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An overview of scheduling solutions for IBM Maximo®.

The key to improving your scheduling for IBM Maximo® is to first plan exactly what your organisation needs.

Scheduling software for Maximo® can be divided into two distinct groups:

  • ideal for planned work, or
  • better suited to reactive work

The big difference between the two is automation – but depending on your organisation and requirements, you may not actually need it.

Peacock Engineering are experts in implementing scheduling for all kinds of organisations, and we can advise you on what will work best for you.

If you’re looking to implement scheduling for the first time, with a focus on replacing manual planning and resource optimisation, you may not need an automated scheduling solution. Implementing a Planned Maintenance Scheduling system still requires significant business process work – for example, good work process definition, ideally with status transitions aligned to Maximo, supporting data such as qualifications or inventory, and training.

Planned Maintenance Scheduling is best suited to
organisations with:

  • stringent statutory obligations
  • high asset-uptime requirements
  • plant and site-based working
  • long planned shutdowns

We can advise and implement the best system for Planned Maintenance Scheduling, and help you plan for implementation.

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Automated Scheduling

Automated Scheduling may be better for you, if your

  • has widely distributed assets and mobile staff (vehicle based technicians)
  • focused on reactive maintenance and repair work, with KPIs, SLAs and Jeopardy contracts
  • focused on reduced Meant-time-to-repair
  • works are subject to many variable inputs, e.g. weather, availability of materials

Although implementing Automated Scheduling requires a much higher degree of business change, there are very clear business benefits.

Recent studies have shown that a well-scheduled worker can complete 30% more work per day, and that organisations using automated scheduling can reduce their worker attendance time by up to 25%. Industry experience shows that it is extremely difficult for a manual scheduler to deal with more than 15 field staff efficiently – and that where it appears that more field staff are being scheduled manually, the field staff turn out to be significantly under-utilised.

In contrast, Automated Scheduling systems can dynamically manage thousands of staff with rapidly changing work requirements, with only a small percentage of the work requiring manual intervention. You will need accurate, real-time actuals for the scheduling to be effective – which is where our Fingertip mobile app comes in. Fingertip enables Maximo® to receive and understand data from workers on the ground in real time, and to be able to dispatch work and change schedules quickly, making urgent on-the-fly changes for emergency or jeopardy work.

Scheduling Solutions

Planned Maintenance Scheduling

The main packages we work with are:
CIM Visual Planner – provides graphical tools to enable multiweek and short-term daily schedule planning and execution

  • Ideally suited to longer-term maintenance planning, with static assets
  • Visual Planner been designed from the ground up, enabling highly efficient multiweek scheduling
  • Perform long-term capacity planning and workload levelling
  • Manage labour resource availability in seconds
  • Present concise visual information at maintenance/operations meetings to approve the following week’s schedule

Maximo® Scheduler

IBM’s own scheduling offering has been designed to improve the effectiveness of planners, schedulers and supervisors in managing maintenance and service scheduling processes.

  • Uses intuitive graphical views to quickly display project status, resource requirements and trade-offs, and schedule and assign work based on their business objectives
  • Offers a data driven approach with live, real-time status on work orders, resources, calendars, shifts, availability, asset & location requirements
  • Can include variables which are critical for your industry – for example weather, vital for any outdoors or offshore asset maintenance
  • Schedule and assign work orders to technicians in a single application
  • Integrate assignments to technician’s calendar
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Automated Scheduling

The main packages we work with are:

Salesforce Field Service

Salesforce’s scheduling package, although apparently a new offering, is largely based on Click Scheduler, which was formerly one of the most used packages with Maximo®.

  • Ideally suited to reactive maintenance and dynamic scheduling
  • Reduces number of in-person visits
  • Increases first-time-fix rate
  • Intelligently schedule and optimize work
  • Schedule service appointments and optimize jobs so that the right mobile worker, asset, contractor, or crew is assigned to the right job.
  • Increase efficiency by giving dispatchers visibility into the mobile workforce & every job on a screen
  • Rules-based prioritisation, with ‘jeopardy’ alerts

IBM Maximo® Scheduler Optimization

Extended version of Maximo® Scheduler, with built-in dynamic scheduling.

  • Resource levelling optimization – optimize your schedule to balance your resource use, balancing work demands with the resource pool available
  • Capacity planning optimization – optimize your schedule to ensure that you can complete as much work as possible in the allotted time period
  • Labour and crew assignment optimization – optimize your schedule to automatically assign staff to specific jobs based on their availability and required skills
  • Spatial scheduling optimization – optimize your schedule to automatically assign

Read more about Salesforce Field Service here.

Read more about IBM Maximo® Scheduler Optimization here.

Benefits of Scheduling

Using scheduling for IBM Maximo, whether Planned or Automated, means that you can significantly reduce the impact of external factors such as availability of materials and tools, on your maintenance programmes. Maximo® is the source of all the key information you need to be able to plan and schedule effectively; the scheduling software enables you to allocate resources with the right skills, tools and parts and location, to the most important tasks, at the right time through rules-based automation.

And for businesses in industries which are directly customer-facing, such as Facilities Management, automated scheduling benefits your customers as well, as shown to the right:

Peacock Engineering are expert integrators for the major scheduling software packages, so we can design a scheduling solution that fits your needs, to integrate fully with IBM Maximo®. Our Fingertip mobile EAM app has been designed to work seamlessly with IBM Maximo® and all the major scheduling packages. So whatever scheduling package you decide will work best for you, you can be sure that your data is always current, and that your teams in the field are scheduled efficiently.

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Implementing Scheduling in your Organisation

In order to attain the real benefits of scheduling, businesses need to focus on the work planning and scheduling process, and how it applies to the whole organisation. This means understanding the status flow of work orders through every stage. The software presents views of your work schedules and resource & parts availability based on queries to Maximo®
data, or makes decisions based on the rules you define and data available – this is very ‘binary’ compared to paper-based scheduling. Some aspects of paper-based scheduling are just not available when you digitise the process – you can no longer have a paper pile of ‘backlog’ work, for example.

In addition, your planners and schedulers have a wealth of tacit knowledge – this needs to be unearthed and recorded in your rules, because your solution will not operate successfully without it. It is absolutely vital that these personnel are on board with the project, to avoid losing this critical knowledge.

Training is also critical, to ensure that your staff understand the limitations of the solution – for example if it is not working, this will often be due to a data deficiency, rather than any system fault.

Implementing Scheduling in your Organisation

Choosing the software should be the last consideration – it is important, and how it supports Maximo’s data structures is a key consideration.

But even more important, is to make sure you choose an integrator which has implemented the solution before, and which can guide you through the implementation process and necessary business changes.

In either case (Planned or Automated Scheduling), to justify the effort of implementing a Scheduling solution, there is a value proposition tipping point based on how many resources you are scheduling – we can advise you whether scheduling will represent good value for your organisation.

Peacock Engineering’s scheduling specialists will work with you to establish what solution will work best for you. We will help you to add efficient, cost-saving, automated proactive maintenance wherever possible – while keeping the flexibility to add in urgent reactive maintenance as required.

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