7 Deadly Sins of Field Service Operations
There are countless landmines in the battlefield of field service operations and they all contribute to a single, unwanted outcome – lost business. It’s the stuff that field service technicians dread, field service managers lose sleep over, and executives seek to remedy.
While there has been much written on what field service technicians should do to keep customers happy during service calls, less is available to help field service managers achieve success. We want to change that. In addition to this blog post, we’ve written a white paper (available for download) specifically about this topic: Fixing Field Service Operations – How to Improve Technician Efficiency and Increase Customer Satisfaction.
So how do field service managers guard against lost business? We’ve identified seven key factors to monitor – Seven Deadly Sins you could call them – that spell trouble for field service operations. Avoiding these will help your field service organization increase efficiency and consistency while reducing operational cost, reducing equipment downtime and ultimately meeting customer expectations and securing customer satisfaction and retention.
- Wasted time – Field service technicians often spend significant time searching for the service information and part numbers, only to find the information they uncover is out-of-date. That’s time that field service organizations cannot afford to waste.
- Parts misorders – Misorders happen for many reasons: outdated parts catalogs, incorrect maintenance manuals, undocumented equipment changes/modifications, data entry/transcription errors, multiple similar parts choices, missing service bulletins, etc. Incorrect parts results in multiple service calls and additional costs.
- High support costs – Customers and service technicians call customer support for the latest parts and procedures. This increases call center costs with no additional value to the customer or the OEM.
- Poor mean time to repair (MTTR) – Technicians have different levels of experience, which means that one technician may take twice as long to fix a particular problem as another. Lack of consistency makes scheduling less predictable and increases costs.
- Frequent no fault found (NFF) events – Equipment troubleshooting is notoriously difficult, especially when multiple components are involved. Fault isolation by process of elimination – incrementally replacing parts until the problem goes away – is an expensive and time-consuming way to perform repairs and does not reliably identify the defective component, resulting in higher no fault found costs.
- Excess inventory and trunk spares – Technicians often order multiple similar parts, hoping that one of them will fix the equipment problem. The extra parts are either stored locally (as “trunk spares”) or returned to inventory or the manufacturer, which increases expenses.
- Dissatisfied customers – For equipment owners, downtime equates to lost revenues. They expect service technicians to repair equipment efficiently and consistently. When technicians can’t meet owners expectations it harms customer satisfaction and brand perception.
Although there are many reasons that organizations fall prey to one or more of the deadly field service operations sins, we believe there is one root cause – service technicians and customer support representatives don’t have the accurate parts and service information they need to properly perform the work at hand.
Enigma’s InService EPC helps field service organizations battle this challenge with accurate, up-to-date parts and service information when and where they need it, online or offline. InService EPC’s data library enables service technicians to access the latest parts lists, service bulletins, job cards, schematics, diagrams and maintenance manuals. Integration with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems provides technicians with information on parts availability, pricing, and ordering without ever leaving the program. A powerful search function lets technicians find individual parts, assemblies, or sub-assemblies with text or illustration queries. It’s the kind of tool field service managers find invaluable while working hard to avoid the field service sins.
Download your copy of the white paper. Fixing Field Service Operations: How to Improve Technician Efficiency and Increase Customer Satisfaction.