Goals of efficient resource planning

The task planning process is not just about selecting the right service technician for the job. Use the following overview to find out which objectives your company should pursue within deployment planning:

1) Optimum utilization of service technicians

Optimizing the workload of your field service technicians should be the primary goal of good scheduling. Operations must be planned in such a way that the specified target time for the respective Technician is achieved without significantly exceeding or falling short (e.g. 40 hours per week).

2) Reduce travel distances

In addition to pure capacity utilization, route and journey optimization attempts to improve the ratio between working time and travel time in favour of working time. To achieve this, several operations should be intelligently linked together by means of forward-looking route planning. Even when planning operations at short notice, the nearest available service technician should be accessed despite the hectic pace.

3) Select a suitable technician in terms of qualifications

Whether a service technician is eligible for an operation or not must be decided by the deployment planning department with the help of a qualification comparison. To this end, it is important to check in advance which qualifications are absolutely necessary for the operation and which Technician fulfills them accordingly.

4) Minimize administrative effort in scheduling

The administrative effort involved in scheduling should be kept to a minimum in addition to optimizing the upper targets. Manual data entry should be almost completely taken over by the deployment plan software. As a result, the dispatcher can plan significantly more service technicians at the same time and the (personnel) costs of planning are allocated to more operations.

5) Ensure maximum flexibility

Even operations planned well in advance can be revised due to sudden incidents. In this case, deployment planning must react flexibly and in the best possible way to new circumstances. This includes efficient rescheduling and immediate communication to the service technician, including the changed deployment data.

Process and advantages of digital resource planning

An overview of classic deployment planning tasks:

  • Order management: answering customer calls, scheduling upcoming maintenance, coordinating and agreeing appointments with customers and subcontractors
  • Rough planning: Which orders have to be processed in which period? Is the existing capacity sufficient to process the orders or do subcontractors need to be involved at an early stage? Define Spare parts and notify materials management/warehouse.
  • Detailed planning: Planning the operation on a specific date and assigning one or more service technicians.
  • Rescheduling and alternative arrangements: Consideration of short-term adjustments that may occur during the operation e.g. due to customer cancelation, additional defects on the asset etc.
  • Operation follow-up: Checking of reported data such as service report and operation times, release for billing and, if necessary, scheduling of follow-up operations.

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Order management

In addition to the sometimes stressful day-to-day business, schedulers should always keep an eye on past, present and future orders. Why? Past operations may result in unplanned follow-up operations that affect the current week's planning, for example, and require rescheduling. The situation is similar with current operations, which can take unpredictably longer, for example.

Looking at future orders/operations, only a small proportion of these can be planned for a rough period due to existing maintenance and repair contracts. The following is an overview of possible scenarios for the development of an operation:

  • Call from a (new) customer for troubleshooting or scheduled maintenance
  • Maintenance reminder through your automatic maintenance planning for customers with a corresponding maintenance contract
  • Follow-up assignments from past orders
  • Incidents transmitted by the connected Plant Monitoring system

For all the cases listed, orders and associated operations must be automatically "taken over" from the suggestions, such as the maintenance reminders, or created manually. The order data can be retrieved via a connection to the ERP system, so that the effort required to create orders in the deployment planning app is reduced to a minimum.

Rough planning

In addition to simply creating an order, there are other tasks involved in the rough planning of an operation. This includes, for example, telephone coordination with the customer and the possible consideration of the customer's appointment requests. Depending on the type of operation, external service providers (external trades) must also be included in the planning process and coordinated. Finally, it is important to define the scope of tasks (if necessary per service object) and to provide the Technician with the images and/or documents required for processing the assignment, if necessary.

Materials often have to be made available for maintenance and repair work in particular. If there is no work preparation, the planner usually defines the required spare parts. He should be able to access stored spare parts lists and information on installed components. Once the spare parts have been defined, it is necessary to inform materials management or the warehouse about the parts to be provided - including all important information such as the type of provision (shipping, take-away by technicians) and, if required, the delivery address. This can be partially automated by initiating a workflow process.

Detailed planning

As soon as the rough planning has been completed, it's time for the detailed planning. The specific dates and Technicians are determined here, if not already specified in the rough planning. Route planning is also carried out here - usually for the next working week. Partial automation allows the planning parameters "route, required qualifications and workload" to be taken into account and suggestions for suitable service technicians to be made on this basis. Operations are then intuitively assigned to one or more technicians via drag & drop using a job list in the planning board. As soon as the deployment status is set to "Released", the Technician receives a corresponding notification within their mobile app. All relevant information on the customer, operations and the relevant service objects is displayed there. This completely eliminates the need for the dispatcher to manually compile information such as the customer's contact details.

Rescheduling and alternative scheduling

Even after the Operation has been released to the Technician, changes may be made at short notice. The following reasons mean that maximum flexibility is required despite digital resource planning:

  • Operation cannot be completed on time, Technician needs longer, follow-up operations at risk, must be rescheduled
  • Short-term adjustment of the scope of work on site (customer requests troubleshooting on another asset that was not planned, machine is in worse condition than expected, etc.).
  • Customer cancels the appointment at short notice, asks for postponement
  • External service provider cancels (e.g. provision of a crane) and the operation can therefore not be carried out
  • Service technician is absent at short notice due to illness

In all cases, scheduling must be supported by the deployment planning software in order to be able to find flexible alternatives. The service technicians can also use the mobile app to influence the planning by independently creating operations via the service technician app or adding additional plants/objects to the operation if required. The direct networking between deployment planning and the mobile service technician app offers enormous advantages, particularly for ad-hoc actions, and guarantees the corresponding flexibility in day-to-day business.

Follow-up of maintenance and service documents

As already mentioned in the first process point, the task of the operation planner does not usually end once the operation has been successfully completed. In addition, there is often the post-processing of service documents, checking of deployment times and completed logs as well as any planning of follow-up assignments. The release for billing and notification of invoicing are also frequently part of the tasks of resource planning. You can find out what other tasks are involved in Operation follow-up and how the ADASMA maintenance software supports you in this in our blog. Stay tuned.


As an operations planner in a maintenance and service company, it is important to work as efficiently as possible and to schedule all resources optimally. Sudden incidents can lead to stressful situations with a high potential for error. Shift planning software provides support in all tasks and areas of a dispatcher and combines previous legacy systems in one solution (Excel, Outlook, Maps). Smooth networking with the service technician app also enables planning based on real-time data. The entire service process is taken to a new level thanks to the perfect interplay between digital deployment planning and the mobile technician app.

For further information on optimal deployment planning and questions about the additional functions of ADASMA, please do not hesitate to contact us.