SCHEDULING: KEY TO A WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE ECOSYSTEM
5 min. reading time
16 June 2022 ·
James Alex Waldron
technology ecosystem is defined as a specific set of software and hardware, interacting together to perform tasks and exchange data – often to create an overall service. There is a strong relationship between developers, vendors, and end users; and this is usually supported by a common technical platform. In part two of our focus on field service ecosystems, we highlight the opportunity to gain results when managing a field workforce with dynamic, real-time scheduling at its core.
An ecosystem moves medium to enterprise level organisations away from complex customised development that can contain security, compatibility, and support risks. It is now the leading pathway to achieving best-of-breed, optimised workflows and long-lasting operational outcomes.
DYNAMIC WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT WITH IOT
Managing a field workforce at maximum efficiency means balancing external factors against available resources – with cost parameters and alignment to SLAs and KPIs. This requires accurate data and transparent decision making.
The critical external factor is the unforeseen appointment request (job/ticket). Dynamic workforce scheduling removes pressure from dispatch teams, calculating and re-calculating optimised performance throughout the day and into the future. Predictive analytics uses data to mitigate the cost risk associated with rescheduling (unbalanced use of skills, parts, and labour – even poorly planned routes). A platform that works in the background to analyse how often machines require field service can inform planned maintenance and preparations.
FLS partner mpro5 goes a step further. The IoT Automation System removes productivity hours lost when field checks find no action is required. Whether owned assets (such as in the utilities sector) or a part of servitisation contracts, this time adds up quickly and can damage workforce sentiment (enjoyment of the job). IoT (Internet of Things) is available to solve this problem, yet in most IoT systems, only 1% of the data collected is actively utilised. mpro5’s platform fully harnesses the power of IoT sensors, collecting data to automatically generate jobs and workflows, check compliance, and allow you to implement entirely reactive business operations.
This live appointment data feeds directly into FLS VISITOUR scheduling and route optimisation.
OPTIMISE YOUR FIELD OPERATIONS
Whether the optimisation focus is capacity, driving, or parts usage, organisations are increasingly moving beyond APIs, towards designing an extended field service ecosystem. Meet three partners integrating scheduling with continuous improvement—using the best of voice, safety, and hardware technology.
Part one: Strengthen Field Service optimisation with an Ecosystem model.
Data, forecasting, analysis and monitoring: An appropriate ERP integrates and communicates all necessary data for the real-time scheduling of field service appointments, with progress transferred back into records. This gives best-of-breed scheduling functionality whilst maintaining a ‘single source of truth’ for service and billing (and dashboards for reporting).
FLS partner Bam Boom Cloud are small and medium organisation experts, offering fixed price solutions for Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Cloud technology to any size organisation so they can innovate and transform. Their unique approach means added functionality and expanded tools are available as your field workforce grows.
In an ecosystem designed for medium sized businesses, Business Central is fully future proofed with free updates, powered by the cloud, accessible on any device and integrates with the full Microsoft suite. The choice of data automation puts an end to scheduling field workforces with Outlook and Excel and provides surety that dynamic schedules use an intelligent prediction of appointment durations and driving times. Routes are optimised in real-time based on up-to-the minute traffic information (for each field resource).
The 10 most common mistakes when choosing Field Service Management software for your business
Telematics data empowers both field workforces and head office teams. Competency data encourages a safety culture, such as audits across excessive hours and driver fatigue, along with geocoding for lone worker assessments. FLS partner Webfleet Solutions' vehicle tracking and fleet tracking solutions deliver the real-time location of every vehicle in the fleet. This allows your field scheduling system to adapt quickly to in-day developments and provide dynamic decisions. FLS VISITOUR takes this data and identifies and re-optimises resources to consider the most critical work orders amongst these processes (that are both in progress and planned well in advance).
Fleet/vehicle data also promotes paperless operations, including digitised mileage log books, driver identification, dash cams, asset tracking, and tachograph management. This leaves more time for your workforce to focus on their first-time-fix rates and the opportunity to schedule more productivity into the day, all in real time.
WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE WITH REAL-TIME SCHEDULING
Our Partner network works with us to improve their offer and raise the profile of real-time technologies, worldwide. In addition to powering your field operations with the unique PowerOpt algorithm, we can introduce the differences between a systems integration and a designed value chain model. An enhanced user experience, a better control and use of data, and faster decisions benefit operations and growth.