How is Field Service Inventory Planned?
Field Service Technicians introduce challenges that common multi-echelon planning algorithms used for Central Warehouses and Forward Stocking Locations do not address. Technicians frequently determine their own inventory needs based on undocumented knowledge and experience that can’t be used to scale as your service supply chain evolves. This gap in process, data and technology represents an untapped opportunity in many service organizations to improve service supply chain performance and improve first call fix rates.
How Big is this Opportunity?
A technician’s time is a valuable resource and making a technician more productive by reducing the need for return visits due to lack of parts is an incredible opportunity for return on investment. Consider the following example on the right:
This example is based on a 10% reduction in broken calls due to lack of part availability. This results in 25,000 fewer broken calls requiring return visits per year. If each return visit takes an additional 2.5 hours of technician time (part ordering, return trip drive time, and additional on-site work time), that’s $3.1M in gained technician productivity annually. That’s also a big reduction in dissatisfied customers. One of the best investments a field service organization can make to improve their part availability and improve the productivity of their technicians is to reduce the need for return visits. Prophet by Baxter is the industry leading solution for field service inventory planning.