Dis­po­si­ti­on 2.0 – Opti­mi­zed plan­ning support

Dis­po­si­ti­on 2.0 – Opti­mi­zed plan­ning support

Maxi­mum fle­xi­bi­li­ty is requi­red when sche­du­ling many shor­ter assign­ments wit­hin a cer­tain time frame and radi­us, as nume­rous fac­tors usual­ly have to be taken into account. The new Dis­patch cock­pit of Inno­soft sup­ports the dis­patcher with a sophisti­ca­ted pre-planning.

What are the skills and working time spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons of the tech­ni­ci­an? How urgent are the assign­ments and what are the customer’s prio­ri­ties? Are con­trac­tu­al agree­ments or ope­ning hours to be con­si­de­red? On which rou­te can the most time and kilo­me­tres be saved? From a cer­tain size of the work to be plan­ned, it is often no lon­ger pos­si­ble for a per­son to take all the­se con­di­ti­ons into account and at the same time plan the opti­mum sequence and rou­te in terms of efficiency.
Espe­cial­ly sin­ce the­se con­di­ti­ons are also sub­ject to a cer­tain hier­ar­chy due to dif­fe­rent prio­ri­ties. And if short-term emer­gen­cy ope­ra­ti­ons are added to this, which have to be inte­gra­ted into the exis­ting plan­ning, are added to this sce­n­a­rio, it quick­ly beco­mes com­pli­ca­ted and the over­view is lost. To avoid this, it is recom­men­ded to use an auto­ma­ted pre-plan­ning sys­tem that does not get out of joint even in case of spon­ta­ne­ous devia­ti­ons from plan, but adjus­ts and updates the plan in seconds.
This relie­ves the sche­du­ler of a lot of time-con­suming cal­cu­la­ti­on and dili­gent work, so that he can con­cen­tra­te his ener­gy on fine-tuning. All he has to do is click on the but­ton that dis­tri­bu­tes the assign­ments stored in the con­tai­ner as a work­list to the avail­ab­le resour­ces. The pro­cess runs in seconds in the back­ground, the dis­patcher only sees how the assign­ments in the plan­ning board fill the lines of the respec­ti­ve ser­vice tech­ni­ci­ans. This is best illus­tra­ted using a case study.

Too many fac­tors to be con­si­de­red by human planners

A manu­fac­tu­rer of ven­ding machi­nes loo­ks after a few thousand devices, which are spread all over Ger­ma­ny. In addi­ti­on to regu­lar main­ten­an­ce and checks, the ser­vice tech­ni­ci­ans also have to dri­ve out to the cus­to­mers to rec­ti­fy minor faults and car­ry out major repairs. The sche­du­lers respon­si­ble for the various sales are­as have to dis­tri­bu­te a dai­ly work list of several dozen ser­vice calls to the field ser­vice tech­ni­ci­ans assi­gned to them. In addi­ti­on, the­re are emer­gen­cy ser­vice calls in the event of short-term sys­tem failures.
Even the best plan­ner can­not pos­si­b­ly plan the opti­mum sequence and rou­te for all tech­ni­ci­ans to fol­low when visi­t­ing cus­to­mers. It is true that he could dis­play the assign­ment and tech­ni­ci­an loca­ti­ons on a map and then design a rou­te plan­ning that would save time and effort. Howe­ver, the spe­ci­fic fac­tors of the indi­vi­du­al assign­ments will always throw this plan­ning over­board. For examp­le, the ope­ning hours of cus­to­mers, their con­trac­tual­ly gua­ran­te­ed respon­se times, or a pos­si­ble aver­si­on to or pre­fe­rence for cer­tain tech­ni­ci­ans must be taken into account.

Opti­miz­a­ti­on of assign­ments based on a pre-defi­ned requi­re­ments matrix

And in the case of tech­ni­ci­ans, it is important to match the skills avail­ab­le with the skills requi­red for the assign­ments and to take into account their working time agree­ments so that the­re is no trou­ble with the works coun­cil or tra­de uni­on. Now this data is stored in the tech­ni­ci­an pro­fi­le and all fur­ther spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons and infor­ma­ti­on are stored in the assign­ment. With the assign­ment opti­miz­a­ti­on of Inno­soft, the com­pu­ter can run through all pos­si­ble com­bi­na­ti­ons of assign­ment and resour­ce under con­si­de­ra­ti­on of an unli­mi­ted num­ber of dif­fe­rent para­me­ters in frac­tions of a second, com­pa­re the resul­ting opti­ons based on a pre­vious­ly cal­cu­la­ted cost matrix and sort them accord­ing to the given prio­ri­ties. Geo­gra­phi­cal­ly opti­mi­zed rou­tes are gene­ra­ted, which in turn mini­mi­zes tra­vel times and costs.
The addres­ses of cus­to­mers and resour­ces are geo­coded via the GeoMap modu­le, i.e. the coor­di­na­tes of lon­gi­tu­de and lati­tu­de are deter­mi­ned and stored for the address. The sys­tem can now use the address num­bers to plan the way­po­ints of the rou­tes, com­pa­re the dura­ti­on and distance of all the site con­nec­tions to each other and final­ly select the most effi­ci­ent opti­on. In order to take into account addi­tio­nal spe­cial cus­to­mer requi­re­ments such as — for examp­le, due to par­ti­cu­lar­ly good or bad expe­ri­en­ces — the pre­fe­rence or dis­li­ke for or against a par­ti­cu­lar tech­ni­ci­an, this can be defi­ned as a skill and can be inclu­ded in the plan­ning via this fil­ter option.

Dis­patcher has the last word — cor­rec­tions pos­si­ble at any time

The dis­patcher always remains the aut­ho­ri­ta­ti­ve instance, the auto­ma­ti­cal­ly plan­ned assign­ments are not bin­ding and can be cor­rec­ted or chan­ged by the user at any time. In this way, con­trol remains with the MRP con­trol­ler, who can be sup­por­ted by the tech­ni­cal opti­ons, but can still inclu­de other aspects in the plan­ning. He can the­re­fo­re influ­ence the­se auto­ma­ti­cal­ly dis­tri­bu­t­ed ope­ra­tio­nal sequen­ces at any time and react to emer­gen­ci­es and other situa­tions that chan­ge at short notice.
In inter­ac­tion with the Mobi­le Field Ser­vice solu­ti­on from Inno­soft, the dis­patcher also recei­ves con­stant­ly updated infor­ma­ti­on on the sta­tus of an assign­ment. If, for examp­le, the ser­vice tech­ni­ci­an sends his feed­back on the work he has just com­ple­ted during a cus­to­mer visit, the sys­tem immedia­te­ly pro­ces­ses the data and the cur­rent pro­gress of the assign­ment is direct­ly visi­ble in the Gantt dia­gram of the Resour­ce Plan­ning. The plan­ner can also call up the ser­vice report with all the details, so that he is always up to date on the pro­gress of the assign­ment and can react to unsche­du­led deviations.

Com­plex over­view reve­als the poten­ti­al for optimization

If the com­pa­ny vehi­cle is also equip­ped with a GPS tracking sys­tem, the dis­patcher can inter­vene vir­tual­ly in real time. On the basis of the com­ple­ted and con­fir­med assign­ments, which are mar­ked green on the plan­ning board for examp­le, and the technician’s cur­rent posi­ti­on, he sees the infor­ma­ti­on necessa­ry for his decisi­on as to whe­ther he can assign the employee an addi­tio­nal detour to a near­by cus­to­mer direct­ly in front of him on the screen.
In total, this results in an almost com­ple­te over­view, sub­di­vi­ded into the data of still plan­ned ope­ra­ti­ons as well as alrea­dy rea­li­zed and con­fir­med ope­ra­ti­ons. First expe­ri­en­ces at the customer’s site have shown the exis­ting opti­miz­a­ti­on poten­ti­al. By using Inno­soft Dis­patch, the num­ber of assign­ments to be com­ple­ted by the tech­ni­ci­ans can be incre­a­sed signi­fi­cant­ly. And the satis­fac­tion of the cus­to­mers, who are hap­py about the incre­a­sed fle­xi­bi­li­ty and relia­bi­li­ty of their sup­plier, is also a wel­co­me side effect.

The dis­patcher always has an over­view of the cur­rent assign­ment and rou­te planning