Your job calendar is the most critical aspect of managing your business, and it is the biggest module in RB9. In addition to being a comprehensive depo calendar, RB9’s job calendar has desirable features, like the ability to search for jobs by their location, which was the most requested item on our clients’ wish list in the Idea Collaborator.
Most requested feature: Search by job location
High on our clients’ request list in the Idea Collaborator were Search by Job Location filters in the job calendar.
We added 3 fields to RB9’s search criteria. You can use them singly or in any combination:
- Job Location: Search by location name.
- Job Location City
- Job Location State: Search by a single state, all states, or a selection of states.
In RB9, when you schedule a job, you include any services requested — reporting, interpreting, video, conference room, etc. — as tasks in the job, not as separate jobs. That way, if the job is canceled, all of the tasks are canceled too, and nothing gets overlooked.
Set back order as a task instead of a status
The task concept helps with other aspects of job scheduling and management. For example, in RB8, setting a job to Back Order wipes out the original order date. In RB9, Order Date is for each task instead, so Back Order can have its own order date. Each task also has its own Due Date, Notified Date, Acknowledged Date, and Cancelled Date.
Cancel a task, not the whole job
For complicated jobs, such as one that requires reporting, interpreting, and video, if the client cancels one aspect — they don’t need interpreting, but the rest of the job is a go — you cancel only the one task; it doesn’t affect the rest of the job.
Keep a paper trail of canceled tasks
Canceling a task adds the resource back to your available resources list for new assignments. In addition, it keeps track of when tasks were canceled. This will be helpful in cases where there is a cost incurred in late cancellations, such as a hotel’s conference room: You will have a paper trail to back up any cancellation fees charged to your client.
Tasks vs. linked jobs
You also have the option to create linked jobs. For example, if you are scheduling a videotaped deposition, you can create two separate jobs on the calendar and link them. This allows you to cancel one job without canceling the other, and to bill video charges on a separate invoice by an outside vendor. You will be notified if a depo is canceled that there is a linked video job.
Individual to-do lists for resources
The Send Overdue Tasks Report gives each resource their own prioritized To-Do list of outstanding tasks. The report lists overdue tasks chronologically by due date, and includes basic information like the job, client, and task due. Save time by sending the reports in batches, instead of one at a time.
Calendar’s faster, easier workflows
Workflows are streamlined in RB9. You can quickly access important areas of RB9, and incorporate RB9 easily into your company’s workflow. So important everyday processes, like job scheduling, are faster.
For example, instead of remembering shortcut keystrokes or dealing with drop-down menus, there is a New Job button in Calendar. One click and you are there.
In addition, the New Job window opens with a fly-out panel for selecting the Ordering Firm. Not a single click required to get to the first thing you will probably know when contacted about a job. Enter a few keystrokes to find the firm or add a new firm right there in the job.
Contact’s info accessible from within jobs
After selecting the firm ordering the job, you select the contact from a drop-down or add a new contact on the fly, all in the same New Job window. If you have a new contact, you don’t type names into jobs. You update the contact database directly within the job instead. That way your contact information is always up to date.
In RB9, you can select both scheduling contacts (people who call in a job, often a secretary or legal assistant) and ordering contacts (person who will appear at the depo or who is ordering services, usually a lawyer) from the RB9 Contacts database. This way, if you need to contact the scheduling contact to confirm the job or if you have questions, you can easily access their contact information from within the job.
Besides who is ordering a job, the other most important aspect is when the job occurs. Enter the date and times from drop-downs, and at this point, you can save the job.
When you save a new job, RB9 automatically adds additional fields organized into panes in the job window, and scrolls you to the Parties pane, with the ordering client already added. You can add parties and services requested at this point, or scroll to other panes to enter tasks and specialties required, upload files, or make notes.
RB9 guides you through workflows, but you choose what and when you input information and send communications. For example, when assigning a resource to a task, RB9 will ask if you want to notify the resource when you save the assignment. You can send the notice from within the task right then, or choose to do it any time later, such as if you prefer to send a batch of assignments all at once. (You also get the same options when canceling tasks.)
And when sending communications from within RB9, such as assignment notifications, you can send your canned messages, or customize them on the fly with additional instructions, comments, and files.
Major redesign of industry-standard calendar
Because RB9 is browser based, it was very important to make its data management processes simpler to return results as fast as possible. So we rethought every function in RB9, simplifying, breaking some into multiple functions, and eliminating those that became obsolete with this new workflow.
Some functions didn’t change, such as Daily Calendar Audit. Others had a name change but work similarly to earlier versions, such as Jobs in Progress is renamed Tasks in Progress to reflect the new task concept.
Error-proof job cancellations
A streamlined function in RB9 is job cancellation: You handle all of the steps involved — changing status, making notes, confirming with clients, canceling and alerting affected resources, even rescheduling the job if needed — within the Edit Job window. RB9 also prompts you so you won’t overlook an important step.
We made it hard to overlook information or input errors when entering jobs. For example, Firm Warnings and Calendar Notes appear onscreen in RB9, so you see if a firm has unique requirements, such as a reporter they do not want on their jobs.
Want to learn more about RB9 Calendar?
You can find out more about the Calendar module in ReporterBase 101, which contains lessons about every module, function, and concept in RB9.
ReporterBase 101 comes in 2 versions: weekly email lessons and a website, the RB9 Primer, where all the lessons appear. You can sign up to have an RB lesson delivered to your inbox each week. And you can also look up anything on the website, where lessons are grouped by module or concept.