Hardware Maintenance Field Service Dynamics

Client:  Major producer of diagnostic equipment used in semiconductor wafer fabrication

Authors/Consultants: Homer J

A system dynamics model to investigate field service issues was developed for a major producer of equipment for semiconductor manufacturing. This strategic model has a broad scope and multi-year time horizon, and treats variables in an aggregate and deterministic way that is typical for such models. The high-level approach is adequate in most respects, but lacks the detail necessary to resolve a key issue regarding the impact of product cross-training on service readiness. As a result, it proved useful to supplement the strategic ‘macro’ model with a ‘micro’, OR-type model that portrays the daily queuing and assignment of service jobs. The micro model provides detailed what-if results that were used for calibrating the strategic model and may also be used for making tactical manpower decisions at the local level. Traditional OR tools may have a role to play in supporting strategic modeling efforts when important operations-level relationships are not adequately understood.

Publication: Homer J.  Macro- and Micro-Modeling of Field Service DynamicsSystem Dynamics Review, 15(2): 139-162, 1999.