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Tracking and understanding the right KPIs to improve your field-service organization

April 26, 2022
Are there any indications that field engineers do or do not have adequate training?

By Enda Hennigan, GPS Insight senior product manager

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the critical metrics that enable a business to set targets and track progress toward an intended result. For field-service organizations, including manufacturers for whom field service of their products is increasingly important, KPIs help business leaders and their teams better understand the challenges inherent in their operations and track the performance of specific facets of their business and the services they offer customers. Measuring KPIs will also help evaluate the ROI of each field activity, a mission-critical step in supporting the bottom line.

Choosing what to measure is crucial. Too often, managers attempt to track every metric possible, leading to analysis paralysis that congests business and reduces efficiency. KPIs that are most actionable and easiest to track may not be the ones that provide the best insight or create the most value. Therefore, understanding the right questions is pivotal in determining which KPIs to track.

Field service-based companies should ask:

  • What is the amount of time between completed job and invoice?
  • Are there any indications that field engineers do or do not have adequate training?
  • Is the company maximizing the number of jobs that can be completed?
  • Is the company effectively managing the field tech’s time?

Tailored KPIs provide the best value when focused on robust, value-added metrics and create an actionable plan centered around your company’s top priorities. When executed correctly, KPIs will help you determine where problem areas lie, empowering you to invest energy and resources in ways that will stimulate efficiency, lower costs, or maximize revenue.

Here are a few of the most popular KPIs field-service organizations should consider tracking:

Determine what brings in revenue

The bottom line is your bottom line. How is your organization making money? What isn’t returning a profit? In comparison to overall revenue, it’s critical for field-service businesses to pinpoint how much cash each service generates.

Job completed vs. invoiced

If your technician has completed a job but doesn’t have the ability to send the customer an invoice, the company has dug a revenue ditch. Tracking the rate at which service calls are completed and comparing that to what has been invoiced helps determine whether processes are working.

Retention of customers

Generating new business requires an investment due to the time and cost of researching potential new clients. Retaining existing clients demonstrates your value to potential new customers and forms the basis of your marketing efforts. Field-service organizations that measure how long customers stick around will give them insight into what is enticing them to stay or encouraging them to shop around.

Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction strengthens customer retention; therefore, measuring customer satisfaction is arguably the most important KPI. For field-service organizations, satisfied customers are loyal and help attract new customers, providing a revenue baseline for your operation. 

Fix rate

Measuring your fix-rate KPI is crucial to understanding your technicians’ productivity. First-time fix rates play a major role in strengthening customer satisfaction. Identifying your company’s average resolution time can help determine which operational tasks maximize efficiency and which need adjustment.

Employee productivity

Determining precisely how productive your employees are will spotlight their strengths and weaknesses. Measuring this KPI may reveal that you need to hire additional techs, tweak processes, or restructure your existing team.

Employee retention

Similar to acquiring new customers, finding, hiring and training a new tech rather than retaining current staff is expensive and stressful. Measuring your employee-retention rate will help identify patterns and lead to greater success in attracting long-term talent. Improving employee retention is also a key component of attracting quality new hires—high turnover can be a sign of inefficiency and dysfunction.

Track KPIs with field-service management 

Innovative field-service management (FSM) solutions will help establish the right KPIs and organize your operation to get the most out of the information you collect. FSM software creates efficiencies, boosts productivity, and drives revenue. From scheduling jobs and dispatching workers to managing the work and optimizing your payment processes, FSM solutions empower your field teams to understand what is working, what isn’t, and how to move forward in ways that will improve the business.