This is the first installment of a three-part “how-to” series devoted to exploring Dynamics 365 solutions in the Utilities industry. Today and in the coming weeks, we’ll share insights into how utility companies can overcome technology challenges that are unique to their industry. We’re starting with how utilities can optimize both resource scheduling and workforce utilization with Dynamics 365 for Field Service combined with Microsoft’s Connected Field Service. Enjoy!

Utility companies are undergoing multiple shifts in the way they do business, presenting significant challenges. For example, the energy economy is prioritizing environmental and sustainability goals while consumers are demanding new products and services to help them go green.  Not only do utility companies need to be keen on new services to provide consumers, but to stay competitive they also need to dramatically improve efficiency under their own roof and in the field. A key opportunity in terms of improving that efficiency is resource schedule optimization, which lets the system optimize how work is assigned to technicians based on priority, skills, and travel distance.  This provides dispatchers more time to interact with customers and just manage schedules by exception.

It’s not enough to implement a technology solution that simply collects field data. The information collected needs to connect with other data sources and allow insight for timely scheduling of appropriate resources that will ensure customer satisfaction and improve workforce utilization. ​The right solution empowers utility companies to:

  • Gain a 360-degree view of the customer and work orders, leading to unparalleled customer satisfaction and operational optimization.​
  • Schedule technicians and communicate with them via a mobile app to put the right tools and information in the technicians’ hand to serve the customer the first time. ​
  • Enable predictive maintenance so asset issues are recognized and addressed before they become a problem for customers.​
  • Leverage remote assistance capabilities to help technicians work through issues at customer sites.​

Dynamics 365 for Field Service creates a customer service story that spans multiple channels and maximizes employee efficiency and workforce utilization. But it doesn’t stop there! With Microsoft’s Connected Field Service, organizations can harness the power of IoT (Internet of Things) to optimize resource scheduling, improve field service efficiency, and ultimately delight customers. Just imagine identifying and remotely resolving equipment issues before the customer even knows there’s a problem – with Connected Field Service, that kind of troubleshooting and proactive problem solving become the new normal.

When organizations employ the combination of Dynamics 365 for Field Service and Microsoft’s Connected Field Service, they are able to automatically schedule and assign resources based on skills, location, and workload. Routes are optimized to meet SLAs and minimize drive times. They can also automate field service operations to increase field utilization, eliminate duplicate data, and increase employee satisfaction. To see it in action, watch our recent webinar, Discover the Connected Business Model for Field Service, or read more about these incredible digital tools here.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more on the Utilities industry – an increasingly challenging industry with thin margins and constant pricing fluctuations.

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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.