Field Service

Get Involved. Join the Conversation.


    Chris Phillips
    Considering Travel times using Capacity
    Topic posted February 28, 2019 by Chris PhillipsSilver Medal: 2,000+ Points, tagged Capacity / Quota 
    96 Views, 5 Comments
    Considering Travel times using Capacity
    How to consider the location of activities already booked using capacity

    Hi all,

    For those community members using the Capacity module in OFSC, im wondering if you can assist...

    My organisation is currently exploring the use of Capacity in order to book customer facing appointments. We have opted for Availability based booking which will return to our external booking system availability based on Quota and Capacity.

    Based on my understanding of availability based capacity, i know that it will consider what resource's time has already been consumed by previously booked activities, which are either routed or remain in the parent bucket.

    But in order to try and minimise operational costs through travel, I was hoping that there is a way that we can return "preferential" options to our booking system based on where previous activities have been booked.


    So for illustration... 

    On Monday we have 3 activities booked for Location A

    On Tuesday we have 3 activities booked for Location B


    A new customer requires an appointment at Location A. 

    Based on Quota and resource capacity, we are still able to offer either Monday or Tuesday to the customer. From my experience so far, both days will be returned to our booking system with no indication to say it would actually be more preferable to book the activity for Monday as our resource will already be in Location A on that day.


    Ultimately, we can attend to the customer on either day, but from an efficiency perspective, it makes more sense for us to suggest Monday to the customer.


    I hope that illustration makes sense. 


    My question would be, are there any experienced users in the community who have tackled this challenge when using capacity? If so, can you share potential options?

    Looking forward to a response on this one.







    • Zsolt Tolgyesi

      Hi Chris,

      IMO we have two automatic options:
      - offer the first available day for customers and don't care about the travel, because this will result the highest customer satisfaction,
      - offer only every second day for a customer who's living Location B, which is decreasing summarized travel, but decreasing satisfaction also,
      and one manual ugly one:
      - when the issue is seen, then call the customer who is located B and ask him/her a reschedule for ... reason.

      Maybe Work Zones can be combined into this in a creative way? I don't think so at this moment...


    • Chris Phillips

      Hi Zsolt,


      Thanks for your reply. So calling out your second automated option. How would we be able to give an indication to our booking system which the best appointment offering is in terms of shortest travel time? 

      • Zsolt Tolgyesi

        With the second option, you may need to separate current bucket to smaller parts and offer just some days for some of them.
        You can't indicate to your booking system which is the best offering, just indicate that area has free capacity for that day or doesn't.

    • Jo Jarvis (Wilson)


      We do this when calling Capacity; we essentially search for the number of activities in that postcode sector which is then presented to our booking advisors - i think there is a search activities API which can be used, but the interpretation of what's best would need to be built into your front end booking system as OFSC will just return what's available and how many activities are already booked.

      Further to this we also use the method suggested by Zsolt, where we target different areas on different days through opening & closing work zones to drive density.


    • Chris Phillips

      Hi Jo,


      Thanks very much for your reply. I can see that being a potential option for us, but would require some revision of our existing workzone definitions as they are currently quite large. 

      Just reading up on the Capacity API, i've seen in the documentation the mention of being able to utilise the travel time parameter to determine travel duration between existing activities (or start location) and the current activity being created. Has anybody tried to utilise this method? Assuming there will be some client slide logic that will need to return the "closest" travel time potentially.

      Im hoping that might be an option rather than having to define hard restrictions in terms of Workzones.