Workforce Management

Professional solutions for a smart crew

Field Force Automation – Mobile Workforce Management

Field Force Automation (FFA) by GE Energy is a network services workforce management system for the utilities industry. It enables fast and targeted steering of the field team and ensures that the right person is in the right place at the right time, including all necessary parts, tools and equipment, and information on the customer and the network.

FFA processes data and jobs from a variety of sources, for example GIS or ERP, or other corporate systems for operational tasks such as servicing, maintenance, fault remediation, meter readings, etc. Functions for route planning, analysis and workflow control round off the product.

FFA achieves both short-term efficiency and quality targets and long-term effects, and consists of three primary components:
  • Planning board for job preparation scheduling.
  • Online communications between dispatcher and field team.
  • Dashboard for strategic decision-making processes.

Planning Board for Job Preparation Scheduling

The digital planning board for job preparation scheduling is the linchpin of the system; it can be managed via a user-friendly web application. Job preparation scheduling is thus capable of manually assigning jobs to staff and coordinating the handling sequence. Jobs can also be assigned semi- or fully automatically based on defined rules and specifications, e.g. travel times, staff qualifications and location in the network. The system thus guarantees ideal resource deployment. Short-term changes or new individual measures, e.g. initiated by faults, are implemented by the system as updated personnel planning in real time. The dispatcher can incorporate empiricism in the process at any time, allowing manual editing and optimisation of the proposals made by the system. The most important basic information on customers, personnel, working times, fleet, qualifications, etc. required for dispatching is also managed in FFA or can be exported to external systems (e.g. SAP) via interfaces.

Online Communications

The planning coordinator and the field units communicate online. The assigned jobs are accepted and processed on mobile terminals. Any status changes and data are transmitted back as necessary, so that work progress is visible on the planning board at all times.

Basis for Strategic Decision-making Processes

A third component of FFA models long-term targets: deployments can be monitored and statistically evaluated with the aid of dashboards. FFA either creates or identifies reports and metrics, as well as making forecasts, e.g. on future personnel utilisation. The data acquired in this way can also be employed in advanced systems in the business intelligence field, such as SAS, in order to further underpin network development and status forecasts.

Field Force Automation Features

  • Uniform field team steering for simple and complex job types for your own teams and external service providers.
  • Automatic or manual generation, assignment and tracking of jobs, using company-specific and tariff guidelines.
  • Alarming and replanning for unplanned events.
  • Web-based planning calendar for jobs, statuses and mobile personnel, as well as for tracking job statuses using map-based dispatching and GPS positions (optional).
  • Information relevant to the job in the field by transmitting business-related, technical and spatial information together with the job.
  • Workflows also for long-term measures thanks to configurable and scalable workflow engine.
  • Reports and evaluations thanks to automatic logging of all activities.

Easy Integration

The required solution can be configured by combining the basic product and optional, predefined system plug-ins, which can be accomplished with a minimum of servicing effort:
  • ViryaNet Service Hub for Utilities.
  • GIS integration (e.g. Smallworld Field).
  • Navigation and GPS integration.
  • SAP integration.
  • Additional systems integration.

Mettenmeier is an authorised distributor,
product development partner, implementation partner
and training partner of GE Energy.