the skill record that matches the customer’s tier. Make sure that you retrieve the STMs after the location step, since we need to know the territory id. In the screen shot below, you can see that after the Location Screen, I’ve added the 3 get records and the Apex action. You can also see how the Apex action is setup: I’m passing in the skill object and the STM objects (this is a list) and the Apex class will return the CSV string of Service Resources into the variable FilterByResourcesId. That’s it, you will have a list of Service Resources who work in the Territory who have the Tier Skill and these will be passed to the resource selection screen. This screen will further filter out only those resources which also have the skills needed for the selected Work Type Group (and work type).

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