The Scheduling and Dispatch capabilities of Maximo have developed gradually over recent releases. However, after listening to existing users, IBM’s latest release of Maximo (7.5.2) has taken a huge leap forward, enabling automated scheduling and route optimisation to maximise the effectiveness of workforces even further.
Whether your workforce is located on a single site, or dispersed across a large geographical area, Maximo now provides enhanced capability throughout the forecasting, planning, scheduling, assigning and dispatching processes.
The new suite of tools available in Maximo Scheduler not only enables maintenance teams to forecast and plan resources to distant time horizons, but provides greater agility in dealing with last minute changes to those plans in real-time. These include internal organisational changes, such as the availability of assets and resources, and external changes, like weather conditions, for example.
The automatic and manual features of Maximo Scheduler support each of the main functions in the work management process.
1. Schedule Control and Compliance
Maximo Scheduler enables users to forecast planned and preventative maintenance without creating associated work orders, as well as providing:
- precedence logic and activity constraints for work orders and tasks, and target scheduled and actual start and end dates that can be displayed graphically in a Gantt chart view;
- a graphical view of other resource availability, such as assets, locations, materials and tools;
- in-built and configurable compliance metrics.
2. Budgetary Control with Cost Projections and Tracking
Maximo Scheduler allows Planners to assess instantly if they are on budget for current work schedules, as well as:
- providing a complete breakdown of proposed, committed, and actual costs, thus, eliminating the need for custom reports, and assisting Planners to stay within budget even before the project has commenced;
- calculating costs within a schedule by week, month and year;
- featuring controls to ensure the budget is adhered to.
Maximo Scheduler can automate the scheduling, assigning and dispatching of work, whilst optimising the route between work locations, when required. The ILOG Optimization engine built into Maximo Scheduler provides this capacity planning capability and creates resource levelled schedules.
Specifically, automation functionality provides the following capabilities:
- Capacity Planning that indicates automatically what work orders can be scheduled, whilst taking into account constraints on resources over a specified time period.
- Resource Levelled Scheduling that smoothes out resources without exceeding availability, unless hard time constraints force a work order to be scheduled no later than a particular point in time.
- Automatic Assignments which use ILOG capability and assign resource to work orders without taking into account the geography of work; this is useful for work assignments within the same site.
- Route Optimisation that automates assignments, but takes the geographical dispersion of work, requiring work orders to reference a location/asset with a service address and a latitude/longitude, or x/y co-ordinates (again using ILOG technology).
- Automated Dispatching for assigning new work once current work has already been assigned. This could involve filling in dead-time in a schedule, or re-arranging the order in which work is performed.
- Defining date and precedence constraints for tasks, and applying a critical path methodology to schedules.
- Creating different scenarios for schedules, running optimisation templates, and comparing the results.
How to implement Maximo Scheduler
Scheduler’s capability is built into standard Maximo and activated using a license key. There is, therefore, no requirement for costly and time consuming integration to third party software, or associated complications with implementations, support and maintenance.
Whilst the software itself can be deployed relatively easily, a well-defined manual process based on underlying data needs to be established first. This may take time, but with the integrated capability available within Maximo, and our expert assistance to guide you, we can ensure that your journey to automated scheduling is pain-free and that it delivers the best return for your business.
For more information on Maximo Scheduler, please contact our sales team on 08434 610061, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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