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Mobile workforce management made easy by 360 Scheduling

Late last year, global enterprise applications company, IFS purchased 360 Scheduling. The acquisition will strengthen IFS’ market position in mobile workforce management.

360 Scheduling, based in Nottingham in the UK and with sites in France and the US, is a provider of mobile workforce scheduling and optimisation software.

The company offers 360 Scheduling, a scalable service-oriented architecture (SOA) optimisation framework which delivers advanced mobile workforce scheduling for both on-premises and cloud (software-as-a-service) deployment.

Organisations with assets have their schedules of work; some of it cyclical including planned maintenance and improvements. The issue arises when an organisation has to handle planned cyclical work with the reactive work that may arise because of a breakdown.

"A lot of our customers used to have two types of workforces – people who do project installation as well as an emergency team on standby," said Laurent Othacéhé (pictured above), CEO of 360 Scheduling.

But things are drastically different with an integrated workforce, with team members cross-trained and given the work as it happens. Nottingham-based Othacéhé spoke to PACE when he was in Sydney recently, and offered some insights into the software.

Take the example of a company starting maintenance work on a length of pipe work. The four-member team has to finish this three-day job in a one week window.

If an emergency happens within 10 km, this team can halt work, and after ensuring the site’s safety, move on to handle the emergency.

"This company does not need to get staff from 100 km away when it can draw upon the services of a team doing non-emergency jobs just 10 minutes away," Othacéhé explains. "Because of this ability, operational efficiency really goes through the roof. We’re able to merge very efficiently, the schedules and the rostering of staff."

When the team arrives on site, they will have delivered to their mobile terminal all the information on the bit of plant they’re going to service: the history of incidents, modifications, tools required.

There are significant savings to be had with such a scheduling system but the client company must invest some of its intellectual bandwidth, explains Othacéhé. Once the system is in place it takes about six to nine months for a company to adapt its business processes. "Our customers will then be able to deliver 10 to 20 per cent more with the same workforce," he explains.

IFS intends to offer the 360 Scheduling product both as an integrated part of IFS Applications and as a standalone solution. Economies of scale and synergies will be realised by 360 Scheduling utilising IFS’ international infrastructure as well as having similar industry focuses.

"This is something we’ve been crying out for, for a long time, so it’s exciting that we’ve finally got an excellent product that we can bring to market," Rob Stummer, managing director of IFS in Australia told PACE.

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