It’s also a key to driving business value.

Ask Anglian Water Services in the UK, through better forecasting, planning and scheduling they have managed to reduce overtime costs by 11%, travel time between jobs has reduced by 24% and the level of service has increased 33%. Having the right number of resources in place with the right skills and parts at the right time has resulted in the backlog of work dropping by 95%.

So utilities can definitely realize savings through better scheduling of their fleets. While many utilities have sought various money-saving solutions for their fleets over the years (including transitioning them to spiky natural gas!), better scheduling through software solutions should obviously be an option.

One Microsoft partner, ClickSoftware, is making a difference in power delivery solutions, in the areas of mobility and mobile workforce management because of its scheduling optimization engine. They have been migrating their solutions to the Microsoft platform using MOSS and SQL Server Reporting Services and it’s been working.  

Scheduling is a mini-green play: improving scheduling reduces fuel consumption and thus decreases emissions. Better scheduling also improves business processes, which is important when utilities face shortages of workers due to retirements.

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In addition to scheduling, ClickSoftware played a role in the recently concluded Beijing Olympics: ClickSoftware’s ClickSchedule and ClickAnalyze mobile workforce management software helped China Netcom Group Corporation (CNC) China ensure maximum uptime for critical telecommunications services for athletes, coaches, venue organizers, the media and millions of spectators. Over seven million people at the Beijing Olympics depended on more than 1,000 field technicians managed by ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd.

Good going ClickSoftware!  - Jon Arnold