Contemporary field service management system
The introduction of mobileX-Dispatch was carried out in 2014. The solution was integrated into the existing SAP PM/CS system and the PTV server. 15 dispatchers have been planning the assignments of the service technicians throughout the region since then – mostly centrally from Freiburg. These are meter replacements, meter installations, fault clearances, maintenances and new constructions in the natural gas, water, electricity, sewage and lighting sectors. Approximately 65,000 orders are handled each year, which are usually planned two to five days in advance. The dispatchers are also responsible for arranging appointments with customers. In addition, they prepare the orders for the service technicians and check their processing.
When planning the assignments, the dispatchers match the qualifications of the service technicians with the requirements of the orders via the tool in order to select the most suitable technician for the respective order. The tour optimization, which optimizes the travel times of the service technicians between the individual orders is also used during the planning process. Teams of external companies are also scheduled via mobileX-Dispatch. These receive their orders as an Excel list.
Efficiency improvement by introducing mobileX-MIP for Field Service
In 2015, bnNETZE decided to introduce mobileX-MIP for Field Service for mobile maintenance. The broad functionality of the software and the possibility to transfer data directly into SAP PM/CS using digital forms and to evaluate them there were the reasons for this decision. In Q4 2016, the successive rollout of the solution was carried out by teams. The aim of the introduction was to improve the efficiency in mobile maintenance and to use the mobile solution to provide reliable, up-to-date, and evaluable data to the facility information system of bnNETZE, thus ensuring a reliable operation of the networks and facilities.
In the course of the introduction of the mobile software, the service technicians also got new Lenovo tablets, on which they can receive their orders in mobileX-MIP for Field Service and edit them in touch mode. The recording of the working times for the feedbacks is carried out via a start-stop function, which is used by the service technicians to enter the beginning and the end of the work time for an order. These times are then automatically included in the feedbacks as suggestions. However, new company agreements had to be created for this feature. Since the works council was involved in the project team from the very beginning, this did not constitute a hurdle though. 13 service technicians were also involved in the selection and rollout of the mobile solution and were thus able to contribute their requirements and spread the innovations in their team. Due to the changed processes in the time confirmations, the training of the technicians took with two months relatively long, but in the end the solution was well received.
Next, bnNETZE plans to introduce the “Dynamic Forms” module of mobileX. This is to replace paper-based forms and checklists with digital versions. At the end of 2017 the form for the inspection of transformer stations will be electronically mapped in a first pilot. The utility hopes that implementing the forms will lead to a significant improvement in data quality as well as in an increase in productivity, since the collected data will then be transmitted directly to SAP PM/CS via mobileX-MIP for Field Service and the time-consuming and error-prone manual transmission will no longer be required.