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Service directors I have met over the years to discuss service management challenges and business development opportunities usually have their business plan in place. It often goes something like this; within 4 years, 40% of the total turnover should come from aftermarket and EBIT should be 18%.

In a field service business, about 80% of the cost is labor. Utilizing staff better is one way forward—improving service quality to retain and get new customers is another. So far so good, but how do you achieve all this?

My answer is to use a computer! This is how Ericsson solved its scheduling challenge and Ericsson is now in a top position when it comes to field service performance.


Fredrik Johansson, IT-Manager Ericsson Managed Services will be at IFS World Conference to share his experience and success in my break-out session “#4 – SERVICE & ASSET: Optimize your field workforce with IFS 360 Scheduling”. Don’t miss this opportunity to get inspired from a reality case.


However, have you ever considered the impossible task of optimizing a field workforce manually? Very often companies try to do just that. Actually, it’s not a problem to plan and schedule a mobile field force manually, but you can never optimize the field force manually. Let me prove that with simple calculation.

Assume you have one field technician and two calls. That gives you two possible combinations. The technician can do Job A first and then Job B, or vice versa.

Let us now assume we still have one field technician but three calls. This gives you six possible combinations.

Two field technicians and three calls give you 24 possible combinations.

Now it’s getting interesting. Three technicians with 10 calls give ~479 million combinations. Can you even imagine the combinations available if you have five technicians and 30 calls?

This little exercise proves quite well that to optimize a field force, the human brain does not suffice. You need software and a computer that can do it for you instead. IFS not only has the business software but also many customers that have left the “acoustic planning phase” (i.e. whoever screams loudest gets first preference) and moved into resource optimization.

My advice to you is to contact IFS today to ask us if we can help you. The answer is likely ‘Yes’.


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