A Field Force refers to workers based in different geographic locations who are required to travel to the allocated task’s location. Each worker has a set of skills and each task has a skill requirement.
Field Force management refers to the process of allocating tasks to appropriate workers who have the required skills in the area. It also involves the movement of technicians into areas with backlog/capacity requirements.
Field Force Challenges
- To optimise the scheduling and dispatching of tasks to balance productivity and service levels
- To allocate people to crews that possess flexibility to do many different tasks
- To dispatch work, considering travel distance
- To balance service levels vs productivity
- To respond to highly unpredictable demand
- To best combine planned and reactive work e.g. the installation of phone services or the repair of phone lines.
The Challenge: Productivity Vs Service Levels
Simulation can be used in Field Force management to model the job’s ‘life’ from; creation, dispatch into the field (based on geography, task duration and travel time), to completion. In a simulation model:
- Task times can be job specific, skills and shifts can be worker specific
- Crews, interlinked steps, Dispatch rules or any business rules can be modelled
- There are no data limitations
- Almost any activity that can be measured can be modelled