In the first part of this blog, we already addressed how a rapidly changing market and growing customer demands impacts the need for optimized resource scheduling. We also briefly touched on the areas that a facility services provider could benefit from scheduling optimization. In this blog we will dive deeper into how Planon Artificial Resource Scheduler can contribute to operational excellence, business growth, sustainability, employee happiness and customer satisfaction.
How Planon Artificial Resource Scheduling benefits facility service providers
The Planon Artificial Resource Scheduler is a rapidly deployable, cost-effective way to achieve efficient automated scheduling of facility services.
Planners are able to optimize the capacity of existing facility services teams to do more within the same time, with the same or less resources. With the Planon Artificial Resource Scheduler, facility service providers can:
1. Increase back office efficiency through automation
Manually creating facility service schedules can be an extremely inefficient process. Scheduling jobs becomes ever more complicated as the number of job orders and team members increase. Add to this the many unforeseen factors that can disrupt a day, such as emergency requests or workers who become ill, and the time spent on scheduling can seem endless. Scheduling optimization software supports your planners by reducing the time required for scheduling from hours to minutes, saving your company time and money.
2. Retain talented employees
The last thing you want is for your field employees to feel rushed, arrive late, or feel unprepared for a job. Inefficient scheduling processes can create an unprofessional and frustrating work environment leading to unnecessary employee stress. Overworked, underutilized, and misaligned field workers are unlikely to remain with you for long, leading to costly employee turnover. In fact, research by the Society for HR Management, finds that replacing an employee can cost between 50% to 60% or more of that employee’s salary. Scheduling optimization helps you to provide the work environment to keep your employees with you for longer.
3. Improve employee capacity
Resource scheduling optimization results in efficiency improvements across an organization. For example, a single planner can manage approximately fifteen field resources on average. The more reactive maintenance you have, the fewer field resources that can be efficiently scheduled because your planner is continuously overloaded. Scheduling optimization reduces overtime requirements and costs per work order by ensuring that planners are able to quickly adjust to escalating workloads and scheduling demands. In fact, planners may be able to handle up to twenty-five field resources with the help of an optimization solution.
4. Reduce fleet fuel, energy consumption, and operating costs
If each fleet operator is able to save one tank of fuel per vehicle per month, the savings can become substantial. For example, research performed by WSP Sweden finds that fleet optimization can result in 8% fuel savings. These savings are driven by an estimated 10% to 25% reduction in fleet mileage. This will also result in reduced vehicle maintenance costs from wear and tear. Using scheduling optimization in combination with a route mapping provider, can also ensure your mobile facility services employees either take the shortest route possible, or avoid major disruptions when responding to an emergency. In the end, you will have happier employees who are able to provide better customer service.
5. Achieve scale and increased profitability
A recent talent survey by the Manpower Group finds that 75% of organizations are facing a talent shortage. Facility service providers are no different, with many finding it difficult to hire the skilled workers they need to maintain and grow their business. Resource scheduling optimization is able to help firms manage this difficulty. This solution enables planners to manage more resources by scheduling multiple jobs at once. This process efficiency helps planners to do more, while supporting business growth when skilled workers are in short supply.
6. Identify scheduling bottlenecks before they become a problem
Resource scheduling optimization enables planners to have the flexibility and visibility to efficiently schedule your mobile workforce to ensure work gets done when expected. Facility service providers get real-time mobile updates to their schedule, so everyone always knows what to expect. Planners have peace of mind that schedules are accurate and that they can easily plan ahead or make changes without difficulty. In addition, managers can access detailed reporting to see scheduling trends, such as busy times of day or seasons, and can plan ahead accordingly.
7. Increase facility services delivery capacity
For field service providers, a lot of time can be spent driving from job to job. In fact, it’s easy for a field service provider to drive more than 30,000 miles in a year. If you have 500 vans, that equates to more than 15 million miles a year. Scheduling optimization that takes into account job location and multiple jobs in a single building can reduce travel requirements by 10% or more. Less time spent travelling, is more time available to complete jobs. This capacity increase will result in better Service Level Agreement (SLA) compliance, more jobs being completed in the same amount of time, happier clients, and business growth.
8. Improve sustainability credentials
Implementing resource scheduling optimization can be a useful contributor towards attracting and retaining clients. Research by consulting firm Accenture finds that decision-makers are more likely to buy from companies that have a shared purpose with them – such as sustainability. Improvement in the routing efficiency of mobile facility service providers, creates multiple sustainability related benefits. Benefits include reduced carbon footprints and extended fleet operational life cycles. In addition, you can improve client satisfaction and contribute towards increased business resiliency.
9. Prevent compliance penalties
As the number of work orders and mobile personnel grows, it becomes easier for details to fall through the cracks. For example, mandatory compliance activities may get scheduled too close to the expiry date and aren’t completed on time due to unforeseen circumstances. These activities may have penalty payments attached to them, resulting in a fine to the facility service provider. To prevent this, planners can use the scheduling optimizer to combine same location activities and plan mandatory, by law, activities earlier in the month.
10. Grow customer satisfaction, loyalty, and spend
Scheduling optimization supports many variables that contribute towards happy clients and employees. For example, it helps to reduce instances of double-booking on jobs, scheduling a technician with the wrong skill set, or not allowing enough travel time between jobs. All of these can leave clients and facility service provider employees frustrated and may lead to unsatisfactory experiences. Providing good experiences is crucial for a facility service provider. Research by consulting firm Deloitte found that providing good customer experiences can decrease the cost of servicing clients by 33%. In addition, this research also finds that with good experiences, clients stay customers for five years longer than an unsatisfied client. Achieving this level of client loyalty is dependent on being prepared and providing reliable and consistent services.
Choose the Planon Artificial Resource Scheduler for operational excellence
Operational excellence is the execution of a business strategy more consistently and reliably than your competition, with lower operational risk, lower operating costs, and increased revenues. This is at the core of what the Planon Artificial Resource Scheduler, when integrated with our Facility Services Business Solution, can help you achieve.
Operational excellence is within reach once planners have insight into where capacity bottlenecks occur, when windshield time and vehicle carbon emissions can be reduced, and how to best match available resources to open, and emergency jobs that require specific skills and certifications. With scheduling optimization, complex resource scheduling is no longer a cumbersome and expensive activity, but rather becomes an activity that contributes towards business growth, sustainability, employee happiness, and client satisfaction.