Schedule Engine
A homeowner using the Schedule Engine app in the company's promotional video.

Field service scheduling and management solutions

May 10, 2018
Through SMS/text or custom branded web, mobile and Facebook apps, homeowners can schedule, track and pay for services from their smartphone.

The cloud-based Schedule Engine (, 717/368-8825) automates and optimizes appointment scheduling and day of service communication with home owners for home service contractors. Sold as ‘white-labeled’ software, the solution is re-branded to appear proprietary, as if the contractor made it.

Through SMS/text or custom branded web, mobile and Facebook apps, homeowners can schedule, track and pay for services from their smartphone. Schedule Engine integrates with the contractor’s current business system (ERP) and provides a web-based admin dashboard to maintain control and visibility to activity 24/7.   

How it works: for demand service calls or replacement sales appointments, to start the process, a homeowner can text ‘help” to the contractor’s text line, visit the contractor’s website, find the contractor on Facebook, or download the contractor’s mobile app. Each channel leads to a mobile-optimized booking opportunity, with the homeowner guided through a series of self-diagnostic steps, including video capture of the problem.  

Once the issue is specified, the homeowner is presented a calendar of availability based on real-time information from the contractor’s management system and selects a day/time window for the visit, accepts any applicable trip charges, and completes the booking process. Schedule Engine then creates a work order in the contractor’s management system.

Schedule Engine also includes an option for a homeowner needing emergency service to tap an icon at the bottom of the scheduling screen to call by phone to set that up.

The day before service calls for repairs, Schedule Engine texts or robo-dials the homeowner to remind and confirm availability. The day of service, when the technician is on the way, the homeowner receives a text introducing the technician with an onscreen photo and some identifying details and providing an approximate ETA. The homeowner can also tap a line or open their mobile app and track the GPS location of the truck and see how far away it is in minutes. 

After the tech has completed the work, if the homeowner is not onsite to pay in person, he or she can opt to pay securely through their mobile app. In addition, after the service, homeowners are prompted to rate the service experience from 1 to 10 on a NPS (Net Promoter Scale) scale. Those who respond positively are offered the opportunity to post pre-populated messages on Google or Facebook. If feedback is negative, customers are not routed to social media but are prompted to elaborate on what went wrong so the contractor can follow up and resolve.

Schedule Engine also includes an option for a homeowner needing emergency service to tap an icon at the bottom of the scheduling screen to call by phone to set that up.

For scheduling of Preventive Maintenance, contractors can build targeted lists by type of work or geographical location from their Schedule Engine dashboard. When deployed, texts and robo-dials go out to each homeowner, prompting scheduling of the maintenance visit. If the homeowner does not respond, an escalation process automates follow-up. 

The app carries a monthly per user subscription fee, with rate varying based on the size of the contractor.

ClickSoftware Field Service Edge (, 888/438-3308) cloud-based mobile workforce management platform connects enterprises active in field services with automated real-time insights and intelligent decision-making capabilities. The solution uses Artificial Intelligence for reactive and predictive insights with the aim of enhancing field workforce productivity and efficiency. The solution, which is scalable, addresses workforce planning, dispatching, scheduling, day of service execution, optimization of crews and long cycle work, and performance analytics.

At its core, Click Field Service Edge provides visibility and control of field service operations, utilizing artificial intelligence to best allocate field resources, taking into consideration skills, availability, and proximity, and assigning work accordingly. The user-friendly interface displays alerts for dispatchers as exceptions arise during the day, such as emergency jobs, jobs in jeopardy of not being completed on time, or late arrivals.

The software also provides a monthly schedule view that displays capacity usage per resource, whether contract or in-house, and dispatchers and schedulers can drill down to single day view for more information.

Optional add-on modules address and/or expedite workforce mobility, customer engagement, demand forecasting and capacity planning, contractor management, performance measurement, and predictive field analytics. 

Out-of-box mobility capabilities include job dispatch to workers in the field and real-time status updates, including location and estimated time of arrival. The module also includes automated time reporting and wizard driven completion of forms, based on pre-defined workflow. Timesheets and parts usage are automatically tracked in real time.

Customer engagement capabilities enable customers to book or change appointments or confirm details, using their preferred method of method of contact, including text and email. Customers can also receive status notifications on ETA and the opportunity to fill out post-service surveys.

The solution’s demand forecasting merges historical volume and performance data to make intelligent assumptions about the future to produce a workflow forecast which feeds directly into the capacity planning module to determine the proper allocation of resources per demand type. 

Contractor Management presents service providers with real-time visibility and control over work being assigned to third party resources.

According to the developer, predictive field service leverages machine learning to combine historical data with external sources such as weather, traffic, parts, or HR systems to provide informed, increasingly accurate predictions of key service metrics and automatically adjusts business processes accordingly.

Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at [email protected].

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