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In service, there are no shortage of systems and processes occurring on the backend that would benefit from a more optimized approach. As service continues to cement itself as a key business driver for companies, getting the day-to-day of planning, scheduling, routing, and parts not just managed competently—but fully optimized—has become the make-or-break point for many businesses. This is what leading Planning, Scheduling, and Optimization (PSO) utilities strive to accomplish.

 

When preparing to adopt any new system, it’s of course key to ensure that your business is appropriately prepared. What are the key considerations facing businesses when it comes to PSO? As with any technology, the tool itself needs to be complemented by the right internal systems. There are a great many that will need to be considered, and that is a conversation to have with your team, and with the vendors that you’re considering, but here are three key points to keep in mind as you’re preparing to adopt a new PSO system:

  1. Make sure your data house is in order
  2. Find the right technology partner
  3. Identify and benchmark the outcomes for success

Make sure your data house is in order

We’ll start with number one, which is key to managing your PSO system effectively. An AI-powered system is only as capable as the inputs being fed into it. While a best-in-class PSO system will come with a wide variety of inputs out of the box, even more if attached to a full suite of field service management (FSM) tools, the system’s effectiveness is further enhanced through a strong system of APIs that are derived from different triggers in your business.

Depending on your scale and industry, this could include parts and dealer management, asset performance management, or resource management across your business. Your PSO system, like any growing intellect, gets smarter the more intellectual material it’s able to consume. Furthermore, good data is key. Bad data begets bad data in a negative feedback loop that can undermine the whole system.

IFS Planning Scheduling and Optimization

Finding the right technology partner

Much of this can be assuaged with point number two: finding the right technology partner. And while the software is key, and should have the right triggers and management systems inherent, implementation, especially in terms of a PSO system, are just—if not more—important. With dozens of business rules to consume, finding a partner who will support connecting the dots, both out-of-the-box and down the road, often is the difference between success and failure.

Identify and benchmark the outcomes for success

To that end (and with guidance from your technology partner) point number three stresses the importance of regular audits. Truthfully, KPI criteria can often be preprogrammed with implicit bias in order to lean into specific metrics. Uncovering the potential bias in reporting or metering those metrics takes time, and often an independent eye. Any technology purchase reflects an ongoing process, which is why it’s so important to create smart, repeatable criteria for evaluation.

For forward-thinking organizations, planning and scheduling optimization in many ways represents the backbone of successful service delivery. Getting PSO right means that the onus of operations management is no longer a time sink, allowing businesses to free up back-office resources and concentrate more of their time and effort on delivering exceptional service, instead of the means to deliver that service. With this in mind, planning and scheduling optimization not only helps align your operational resources, but your business development ones as well, and rightly puts the focus on your efforts where they belong: on your customer.

Ready to learn more about PSO? Download this whitepaper to learn what defines best-in-class planning and scheduling optimization.

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