Siebel Field Service Guide > Setting Up and Using Scheduling >
Defining Service Regions
This task is a step in Process of Setting Up Scheduling.
From a service management perspective, a service region is a grouping of service engineers in a geographical area for a particular purpose, usually the support of a certain set of products. Service managers try to manage the load within a service region by balancing proactive calls (installations, preventive or scheduled maintenance) with reactive calls. Service regions ease administrative burdens by allowing service managers to set consistent schedules, constraints, and costs for a large number of employees.
From a systems perspective, a service region is a defined grouping of service engineers and the activities that they perform. This definition allows Siebel Scheduler to create a bounded solution set, which has a finite solution space, as well as a finite number of activities to schedule. One of the assumptions of a service region is that two employees with the same skill set are both capable of performing a job. If the system were to deal in employees alone, there would be little binding the employees together; the rules regarding interchangeability would be too vague to effectively determine.
Every employee and service region has a predefined schedule that includes the days and hours that work may take place (normal work hours), plus exceptions that deviate from normal work hours.
To define a service region, perform the following tasks:
- Create a service region record. See Creating Service Regions.
- Associate a schedule with the service region. See Associating Schedules with Service Regions for more information.
- Specify any regions that will function as parent service regions. See Specifying Parent Service Regions for more information.
- Define the geographic area of the service region. See Defining Service Region Geographic Areas for the Optimizer for more information.
About Service Region Caches
The information relating to each service region (for example, the employees assigned to the service region) is cached in memory. Instead of allowing the ABS and the Optimizer to operate directly on the database, the server copies data from the database into memory caches, one for the ABS and one for the Optimizer. The ABS cache holds the time slots in the future, and the Optimizer cache holds the activities occurring over the next few days. This approach allows scheduling to be performed quickly and efficiently, reducing traffic and database CPU load.
Each service region has its own cache, which allows the Scheduler processes to be serviced independently. Siebel Scheduler can be run on separate CPUs within one server or separate boxes as required. The ABS (like the Optimizer) is also multithreaded, which means that each service region can accept multiple requests at the same time.
See Reloading the ABS and Optimizer Caches and About Loading and Reloading Service Region Data for more information.