For any field service business, its engineers are clearly a vital resource.
And most field service businesses, it’s fair to say, have KPIs in place for monitoring and measuring performance. But are they the right field service engineer performance KPIs?
At first glance, it’s a strange question. Most field service engineer performance KPIs are pretty standard, you might think.
Well, maybe so. But in our view it’s all too easy for engineer performance KPIs to be oriented around a very narrow group of metrics, often associated with engineer labour utilisation, and direct cost control.
Yet while these are important, they aren’t the only areas that effective field service engineer performance KPIs should cover.
Other performance KPIs can be just as important—if not more so.
Such as? Let’s take a look.
First time fix rate
First time fix rate is a key driver of customer satisfaction: when a piece of equipment is broken, there are few things as annoying as when a field service engineer turns up to repair it, but can’t.
Wrong tools, wrong spare parts, wrong fault diagnosis, wrong engineer skill set—the causes are countless. And yet most can be managed away through better training, a better field service management system, and better control—leading straightaway to an increase in the first time fix rate, and happier customers.
Only, though, if first time fix rate is actually monitored as a specific field service engineer performance KPI.
Engineer billable time
It’s obviously important to keep a watchful eye on field service engineer utilisation—every field service business knows that. But a high level of utilisation isn’t necessarily the same as a high level of billable hours.
For one reason, that’s because obvious drains on productivity—such as time spent driving to site, and delays—reduce the potential for billable time. But so do less obvious drains on productivity, such as time spent on administration. And an appropriate field service engineer performance KPI can help you to get a handle on such losses of billable time.
Field service engineer punctuality
Almost as annoying as a field service engineer who doesn’t manage to fix the fault is a field service engineer who doesn’t arrive on time.
Granted, it can be difficult to predict traffic conditions, even with route scheduling software.
But a field service management system that tracks punctuality as an engineer performance KPI can help to pin down other, less valid causes of poor punctuality, including engineer-specific ones such as taking excessive meal and coffee breaks, and lingering to chat to customers.
Overtime can be a very good thing: field service engineers who are happy to put in a few extra hours to fulfil a promise made to a customer, for example, or who are prepared to work at the weekend in order to deal with a sudden breakdown.
But overtime can also be a bad thing, shrinking profits by adding to labour costs without a compensating rise in billings. And striking the right balance can be a tricky proposition.
To the rescue: field service engineer performance KPIs that analyse patterns in overtime hours, helping managers to see the causal factors behind overtime hours, and looking to see if certain engineers stand out as regular claimants of overtime.
Finally, it can be very useful to track individual field service engineers’ upselling rate: how often do your engineers actually upsell, and which engineers perform best at it?
Again, without specifically tracking this data through field service engineer performance KPIs that specifically look at upselling, getting a handle on engineers’ performance in this respect can be difficult.
The bottom line
In field service management, the basics are obvious enough, and most field service management solutions offer performance KPIs to track such basics.
But basic field service engineer performance KPIs only go so far. For true outperformance, demanding field service management businesses will want to go further.
Kerridge Commercial Systems is home to K8 Field Service, our unique software solution that helps you coordinate your business processes and maximise performance.