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and Spares Management
An Oracle White Paper
By John Moore and Srinivas Ramakuri
Table of Contents
Introduction to Oracle Advanced Scheduler ...………………………. 1
An Overview of How Scheduler Works ….…………………………… 4
Introduction to Spares Management ………………………………… 10
Scheduler and Spares Management Integration …………………… 12
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INTRODUCTION TO ORACLE ADVANCED SCHEDULER
The purpose of this white paper is to provide both an introduction to Release
12 Oracle Advanced Scheduler and it’s integration with Spares Management.
The first two sections of the white paper will cover an overview of Oracle
Advanced Scheduler. The integration with Spares Management will follow in a
Oracle Advanced Scheduler provides functionality to assign field service tasks
and create technician schedules that both meet customer service objectives and
minimize total operating costs. Oracle Advanced Scheduler considers a wide
variety of configurable constraints, business rules, service objectives, and costs
in the scheduling process. Oracle Advanced Scheduler is a key component of
the Oracle E Business Field Service Solution that also includes Core Field
Service, Spares Management, Mobile Field Service and Preventative
Costs are low and customer satisfaction high when the right technician arrives
at the customer site with the right parts. Oracle Advanced Scheduler considers
multiple scheduling criteria including map based travel time and distance,
overtime, skill requirements customer access hours, contracted response times,
and parts availability. The Oracle Advanced Scheduler performance comes
from a combination of advanced algorithms and tight integration to the Field
Service Dispatch Center, Spares Management, Mobile Field Service, Customer
Service, Service Contracts, Asset Tracking, Order Management, Inventory and
the CRM Foundation Modules.
Mobile Field Service and the Technician Portal, which include much of the
scheduling and spares functionality shown, will not be covered in the white
For the balance of the white paper Oracle Advanced Scheduler or OAS will be
referred to simply as Scheduler.
Automated and Interactive Scheduling Tools
Scheduling tools with flexible levels of automation to support most field service
operational models and industries are provided. The scheduling tools are
provided in two basic modes: Autonomous and Interactive.
Autonomous Scheduler is a query driven engine that can be run automatically
on a schedule or initiated manually from the Field Service Dispatch Center.
Autonomous Scheduler will automatically select the best technician for the task
and schedule that technician in a way that minimizes total cost.
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Interactive Scheduler identifies scheduling options and costs and presents
those options to the user in order of lowest cost or start date. It is accessible
from Oracle Customer Service and the Field Service Dispatch Center so both
customer service agents and field service dispatchers can schedule tasks and
book customer appointments.
Interactive scheduler can also be accessed from Oracle Mobile Field Service
Wireless application and 12.1 Field Service Technician Portal so the field
technician can schedule tasks while onsite with the customer. This is especially
critical in environments where technicians create follow-up tasks that need
parts to complete that task. The availability of those parts becomes a critical
scheduling factor for the follow-up task.
Eligible technicians and Skills Qualification
Scheduler uses the Oracle Territories module to locate technicians eligible for a
task using both geographic (city, state, zip, etc.) and non-geographic (product,
service type, problem code, customer etc.) qualifiers. In addition to Territories,
preferred and excluded technicians defined in the Installed Base and Service
Contracts, are used to identify technicians eligible for a task assignment.
Once the technician pool for a task has been identified, Scheduler filters out
technicians that do not have the skills required to execute the task.
When identifying scheduling options for a task, Scheduler will consider: service
level agreement, eligible technicians as defined above, technician availability,
customer access hours and parts availability.
Costing the Options
Scheduler calculates a relative cost for each scheduling option using cost
parameters that includes both customer service and operating costs. The cost
factor values can be configured to meet the unique business objectives of the
field service operation.
Autonomous Scheduler automatically selects the lowest cost option while the
Interactive Scheduler presents various scheduling plan options ordered by cost
in ascending order.
Travel Time and Distance Calculation
Scheduler uses street level map data to calculate travel distance and time. Road
types and average travel speeds for each road type is considered in the travel
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time calculation. When this level of accuracy is not required, Scheduler can use
point-to-point (as the crow flies) travel calculations or a default travel time.
Scheduling Tasks with Spare Part Requirements
Spares Management is a Field Service module that provides both the planning
and logistics functionality to manage a service parts inventory.
Functionality is available in Spares Management to determine the parts required
for a task and the probability or likelihood a part will be required for a product
and task combination.
Scheduler is integrated with Oracle Spares Management to insure that
technician schedules are coordinated with the availability of required parts.
When the parts required for a task are known, Scheduler uses parts availability
as a constraint and will not schedule a task for a technician until those parts are
available. When costing a scheduling option for a technician that does not have
the required parts, Scheduler includes the cost of shipping the required parts to
the technician or customer site. When the task is assigned to a technician that
does not have the required parts, the parts orders for the technician will
automatically be created.
Scheduler provides an optimization engine to refine technician schedules after
the initial schedule has been created. The optimization engine sees all tasks at
once and reschedules or reassigns tasks to reduce cost in the schedule. The
optimization engine can be run in a batch mode for multiple technicians and
days or interactively in the Dispatch Center for a specific technician’s trip.
Scheduling complex tasks
Scheduler has the capability to handle complex field service tasks that are
frequently encountered when scheduling planned work such as installations,
inspections and preventive maintenance.
When scheduling tasks requiring longer than a standard work shift to complete,
Scheduler automatically breaks these tasks into smaller tasks that fit into the
Scheduler provides functionality for handling tasks that require customer
confirmation before the technician can be sent to the site. To prevent wasted
trips, tasks without customer confirmation are not released to the field
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Scheduler also recognizes Customer Access Hours and schedules around those
periods when the customer site is not accessible.
Task Dependencies can be created and viewed in the Dispatch Center but are
not currently considered by the Scheduler.
AN OVERVIEW OF HOW SCHEDULER WORKS
This section presents an overview of the process used by Scheduler to create or
recommend the technician assignment and schedule. Scheduler and Spares
Management integration is presented later in the white paper.
As seen below in Chart 1, Scheduler uses a seven-step process to assign and
schedule the task to a technician.
Each step is covered in additional detail in the balance of this section. Parts
availability and cost impacts on the scheduling process are covered in a later
section: Scheduler and Spares Management integration.
Step 1: Select tasks to be assigned and scheduled
Scheduler works in two modes: Interactive or manual and Autonomous or
automated. In the Interactive mode, tasks can be selected from the Task List in
the Dispatch Center. The Task List is created using a seeded or custom query
that can be saved and reused.
Select the best
Cost the options
eligibl e for
Select tasks to be
Qualif ythe eligible
Chart 1 The Scheduling Process
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Autonomous Scheduler uses a concurrent program that will automatically select
the tasks to be scheduled based a parameter or through a profile called CSR:
Selection of tasks for Autonomous Scheduler.
Step 2: Find technicians eligible for the task
Territories, Installed Base and Service Contracts are used to determine the
technicians that can be assigned to each task selected in Step 1.
Chart 2 as shown below describes how to find eligible technicians.
Eligible technicians can be defined using any or all combination of Territories,
Installed Base and Service Contracts. But if a combination is used that involves
Territories and either Installed Base or Contracts, or both, then the resources in
IB or Contracts must also be in Territories.
Step 3: Qualify the eligible technicians
Preferred resources defined in service contracts applicable to the Service
Request are eligible when also be in the territory when territories are being
Preferred resources from the Installed Base matching to the Serial or Tag on
the Service Request are eligible when also in the territory when territories are
A technician in the territory with geography matching to the Incident Address
on the Service Request is eligible. Territories can also be defined in non-
geographical terms. For example, a territory based on product or customer..
Chart 2 Finding technicians eligible for the task
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Eligible technicians are qualified based on skills required for the selected tasks
and skills assigned to the technicians. For tasks, skills can be assigned either
directly to the task or pre-assigned to the task template used to create the task.
In interactive scheduling, the options presented to the dispatcher will only
include qualified technicians; however, the dispatcher can assign a task to a
non-qualified technician by overriding the skills requirement.
In autonomous scheduling, the task will only be assigned to a qualified
technician. When a qualified technician is not found, Scheduler will not assign
or schedule the task.
The tasks to be scheduled and technicians eligible and qualified to work on those
tasks have now been defined
Step 4: Identify assignment and scheduling options
Scheduler will determine all scheduling options within the defined constraints. A
scheduling option is defined as an insertion opportunity for the new task between
or after existing tasks currently scheduled.
The insertion opportunities must fall within the Plan Window as defined by the
planned start and end date and times for the new task in the service request. A
Profile called “CSR: Enforce Plan Window for Scheduler Plan Options” is used to
determine whether the task must “start and end” within the Plan Window or just
“start” within the Plan Window.
Tasks that have not been released to a technician can be rescheduled out if
necessary to make room for the new task being scheduled. However, the
reschedule of an existing task to make room for a new task is constrained by the
planned start and end date and time for the existing task as defined above.
In the example shown below in Chart 4, there are five options between the planned
start and end date and time for the new task being scheduled. Each option is
f or the
Chart 3 Qualify the eligible technicians for skill s
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defined by the interval between two tasks when that interval is inside of the
planned start and end date and time.
Other scheduling constraints considered by Scheduler but not shown in Chart 4
are customer access hours, customer commitments, technician availability and
For example, Option 2, which would involve an insertion between the currently
scheduled Tasks 3 and 4, assumes that Task 4 can be moved out enough to
make room for the new task without violating the planned start and end time
constraint for Task 4.
The scheduling options are also constrained by parts availability. This impact
will be covered in detail in a later section of the white paper.
Step 5: Cost the options
With the scheduling options defined, the cost for each option is calculated.
The cost of each schedule option is the cost of inserting that new task in the
technician’s trip. The cost of the schedule option equals the cost of the new trip
with the new task inserted minus the cost of the old trip without the new task.
The trip for the technician is defined as the scheduled tasks over the
technician’s shift. For example, going back to Chart 5, the trip for Technician
1, Option 1, would include Task1, Task2, New Task, Task3 and Task4.
Task 1 Task 4 Task 3
Task 5 Task 7
Option 4 Option 5
Options are insertion
Chart 4 Define Assignment and Scheduling Options
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The costs considered by Scheduler are as follows:
• Cost per day for the days between received and scheduled
• Cost of travel distance
• Cost of travel time
• Cost of working overtime
• Cost of arriving at the site too early
• Cost of arriving at the site too late
• Cost of not assigning preferred resources
• Cost per day the parent task takes to execute over the minimum
• Cost for each additional task created over the minimum required
This step is also impacted by Spares Management integration and will be
covered in a later section of the white paper.
Step 6: Select the best option
Autonomous Scheduler will automatically pick the option with the lowest total
trip cost and assign and schedule the task to the technician. With Interactive
Scheduler the dispatcher can view the options and costs and select the best
After the best option is selected either in interactive or autonomous mode, the
task will be in “Planned” status. In “Planned” status the task has been assigned
to the technician and scheduled but not yet released to the technician.
Interactive scheduling has three methods: Assisted, Intelligent and Window-to-
Assisted presents a costed list of options based on the criteria used to define
qualified technicians as described above. The travel time in Assisted always
defaults to “as the crow flies” when the Time Distance Server is enabled.
Intelligent is equivalent to Assisted with the inclusion of parts availability and
street level routing.
Window to Promise provides a list of time slots with available technician(s)
based on pre-defined periods, for example, morning or afternoon. Once the
time slot is selected, scheduler, using the Intelligent method, will select the
lowest cost technician available in the slot. The Planned Start and Planned End
times will be updated to reflect the time slot selected.
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In Figure 1, as shown below, the Options have been defined and the costs have
been calculated. The dispatcher, operating in Interactive mode, can select the
technician and schedule.
This step is also impacted by Spares Management integration and will be
covered in a later section of the white paper.
Step 7: Optimize the schedule
After the tasks have been initially assigned and scheduled using the basic
scheduling engine, Scheduler has additional functionality to fully optimize the
technician schedules. This optimization module works on two levels: optimize
the technician’s individual trip and optimize multiple technician trips together.
Optimizing the technician’s trip will provide a task sequence that fully
optimizes the technician’s schedule for a single trip. The trip for a technician is
defined as the scheduled tasks over a single shift. This optimized trip will
provide the task sequence that results in the lowest cost for the trip while
satisfying all constraints applicable to the trip.
Opportunities for further cost reduction are almost always found when tasks
are selectively moved between technicians. This level of optimization achieves
the lowest possible cost across multiple technicians while satisfying all
constraints for all technicians and tasks.
Figure 1 Field Service Schedule Task UI
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INTRODUCTION TO SPARES MANAGEMENT
Spares Management is positioned in the Field Service solution as a product
providing both logistics and inventory planning functionality to manage a service
parts inventory. The product uses core ERP foundation functionality from Oracle
Inventory, Order Management, Purchasing and ATP extending those products
where necessary with additional functionality to satisfy field service needs. The
product has extensive integration with Oracle Field Service including the Dispatch
Center, Scheduler, Field Service Debrief and Mobile Field Service products.
Spares Management is a complete solution covering key processes and
functionality required to manage the Field Service supply chain. The solution
covers both Logistics and Planning for service parts.
Key functionality covered by Spares Management includes:
• Integration with Advanced Scheduler
• Plan and replenish warehouse inventories
• Plan and replenish technician inventories
• Parts search and sourcing
• Process orders for the field technician
• Inventory tracking and transactions
• Manage excess and defective parts
• Execute repair for warehouse replenishment
Release 12.0 introduces significant new functionality to plan warehouse
inventories and execute external repair for warehouse replenishment.
Integration with Advance Scheduler
Using parts availability and delivery cost from Spares Management, Scheduler
assigns the task and creates the technician schedule using parts availability as a
constraint. Scheduler will not create or recommend a schedule until parts are
available. The dispatcher could, however, relax or remove the constraint if
necessary to assign and schedule the task interactively.
An internal order will be automatically created when the task is assigned to a
technician without the required parts on-hand. A reservation will be
automatically created when the task is assigned to a technician with the parts
The user can define parts required for a task in the Parts Requirement user
interface. Parts required for a task can also be pre-defined in Task Parts for a
task template and product combination. When the parts required have been
pre-defined in Task Parts, the actual Parts Requirement will be automatically
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created from the Service Request when the task is created from a template that
has parts required pre-defined in Task Parts for the template and the product
being serviced on the Service Request.
Service level agreements often require parts to be stocked in many locations close
to where the service is required. The stocking levels also need to be updated
frequently to reflect the latest usage trends and supersession activity.
Spares Management has functionality to automate inventory planning and
replenishment for both the field service technicians and warehouses.
Fast and efficient delivery of parts to the field technician is a mission critical
objective for the field service operation. Spares Management logistics functionality
includes: tracking usable and defective parts, parts orders for the technician and
excess and defective returns.
Spares Management also provides functionality to quickly locate available parts in a
complex field service supply chain with numerous stocking locations. This
functionality has been integrated into the Mobile Field Service product enabling the
technician to do local parts searches.
SCHEDULER AND SPARES MANAGEMENT INTEGRATION
An overview of Scheduler without reference to any of the parts availability
considerations that effect technician scheduling was presented above. This
section will cover Scheduler and Spares Management integration and how that
integration impacts that scheduling process previously described.
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The scheduling process was introduced earlier in the white paper as a seven
step process. As shown below in Chart 5, it’s now a eight-step process with
the inclusion of Step 7: Create the reservation or parts order.
The process Steps impacted by Scheduler and Spares Management integration
are Steps 4 through 8 and are highlighted in the chart shown above.
Chart 6, as seen below, shows an overview of Scheduler and Spares
Management integration along with the Scheduler steps that are impacted.
The integration can be described as a series of interactions between the two
modules. The Parts Requirement for the task is created in Spares Management
and passed to Scheduler. The presence of a Parts Requirement for the task
activates the integration process causing scheduler to request parts availability
and cost information for the technicians qualified for the task assignment. The
cost represents the logistics cost of delivery of the required part(s) to the
Select the best
Cost the feasible
Identif y assignment
eligibl e for
Select tasks to be
Qualif y the eligibl e
Chart 5 The Scheduling Process with Spares Integration
Create the reservation
or parts order
Chart 6 Overview of Scheduler and Spares Management Integration
Impacts Step 4
Parts required for the task
Impacts Step 4
Impacts Step 4
Qualified techni cians for the task
Parts availabilit y and cost for the techni cians
Impacts Step 5 and 6
Technicians select ed for the task
Impacts Step 7
Reservations and/or internal orders
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technician in the case where the technician does not have them on-hand and
available. The parts availability is expressed in terms of a delivery date and
With parts availability and cost information, Scheduler will eliminate
infeasible scheduling options based on parts availability. The cost of
parts delivery will also be added to the Scheduler trip cost calculations.
When the technician has been selected for the task, Spares Management will
either create the reservation in the case where the technician has the parts on-
hand or create the internal order when the technician doesn’t have the parts on-
The balance of this section will present the Spares Management integration
impact on the Scheduler process for each of the individual steps starting with
How does the integration impact Step 4 of the scheduling process:
Identify assignment and scheduling options?
The Spares Management integration acts as a constraint on the scheduling
process by eliminating infeasible scheduling options based on parts
availability. With Spares Management integration, Scheduler will not create or
recommend a technician schedule until the parts are available.
To illustrate the concept of parts availability acting as a constraint, take a look at
Chart 7 as shown below. Operating in either Autonomous or Interactive
Intelligent mode, Scheduler will not recommend a technician assignment or
create a schedule until the parts are available. In this case, assuming neither
technician has the parts available, Options 4 and 5 for Tech 2 will not be
considered as feasible by Scheduler since the parts are not scheduled to arrive
until after the Options 4 and 5 are scheduled to start.
Tech 1 Task 1 Task 4 Task 3
Option 4 Option 5
Options are insertion
Chart 7 Define Assignment and Scheduling Options
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Let’s take a look at the details. How does the integration between the two
modules work to define scheduling constraints and eliminate infeasible
Define parts required for the task
The process starts with the Parts Requirement which is used to define the parts
required for a task. The Parts Requirement can be created in two different
ways in Spares Management:
• Parts required for the task can be defined in the Parts Requirement UI.
• Parts Requirements can be pre-defined for a product and task template in
the Task Parts UI.
In addition to the Parts Requirement UI, the Parts Requirement can also be
created in Mobile Field Service and the Field Service Technician Portal. The
Mobile Field Service process will not be covered in this White Paper.
When the parts required have been pre-defined in Task Parts, the Parts
Requirement will be automatically created from the Service Request when the
task is created from a template that has parts required pre-defined for the
template and the product being serviced on the Service Request.
Break/fix, preventative maintenance, installations and Knowledge Management
are all processes that could potentially utilize Task Parts to automatically create
the Parts Requirement in the Service Request
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Creating the Parts Requirement in the Parts Requirement UI
As shown below in Figure 2, the Parts Requirement UI is used to create a parts
requirement for a task.
In the example shown above, two parts are required for Task 45804 and the
Requirement Number is 10327.
The follow-up task, where parts are needed, is a common scenario where a
Parts Requirement would be created manually. The dispatcher (or technician
using Mobile Field Service) can then use Scheduler to find a technician who has
the parts currently available or re-schedule the original technician when parts
have been delivered.
Pre-define the parts required in the Task Parts UI
Parts required for a task can also be pre-defined in Spares Management Task
Parts for a Product and Task Template.
Figure 3 Spares Management Task Parts
Figure 2 Define Parts Requirement for a task
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In the example above in Figure 3, three parts are required when the Task
“Replace Unit FS89108” is created from the Task Template for Product
AS54888. In this example the parts were defined manually; however, the parts
can also be defined automatically from a history of Field Service debrief
transactions using a concurrent program called “Create Task Parts History”.
When the parts have been defined both automatically with the concurrent
program and manually, the manual entries will be used when creating the Parts
When parts have been pre-defined in Task Parts, the Parts Requirement
will be automatically created from the Service Request and Task when
the product on the Service Request and the Task Template used to
create the task have parts pre-defined in Task Parts.
A business scenario where parts could be pre-defined for a product and task
template would be preventative maintenance, overhaul or installation work. In
these scenarios the work description and parts required are typically known in
The parts required for break/fix tasks can also pre-defined in Task Parts when
those tasks are executed frequently enough that the parts required can be
defined in advance with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
Request Parts Availability and Cost
When a Parts Requirement has been defined for a task, this will activate
Scheduler to request parts availability information from Spares Management for
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the technicians eligible and qualified for the task. In the request Scheduler
• Task that has the Parts Requirement
• Qualified technicians eligible for the task assignment
• Parts Priority or All Parts.
Qualified technicians are defined in Scheduler with Territories, Contracts,
Installed Base and Skills. This definition was described earlier in the white
What is a Parts Priority?
The Parts Priority is defined in Spares Management and is used to group parts
based on the likelihood, expressed as a percent, of the part being used on the
task. It’s the “Percent” field in Task Parts, shown above in Figure3 or the
“Likelihood” field of the Parts Requirement, shown above in Figure 2.
In the example shown above in Figure 4 there are three Priorities: P1 with a
likelihood between 76% and 100%, P2 with a likelihood between 26% and 75%
and P3 with a likelihood between 0% and 25%.
The Parts Priority makes it easy for the dispatcher to change the parts required
in Scheduler. In autonomous Scheduler the Parts Priority comes from the
Profile CSF: Default Spares Availability. But working interactively in Scheduler,
the dispatcher can relax or tighten the parts requirement constraint by changing
the Priority in the Schedule Task UI. The dispatcher could, for example, relax
the parts constraint on the task by changing the parts required from All Parts to
only High Priority parts.
Figure 4 Spares Management Parts Priorities
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As shown above in Figure 5, the dispatcher, using the Preferences tab, can
control the parts considered by Scheduler by selecting the Parts Priority from
the Spares Availability Condition.
Provide the Delivery Date and Time and Cost for each delivery option
Based on the request from Scheduler as described above, Spares Management
will provide to Scheduler the following:
• Delivery date and time and Cost
• For each delivery option
• For each qualified technician
An individual technician may have multiple delivery options depending on
inventory availability, sourcing and Shipment Methods.
In the example shown below in Chart 8, five delivery options for two
technicians qualified for the task have been identified. The multiple delivery
options for each technician are defined by multiple Shipment Methods.
However, Spares Management will filter out those Parts Delivery Options that
are later in time and higher in cost. So in this example, only options 1, 4 and 5
would be passed back to Scheduler.
Figure 5 Field Service Dispatch Center Task Li st
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Chart 8 Parts Delivery Options and Cost
Task Technician Source Method of
1 1267 Technician 1 Technician
2 1267 Technician 1 Central
Next Day Air 11-Jun-2007
3 1267 Technician 1 Central
4 1267 Technician 2 Central
Next Day Air 11-Jun-2007
5 1267 Technician 2 Central
The Cost impact on Step 5 will be covered in the next section on Cost the
Options. Let’s take a closer look at Delivery Date and Time.
How is Delivery Date and Time Determined?
The supply chain is used to determine inventory availability beyond the
technician and can be defined in a Profile as either based on Available to
Promise or Sourcing in Oracle Inventory.
Available to Promise or ATP is a module in Advanced Supply Chain Planning
or ASCP that’s used to search for inventory in the supply chain. ATP uses
Sourcing Rules and Assignment Sets to define the supply chain.
On the other hand, Sourcing in Oracle Inventory is the functionality used to
determine the Supplier for the Item in the organization, Organization or Sub-
Another Spares Management profile called CSP: Include Alternates is used to
determine whether supersession and substitute parts will be included in the
availability profile provided to Scheduler. If the profile is set to include
alternates, the alternates will be included in the Spares response only if primary
part(s) is not available.
Another profile called CSP: Include Car stock is used to determine whether the
technicians inventory will be considered. If the technician has parts available,
the Cost is 0 and Delivery Date/Time is current date and time. If the
technician does not have part(s) available, Spares provides Delivery Date and
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Time and Cost for each delivery option based on Intransit Time for the Shipment
Method. When multiple parts are involved, Spares provides the latest date and
time and a summary of cost for all parts.
Intransit Time, expressed in days, comes from Oracle Inventory Shipping
Networks and Shipment Methods. An Intransit Time is entered for the
Shipment Method as defined for a Shipping Network. See Figure 7 for
Shipping Networks and Figure 8 for Shipment Methods and Intransit Times.
Figure 7 Oracle Inventory Shipping Networks
Figure 8 Shipment Methods and Intransit Time
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In the example shown above in Figure 8 there are four Shipment Methods
defined for shipping between Dallas and the Field Technicians. For example,
when the Shipping Method UPS is used, the Intransit Time is 3 days.
But in Field Service it’s not enough to know which day the shipment is
scheduled to arrive. It’s also necessary to know the delivery time so the
technician can potentially be scheduled within the same day the parts
Spares Management extends the functionality by providing a Delivery Time for
each Shipment Method. See Figure 6 as shown below for Delivery Times.
For example as shown above in Figure 6, if the Delivery Date for the Shipping
Method Federal Express was 11-Jun-2007 based on Intransit Time, then
Delivery Times in Spares Management will be used to further refine the delivery
to 11-Jun-2007 at 1030 hrs.
The functionality also includes a buffer time, called a “Comfort Zone”, between
the Delivery Date and Time and the earliest scheduled start for the task. The
Comfort Zone, expressed in hours, is configurable for each Method of
If the Comfort Zone in the above example were 1 hour, then the Delivery Date
and Time provided to Scheduler by Spares Management would be 1130 hours.
In Summary for the impact on Step 4
The technician will not be recommended for a schedule until the parts required
for the task are available. The availability of parts required for the task in effect
acts as a constraint on the scheduling process. Infeasible scheduling options
are eliminated based on Delivery Date and Time for the parts required for the
Figure 6 Spares Management Delivery Times
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Let’s take a closer look at Step 5 where the scheduling costs can now include
the cost of any parts delivery.
How does the integration impact Step 5 of the scheduling process:
Cost the feasible options?
In the previous step, shown in Chart 8, Spares Management has sent to
Scheduler the cost for each delivery option and the infeasible options have been
eliminated based on delivery date and time. Scheduler can now calculate the
Trip Cost for each feasible scheduling option and include the parts cost.
Chart 9 Cost the Options
Cost per day the task was scheduled
after the day it was received
0 0 0
Cost of travel distance 10 15 5
Cost of a resource working overtime 25 35 15
Cost of a resource working overtime 25 25 25
Cost of arriving too early 0 0 0
Cost of arriving too late 0 0 0
Cost of not assigning preferred
0 0 0
Cost per day the parent takes longer
to execute than absolutely required
0 0 0
Cost for each additional task created
more than absolutely required
0 0 0
Parts Cost 0 125 50
Total Trip Cost Including Parts
60 200 95
Referring above to Chart 9, the total cost for each option is calculated and the
total cost now includes the Parts Cost. The Parts Cost is the cost of any parts
delivery for the scheduling option being considered. The total cost for each
option is the Trip Cost for that technician when the new task is inserted into a
potential scheduling position in the trip. The trip for the technician is defined
as the scheduled tasks, including the new task, over the technician’s shift.
How are Costs Determined?
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Costs are defined in Oracle Inventory Shipping Networks for each Delivery
Option. See Chart 8 and Figure 7 for Shipping Networks and Figure 8 for
Shipping Methods and Costs. Figures 7 and 8 are shown above in the previous
How does the integration impact Step 6 of the scheduling process:
Select the Best Option
In Steps 4 and 5, described above, the Delivery Date and Time and Cost was
provided to Scheduler. The infeasible scheduling options were eliminated in
Step 4 and the feasible scheduling options were costed in Step 5.
In Autonomous Scheduler the technician will be selected and the task
scheduled based on the lowest cost option. With Scheduler and Spares
Management integration the costs now include the “parts cost” as shown above
in Chart 9.
With Interactive Intelligent scheduling mode, where the dispatcher views the
scheduling options and selects the best one, the “parts cost” are not included in
the total cost but are shown separately for each of the scheduling options as
“Spares Cost”. This is shown below in Figure 9.
As shown above in Figure 9, the Spares delivery date and time along with the
cost are now visible in the Advice tab of Scheduler. Stanley, for example will
not have the parts available until 3-Jan-2008 at a cost of $125.00 while Emery
has the parts currently on-hand and available.
Figure 9 Field Service Dispatch Advice Tab
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How does the integration impact Step 7 of the scheduling process:
Create the reservation and internal orders
As shown in the previous step the technician and schedule will be selected
either in Autonomous or Interactive mode. When the task with a Parts
Requirement is assigned to a technician, Spares Management will automatically
create a reservation if parts are available in the technician sub-inventory or an
internal order if parts are not available.
When multiple parts and quantities are involved in the Parts Requirement, a
Profile called CSP: Ship Complete is used to determine whether partial
shipments are allowed on the internal order. When this profile is set to “Yes”,
the internal order will be created with a “Ship Set” which will prevent partial
As shown above in Figure 10, the Source tab of the Parts Requirement has
been updated with the reservation. In this case the assigned technician had
both parts on-hand. In the case where the assigned technician did not have the
parts on-hand, an internal order would be created.
Figure 10 Parts Requirement Source Tab
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As shown below in Figure 11, the Spares tab in the Dispatch Center has also
been updated with the reservation in this case or the internal order in the case
where the technician does not have the parts.
How does the integration impact Step 8 of the scheduling process:
Optimize the schedule
The Optimizer used in Step 8 will not reassign or reschedule an existing task
that has either a reservation or internal order based on the existing technician
From a Spares Management integration perspective the Optimizer will not
reassign or reschedule any task that has a parts availability constraint imposed.
The optimization engine can be run in a batch mode for multiple technicians
and days or interactively in the Dispatch Center for a specific technician’s trip.
Optimization across Trips is often run at the beginning of the day to fully
optimize the field service schedule going into the day.
Figure 11 Field Service Dispatch Center Spares Tab
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Oracle Advanced Scheduler 12.0
Scheduler and Spares Management Integration
Author: John Moore
500 Oracle Parkway
Redwood Shores, CA 94065
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