(Drill-down Results from SFGSM’s 2014 Field Service Management Benchmark Survey – Part 5)
Perhaps one of the greatest differences between Best Practices organizations and the general population is that the former place significantly more emphasis on the development of, and in most cases, the continuous improvement of, the KPIs and metrics they use to measure, monitor and track their field service performance over time. Presently, 61% of Best Practices organizations cite the development and/or improvement of the KPIs they use to measure field service performance as the number one strategic action currently being taken (as well as planned over the next 12 months). This compares with only 52% among the general population.
The top Strategic Actions currently being undertaken by Best Practices Field Service Organizations are:
- 61% Develop/Improve Metrics, or KPIs to measure FS Performance
- 42% Invest in Mobile Tools to support Field Technicians
- 35% Integrate New Technologies into existing FS Operations
- 30% Automate existing Manual FS processes and activities
- 28% Provide additional Training to FS Technicians and Dispatchers
- 24% Provide Enterprise-wide Access to important Field-collected data
- 21% Increase Customer Involvement in Web-based Service Process
- 20% Improve Planning & Forecasting with respect to Field Operations
- 13% Hire additional Field Service Technicians and/or Dispatchers
- 11% Outsource some, or all, Field Service activities to partners or vendors
Further, while current and planned investments in new technologies and mobile tools are cited fairly equally between the two categories of respondents, there are other key differences that give the Best Practices organizations an advantage over time. These include:
- 30% of Best Practices organizations are currently taking steps to automate existing manual field service processes and activities, compared to only 26% for the general population); and
- 21% of Best Practices organizations are currently increasing customer involvement in Web-based service processes, compared to only 18% for the general population).
While these relatively small differences may not look like much of a differential between the two groups, they do make a difference in the ongoing ability of Best Practices organizations to meet their customer’s expectations – and continually raising the bar – simply by doing so!
Planned strategic actions over the next 12-month period reflect an even more dynamic, rather than static, approach to the field services marketplace. For example, almost half (i.e., 49%) of Best Practices respondents plan to integrate new technologies, and another 43% plan to develop and/or improve their use of field service KPIs, or metrics, in the next 12 months.
Still another 35% plan to improve their planning and forecasting activities, and almost as many (i.e., 32%) plan to invest in the next generation of mobile tools to support their technicians in the field. Other key planned actions will be taken in areas relating to providing additional training for field technicians and dispatchers (28%), automating existing manual field service processes or activities (26%), increasing customer involvement in the service process via We-enabled self-help (i.e., call initiation, scheduling, visibility into call status, etc.) (25%), and providing enterprise-wide access to important field-collected data (22%).
What these data primarily show is that the Best Practices organizations recognize the need to take specific strategic actions to enhance and improve existing service operations, and that these actions begin first and foremost with the need to develop and/or improve the use of service metrics and KPIs for measuring and monitoring their overall service delivery performance. It also shows that FSOs recognize the need to invest in the right technologies and mobile tools to empower their resources both in the field, and in the back office, to improve existing processes, meet the evolving and growing needs of customers, and make greater contributions to the bottom line.
The survey findings also reveal that there are as many as 14 individual service performance metrics, or KPIs, presently being used by a majority (i.e., 50% or more) of the Best Practices organizations that participated in the 2014 Field Service Management Benchmark Survey (compared to only 5 among the general population). They include:
- 90% Customer Satisfaction (up from 80% among the general population)
- 78% Total Service Revenue (up from 72%)
- 75% Total Service Cost (up from 69%)
- 68% Service Revenue, as a Percent of Total Revenue (up from 52%)
- 58% Mean-Time-to-Repair (MTTR) (up from 46%)
- 57% On-site Response Time (up from 49%)
- 54% Percent of Total Revenue Under SLA/Contract (up from 45%)
- 53% Service Level Agreement (SLA) Compliance (up from 45%)
- 53% Service Contract Renewal Rate (up from 42%)
- 51% Field Technician Utilization (down from 59%)
- 51% First Time Fix Rate (up from 47%)
- 50% Service Parts Revenue, as a Percent of Total Service Revenue (up from 43%)
- 50% Customer Retention (up from 43%)
- 44% Field Technician Productivity (down from 48%)
As such, it appears that Best Practices organizations already have taken steps to keep field technician utilization and productivity in check, and – as a result – are using a multitude of other KPIs to measure, monitor and track their respective performance.
Next up (in Part 6) will be a discussion of which tools and technologies Best Practices FSOs are using to directly support their field techs and customers.