In order for field service organizations to stay ahead of the game and continue to obtain and retain customers, service managers must have a solid understanding of how their field operations are performing at all times. Knowing if customer service is balanced with operational efficiency and cost is a major challenge but one which can be achieved though setting and measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). KPI’s provide visibility into field operations so that service managers they can manage key business areas and make improvements where needed.
Many service managers have begun to put KPI’s into practice. However, with many industry benchmarks available for a wide range of field service KPIs, knowing what KPI’s you should be measuring and how to measure them effectively, can be a challenge.
Understandably, no field service organization has exactly the same requirements and KPI’s will differ depending on the nature of the business and the service level requirements of their customers. Equally, individuals within the same organization will have different needs, depending on their role and the metrics that are important to them.
Of the utmost importance is that your metrics have three key attributes - that they are relevant, accessible and actionable. A good start would be to focus on one or two metrics that are tied to the profitability of your service organisation, such as efficiency and customer service. These two aspects of the business go hand in hand and should always be measured together because changes in one will affect the other. Consequently, if you are only measuring one side you won’t know the side effects.
Once you’ve identified your KPIs, you then need to have the means to capture this data (preferably all in one place rather than a multitude of different, disparate systems). Finally, make full use of the analytics to get the business intelligence you need to keep on improving the business.
What Service Metrics should you Measure?
Some common KPI’s tied to customer service and operational efficiency includes:
Customer Satisfaction – Customer satisfaction levels often go hand in hand with the performance of the service technician – as they are likely the only direct contact a customer has with the company. Identify and measure what customer’s value most in a service technician – is it response time, technician arrival time, technician rapport, first time fix?
Technician productivity - The number of jobs that your technicians complete each day is a critical metric for planning future job allocations to optimum efficiency. Technology can analyze productivity at a granular level. Which technicians resolve issues the quickest? Which tasks take longer than others to complete? Is the time you’ve allocated sufficient to fix the issue?
Technician Utilization - Use the formula of technician on-site / technician working hours to see where you can make improvements to resource assignments. Technology can monitor a technician’s time and by asking technicians to log activities and then verifying this with real-time GPS information will enable service managers to see where improvements could be made.
First-time-fix-rates - Service organizations need to ensure that they can fix equipment in the quickest time possible to avoid costly downtime and disgruntled customers. Visibility of work order status’ and recording resolution times is key to measuring first-time-fix-rates.
SLA Compliance - It is impossible to measure failure to meet SLAs without databases that can match warranty deadlines and resolution times. Most solutions are able to manage contracts and automatically trigger preventative maintenance work orders in line with SLAs.
How do you compare?
Trimble PULSE™ recently surveyed field service managers to find out how successful their organizations are at measuring service delivery performance. They answered a range of questions from what they perceive to be the topmost important KPIs to how they use KPIs to inform business decision making, that’s if they use KPIs at all. The results were intriguing.