Best Buy Co., Inc. is the largest specialty retailer of consumer electronics in the U.S. and Canada, accounting for about 20% of the market. It operates over 1,200 stores in North America. The company is expanding its operations and plans to operate 1,800 stores worldwide.
Best Buy’s service operations encompass three areas: home delivery, appliance installation and home theater, with a total of 15,000 – 16,000 engineers. In 2007, the company sought to create one unified service organization platform in order to achieve economies of scale in order to expand the business and reduce service cost. The project was named RISE – Retail Integration Solution Experience and incorporated a range of systems. Accenture acted as integrator of the project. ClickSoftware’s scheduling engine, ClickSchedule, was chosen as the basis of the field service system. Working with the client, Accenture and ClickSoftware, Euclides implemented and customized the scheduling solution.
Best Buy set several objectives
- improve service level -- by reducing the service cycle time, raising the percentage of first time task completions and providing seamless scheduling
- improve routes, reducing travel time and raising employee satisfaction
- reduce manual intervention -- to ease scheduling generation and reduce overhead
- cut cost of service delivery and increase revenue generation per engineer
At a later stage, Euclides provided creative custom tools to the company’s specific scheduling challenges. These tools provided dispatchers with the ability to overwrite the automatic scheduling process. This enabled them, for example, to change the sequence of a route according to traffic constraints, and to bypass system rules to rearrange scheduling of individuals or groups of engineers, according to internal constraints.
Some of the main project challenges were:
- The scope of the project – This was a large and complex scheduling project, with an abundance of business-specific data and customization.
- The length of the project – The project took place over two years, requiring a major investment in manpower. In order to increase the efficiency of the implementation, Euclides maintained the same team of experts on this project for its entire duration.
- The dynamic nature of the business – Rapid business fluctuations during the project resulted in numerous changes which affected project stability. Many modules needed to be revised during the implementation itself.