he term workforce management is appearing more and more often in connection with the planning of field service appointments. Where should mobile workforce companies focus their attention and how can they get started?
DEFINE WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
Correctly defined, workforce management in field service includes the optimised scheduling of mobile resources. In a company where field appointments are not only visible, but vital, this includes:
• Tools and machinery
• Stock assets (parts)
But what does this mean in concrete terms? Basically, a field technician must always be in the right place at the right time with the right equipment. These two factors determine the orders. The goal should always be to avoid downtime and to keep travel distances as short as possible. In addition, the tools and parts required should always be available. If there are differences in the training and skills of the employees, this is also reflected in the management of the workforce.
CHALLENGES OF WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
Workforce management exists in every company. But whenever it comes to field staff, a number of influencing factors come into play that are very difficult to plan for. Modern management of a field service is therefore exposed to a number of challenges. Cancellations at short notice, traffic jams on the way or road works that force the field employees to take a diversion are part of these factors. Under certain circumstances, an appointment may take longer than expected. It is important that you can react to these influences in real time and adjust the route planning accordingly. This is the only way to ensure efficient use of resources at all times.
A modern software solution can greatly simplify your scheduling. Employees can always make changes while on the road. An appointment is cancelled or an emergency assignment is added, and the software adjusts the appointment calendar in real-time. In addition, the head office can also feed in new appointments or communicate cancellations. For the field staff, this gives them more time to concentrate on their actual work.
PLAN A COMPETITIVE FUTURE WITH DIGITAL TOOLS
Modern software helps companies to ensure easy scheduling of staff. Not only can it increase efficiency, but it also has a number of advantages for field staff in their daily work. These include:
• automatic, responsive adjustment of the route
• real-time reaction to unpredictable influencing factors
• good overview for field workforce
• unnecessary detours and standstills are avoided