Boundaries affect and drive the “decisions” made by your scheduling systems and so are critical. Poor boundary design can force busy technicians to be assigned even more work, while underused technicians are deprived of work that might be just across the road. The scheduling team also gets hit as they sprint around in the morning re-assigning work, or even technicians, to different teams.
Yet we often see boundaries that have been there longer than anyone can remember and for a purpose that no-one knows. Equally the logic behind new boundaries can be based on the thinking that was used when we all used paper maps.
A great example of this is creating boundaries that reflect a manager’s area. There is often no real sense to this. Team Managers can man manage their technicians irrespective of theoretical boundaries. Good start locations and a modern scheduling system can keep the technicians local, so all a boundary does is reduce the efficiency of the scheduling system at the boundary edges and impair the SLA performance – and yet we see them in place all the time.
We’ve found that efficient operations usually run large areas, minimal boundaries and a highly focussed scheduling machine.