Refrigeration and freezing have been in use since the first ancestor stumbled across a frozen Mammoth and found it good, but It wasn't until a process for creating cold conditions artificially was invented that cold stores either portable of fixed could be used anywhere there was power to run them.
Today I'm looking at an ERD (Entity Relationship Diagram) for an ABSsoftware system to enable more efficiency in a refrigeration service companies operation.
I'll call the company "Mega Cool RFS". This company has a head office and several depots with engineers and vehicles that service refrigerated lorries and fixed refrigeration units in supermarkets etc.
On a typical day customers will call in to report broken down units, requests for service quotes and updates on work in progress. How the company handles these customer enquiries is crucial to their efficient running and perceived good service.
It is important to the company that the calls are handled efficiently and accurately. To enable this calls to the company are routed through controllers who have visibility of all current and upcoming jobs and contracts wherever they are in the world.
The database maintains an asset register for all their customer mobile and fixed refrigeration systems which holds information like registration number, location ( if fixed) and last service/repair.
A quick search using any customer supplied information will fetch a list of customer assets, one of which can be selected based on customer feedback.
The asset number is all the information a controller needs to view all the current jobs for that customer, drill down to the broken machine and see the availability of service engineers listed by closest location and soonest free.
An engineer can then be allocated from any branch and a job created which will instantly be visible to the branch manager and engineer. The engineer will also receive an SMS and/or email to alert them to the new job.
The engineer is invited to respond with their current ETA based on how long they expect the current job to last or if free that they are on their way. this information is relayed through the system to all managers and the customer.
Fast response time is vitally important when frozen or chilled food is at risk so it is equally important that the engineer has the correct information as to the type of repair they will be dealing with. To keep things simple a set of error codes is maintained by the system which can be used to describe the job as in all probability the caller will not be a refrigeration expert and will only give limited information about the fault such as "It doesn't get cold" or "It's noisy"
It will be up to the engineer to discover the fault and correctly diagnose the action to fix it.
Engineers carry a stock of common parts in their vehicles but for specialist or large items that have to be ordered in, they can create internal parts request orders
That's it for now, next time we will look in depth at how the system handles the working day from the engineers perspective.
Thanks for reading