Shepherd’s Planner Board is a constantly evolving feature. With time, the accumulated use of Shepherd’s solution by its clients’ administrators has led to new ideas coming to the fore to shape how Shepherd goes on to expand their product.

The combination of a flexible platform, and a willing partner in Shepherd has meant that not only are these adaptations possible for the users, they are then adopted and rolled out by Shepherd itself.

Customers know what they need

As is the case with any adaptable company, clients apply their own solutions to issues. In one instance, a client eliminated the need for Outlook from their service department by combining functions of the Planner Board scheduling capabilities and its in-built calendar for their service department. This allows you to schedule Service Orders, as well as any Blocked Time that technician may have during his working hours.

Service Tiles

This meant the client was able to do away with the need for a third party integration that was required for Netsuite and Outlook to communicate. The costs of that integration had been too high for that client and, without it, they had had to rely on a more manual way of cross-checking the calendars of Outlook and the Planner Board: a ripe environment for mistakes and oversights.

The further advantage of their workaround was that the client could start using the service-centric calendar within the Planner Board: something Outlook’s calendar was not. Users could see all the information in one place: the integration needed for the same functionality with Outlook would have seen them pay handsomely. With Shepherd it came as part of the package.

Since that point, Shepherd has frequently suggested that same solution to other potential clients. Whilst suggesting this earns Shepherd nothing in revenue, it makes the client’s life easier and is therefore worth doing

Effective planning at a glance

Looking specifically at the Planner Board display, clients use status chips in a traffic light format. This has long been a feature of the planner board but not one that is automatically activated. Using it, clients have had an easy-to-interpret indicator of whether all components and parts for a given job are available or not. And based on that, they know if a job can proceed, should be rescheduled or canceled altogether.

Status Chips

In another instance, a client used the historical view (a heatmap of past activities for the client) to help make strategic decisions. This heatmap was in fact an adaptation they had requested because they saw how Shepherd’s and NetSuite detailed and comprehensive paper trail could be turned into something to give not only specifics, but a global overview in a visual format.

The heatmap represents geographical locations and number of Service Orders on the map with an ability to choose a date range. The presented jobs are shown only for the specified technicians on the Planner Board view with an option to see Unassigned Service Orders, meaning they have yet to be scheduled.

The result was they could make informed decisions, or at least start formulating plans for such things as regional staff changes, or new offices based on where their services provided had been most frequent and where it was rare.

Crucial functions in a fraction of the time

Customers have fashioned tailor-made searches within NetSuite allowing them to distinguish which of their machines and other assets might be available at a given time point: something that would have otherwise been very labor-intensive had it been a purely manual task. Since that time, thanks to Shepherd adopting the logic on their clients behalf, this evolved into the Rental Planner Board: a far richer environment to do the same tasks as well as many more.


In the image above, we can see Mud Mats on a horizontal view representing their Serial Numbers, rental date range, as well as their billing status. This allows you conveniently track equipment on rent, as well as equipment available for rent.

These are just some of the examples of how Shepherd lets its customers be creative with how they use the Shepherd solution and how Shepherd then nurtures those ideas by adopting them, honing them and including them in their product for the benefit of all its customers.

Would your organization benefit from this degree of support and cooperation? Do your existing procedures feel like they need consolidating? If you want to bring it all together, ask Shepherd for a demo. Do it today.

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