The Infosys global supply chain management blog enables leaner supply chains through process and IT related interventions. Discuss the latest trends and solutions across the supply chain management landscape.

« A Tryst with ERP Implementations | Main | Typical Challenges in a Repair & Return Process - Part 1 »

Automated Workforce Management - Part 2

In service industries, which are mainly dependent on their field force to execute the work, the key ask is to co-ordinate and manage the completion of high volume of work requests that are executed by the field force.  The requirement is to optimize the scheduling and mobility processes which along with the tightly integrated Enterprise Asset Management processes will automatically determine the most appropriate resource to carry out field works and dispatch work orders directly to the responsible engineer and allow for a two way communication flow between the engineers and office support team to provide a real time status update with minimum intervention from office management team.

In my last blog on Automated Workforce Management, I have identified the areas in a typical work and workforce management cycle where an automated solution can help in efficiently managing and controlling the work conducted at a remote location. But there are multiple business scenarios which could occur between work assignment to a field engineer and work completion. Some of the these typical scenarios are present in this blog.  

• Work Orders that does not requires planning (For eg: Preventive Maintenance and Condition Monitoring work orders) can automatically be sent to the scheduling application as soon they are generated. Based on certain parameters like - Priority, Location, Work Type, Skills needed, availability etc scheduling application recommends appropriate engineer/labor to the planner. Once Planner accepts the assignment the Enterprise Asset Management system assigns the work order to the field engineer.  A flexible automated solution can be designed to address the scenarios where a Scheduling application is not present or the Scheduling application is running in manual mode.

• Field engineer receives the work order on the Mobile device and he/she responds.  Field engineer rejects the work orders as he does not possess the right skills or he is sick/ not available. In both these cases the assignment status should be updated back in EAM and Scheduling systems. Scheduler/Planner has to assess the reason for rejection and take the appropriate action to modify the mappings in scheduling application and identify the new engineer for the work order.

• Once the field engineer accepts the assignment status should be updated back in EAM and Scheduling systems and the field engineer 's availability will be updated in the scheduling system.  There could be scenarios where the field engineer gets stuck in traffic or after reaching the work location he do not get access to the premises/asset. In such scenarios appropriate status has to be updated back in EAM and scheduling applications. Accordingly SLAs and availability of the engineer has to be modified. Customer/Asset Owner has to be notified.

• Once the field engineer gets access to the Asset/Location he/she will start the work execution. The work status should be updated back in EAM and Scheduling systems. There could be scenarios where the field engineer has to put the work on hold due to material unavailability, requirement of additional skills, bad weather etc. In such cases the work execution has to be extended beyond the SLA timelines  or to the next day. 

The status has to be updated back in EAM and scheduling applications along with the reason. Accordingly SLAs and availability of the engineer has to be modified. Customer/Asset Owner has to be notified. Requirement of additional skills is analysed, recommendation is taken from the scheduling application and work is assigned.

• Once the field engineer completes the work and post quality inspection gets the approval/ sign-off from the owner/customer he/she will complete the work order on the device and sends the appropriate status back to EAM and scheduling application.  There could scenarios where the Owner/Customer rejects the work post quality inspection or a Follow-up / related work order has to be raised. In the first scenario the appropriate status along with the reason for rejection is send back to EAM system. SLA and Engineer's availability are updated in EAM and Scheduling applications respectively. In the second scenario the work order is send back to the EAM system. It is analysed by the planner and post recommendation from the scheduling application it is assigned to the appropriate engineer.

By bringing the right level of automation to address similar scenarios one can bring the required level of efficiency by facilitating an increased number of self-delivered works through increased productivity of the in-house engineer/labor pool. It also help in increasing KPI compliances through more appropriate scheduling and reduced manual effort for management teams to co-ordinate and manage the work.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please key in the two words you see in the box to validate your identity as an authentic user and reduce spam.

Subscribe to this blog's feed

Follow us on

Blogger Profiles

Infosys on Twitter