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Planning and Scheduling: Learning the Difference


It is the beginning of the month. You have a team technicians, multiple locations with multiple jobs and you need to complete these jobs. Welcome to essential task of Planning and Scheduling! Without dedicated work into planning and scheduling, your technicians aren't getting to their jobs, or worse are running so inefficiently that your organization is costing revenue and impacting customer satisfaction.

Different Between Planning and Scheduling

Let's say you have 3 Technicians. Tom, who has 10 years of experience; Dick, who has 5; Harry who is new. You also have 10 jobs for the week. 3 that require Tom, 5 that require some experience, and 2 that anyone can handle. Of those, 1 of each require immediate action. 

The Planning stage is figuring out how to handle the immediate action jobs first, best utilization of technicians and tools, and confirming the right skill sets. The Scheduling stage is getting the right technicians on the right days. So in this case you would plan and schedule the three technicians to the three immediate action jobs. With one remaining any level task, you can schedule that job for later in the week. With that, you can schedule Harry to attend jobs with Tom and Dick earlier in the week to impart knowledge on the young tech. 

Of course, this is an incredibly simplified answer to the difference between planning and scheduling. For most enterprise businesses, planning can take weeks or months in advance and schedule dozens or hundreds of technicians for a single job. For those, field service management software with dedicated automatic planning and scheduling tools are indispensable. ServiceMax, the leading field service management application offers these and the full suite of management products for enterprise organizations. To learn more, download our report.