Life is unpredictable. Machines are no different. Unexpected breakdowns and malfunctions often result in unavoidable downtime and can seriously hamper a company’s productivity and output. That is why field service providers able to respond in real-time are well-positioned for success. The SAP Field Service Management Software designers had this in mind when designing its Planning and Scheduling Feature.
Capitalize on Your Valuable Human Resources
The value of a field service company’s human resources is closely linked to how well they can be distributed and allocated. An expert workforce whose availability is unknown, whose skills are not dispatched where needed, and whose geographical location is not taken into account is being underutilized.
Imagine this scenario: You receive simultaneous service requests from two different companies in distinctly different regions and branches. If you’re lucky, you have an automated and intelligent planning and scheduling tool. With a few clicks you can gain a comprehensive overview of the available service technicians, their specific expertise, and their location. With a drag and a drop, you can then allocate the tasks and notify the technicians with all the information they’ll need to get the job done. In this way, you maximize output and minimize costs! Not only that, you are also better able to respond to unpredictable service requests and unexpected circumstances.
The Benefits of Smart Planning
However, making the most of your resources with smart planning and scheduling tools offers more benefits than just maximized output and minimized costs. The SAP Planning and Scheduling feature offers you a host of tools to streamline your field service operations and provide your customers with the best service possible.
1. Set Priorities
Sometimes you have more service requests than available technicians. The comprehensive overview offered by the SAP Planning and Scheduling feature makes it simple to review key information like SLAs, work order status, device history, and more at a glance so you can determine which tasks should receive precedence. The advanced filter system helps you pinpoint the most important information needed to make critical decisions regarding schedule shifts and resource reallocation.
2. Ideal Task Allocation
Knowing your service team is a real asset when it comes to task allocation. Thanks to the SAP Planning and Scheduling feature you have a complete profile of all your service experts. This makes it possible to automatically or manually dispatch technicians based on their unique skills and expertise, their current and future availability, and their location. Dispatching the nearest and most qualified technician cuts down on wait times, and improves first-time-fix rates.
3. Service Request Map
Sometimes a picture says more than words. That is why the SAP Planning and Scheduling feature incorporates a map with all of the job locations and their real-time status. With all this information at your fingertips, you can visually assess key dispatch considerations like travel time, best-suited technicians, most optimal routes, and more.
4. Up-to-Date Notifications
The SAP Planning and Scheduling feature makes field service team coordination and customer relationship management easier. With up-to-date status and location notifications coming directly from the field technicians, back-office employees can make tactical dispatch decisions based on pending availability and ongoing field service status. At the same time, customers can track the arrival times of service technicians and adjust their operations based on when machines and devices will once again be fully operational.
5. Optimization of All Resources
Juggling massive amounts of customer, employee, supply, dispatch, and more data is no easy task. However, intelligent algorithms are easily and quickly capable of analyzing massive amounts of data, making strategic and logical decisions based on location, tools and parts needed, and notifying technicians on their mobile devices about new service requests. In fact, outsourcing this task to AI-powered algorithms has led to a 15 percent ROI for some companies using the SAP Service Management Software.
6. Easy Management of Complex Projects
Projects with a longer life cycle are a bit more complex to manage. Gantt charts are an efficient and effective way to keep track of resources, employees, project phases, and more. The SAP Planning and Scheduling feature has an integrated Gantt chart function with drag-and-drop functionality for simplified long-term project management.
7. Crowd Service Capability
Even the most state-of-the-art AI-powered scheduling tool cannot compensate for a lack of sufficient personnel. Field service providers who excel at fixing problems are not always able to react in real-time to customer issues. That is what makes the crowd service function integrated into the SAP Planning and Scheduling feature so appealing. It offers companies a sustainable approach to increasing manpower on a needs basis by helping them organize and manage a pool of qualified and certified experts comprised of technicians from their own ranks, partners, subcontractors, and freelancers. With access to this extended team of skilled professionals, field service providers are able to speed up their response times while still maintaining the expected level of quality service.
Although it is almost impossible to prepare for every eventuality, you can ensure that your company is flexible and adaptable. If customers know they can rely on your company to solve their issues in a timely manner, they are more likely to keep coming back. Read more about how the SAP Planning and Scheduling feature can help your business succeed.