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Automated Work Force Management - Part 1

In my last blog on workforce management I have highlighted some of common issues that a Service Provider organization faces in managing their field work force.  Issues like more time to analyse the work request, accurate assessment of the resource availability with the right skill set, lack of optimum utilization of resources, lack of visibility on the work execution, communication gap between field force and administrative office etc lead to high operating and administrative cost. Most of these issues can be addressed by brining automation and close integration between the key applications that caters to the end to end operations in Service Industries. Automated Workforce Management is an emerging trend in the highly competitive and price sensitive Service industry. The right level of automation can be achieved by tightly integrating various applications like Enterprise Asset Management, Scheduling, Mobility, GIS etc. that supports business operations and incorporate the required intelligence and automation within them

A typical workforce management cycle starts with the 'Service Request' where a helpdesk person analyses the request. Post validation and analysis helpdesk person checks if the right agreement is in place for the required service and then has to apply/determine appropriate SLA. A decision has to made if the service request can be addressed immediately or will require a work request. This decision would require accessing multiple parameters. Automation can be incorporated at this stage where the system takes appropriate actions (like apply appropriate SLA, send out e-mail to the requestor, check if the appropriate agreement is in place, raise a work request, cancel the service request , check for duplicate service request etc) based on the values present in the key fields (like Location, Customer Id, Priority, Asset etc) on the service request.

Another place where some automation can be applied is when the work request is generated. Based on source of generation of work request appropriate actions can be applied on the work order. For example if the work request is generated because a chillier may trip if continue to operate for another day then the system can directly assign the work request to appropriate field engineer / team bypassing the regular planning steps.

A regular work request undergoes analysis by a work planner who identifies the required skills and materials to fix the problem. Some level of automation can be incorporated at this stage where solution should have the capability to analyse the repetitive work requests and take defined actions based on the values present in some of the key fields on the work request. For example for a work request that requires to provide Service A to a customer B at location C the 'Asset Management' system should automatically identify the list of activities and type of resources and skills required to execute the work and send the details to the 'Scheduling' application. The 'Scheduling' application can recommend the appropriate field resource to execute the work based on multiple criteria such as - required skills, required time, duration of work, work location, work package, optimum utilization etc.. Once the recommendation is accepted the work planner or appropriate authority can proceed with assigning the work to the field force on their mobile device.

There are multiple business scenarios which could occur between work assignment to a field engineer and work completion. Watch out for my next blog that will cover these business scenarios and how automation can help in addressing these scenario in a more efficient way.


The SDK has to be configured with each web archive class for different network location,where the server can detect changes in one URL.

Thanks for sharing and it was very informative.

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