All organisations suffer from inefficiencies and FM organisations with skills-based mobile and field workforces probably suffer more than most. Field workforces are an expensive resource to run and their dynamics can cause inefficiencies to be more acute. Effective scheduling of time and skills is crucial to optimising their utilisation and maximising return on investment.
With the recent launch of Assign, Wheatley Associates has radically re-thought the concept of real-time field workforce scheduling in FM applications. Assign’s focus on usability and its highly intuitive user interface provide FM organisations with easy access to a wealth of functionality, enabling field workforces to complete more jobs more efficiently, while also delivering improved customer service.
“Multi-dimensional scheduling requirements demand new ideas and new thinking and the launch of Assign delivers on this promise,” said Jeremy Goulding, CEO of Wheatley Associates. “The enhanced capabilities that Assign delivers reflect the importance and exacting demands that field service organisations place on the automation of their operations. Assign maximises field workforce efficiency, increases productivity and integrates seamlessly with existing back-office systems, taking mobile and field workforce management and scheduling to a fundamentally new level.”
Assign provides a powerful, browser-based appointment booking, work scheduling, operative tracking and mobile communications solution for managing any size field workforce in real-time. It dynamically balances work allocations and takes account of changing events to maximise productivity and ensure the optimal use of costly resources, while also ensuring customer service commitments are met.
As the East Midland’s principal unitary authority, Leicester City Council relies heavily on Wheatley’s field workforce scheduling software for its FM requirements. Its task is immense. With responsibility for a social housing stock of over 22,000 properties, the Council employs a skilled field workforce of 450+ trades operatives (bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, plumbers, electricians, etc), to ensure that they are kept in the optimum state of repair. Job allocation and scheduling is organised on a daily, real-time basis for all of the planned and reactive maintenance and renovation work on the properties
“Planning daily work schedules for such a large, skilled mobile workforce, ensuring that the right people with the right skills are on site at the right time, is no easy task,” said Amrik Singh, Planning and Major Works Manager at Leicester City Council. “The software not only provides us with the basis for planning our work schedules but also enables us to respond dynamically to the changes happening in the field for all our operatives.”
Assign’s powerful mobile communications technology enables work schedules to be dispatched directly to operatives’ PDAs either one job at a time or as a sequenced list. Operatives use the PDAs to capture data about the job, recording data inputs such as access information, parts used, additional requirements and completion authorisation, thereby reducing errors and minimising back-office overheads. By constantly monitoring feedback as jobs progress, Assign can dynamically re-schedule work and re-output jobs to an operative as needed. Assign’s integrated mapping display, visualised on any popular web-based map, tracks the location of each operative in relation to the route that has been planned. Assign fits neatly into existing IT infrastructures and also features an optional profit and loss reporting module enabling profitability analysis to be undertaken by customer, invoice, month or job.
“The launch of Assign delivers a comprehensive and user-friendly scheduling solution for improving mobile field workforce efficiency and productivity,” concluded Jeremy Goulding. “It puts the right skills in the right place at the right time, automatically creating hundreds of operatives’ schedules, quickly determining the optimum workload distribution and minimising fleet management costs. Assign balances the complex issues of efficiency and customer satisfaction in the context of any size of field workforce.”
www.wheatley-associates.co.uk +44 (0)1449 781001
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