Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unified View of Mobile Field Operations

I read an article recently about how SAP's customer PG&E once had 67 different local offices dispatching field services crews.  These 67 offices managed 1,500 crews that consisted of approximately 5,000 specialists taking care of 50 million customers.  Each of these local offices only managed and had visibility to their own region's work and crew schedules.  As a result, some regions were very busy, some not.  This resulted in high administrative costs in the 67 offices, and an inefficient use of the field services crews.

PG&E ultimately consolidated all of their dispatching and field services management into two centers and standardized on a central scheduling solution.  This resulted in a unified view of the workforce's schedule. 

Today, the central dispatchers at PG&E have the visibility and management flexibility to schedule or reschedule work and crews to where they are most needed across regions.  This solution consisted of ClickSoftware's ServiceOptimization Suite of tools including ClickSchedule, ClickPlan, ClickAnalyze and ClickForecast integrated with SAP’s work order application.

PG&E is a great example of the implementation of a concept called "Network Centric Operations."  The ability to have a unified real-time view of all of your assets, work/missions, schedules and resources so that you can manage them to most efficiently accomplish the mission. 

I have been studying with keen interest recently how the military is incorporating these kinds of strategies to do more with less.  I believe this goal is equally important in the commercial sector.


Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.