How Best-Fit Scheduling Can Improve Your First-Time Fix Ratio for Field Services

One of the greatest challenges faced by field service organizations is getting the right technician, with the right equipment, to the right job, at the right time. One of the major barriers to achieving the 4 R’s is access to real-time situational information, which often leads to additional site visits. Aberdeen Group suggests that roughly 25% of service calls require at least one additional visit, which are costly and lead to decreased customer satisfaction.

Additional visits are often the result of:

1. Part availability – The technician has the incorrect part, or no inventory in her truck
2. Certification/Skill deficiency – The technician doesn’t have the necessary experience or certification to complete the job
3. Scheduling conflict – The technician has insufficient time to complete the service order[1]

Hitachi Solutions’ Field Service Automation (FSA) solution addresses first time fix issues through our Best-Fit Scheduling capability, one of three scheduling tools available out of the box. Hitachi’s Best-Fit Scheduling uses a scheduling algorithm to determine which technician is best equipped to complete a given service order. The Best-Fit algorithm takes into account the following considerations:

· Travel time/distance to job site
· Resource availability
· Service Level Agreements (SLA’s)
· Technician skill set (certifications, security clearance etc.)
· Urgency/dependencies
· Parts availability/vehicle inventory
· Service order requirements/qualifications
· Location requirements/qualifications

Each of these elements are given a specific weighting that can be customized to meet the specific requirements of your organization. Once the algorithm is run, technicians are graded and receive a score.

FSA not only scores the technicians, but also provide justifications for each score. Justifications for each score can be seen by hovering over the score, allowing the customer service representative understand the scoring for each technician. Once the best technician is selected, he is then notified on his mobile device of the new service order.

Through Best Fit Scheduling customer service representatives are able to dispatch the best technician right from the initial call, enabling the organization to capitalize on lost revenue through improving their first time fix ratio, all while increasing customer satisfaction.

[1] Fixing First-Time Fix: Repairing Field Service Efficiency to Enhance Customer Returns – Aberdeen Group, March 2013