We work with a lot of field service organisations and nearly all of them have KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to gain visibility of the performance of different parts of their operation and those who work in it. We've written a few blogs on KPIs, performance management and balanced scorecards elsewhere on this site.
We've written previously about five important KPIs to manage your field service delivery. In this blog we talked about first time fix rate, average travel time, technician productivity, customer satisfaction and SLA compliance.
Let's just take a minute to consider five more KPIs that matter most to field organisations and understand why they are important.
1. Ratio of Schedulers to Field Techs
It can be hard to evaluate the size and effectiveness of a scheduling team. Different organisations use their schedulers in different ways. Some perform important administrative tasks. Some deal with complex work planning. Others take an active role in parts and logistics or carry out value add activities like calling back customers. That said it's useful to get a sense of the ratio of schedulers to field staff as a benchmark and also to determine the workload of a planner and scheduler. If you are planning in maintenance activity (as opposed to perhaps reactive work) you might way to know how many technicians’ tasks can be planned by one experienced scheduler.
You might also want to investigate schedule compliance or effectiveness. There are different KPIs you can use but consider starting with a measure of the number of work orders that were scheduled and then those that were actually completed. If you like consider those completed first time or second time. Discover what caused those remaining work orders to be incomplete and analyse the failure modes for this measure. Look for trends over time.
2. Preventative Maintenance Compliance
So many field organisations struggle with Prevenative or Planned Maintenance. Often field resources are prioritised onto responding to faults and incidents and the preventative maintenance gets back-ended or missed althogether. You won't need me to tell you that this can create a host of other challenges and increase the likelihood of incidents occurring over time.
Preventative maintenance (PM) is really important to the long-term effectiveness of assets and operational performance as a whole. Therefore, it is important to do preventative maintenance well.
Again this measure can be constructed in different ways but might include a measurement by month to identify how many PMs were completed within their agreed time versus the quantity of PM Work Orders that were generated.
3. Overtime Hours as a Percentage
Unscheduled overtime can be one of the indicators that your field team are starting to fall behind. Where work outpaces available resource capacity do your resources push off the work for another day or arrange overtime to get it done. There may be cases where that work has to be done and you agreed for a resource to do it. But if you look at your overtime trends are they increasing or decreasing? How do they relate to this time last quarter or this time last year? How does the profile vary by work type or by resource type or by region? There are a lot of ways to cut it and it might help you to take action on either reviewing the work mix, evaluating the overtime approvals process and understanding how much overtime your resources are delivering (and how many equivalent FTEs this takes up).
4. Response Times and Repair Times
It's not always the case but generally the quicker your technicians safely respond to problems, the more work they will be able to do in a day, and the quicker the customer’s problem can be resolved. Response times can often relate to service level agreements but even when they don't it's good to understand how quickly your field teams are able to respond. What delays them in getting there and why? How long was their travel? Did they have the parts they needed? Was the right work allocated to the right individual to allow them to respond effectively?
Consider repair times also. This is one to be careful with as often your different sites will have unique differences. Perhaps one site has access issues or another has really old equipment that needs extra time to warm up. If you can average out these sorts of differences it is useful to evaluate based on common aspects such as the same type or model of equipment or even multiple technicians visiting the same site. If one is taking much more time to repair the same type of equipment as other colleagues then there is something to investigate, coach and train.
In many organisations the parts process can be complex and lead to inefficiencies. Develop measures that help you understand these processes and take corrective action. If technicians are ordering the wrong parts for their jobs, that has a direct impact on productivity and increases your parts inventory. Consider tracking how often technicians are rushing out to purchase last minute parts. Also consider how frequently parts must be shipped from another location on an emergency basis. Also understand your most critical parts and review their usage and availability.
To start with you can read some of the other great blog content we have written about KPIs, balanced scorecards, operational performance improvement and how to transform your field operation. After that why not get in touch with us and find out how we can help.