Table of Contents

Geofences: Overview

Mitchell Paul-Soumis Updated by Mitchell Paul-Soumis

Read Time: 4 mins

What is a Geofence

In Sonar, a series of tools are provided to define and limit what sort of jobs your technicians can be assigned, and when they can be assigned those jobs. There are also some situations where you may want to restrict the location(s) the technician can be deployed, and Geofences are the tool provided within Sonar to do that.

Geofences are a means of defining geographical zones of work using a freehand polygon tool and a map, and assigning the created zone to a specific schedule. A Geofence might need to be created for a few different reasons:

  1. Operational Efficiencies, such as ensuring dispatchers build optimal routes by limiting technicians' availabilities to specific zones on specific days
  2. Legal Requirements, such as permission for a specific technician to operate in a specific zone
  3. Jurisdictional Requirements, such as training or certification requirements for a specific technician to operate in distinct states.

Geofence Creation

To create a Geofenced location, you'll need to follow the following steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click on Scheduling
  3. Click on Geofences
  4. Click on Create Geofence

Once that's done, we have the creation modal itself:

  1. The Name of the Geofence, which used to identify it within the table, and used when assigning it to a schedule availability.
  2. The Vertexes section is where the map and Geofences are displayed. This map can be switched between a topographical view and a satellite view.
  3. This switcher allows you to toggle between Create and Edit modes. Create lets you add points to the map, dynamically creating your vertex by establishing a path between points, while Edit allows you to adjust the created vertex, shifting or removing points entirely.
  4. As above, these buttons allow you to switch between Create and Edit modes.
  5. Here, you can see the drawn Geofence, or vertex, and the area it encompasses. Multiple vertexes can be added to a single Geofence if desired.

Once you've given a name to your Geofence, and you've added in the areas to define, click on create to submit the generated Geofence.

Applying it to existing Schedule Availabilities

The next step to applying your Geofence is adding it to a Schedule Availability to apply the geographical restrictions to specific technicians. In order to access the Schedule Availabilities, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Settings
  2. Click on Scheduling
  3. Click on Schedule Availabilities
In this guide we're assuming you've already created a schedule availability, which we covered in our Setting Up Schedules General Overview article, however, a summary of the process is below:

Step 1 - Click on Create Schedule Availability

Step 2 - Complete the fields to create the Schedule Availability

These fields are better defined in the Schedules Overview article linked above, but a quick definition follows:

1. A descriptive name for the container. For example, Residential Installations or Bill's Schedule.
2. This field determines on which date this container should begin to be applied to the compound schedule.
3. If this box is checked, it will add the listed users to the schedule during the days and times set. If the box remains unchecked, it will mark the selected users as unavailable during the set days and times
4. If infinite repetitions is checked, this schedule repeats forever. If it is disabled, then this schedule will repeat the number of times defined in Repetitions.
5. Repetitions determine how many occurrences of this Schedule Blocker occur before stopping; starting from the entered Start Date.
6. This value defines the frequency of repetition.
7. This field allows you to selectively apply the Schedule Availability to jobs that fall under a specific GeoFence area.
8. Which users should have this schedule container applied to them.
9. Which job types are applied in this schedule container.
  1. Expand the dropdown for the Schedule Availability the modification will be made on, then select “Edit Schedule Availability”
  2. Expand the Geofences dropdown, and select your desired Geofence. In this example, the Example G-fence will be applied to the Example Availability Schedule Availability.
  3. Once the Geofence is selected, click on Save

This will add the Geofence to the Schedule for the listed technicians.

How to tell if a Geofence is in place

When you create a Geofence and apply it to a schedule, it will apply to the users and job types selected. When you attempt to assign an unscheduled job to a technician who falls outside the Geofence, you'll notice two things:

  1. If you're assigning the job from within the table view, you'll note that no availability is displayed when attempting to assign the job to a technician who can only operate within the geofence.
  2. From the Dispatcher view, attempting to assign the job to a technician will result in an "Invalid" tag appearing next to the job, and hovering your cursor over the job will display a message stating "Doesn't fit inside any Geofence for this job type". In this case, you'll be unable to save your changes to the schedule.
    As the job is placed on the schedule, the technician's schedule will be grayed out, another indication of a non-applicable job.
  3. From the SchedulingSchedule Availabilities page, each Schedule Availability will reflect whether a Geofence is in place under the Geofence column:

How did we do?

Scheduling How-to: Creating and Booking a Job

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