What are Time Windows (or Start Time Slots)?
Time Windows apply to Assets and Jobs. They restrict when jobs can be done. A time window specifies periods of time in which jobs must be completed (within specified time slots) or must not be completed (outside specified time slots).
Time windows slots can be set in jobs, job templates, and assets. They are included in route optimization to ensure jobs are scheduled only within, or outside, the time slots specified - depending on which option is selected when setting the start time slots.
For example, if you have an asset (maybe a building on a busy highway) that is affected by rush hour traffic, and you would prefer jobs were not assigned around rush hour, you could add time windows to the asset that prevent jobs from being done during rush hour. These time windows pull through to any job for this asset. All route optimized jobs for the asset would work around rush hour.
How do I add time windows?
You can choose to add a time window to:
- The Job Template (called a Start Time Slot)- this flows through to any jobs based on this template.
- The Job (called a Start Time Slot)- this is for one-off jobs that might need time restrictions.
- The Asset - This flows through to any job with this asset and is added to time windows that apply to the job.
This is what the time window looks like in a job template or a job:
In an Asset it looks like this:
Time windows can be within specified times, or outside of specified times. Choose whatever is easier or suits your business.
Note: You cannot choose time windows both within a specified time and outside a specified time for a job: you must choose one or the other. If time windows are set for an asset and you want to add to these in the job, you must use the same format as used for the asset: either within hours or outside hours.
How will the time windows affect my jobs?
Job time windows are for use with the route optimization feature. When routing jobs the optimization system will respect the time windows set on the jobs and will only assign these jobs to start times that work with these time windows. This is great for avoiding busy times like rush hour or times when a business is closed.
A job can still be manually assigned outside of a time window, but the dispatcher will be warned they are scheduling the job outside the time window restrictions.
This will show in the schedule like this:
It will show in the job like this: