A key prerequisite to successful scheduling adoption is having the right people, with the right skills, in the right roles. This topic explores the most critical scheduling roles for any field service organization.
Dispatcher or scheduler
The dispatcher or scheduler is responsible for ensuring that work orders (or requirements) are matched with the right resources in order to create bookings in a given time slot. This role can be performed by people in a variety of positions, such as:
- service managers
- customer service representatives
- traditional dispatchers
Scheduler responsibilities can range between manually assigning all requirements, having the system automatically schedule all requirements and simply managing exceptions, or somewhere in between.
- A manual approach would be to drag and drop requirements to resource time slots.
- A semi-automated approach would be to use the Schedule Assistant tool that recommends available and most appropriate resources.
- A fully automated approach would be to adopt Resource Scheduling Optimization (RSO) that automatically schedules requirements to the best resources based on predefined rules. Using more automated scheduling can lead to a reduction in scheduler-to-resource ratio.
In practice, there are typically people performing or overseeing the scheduling role, if even just to help manage exceptions. Even with a high level of automation, schedulers are involved to help ensure optimization is meeting business objectives.
The scheduling analyst is an emerging role as organizations adopt advanced scheduling functions like optimization, automated scheduling, and analytics. The ideal scheduling analyst has a healthy mix of scheduling, analytics, and optimization knowledge.
This role owns optimization schedules, along with accompanying scope, goals, and parameters.