Nick Shipton of scheduling specialists Kirona takes a look at the importance of measuring performance and constantly shifting KPI focus in a journey of ongoing improvement...
Kirona recently collaborated with Field Service News and Bill Pollock from Strategies for Change, hosting an interesting webinar covering the key points raised in Bill’s field service benchmarking report.
During the webinar we discussed key trends across field service in terms of what organisation are looking to implement and improve in the future.
The most popular item on the agenda for UK and European organisations was to develop and improve metrics or KPI’s to measure performance.
The thought here was that organisations need to be measuring things better in order to improve and help with the following:
Customer demand for quicker response time
- Workforce utilisation & productivity
- Service process efficiencies
- Customer demand for improved asset availability
This if course is all very commendable and is absolutely the correct things to be striving for however, is developing new and improved ways for measuring what we are doing actually going to help us achieve these goals, or does it simply stop short and tell us simply how are we are doing today, last month, last year?
Back office systems, scheduling solutions and mobile solutions give us a whole wealth of potential data to look at and report upon (although those organisations who are yet to jump into the world of scheduling and mobile will only have the very basics), but are we using this data to the best of its ability.
“Traditional KPI’s are great for telling us how we are doing now, allowing us to answer the question is the business performing to set metrics? But they stop short of actually giving any insight into how we can improve?”
The setting of targets doesn’t answer the questions that allow us to improve, it merely creates a benchmark.
Having access to information that addresses; I am meeting the set number of field service jobs I need to complete today that’s great but could I do better if the organisation was configured differently.
The key point is that KPI’s are just a set of controls we like to put into a business to give us some comfort that we are running on track, which is as I say great but do they actually give us any view on how we could improve and deliver a better service to our customers, even if we are doing well.
For us at Kirona it’s about taking that wealth of data we have and giving tools to our customers that not only allow them to look at the standard KPI’s to ensure they are on track but also to allow them to start analysing where they could get better and implement those improvements.
If you only currently have only a fairly static back office system your ability to get access to meaningful data is going to be very limited, however with scheduling and mobile solutions such as Kirona’s DRS and Kirona’s Job Manager solution you suddenly have an extra dimension to the quantity, quality and type of data available.
Analysing this in the correct way then allows an organisation to start pinpointing exactly where efficiencies in the business could be made.
This extra dimension of data enables the organisation to understanding questions such as;
- We may be completing our set number of jobs per day, but actually how much is it costing us to do that?
- Are some geographical areas better performing than others?
- Can we improve this by looking at the distribution of our workforce across those areas?
- Am I giving my customers the most efficient times for appointments for my organisation, and can I improve this without impacting my service?
- Am I deficient in certain skills and abilities in different regions?
Are we selling or completing certain services in specific areas of our region and therefore do we need to move the workforce around to support that, or could we be offering a higher level of service in those service areas?
"If you want to keep ahead of your competitors, hitting your targets isn’t going to do this, the only way to do this is to continually challenge those targets..."
Also if you want to keep ahead of your competitors, hitting your targets isn’t going to do this, the only way to do this is to continually challenge those targets, continual improve your business and analyse what the data is telling you.
Look beyond your KPI’s!