Five Ways to Increase Your First-Time Fix Rate

D365 for FS includes IoT monitoring integration, route optimization, scheduling, and resource-matching tools to help you increase your FTFR.

Table of Content

    What is First-Time Fix Rate (FTFR)?

    First-time fix rate (FTFR) is a metric used to track how often field service jobs are completed on the very first visit. A job is considered “completed” when a service technician fixes a problem, and there is no need to return for the same problem within the allotted recall time specified in the service contract. FTFR is one of the core metrics used to measure the effectiveness of field service operations.

    The average FTFR across the field service industry is 80 percent. So if you’re achieving close to or above 90 percent, you should consider your business best in class. If you’re scoring less than 75 percent, you should consider making changes to your operations. However, even with a score of 80 percent, profits may remain on the table since you’re operating at average levels.

    How to calculate your First-Time Fix Rate

    If you’ve never calculated it before, your first-time fix rate is straightforward to determine and can quickly give you a better overall picture of how your technicians perform. To find your FTFR, for a given period, divide the total number of work orders completed on one visit by the total number of work orders completed.
    First Time Fix Rate Formula

    Five Ways to Increase Your First-Time Fix Rate

    Are you looking for ways to increase your field service company’s first-time fix rates? Here are five tried-and-true methods collected from our field service experts.

    1.    Have Connected Field Service tools or ask the right questions

    Returning to customer sites a second or third time to resolve the same problem can be costly and quickly put your organization at risk of cost overrun. Instead, you must be able to determine the correct issue the first time so that when that service technician arrives on-site, they are prepared with the right parts or skills to fix the problem. Connected Field Service from Microsoft and Velosio provides that capability.

    Connected Field Service is a software solution for deploying Internet of Things (IoT) diagnostic sensors that receive alerts from monitored assets—temperature faults, broken parts, or power losses. Information from these tools passes to Azure IoT platform-as-a-service (PaaS), a cloud-based monitoring platform. This information is then readily available for the technician to assess the fault and determine what is needed to correct the problem on the first visit.

    Connected Field Service tools are yet to be widespread, but those utilizing them are seeing the benefit. The next best option is having Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) that can properly diagnose the failure with the customer before a technician is dispatched.

    Dynamics 365 Field Service helps improve first contact assessments. It offers a knowledge base for CSRs to access fault code information and fixes. Additionally, field service companies can leverage branching troubleshooting guides that allow CSRs to narrow the problem scope while in conversation with the client. That better prepares the field tech for both the issue and resolution.

    2.    Locate the right technician for the job

    We all know that having an ace in a poker game can significantly improve your winning outcome, but not so much if you’re holding out for a straight. The same applies to having great field technicians but unable to utilize and leverage their strengths intelligently. Dynamics 365 Field Service uses a combination of Incident Types and Characteristics on each work order to accurately identify the issue type and what skillset is required to fix.

    Additionally, Field Service utilizes those same characteristics on the Resource or Technician to properly align job requirements with skills or certifications the resource has obtained. This also identifies gaps in your technicians’ skill sets, encourages those personnel to gain new skill sets and certifications, and helps with the hiring process because now you can determine what skillsets are needed in your new hires.

    3.    Improving your planning process

    When it comes to finally getting a field technician on-site, the organization needs to ensure that they have enough time to complete the job. Having a technician that arrives at a customer’s location when the site is about to close for the day or if a CSR schedules another job with that technician without proper time allotment to finish the current job can reduce their FTFR.

    D365 Field Service can automatically leverage the Primary incident type duration to predict how long it will take for the technician to complete the repair. Additionally, field services can use geo-fencing, geo-coding, and Bing maps to predict travel time from the current location to the following job site for more accurate planning.

    4.    Inventory availability and visibility

    Even if your CSR asks the right questions to identify the problem, aligns the right technician to the job, and allots the correct time, things can still go wrong. If you don’t have the right parts on hand, you could still lower your FTFR.

    Having frequently used parts in Truck Stock, tracking the minimum and maximum amounts available, and automated replenishment of those parts when they reach the minimum helps mitigate some of those risks. In addition, field Service can provide even more visibility by allowing technicians to quickly view other technicians’ inventory to identify what is available in their local region.

    5.    Route OptimizationWhite painted arrows on asphalt road

    Without reliable route optimization, the average field technician may only be able to accept and complete five jobs per day. But with a digitally-optimized route, a technician can accept and complete up to seven daily jobs. So let’s pretend that no matter what mitigated steps field service can offer in terms of FTFR, one of those jobs a technician will have to return to.

    So as an example, let’s plug those numbers into our FTFR equation. Our Non-Optimized Route has an FTFR of 80 percent, while our Optimized Route has an FTFR of 85.6 percent.

    By increasing the number of jobs a technician can complete in a day, we’ve improved their first-time fix rate. With Field Service Resource Scheduling Optimization, organizations can help achieve the best route for your field technicians, which benefits the technicians in many other ways, such as decreasing fuel costs, decreasing drive time, and increasing utilization.

    Velosio Can Help You Improve Your First-time Fix Rate With Dynamics 365

    Velosio helps your technicians complete more jobs the first time using Dynamics 365 for Field Service. It includes state-of-the-art IoT monitoring integration, route optimization, scheduling, and resource-matching tools. If you’re ready to help your technicians boost their FTFRs and you to boost your customer retention, get in touch today.

     


    David Sigler

    Principal Consultant

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