As with most technologies deployed in business, the promise is not always completely
realized due to some misunderstanding of the requirements to use them! In the case of
GPS integrated into some automated workforce management (WFM) system, operators
often mistakenly believe that the introduction of such a system would increase precision
in routing. This is not completely true. The algorithms in automated WFM systems are
powerful. With the import of maps, routing can be calculated almost the same with or
without the integration of GPS. In a dispatch operation with static routes,(creating the
whole route which is never changed throughout the day), it must be understood that
GPS will not provide significantly more accurate routing. Most agree that a dispatch with
static route methodology is a thing of the past, but in managing the various automations
in place, dispatch management must understand when and how to get the most out of
these automations. If this cannot be achieved GPS is not valuable. If managed
correctly, service delivery, technician management and internal operating statistics will
GPS is most valuable during the “day of” activities as the workday progresses.
Assigning work based on absolute location values will ensure that the closest tech gets
to the next appointment. As the day unfolds, eventually more resources should become
available for less work, and the decision making of the AWFM system is enhanced by
GPS integration. While there are other elements to the decision of assigning work, the
primary criterion among them is the location of the tech in relation to the customer site.
Without GPS, a dispatcher makes a decision based on last known location (the place
where a tech completed the previous job). In many cases, that tech may be 10 to 20
miles from that last location at the instant of decision and is no longer the closest tech at
that point in time. GPS data will provide empirical data regarding the technicians’
location and drive time will be reduced.
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