T&D World Magazine

EDF Energy Extends Mobile Workforce Management With ClickSoftware

ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. has signed a contract with EDF Energy, one of the UK's largest energy companies and a wholly owned subsidiary of the EDF Group, for additional licenses and services to manage and optimize an additional mobile workforce. These licenses will be used to automate the scheduling and route optimization for around 500 field sales representatives.

EDF Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the EDF Group, which is among the largest of Europe's energy groups. Generating nearly a quarter of the UK's electricity, EDF Energy employs nearly 20,000 people, and delivers power to 7.9 million customer homes and businesses through its electricity networks.

"We are delighted to continue to work with ClickSoftware," said Lisa Lewis, EDF Energy project manager. "We started with improving scheduling efficiencies around meter-reading and expanded that out to cover meter operations. Recently we started looking for a solution that could handle the challenge of scheduling our field sales teams. Our successful partnership with ClickSoftware made it a natural solution. Using a single platform for managing our field resources within the Customers function will mean we can leverage all of our resources in the future to deliver improved customer service."

EDF Energy has been using ClickSoftware's optimized scheduling solution, ClickSchedule, within its Customers function. This deals with all domestic customers, handling everything from signing up new customers to dealing with billing queries. It covers small to medium enterprises (SME) and large companies. In 2001, EDF Energy selected and deployed ClickSchedule to support the company in its strategy to offer responsive multi-utility meter reading services to UK energy suppliers. At the time they were looking for a proven and usable solution to help improve work management and customer satisfaction.

In 2005 ClickSchedule was expanded out into the meter operations group, where scheduling demands differed; requiring lower volumes of people for one job to be managed. Now, in the meter operations unit, up to 5,500 jobs are scheduled each week for 225 technicians. ClickSchedule provides appointment bands ranging from AM or PM only, to two hour slots or all day appointments. In addition, within the meter reading unit EDF Energy completes up to 10 million meter reads a year, of which 80% are electricity and 20% are gas. ClickSchedule provides 450 meter readers with up to 150 to 200 jobs a day in urban areas.

The system will now be used to manage a sales force of several hundred door-to-door field people who encourage households to switch energy providers. The benefits of managing this workforce within an optimized scheduling solution include making the process more efficient and responsive to local market requirements. For example, if the marketing team was planning a local campaign to encourage people to switch from their current supplier to EDF Energy, then they would make sure to send the appropriate number of sales people to that area to best leverage the campaign.

myriad variables such as resource availability, skill, location, equipment, etc. as well as real-time events in the field like unscheduled emergencies or jobs that take longer than expected. Factoring such information enables ClickSchedule to send the right person to the right job, ensuring efficient work completion and increasing customer satisfaction.

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