Improve Parts Planning With Field Service Management Software

6/06/2019 / Integrations / Katia Loboda

field service management

Bring Your Field Operations and Supply Chain into Closer Alignment

In our industry’s past, field service management and parts planning used to be relatively simple. The same technician visited the same customer sites to fix the same equipment for years.

But you’ve noticed how things have changed, haven’t you? Today’s workforces are more agile, and equipment models in the field have multiplied, making these processes a lot less straightforward.

New times demand new solutions. So more and more field service organizations (FSOs) are turning to field service management software to help them better answer key operational questions like:

  • What is our optimal inventory stock level?
  • Where should we store spare parts in order to meet our Service Level Agreements (SLAs)?
  • How do we align our service/support and supply chain teams?

Should your organization be finding better ways to answer these inventory and parts planning questions, too?

Field Service Management Challenges: Parts and Workforce

Keeping your inventory carrying cost low while having enough stock in the right place to fulfill your SLA obligations can be a delicate, difficult balancing act. Recent efficiencies enabling manufacturers to make new models faster only compound this challenge. FSOs like yours must now service multiple models of installed products, and you can’t always count on spare parts from one model being compatible with another.

field service managementIt’s not just more equipment models making field service management more challenging. More FSOs now use route optimization and dynamic call assignment to schedule their technicians. These increasingly common ways to optimize the workforce bring FSOs significant benefits like shorter drive times for techs and shorter wait times for customers.

But scheduling optimization tools can also make planning a technician’s truck stock more complicated. Attempts to rely on traditional supply chain methods fail to recognize how such factors as training and team assignment largely determine which technicians are assigned to service calls, and the part mix they need. As a result, most organizations end up relying on techs to manage their own trucks’ inventory.

The combination of more agile mobile workforces and more equipment types in the field means leaving mobile inventory management to individual techs isn’t efficient anymore. Unless your supply chain plan considers technician training and team assignment details found in field service management solutions, your supply chain and field service teams won’t align. And that misalignment frustrates everyone involved—the tech, the supply chain team, and, ultimately, the consumer.

Choose a Better Way to Manage Your Service Parts Planning

To help FSOs excel in today’s rapidly changing industry, Astea has forged a new partnership with Baxter Planning, an expert in optimizing service supply chains.

Baxter’s integration with Astea’s field service management software enables inventory optimization built upon technician attributes that other supply chain planning systems don’t consider.

Integrating Baxter’s service parts planning software with Astea’s Alliance Enterprise will enable service companies like yours to manage so much from a single comprehensive platform, including:

  • Contracts and warranties
  • Customer sites and assets
  • Technicians
  • Inventory
  • Spare parts

Alliance Enterprise will provide master and transactional data using a standard integration model, minimizing deployment time and the investment required for a better parts management solution.

Meanwhile, Baxter’s software will provide optimal inventory target stock levels and drive continuous improvement with planning analytics that automatically diagnose root causes for incomplete service calls due to lack of part availability.

Find Out More in a Free, On-Demand Webinar from Astea International and Baxter Planning

To see how this cohesive solution can help you optimize your supply chain, improve your first-time fix rate, and boost your customers’ satisfaction, watch our on-demand webinar, “A Cohesive Approach to FSM and Service Parts Planning.”

The 49-minute session dives into details about helping your FSO reduce inventory carrying costs while maintaining higher, more consistent service levels.

Watch the webinar now to make sure your business has the new solutions it needs to meet and move beyond today’s supply chain and service team challenges.


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