10 Ways to Improve Your First Time Fix Rate (FTFR)

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In a perfect world, field service always goes right the first time. However, the reality is that this does not always happen. For companies that provide field service, profitability depends on completing the fix with the fewest resources required. Sending someone back to complete a job costs money and hurts productivity. For customers, not getting their equipment fixed quickly means more downtime and possibly lost revenue.  

The first time fix rate (FTFR) is a critical performance metric that highlights the effectiveness of a field service business from top to bottom. No matter what the rate sits at now, every business wants to push it higher. Here are 10 ways to improve your FTFR: 

1. Track Asset Service History

Knowing when an asset was last serviced, by whomand in what way provides critical context for the next fix. Technicians shouldn’t have to hunt down the history of the item they are working on, so making the service history easily accessible in the field contributes significantly to improving first time fix rates. 

2. Provide Customer Contacts

Being able to contact the customer quickly can sometimes remove obstacles to job completion and leads to higher overall customer satisfaction. Easy and timely access to information such as gate codes or specifics about the machine or issue can increase the likelihood that a fix goes right the first time.

3. Dispatch by Skill

When a job requires the field technician to have certain technical skills or specific credentials (e.g. a background check or security clearance for work on government or school property), dispatching the wrong technician guarantees a second visit. Tracking and filtering each tech’s skills and qualifications will make sure jobs only go to techs with the necessary qualifications. 

4. Predict the Parts Needed

A tech who doesn’t have the right parts, materials, or tools can’t do the work right on the first visit. Consult the asset service history to determine what a tech does and doesn’t need to bring on site based on what past jobs required. 

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5. Access to Service Manuals

When the manufacturer’s manual, detailing step by step maintenance routines, is easily accessible to the technician in the field, the first time fix rate will increase. Ideally, the tech has access to the manual on a phone, tablet, or laptop in the field. 

6. Connect Techs

The best resource for information about an asset is often the last person to work on it. When a tech encounters something unexpected, who better to call on than someone who’s encountered it before? Make sure techs know who to call and how to reach them. In general, seamless information sharing between techs can prevent a fix from going sideways. 

7. Over-Inform

Getting a fix right the first time depends on eliminating uncertainty of any kind – which is hard to do since every job, site, asset, and customer is different. Err on the side of giving techs too much information. Supplement the basic information provided for every job with custom resources, updates, or insights relevant to that specific job. 

8. Stock the Van Properly

When a tech heads into the field, his/her van or truck is his/her lifeline. Track what techs use to complete certain jobs (e.g. a certain AC unit may require a specific filter) over months and years, then use that data to write universal packing lists. This reduces the likelihood of not having the right part or tool on site. 

9. Create Kits

For the most common field service requests, such as routine maintenance or installation of popular products, create kits containing the parts and materials required. Kits reduce the likelihood of not having required parts or tools when onsite, and will ensures jobs go smoothly 

10. Rate Technicians

Some jobs are more valuable, more complex, or more sensitive than others. Find a way to rank or rate technicians based on metricssuch as technical skill, customer feedback, and job completion times, so that the right person arrives when a job requires the best of the best. 

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Each of these measures can improve your FTFR, and when collectively implemented can push the rate closer to 100%, which if you are into statistics, is one of the highest percentages! Improving this metric is NOT easy, or every business would have already done it. What’s missing? 

The answer is: a tool that links everyone involved with field service and equips them with whatever information they need to complete a fix in one visit. That describes exactly what NextService does. 

Within the NetSuite ecosystem, NextService provides a full field service management platform. NextService enables users to check the boxes outlined above automatically. There is no better solution available inside NetSuite for improving your FTFR or any other field service performance metric. Stop wasting resources, duplicating efforts, and disappointing customers. Use NextService instead. Contact us today for a demo. 

Learn more about how the NextService field automation software built on and for NetSuite improves service team performance using Next Technik proprietary dynamic forms and checklists.  

Benjamin Castles

Next Technik (Sr. Solutions Consultant), Field Mobility Native SuiteApp for Oracle NetSuite. 

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About Benjamin Castles

ben-castles-nextserviceBenjamin Castles combines a computer science background and 20 years working in IT with boots on the ground experience as a technician in the manufacturing and services industries. He’s been with Next Technik since 2016 and has handled countless successful Netsuite migrations and optimizations. Ben spends most of his time with clients and computers these days, but his high-vis vest is never far from reach.

Want to know more about Benjamin and learn more about how NextService can help you? Connect with him on LinkedIn and start a one-on-one conversation.