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You can’t argue that Sugar is a flexible platform when we write about one customer using it to manage medicine sales and now another using it to book massages. This recent project was a custom calendar in Sugar 7 for a national message broker who uses Sugar to manage its customers, bookings, and massage therapists across the U.S. Having a calendar in CRM is critical to them because it allows them to coordinate all of their appointments. To do this, our customer needed a much more robust calendar in Sugar to better manage all of their appointments, locations, and staffing needs.
Sugar’s out-of-the-box calendar only works with the Users module. Our customer’s massage therapists are Contacts, not Users of Sugar. The therapists (contractors) needed to use a custom portal built by W-Systems to actually view and manage their appointments since they aren’t licensed Sugar users.
The massage therapists also needed to view which appointments in their area still needed staffing so they could opt-in to work the event. Sugar’s out-of-the-box calendar is setup as an individual user view and doesn’t have visibility into other peoples’ calendars. Our customer needed a calendar that would have different viewing rights which would allow therapists to only see their appointments and events in their area that still needed to be staffed. Having a transparent calendar was also critical so that managers (the Sugar users) could have a view into all of the events occurring across the U.S. Other calendar requirements included a search feature and ability to display detailed information about the event.
Instead of trying to work with Sugar’s existing calendar, we decided to build a custom calendar so that we could meet our customer’s full requirements. We created a custom jobs module to store each event with a relationship to contacts (the massage therapists).
The jobs module was created to store all of their events and appointments. The drop down in the module allows them to create a new job card (event) or view the calendar. When creating a new event, the manager enters the start and end time, event name, event location, and the number of therapists needed to staff the event.
The jobs calendar is a custom view that displays those events as a functioning calendar. Each appointment on the calendar includes the event details as well as an icon that indicates the number of therapists needed. The icon is green when the event is fully staffed and red if they need to schedule more therapists for the event.
W-Systems created a unique filtering and search feature so the managers can filter by location, date, or account name. The calendar itself has different views such as day, week, and month. The calendar is setup to display different information for therapists and managers. The managers can see all of the events. The therapists can only see the events that they are scheduled to work and any event in their region that still needs to be staffed.
The therapists access the calendar through a custom W-Systems portal that is mobile friendly. When they log into the portal, they can easily see all of the appointments they are scheduled to work. When a new job becomes available, the CRM system will automatically text and email the massage therapists in that region. They can then login to the portal to claim the job on a first come first serve basis. When they claim a job, they are asked to check a box to accept a statement of work (SOW).
From the calendar view, managers can easily identify if the statement of work has been signed. A green check will display next to therapists name on the calendar if they have accepted the SOW. If they haven’t accepted, but were invited to work the event, a grey “x” will show instead. Once the SOW is signed and the therapist formally agrees to work the event, an invoice is automatically generated from Sugar so that the therapist (contractor) can be paid once the event is over.
The custom calendar W-Systems built has allowed our customer to automate most of the scheduling process. The new job alerts enable the massage therapists to staff the events themselves, which saves managers time and the events get staffed more quickly.
W-Systems ’s calendar customization for the massage company was tailored for their scheduling requirements and isn’t offered as a stand alone product.
However, if your company is limited by Sugar’s out-of-the-box calendar and you’d like more info on a custom calendar solution, reach out to us today.