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Increase the efficiency of your mobile workforce with Dynamic Scheduling


This post explores how you can further enhance your Digital Transformation journey by integrating with a Dynamic Scheduling solution.

Dynamic scheduling


Digital transformation can be driven from within your organisation, such as improving productivity – and from the wider sector itself, such as new regulation. If you’re responsible for a diverse range of assets, from housing through to the urban spaces and utilities they require, you’ll understand the effort behind risk and compliance management.

Regulation and laws across gas, legionella, and built structures for example, all command inspection and remedy at a different pace. Outside of visits by government agencies, scheduling audit appointments for your estate means teams of head office employees must handle and number crunch their way through a vast array of data points; always in the hope that nothing has been missed.

Smaller Housing Associations and Local Authorities often rely on contractors to fill gaps in specialist knowledge and skills. This was recently evident in fire protection, where within weeks of publication, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Amendment created surveying and audit backlogs. When organisations reach a certain size or spread across locations, it becomes more important to maintain in-house inspection officers and rapid-response teams. They only work for you and they hold unique scoping experience and understanding of your assets. Along with your Enterprise Asset management (EAM) software, this direct line into management provides an opportunity for streamlined documentation, reporting, and analysis. 

When manual scheduling becomes its own risk

Housing Associations and Local Authorities that rely on the training and standards of in-house audit teams schedule their own inspector and surveyor visits. Manual scheduling of appointments at regular intervals eventually becomes ‘white space’ filling – with little room for optimised efficiency. In this case, ‘planned appointments’ mirror the deadlines found in field service. Any rush to meet obligations can lead to costly overtime, additional hours, and wasted fuel and CO2. 

It becomes an even more difficult task when their findings generate ‘reactive appointments’ for repairs and maintenance technicians. The manual scheduling of field engineers to follow up appointments involves matching locations with tasks - plus SLAs, skills, parts, and certification. Job management systems cannot solve these requirements, and planners frequently rely on a mix of local knowledge and google maps to provide instruction.

Compliance audits also parallel other issues found in everyday field operations. Aside from unnecessary travel time and paper records, ‘no access’ appointments are especially prevalent. This is commonly the result of requiring access to homes, where the tenant is not available, and spaces where supervision is required (such as rooftops and crawl spaces), where there’s the reliance on meeting a third party.

Dynamic field service scheduling is your solution

FLS VISITOUR is a dynamic scheduling and mobile workforce management software, with the critical additional value of embedded route planning. Dynamic scheduling considers and calculates all tasks, resources, and capacity based on real-time information and changing circumstances. It will always recognise your organisation’s favoured outcome. The solution therefore caters to various scheduling needs, including compliance and audit inspectors, housing officers, and repairs and maintenance technicians. It easily integrates to empower Housing Associations and Local Authorities to unlock the highest levels of productivity for field operatives. Integrating a custom low-code platform with dynamic scheduling can deliver huge cost and efficiency savings across a wide variety of organisations.

FLS VISITOUR removes pressure from planners to continuously adjust schedules and routing to optimise efficiency, productivity, and responsiveness. The PowerOpt algorithm updates schedules in-day, based on changing conditions such as inspector/surveyor availability, cancellations, delays, or unforeseen reactive maintenance events. The ability to link appointments and dependencies is remarkably successful in compliance and remedy workflows. 

Optimised scheduling decisions maximise efficiency and minimise cost, in accordance with your SLAs. In the case of the fire protection amendment, FLS users set their deadline and resources, and the algorithm produced cost-optimised appointment choices and routes, within seconds. 

While many Job/Housing Management, CRM, and ERP softwares include basic field force scheduling features, none can match the comprehensive ongoing cost optimisation and routing capabilities offered by FLS VISITOUR.  Integrate this power together with the ability to build and maintain your own digital workflows and the benefits to your company can be substantial.

Improve your compliance, retention, and service scores

The ability to adapt to changing conditions and optimise scheduling in real-time will contribute to improved operational efficiency; but its effects are felt throughout employee and tenant satisfaction. Responding to unexpected events or changing priorities allows for the reordering of tasks or reallocating resources as needed. Integrating real-time data, such as GPS tracking and self-service portals gives planners the tools to offer automated ETA and the rescheduling of appointments to prevent ‘no-access’ visits. This saves your compliance and repairs teams from wasted journeys and ensures your field force remains productive. You will improve your time-to-respond and first-time fix rates and reduce overtime. Going paperless in turn provides data to support audits, such as digital evidence of visits and findings with geotags and photography. At this time of skills shortages, this removes additional work from inspectors and surveyors and assists head-office teams to produce reports with greater detail – without re-keying.