Customer experience (CX) and Operational Efficiency are most talked about in utility field service. We have read literature on improving job efficiency, quality of service delivery and effective time management. One of the critical elements, somewhere hidden in the text is- Intelligent Scheduling and Dispatching
Schedulers and dispatchers assign multiple work orders a day, often with no visibility of the workforce, ineffective skill mapping and disparate information. Challenging to implement, however, the benefits reaped from effective scheduling and dispatching capability can directly improve customer experience, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.
Dynamic scheduling and dispatching sits at the intersection of customer experience and utility field service management (FSM). The function connects the dots from consumer needs to the right tools and equipment to the appropriate field worker and packages them all together effectively to meet customer expectations.
Not long ago, utility personnel went about scheduling work orders and dispatching the field workers by manually mapping the worker schedules on a whiteboard. Some would use multiple systems to compile the requirements and match field worker availability. The result? Unnecessary delays and mounting errors.
Removing the complexities, a connected digital field service solution with scheduling and dispatching capabilities streamlines the entire process. Utility administrators get real-time visibility of the mobile workforce, set up AI/ML-based workflows, automate allocation, and seamlessly dispatch the appropriate workers to handle the work orders.
It enables the utility’s control room to handle all work types – be it short-cycle, long-cycle, outage handling, emergency work orders or routine inspections. Scheduling and dispatching capability facilitates the utility back-office to find the right field worker with the right expertise and the right equipment for the right jobs. Achieving this depends on effectively mapping the skillsets, priority work orders, location details, estimated work duration etc.
Here's how it improves customer experience, enhances field service management and drives greater efficiencies for the utility field workers:
Make the Right Call
Dynamic scheduling and dispatching enables the utility to take quick decisions. What's more? These decisions can be automatically processed based on the configured business rules and optimization goals. This brings an intelligent, data-based decision-making process to the utility field workforce and saves time and cost.
Live, Real-time & Interactive
FSM systems generate a single view for utility admins to do more in less time. A live dispatch board shows which field worker is assigned to which work order, a dynamic view of where the worker is on the field, and a work order's current status. This real-time view enables the utility to optimize routes, effectively manage scheduling priorities and take control of emergencies.
The Gift of Schedule Optimization
Generating an optimal schedule for each mobile worker can enhance service delivery and productivity by reducing downtime, overtime and travel time. Coupled with GIS technology, energy and water companies can benefit from the complete visibility of their resources. At the same time, customers have real-time updates on the worker location, accurate ETAs and expected time to service resolution.
Dispatchers are empowered with automation to enable intelligent decision-making. Using parameters such as skill sets, availability, task SLAs, location data, and other inputs. This allows the back-office teams to use innovative technologies, automate the field service operations based on business objectives and enhance operational proficiency.
Intelligence at Work
Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) in the field service operations can be a game-changer for utilities. This results in improved task allocation, finding the right field worker for the right job and faster dispatches. AI facilitates utilities to elevate first-time fix rates, enhance customer satisfaction and reduce the service cost by minimizing travel time and cost and optimizing resources.
A Digitally Connected Workforce
When the field workers, the dispatchers and other back-office teams can communicate in real-time, without any barriers, more opportunities for field work optimization arise. Mobile technology and cloud-based platforms help establish instant alerts and notification channels for the workforce, thereby improving the accuracy and productivity of service delivery.
As field service management tools evolve with more automation and new, emerging technologies such as AI-ML, utility operations would improve, predicting the need of the field jobs and connecting mobile workers while on the field. An advanced scheduling and dispatching platform enhances customer experience and operational efficiency.
Smart Mobile Workforce (SMW®) is the #1 Digital Workforce Experience (WX) platform for energy, water and gas providers worldwide. SMW® helps intelligently manage the field operations to make the service experiences effortless for the end customers. From work order management to AI/ML-based schedule and dispatch, SMW® delivers real-time visibility into the workforce with simple, intuitive platform experiences, improves operational efficiency and assures seamless service delivery.
To learn more, reach out to us at [email protected]