Efficiency in field service management is critical in helping companies streamline processes, increase revenue, and remain competitive in a fast-changing economic landscape. However, with so many different measurable performance metrics, what are the key field service metrics that matter?
We’ll examine the top three metrics to improve field service efficiency, cover some business use cases, and review the benefits of deploying the right field service management software to tap into these metrics.
Top 3 Metrics to Improve Field Service Efficiency
- First-Time Fix Rate
First-time fix rate definition: The percentage of time a field technician is able to fix a service issue during the first field service appointment.
First-time fix rate directly ties into customer satisfaction, productivity, and efficiency. However, according to research from the Aberdeen Group, 17% of field service organizations surveyed don’t measure first-time fix rate or were not aware of theirs. Businesses must track how much time is spent on returning appointments, which can negatively impact customer experience, brand reputation, and ultimately, revenue.
What is the median average first-time fix rate? The average first-time fix rate for an organization is around 77%, according to Service Council research. This means the field service technician has to do at least one follow-up visit on about 23% of all field service calls. This rate also affects costs, asset availability, and response time.
How to improve first-time fix rate
The Aberdeen Group recommends field service businesses deploy the following strategies to improve first-time fix rate:
- Better diagnosis and/or triage at the dispatch/initial call level.
- Improvement in access to parts in the field (in van, en-route, other technicians).
- More intelligent scheduling (based on part availability or customer availability)
- Upgrade training (on-the job training or the use of additional tools).
Overall, combining these strategies and deploying innovative field service management software can better position your field service organization to increase their first-time fix rate.
- Mean Time to Service (MMTS)
Mean time to service definition: Mean time to service measures the ability of a field service organization to have service technicians arrive at the customer appointment on time. MMTS also measures the ability for businesses to schedule field service jobs quickly and efficiently.
With the immediacy of digital technologies and services, customers today have high expectations of services, and in particular, the promptness of the service. Therefore, field service organizations need to be cognizant of the second critical metric that matters: mean time to service.
Deploying field service management software can help field service organizations improve MMTS rather than taking the traditional, manual-based approach to facilitate (and tracking) field service calls. Field service organizations that take steps toward digitizing the process can obviate the need to rely on slow, error-prone, and outdated approaches – while increasing the meantime to service metric.
How to Improve Mean Time to Service
- Invest in inventory management – Inventory management connects technicians (full-time, contractors, or blended workforce) with real-time access to inventory of parts. In doing so, the field technicians are more productive, effective and efficient. Inventory management also streamlines communications between the field and the warehouse, thus augmenting visibility across departments.
- Route Optimization with integrated mapping capabilities – Route optimization is the process of determining the most cost-efficient route for field technicians to arrive on time. Integrating mapping capabilities with real-time technicians’ geolocations is critical to successful route optimization software. Location, traffic, tackling multiple jobs, scheduling – all of these data streams can help improve MMTS.
- AI-driven scheduling software – AI is used to automate complex scheduling tasks while obviating the need to do it manually, which is laborious, time-consuming, and error-prone. Depending on the software deployed, AI can assign the most qualified technician that is also geographically close to the job. AI is not about replacing humans but making them more efficient while helping to automate, augment and improve processes.
- Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)
Mean time to repair definition: The average time required to repair failed equipment. This important metric is directly tied to improving the customer experience.
Field service management software helps organizations improve this metric in the following ways.
- Ensuring the most qualified technician is scheduled for each service job. Depending on the field service management software deployed, businesses can also use this with finding the closest geographically located qualified technician for the job.
- Providing visibility into available inventories. Field technicians need real-time access to available parts to quickly complete the field service job.
- Integrating mobile technology. In the field, technicians can use mobile devices to tap into real-time access to customer data, service details, work orders, and other vital information.
- Embracing innovative and emerging technology. AI-driven software and Augmented Reality (AR) technology help resolve issues that a technician is not familiar with. For example, using AR can be used as an interactive visual aid for field technicians or as a remote tool for customers/technicians. It’s important to note that emerging technology deployed should help improve efficiency and adoption, not create unnecessary complexity.
Enabling data-driven decisions
Deploying the right field service management software is the first step in tapping into these three critical metrics to improve field service efficiency and revenue. However, with the volume and velocity of data flowing, the crux of all this deluge of data is transforming actionable data insights. Field service organizations need to make data-driven decisions to identify, measure and monitor various operational (and customer) insights to stay steps ahead of competitors.
It’s important you team up with a technology partner like ServicePower who has the ongoing innovative technology and experience of working with various field service organizations. ServicePower has the expertise of helping field service businesses utilize these metrics to make data-driven decisions to better position your company for success. Not surprisingly, Gartner Magic Quadrant named ServicePower a Visionary for the fifth year in a row for several reasons, including scoring the highest out of any vendor in the report for the time it takes to achieve ROI.
ServicePower can enable your field service organization to improve the metrics that lead to success. Discover how.