ERP Service Module - Call Handling and Service Orders Control

Call Handling

Proper operation of a help desk is an essential component of proper servicing and resolution of problems. Service module of an ERP system assists organization to respond promptly both in respect of internal and external customers and gain valuable management data which helps in retaining customers as well as improve internal operation of the organization. Service module normally provides an useful call handling system, which often offers a link to field force automation.

Process of call handling:

  1. Providing a fast Telephone Screen for call handling.

  2. Problem solving passes through the Following Stages

    1. The call is assigned to a service Center and support engineer.
    2. The support engineer either solves the call
    3. Or the support engineer Reassign the call to another service center or support engineer

  1. A solved call can

    1. Be accepted by the business partner and can be archived
    2. Become a bad Fix which must be resolved (this occurs if the customer comes back with the same problem on the same configuration and Object within a stipulated time frame)

The concept is best illustrated by the following diagram:

Call Handling Procedure

Call handling sub module also provides a diagnostic component. This helps in creating a fault analysis tree of questions, answers, problems and solutions. It can be used by the support engineer to get answer s for problems that have been reported earlier.

Service Order Control: A service order is a schedule of service activities. These activities involve external field service arising out of customer call and external preventive maintenance activities. These activities also involve internal preventive maintenance as well as well as internal field services. Return material processing and tools repair are also part of service order control. The activities of service order control sub module is best illustrated by the following diagram:

Service Order Procedure

Service Order Processing: Service order control is the focal point of a service module and uses data from the following interconnected modules:

  1. Item Base Data module and the Master Data set up of service module.
  2. The configuration structure Data from the Configuration Control sub module.
  3. The Cost Accounting Data.
  4. The calendar data for availability / absence of service resources.
  5. The contract management part of service module
  6. The history sub module which collects past service time data and provide information such as mean time to repair (MTTR) and mean time between failures (MTBF).
  7. The general ledger module.
  8. The sales Invoicing module (To generate Invoices)
  9. The purchase control module (To handle the subcontracting activities).

Service Order control uses following procedures:

  1. Service Orders can be created from:

    1. The Service Planning and Concepts (SPC) sub module when Planned activities are transferred to service order control.
    2. The Call Management sub module when Calls are transferred to this module.
    3. Field Change Orders, also known as call back orders where changes are to be made to the same object (such as replacement of a particular component belonging to this object) for all the customers.
    4. Service order quotation which is similar to the sales order quotations and provides a cost to prospective customer. On acceptance by the customer, a manual service order is created.

  2. Service Order Execution:

    1. Assigning of engineers/ technicians to the service order (depending upon service area, availability, skill set and priority of order) and provisioning of time for the resource allocated (including travel time, obtained through distance zone mapping from the system).
    2. Maintain various activities related to service order such as estimated materials, physical issue of materials from warehouse/ service cars/ service kits.
    3. On completion of service order activities, actual hour spent and materials consumed is recorder in the system. Excess materials are deposited back in the warehouse.
    4. The system generates actual costing of the service orders, variances with estimated cost and invoices. It also makes necessary entry to general ledger.


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