Material Flow for Field Servicing

This document explains how to manage service performed outside the workshop. It covers the creation of the appropriate work order for field service, handling materials, and managing issues and returns.

Background

During field servicing, the service takes place outside the workshop. Each service technician may have their own service van. When the van contains stock, material issues must be performed from the correct van. This means that it is not known which of the vans material will be issued from until a service technician is allocated to the job. The service technician can be allocated at a late stage, at times on the same day. To avoid shortages, material must be reserved early in the process so that the requirement can be moved from the main warehouse to a van or between different employees' vans. The M3 field service functionality is used to manage this requirement.

In other scenarios, material must be delivered directly to a customer site, therefore an address is required.

Because the field servicing technician may issue more material than needed for the work order, to avoid shortages on site, it must be easy to return unused material.

Limitations

The functionality 'Delayed material issue – confirm issue/return' in 'WO Material and Operations. Open' (MOS101) makes it possible for the delivery to remain open until used and unused material is reported in (MOS101) using sorting order 13. It is only available for work orders that use a WO picking list.

Before you start

Apply the settings below to ensure that the functionality works as required.

Field service work orders

Delayed issue functionality

Other settings

Alternative configuration options

An alternative way to set up warehouse management for field service technicians without separate warehouses for each technician can be done this way:

Note:  Parts should be moved to the employee location in (CRS530/G) after picking is performed in the main warehouse.

Planning and creating a field service work order

The field service process is enabled by the use of a work order type with work order category 070.

When a work order is created using this order category and when a skill operation element exists, the material lines are assigned their warehouse from the work order header and the issue method is set to 2 (Requisition). Although this creates reservations in the material plan, the order does not continue automatically until someone acts.

When it is known who will perform the work, an employee is allocated to the work. This allocation moves the material requirement to the employee warehouse (the van) and updates the 'To Location' with the employee location. The issue method is set according to the settings for item/warehouse in (MMS002) for the employee warehouse. The material is not physically moved unless a record exists for the item in the warehouse. In such case, the material line remains in the work order warehouse, and the issue method is set according to the settings in (MMS002) for the work order warehouse. The 'To Location' is updated to the employee location to reflect the move of the item within the work order warehouse. You can lock the material requirement to a specific warehouse by selecting the 'Firm WHS' check box on the material line. This is automatically checked when a planned work order is created and a warehouse is already defined on the material line in (PDS002).

Depending on the system setup, these processes exist for supplying material to field service work orders:

Material handling process

The second part of the process is the reporting of the picking list by warehouse personnel and service technicians. The process differs if the employee warehouse is supplied by order-initiated distribution orders or if the work order is supplied directly from main storage.

Note:  Dispatch policy can act differently depending on the warehouse.

Outcome

The outcome of this process is a fully controlled material process for field service work orders.

Settings descriptions

Program ID

Field heading

Description

(CRS530/G)

Warehouse

Employee warehouse/van

(CRS530/G)

Location

Employee location – must exist in all involved warehouses if material process B is used.

(CRS530/G)

Return location

Employee return location – used when material is reported as returned in MOS101 view 13. Must exist in all involved warehouses if material process B is used.

(PDS010/F)

Return location

If no employee return location can be found, the work center return location is used.

(MMS006/E)

Mobility warehouse

Used to control whether the material shall be moved back to standard location or to the return location.

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