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Fundamental Elements to expect in a FSM solution – Part one: Contract Management and Scheduling

Oct 25 • Features, Software and Apps • 827 Views • No Comments on Fundamental Elements to expect in a FSM solution – Part one: Contract Management and Scheduling

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Tesseract’s Sales Director Kevin McNally, with over 15 year’s experience in the industry, explores the key elements with Kris Oldland Editor of Field Service News…

Want to know more? A white paper on this topic is available for Field Service News subscribers only – but if you are a Field Service Professional you may well qualify for a complimentary industry practitioner subscription!

Click here to apply for your subscription now and we’ll send you the white paper to your inbox now instantly as a thank you for your time!

Field Service Management technology has become essential to service delivery excellence. Service excellence is no longer a USP but a baseline requirement. However, whilst technologies such as IoT and Augmented Reality are grabbing the headlines their potential is greatly diminished unless you have a fundamental layer of technology in place already.

This two part article explores what to expect from a FSM system and offers best-practice tips to help you get the most from your investment…

Contract Management:

“The starting piece for everything is the contract and the control of the contract. Without that in place it is very difficult to bring everything else on top of that.”  Kevin McNally, Tesseract.

Contract management is often viewed as the starting point of almost everything within field service management operations. Without a view of your service contracts you cannot have to hand the answers for critical questions such as:

  • What is the SLA on any given contract?
  • Is a client under warranty or do they have an enhanced level of service contract
  • Does a contract include spare parts and/or consumables?
  • Is the service contract due for renewal?

You could be at risk of potentially not meeting your client’s expectations and so putting the potential of renewing or upselling service to that client in danger in the future – or on the other side of the coin, you could be giving valuable service away for free.

From the point of view of understanding the assets and also the entitlement that the customer is due as we go through a process of raising a service call or indeed, raising a sales order, we need to fundamentally understand what we should be doing with the entitlement for each specific client.

Scheduling:  

Optimised Scheduling in our world tends to be more geared to the planned maintenance aspects of service calls – i.e. for those companies who are looking to do things in advance and are looking for the best possible route to achieve this – Kevin McNally, Tesseract

Scheduling comes in a number of different guises and the various different names given to types of scheduling options can be a somewhat confusing but broadly scheduling will come in three flavours:

  • Assisted Scheduling: Assisted Schedulers are essentially a manual tool, that as the name denotes offer a layer of assistance to the dispatcher making their job that little bit easier and thus increasing efficiency.
  • Optimised Scheduling: With an optimised scheduling tool most of the work is done by the system. It will search through the scheduled service jobs and the available engineers and pull together an optimised work schedule for the day taking into account things like travel times and distances, priority jobs and field engineer skillsets etc. However, when things fall outside of established parameters, it is down to the dispatcher to make necessary adjustments to the schedule to make sure SLAs are met etc.
  • Dynamic Scheduling: Dynamic scheduling is a further evolution of optimised scheduling that draws in data from mobile applications and telematics data etc to continuously revise the schedule throughout the day, reacting to situations such as a delayed engineer and reallocating jobs to ensure that the days schedule is continuously optimised.

Ultimately, when it comes to scheduling, it really is a case of horses for courses and establishing what is the best fit for your organisation.

Whilst not all companies will see a need for a dynamic scheduler, all but the smallest of organisations can benefit from at least some form of optimisation within their scheduling solution and the efficiencies that can be delivered are significant so it is an area of your FSM solution that you should get to understand and know fully.

Want to know more? A white paper on this topic is available for Field Service News subscribers only – but if you are a Field Service Professional you may well qualify for a complimentary industry practitioner subscription!

Click here to apply for your subscription now and we’ll send you the white paper to your inbox now instantly as a thank you for your time!

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