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Guidelines for Integrating Scheduling with Wireless Updates

Schedules constantly change in a service region, because a service engineer calls in sick, a customer cancels an appointment, or a repair takes longer than scheduled. Service businesses must continuously change to accommodate unexpected occurrences.

Wireless communications allow service resources to respond flexibly to change. For example, an engineer calls in sick. Using a solution provided by the ABS or Optimizer, Field Service can send pages or Short Message Service (SMS) messages to cell phones (mobile phones) to reschedule appointments. SMS can send messages up to 160 characters and request confirmation of message delivery.

In another example, when time is available unexpectedly, break or fix activities can be slotted into those times. The critical step is to reach the engineer through a wireless device and obtain acceptance. The wireless device can also provide basic information about the customer and the problem, preparing the engineer to enter the customer site informed and to fix the problem without assistance from the service center.

If a job runs over the scheduled time, an engineer can use a wireless device to send a message to a dispatcher or customer service representative; the customer service representative can then proactively inform the customer of the process.

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