Week6_CS - 21536 Part Four Building and Managing...

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Unformatted text preview: 21536 Part Four Building and Managing Systems :::«.-At:hieving Operational Excellence: Analyzing WEb Site “Sign and Iii-Information Re uirements ' - Software skills: Web browser software Business skills: Information requirem Visit the Web site of your ‘ functions pro. i oth/er/de nations? '. ourceGas is a utility headquartered Golden, if " CASE STUDY , you will find a Collaboration and Tbamwork Project dealing with the concepts in ” chapter. You will be able to use Google Drive, Google Sites, Google Docs, Google+, or other open so? ‘ . collaboration tools to complete the assignment. assigned workloads that were aligned with businl Colorado providing natural gas servicéito overfi ;- ‘ 'objectives. '. 413,000customers in ArkansaguNebraskay" , ' V Colorado, and Wyoming. The company has, - over 71,100 employees and operates nearly 18,000 miles of natural gas transmission and distribution '- pipeline covering a 332,437-square-mile area—about ' half the size of Alaska. The number of work orders (authorizing specific work or repairs to be done) processed per mile traveled is a key performance indicator for utility companies, especially SourceGas. SourceGas's territory includes many large rural areas where re-routing work orders incurs very heavy fuel, maintenance, and other operational costs. The more work orders that can be processed per mile traveled, the lower the cost. SourceGas’s predecessor had installed a mobile information system in 2000 to dispatch approxi- mately 500,000 work orders to approximately 500 field technicians equipped with mobile devices. However, this work order and dispatch system was starting to show its age, and the work order and dispatch processes required too much manual effort. All work was dispatched manually, and there were no systematized scheduling priorities, making it difficult for service technicians to consistentlv be SourceGas dispatchers were highly experi; . enced and had the requisite knowledge to assign technicians with the appropriate set of skills to perform the work. However, to perform this process successfully, (dispatchers had to commit to memory more than 225 different types of work that technicians performed in the field. SourceGa wound up spending a great deal of time and effor clarifying its scheduling policies. SourceGas’s work order process starts with a ca from a customer to the SourceGas call center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Under the company‘s old system, the company's SAP CRM software created work order that was sent to the SourceGas dispatc center, Where dispatchers assigned the work to technicians who received the assignments using Panasonic Tbughbook mobile devices. Although tl'. previous system integrated with SAP CRM softwaI to enable SourceGas to track a work order from St: to finish, the work order still had to be initiated manually by the dispatchers. What’s more, the outdated system could no _ longer be easily modified to keep up with new requirements. SourceGas serves both regulated and nnn_rpm1ln+nr1 marlrnO-n t... Cm... n.-.-- -..:.L‘L. different business rules, so the system has to be able to accomodate rapid and constant change. Enhancements to the system were just too costly. SourceGas needed a new system to auto- mate its work order and scheduling processes that could be updated and changed much more easily. Management also wanted a system where SourceGas could make these changes using its own internal resources rather than external consultants, which the company had relied on heavily to make enhancements to its old system. The software for the legacy system had been custom-programmed by third-party vendors, making the system difficult to maintain and enhance. In the summer of 2011, SourceGas initi- ated a requirements—gathering workshop with ClickSoftware, the external vendor the company had used in the past to make system enhancements. The objective was to establish system requirements and develop business rules to guide the work order and scheduling processes. SourceGas'S biggest priorities were to 1) automate work scheduling; 2) maintain the company's existing timesheet process; and 3) ensure minimal change required for field technicians to use the new system. For its solution, SourceGas chose SAP Workforce Scheduling 8 Optimization software package by ClickSoftware, which integrates with its existing SAP systems, including SAP ERP and SAP CRM. SAP Workforce Scheduling 8 Optimization by ClickSoftware is a real-time optimized scheduling solution for managing scheduling and dispatching, supporting mobile service operations, schedul- ing service appointments, and monitoring service operations. The software includes capabilities for demand forecasting to determine how much work is set to arrive, when, and where; deploying resources based on knowledge of worker skills, ser- vice commitments, location, and customer prefer- ences; responding in real time to on-the-spot issues such as traffic and cancellations; and analyzing service performance by identifying problem areas and methods for improvement. Software users are able to meet anticipated workloads in a spe- cific time frame with better capacity planning and resource allocation. SAP Workforce Scheduling 8 Optimization software integrates directly with all SAP applications. An SAP NetWeaver Process Integration adapter automatically handles the messaging between the SAP Workforce Scheduling 8 Optimization and the SAP CRM system. Work orders are now automati- cally scheduled and dispatched using the company's hlldplcr J.) DUHUIHg llllUrllldUUll system: JJI business rules configured in the system, with excep- tions flagged for dispatchers to handle. The entire process of implementing the new system-requirements analysis, development, testing, and training, took a little over one year. SourceGas rolled out the system in phases, with its last division going live with the sysrem in December 2012. In implementing the SAP software package, SourceGas faced some special challenges because it had to design the system and configure the software to account for all the special conditions of its unique service area and complex rules for types of work. Some ofthe questions that had to be addressed were: Are work order priorities the same in an urban area, such as Fayetteville, Arkansas, as they are in rural Wyoming? What constitutes an emergency work order? The SourceGas system had to be designed to schedule and route all the field technician work according to these various rules and conditions. The design also had to make the system as familiar and easy to use for SourceGas mobile workers as possible, with the new mobile app user experience mirroring field workers' existing user experience as much as possible. This was especially critical for time reporting, which required some simplification while adhering nevertheless to company business rules for proper accounting. SourceGas was able to enhance the software while maintaining the same user experience. To impr0ve technician efficiency, the software was enhanced to tailor service order completion data sent back to SourceGas’s ERP system for each type of service order rather than displaying all data fields on all orders. Another important enhancement was to add audio alerts for dispatchers and technicians’ mobile devices to the SAP Workforce Scheduling 8 Optimization software so that emergency orders receive proper attention. An additional safety feature is the capability for technicians to set a timer to alert dispatch if they haven't returned to their vehicle by a specified time. SourceGas used an iterative approach and agile development methodology and took user input and user training very seriously. The system project had a committee of super-user technicians as well as an operations team to make sure the system was built to the right specifications. Its technicians had provided important input during the requirements— gathering and design stages of system-building, and they began training on the new application in June 2012. SourceGas trained 20 percent ofits workforce to obtain their feedback about the new system (to _ 538. I Part Four Building and Managing Systems . make sure it met their expectations), and'used the 7 experience to create training materials for when -. ' thesystemwent totally live. This approach helped H ’ x I ensure users would buy into the'new system and that no business process was overlooked,- The testing process had end users on sourceG'as’s operations team perform all of the approximately, 25' types of service orders handled by the company- 7 using the new application to make sure the system _ V was able to handle every single business scenarios ‘ V For example, to test the process of a technician = . ' closing out a work order for a meter exchange, the 5 i new system must be able to' move data from a final' ' reading cf the old meter'into SourceGas’s SAP ERP3 system; and the system has to perform certain steps _r before the new meter is recognized and synchroa nized to a customer account 5 > p . I What benefits have been produced by the new system? SourceGas's management has received: . ,_ positive feedback about the new system capabilities. " for automated scheduling, timesheet preparation V as well as its improved usability compared to the '_ _ 1 previous system: Managers can more accurately gauge their workload in, their divisions. SourceGas .. ' dispatchers can see their workloads more accurately», and determine the appropriate resources; The company has already used the new system to complete 400,000 work orders and pay 900,000 . '_ timesheet records. However, management would it like to see more manpower study reports before” it can determine the extent of the new system’s "of" operational efficiencies and benefits. One key benefit that is already apparent, ' however, is the company's ability to keep a lid on' the costs of maintaining and updating the system because it is doing most of that work with in-house staff rather than turning to external vendors, as it had in the past. The SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization software package has made it possible MyMISLab 7 Go to mymisi - - for SourceGas to rapidly make changes in—house, which makes it easier for the company to respond to rapid changes in the utility industry. ' ‘ SourceGaswill’be fithher enhancing its SAP. Workarce scheduling and Optimization software to focus more directly on serving customers. Potential changes to the system include allowing customers ' to place orders online,‘ sending text messages to inform customers when technicians are on the way, and processing payment from customers directly in thefield._.‘ ’ » Sources: www;sourcegas.com, accessed June 30, 2014; . Murphy, Ken. "SourceGas Takes the Driver's Seat in Workforce Scheduling," SAP InsiderPROFILES, July 1, 2013; and “SourceGas Implements SAP Workforce Scheduling 8’- Optimization,’ www.youtube.com, May 14', 2014. cAsesrunv auasrldus. _ ‘ 13-14” Analyze‘SourceGas’s problems with its old - ' ' i 'system. ‘What‘ma‘nagement, organization; _, and technology factors were responsible for; ' these problems? What was the business. ‘ , irnpact of these problems?" V , ' ' What role did end users play in developing . SourceGas’s new work Order and dispatch - i system? How did the project team make sure _ users were involved? What would have ' " I happened to the project if they had not done this? ' ' = ' What types of system-building methods and 13-15 " , tools did SourceGas use for building its , system? '1 Discuss the issue of software package customization at SourceGas. -' What other steps did SourceGas take to make sure the new system was successful? What were the benefits of the new system? How did it change the way SourceGas ran its business? How successful was this system solution? 'sted-graded writing questions: 'nal syste 5 life - prototyping, ...
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