Monday, March 19, 2007

Mobilized Work Order System for Mobile Handheld PDAs


What does a "mobilized" work order dispatch and management system look like on a mobile handheld PDA? It consists of a number of business processes integrated together to create an efficient and profitable process that satisfies the requirements of your customer. Let's explore a mobilized work order process now:

A customer calls in to report a broken heating system. The office staff takes the phone call, enters the relevant information into the work order database application on the desktop computer which creates a unique work order number. The work order database application, with GIS integration, can compare the location of each service technician to determine which service technician is closest to the work location. This is accomplished with GPS tracking on the service vehicles or handheld computers used by the service technician.
Once the appropriate service technician is identified, the work order is dispatched to the handheld computer used by the service technician. Included in the electronic work order is driving directions from his/her current location to the next job location. In addition to the work order information, warranty, repair, users manual, maintenance history and product information on file can also be dispatched to the handheld computer for reference.

Once the service technician arrives at the location - he opens the work order on the handheld PDA. Opening the work order automatically captures the service technician's name, the date/time stamp and GPS coordinates and enters them into the open work order.
Once the service technician examines the broken heating system and determines which parts need to be replaced. He can pull out his handheld computer and check whether he has the needed parts in his vehicle inventory, if not, it automatically searches nearby service vehicles for the needed part (GPS tracking enables this). If another service vehicle is located that has the part in inventory and is nearby, then driving directions can be sent to describe how to get there in the most efficient time.
When the service technician arrives at the service vehicle with the needed part, the part is scanned using a bar code scanner in the handheld PDA to remove it from the vehicle's inventory and assigns it to the appropriate work order number.
Once back at the work site, the service technician runs into a challenge. He has never worked on this model before and needs advice. He snaps a digital photo of the equipment and synchronizes it back to the office. His supervisor reviews the photo and calls him with advice.
Once the work is completed, the service technician signs his name on the handheld computer screen, and has the customer sign the work order screen as well. The service technician prints an invoice on a mobile printer and collects the payment from the customer. The collection is noted on the mobile work order and synchronized back to the office for immediate processing.
As soon as the work order is completed and synchronized, the work order system reviews work order locations and priorities and assigns the next optimized work order to the service technician.