Mobile Workforce Planning

Application Examples

A service organization delivers service to hundreds of clients spread around Belgium using 60 service engineers. 40 engineers start from one central point and 20 engineers from their homes. Each service engineer (depending on his skills) can perform different tasks at the client location. The service involves 8 different tasks. The operation is limited by the 8-hours legal working day and requires equal workload distribution between service engineers. The PlanVidia system automatically determines the optimal amount of resources taking into account all operation constraints simultaneously. Within a few minutes the dispatcher knows what resource (how many and which service engineers) are needed to perform that day's operation. The optimization process takes into account appointments, delivery priorities, service time at the client, skills of service engineers and other parameters specific to customer operation ( business logics). PlanVidia makes the field service operation more cost effective, it provides transparency to the operation and increases the quality of the service. The PlanVidia system can support the planning of the daily operation and can be used for the simulation of mid-term and strategic operations (e.g. monthly planning, resource assessment, market growth analysis, acquisitions, etc.).

Electricity & Natural Gas Company

Sibelga is the electricity and natural gas distribution network operator in the Brussels-Capital Region (461742 gas supply points and 640612 electricity supply points).

Since beginning 2005, Sibelga has been using PlanVidia (Roads) for the daily planning of around 1000 service jobs, executed by a team of 60 technicians performing installation and maintenance of gas/electricity connections and installation of power-limiters.

PlanVidia automatically chooses the optimal resources (amount of technicians) needed for the operation taking into account all operational constraints simultaneously. Each technician gets a planning including a sequence of visits starting from his home and ending at the Sibelga office. The planning takes into account appointments, priorities, service time at the client, technician's skills and other parameters specific to the type of operation.

The daily assignments are automatically imported from the central data base into PlanVidia (Roads) system which performs the planning within a matter of minutes. The results (estimated visit time) are exported to Planophone, central system accessible for Sibelga customers over a toll free phone number.

Electricity Company

An electricity distribution company employs 25 agents. The daily field operation includes 450 - 500 clients. Agents are performing 15 different tasks at different clients.

Optimization tasks
Finding minimum amount of agents with correct skills.
Finding shortest routes for all agents for each day operation.

Problem size
Typical optimization time: 5 minutes.

Newspaper Publisher

A newspaper publisher distributes daily 20 different newspaper editions and magazines to 4.000 selling points spread all over the country. Each sales point requires delivery of a specific number of editions not later than a strictly defined delivery time.

Optimization tasks
Find optimal distribution schedule
Find minimum amount of vehicles
Find optimal start time and distribution schedule for each vehicle (respecting latest delivery time) Determine total minimum distribution cost

Optimization results
Optimal #vehicles and types
Optimal starting time for each vehicle
Optimal loading for each vehicle
Minimum total time, km, cost

Problem size
Typical optimization time: 45 minutes (4,000 POS, 94 vehicles).

Brewery

A large brewery performs beer tap cleaning operation in 28.000 cafes using 120 technicians.

Optimization tasks
Defining of optimal regions for each agent.
Daily planning of operation for 120 agents.
The workload has to be distributed uniformly between all technicians.

Problem size
Typical optimization time: 30 minutes (daily routes for 120 agents serving 700-800 clients).

Security Company

A security company's patrolling operation involves 1.500 sites visited in a continuous operation by 65 security agents.

Optimization tasks
Finding optimal work capacity distribution to serve all customers.
Minimize number of security agents and driven distances (km).

Problem size
Typical optimization time: 20 minutes.

Waste Container Company

A waste container company with 5.000 clients, operating from 5 depots with 250 collection vehicles.

Optimization tasks
Finding shortest routes for minimum number of vehicles for daily operation.
The workload has to be distributed uniformly.

Problem size
Typical optimization time: 1 hour.

Water Distribution Company

A water distribution company visits in average 1,500 clients per day. The operation is performed by 35 technicians. Each technician starts the work from his home address. The operation includes a mix of customers with predefined appointments (priority for service) and customers without appointment (non-priority). The planning automatically assigns priority and non-priority customers for each technician taking into consideration geographic location, time constraints and required skills. The selection is done from around 6,000 customers.

Optimization tasks
Finding optimal routes to serve maximum number of customers being a mix of priority and non-priority customers. The work has to be completed within legal 8 hours working day.

Problem size
6,000 customers, 35 technicians, 35 different starting locations.
Typical optimization time: 30 minutes.

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