What is First Time Fix (FTF) and why is it important to you? This performance metric is defined as the percentage of jobs that are resolved the first time a field technician visits a site. A report done by the Service Council shows that the average FTF rate for field service organizations is 77%. That means that the field service technician has to do at least one follow up visit on 23% of all service calls. This is truly impactful to your business and your staff, as your customers may see higher than expected wait times and your staff could see increased labor hours to handle the volume. FTF rates truly affect uptime and availability of the machines, plus it impacts on our technicians’ availability to respond to other calls.
At Glory Global Solutions we are very proud of our First Time Fix accomplishments. Over the past year our FTF numbers are extremely high, currently at 92.7% and our 2016 YTD numbers continue to improve. In 2014 we started reviewing the FTF and how that impacted our customers and decided to improve our already lofty numbers at an average of 88%. We developed a plan that helped us to continue to improve on this average, taking a systematic approach to review our performance and put a cross sectional committee together to improve on our FTF delivery. We focused on training, parts inventory and the escalation process to make sure all of these key factors were aligned to improve our FTF rate.
All 400 GGS technicians are factory trained, to ensure that our technicians have the proper training and knowledge of their current machine base in their specific territory. The approach we took was to focus on the technicians that had below the average FTF rate to see how we could help them improve. We identified technicians that needed additional training on one or two of the products they worked on to help them improve their performance. Some of the technicians were sent to training at our Watertown WI. facility and others received augmented training with our Product Support Specialist to help them focus on areas that would help to improve their FTF delivery. In all, the training was very effective and helped our technicians improve the delivery of service to our customers.
Our district managers reviewed technicians’ current inventory to see what parts were carried in vans. We reviewed the in-hand inventory of the technicians that were below average on FTF, looking for parts that technicians had repeat failures with and worked to schedule a better inventory mix. We also had the managers review our Baxter Planning System to make sure the right information was loaded into the system to accurately replenish the technicians with the right parts at the right time.
Glory has revamped our escalation processes to ensure that the technical District Managers would be aware when a FTF failure occurred. The escalation allows the managers to see if another technician has access to the part needed. Reviewing nearby technicians’ inventory gives us another opportunity to reduce FTF failures and improve up time for our customers.
First Time Fix is key to providing excellent service as it improves machine up time and it improves the customer experience. That is why Glory Global Solutions focuses on these metrics. Making sure that your service provider calculates and understands the importance of measuring First Time Fix can save you and your company time, effort and money.
Carlos Peralta is a VP Special Projects for Glory Global Solutions, he supports all service projects and key installations. He has been with the company for 12 years in service management. He has 21 years of field service management experience plus, served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. He has an MBA from West Chester University.