Evaluating Service Performance

ENX FEB 2016 Issue Final HiResIn the last article, I discussed the importance of Mean Copies between Calls (MCBC) this may also be referred to as Mean Calls between Visits (MCBV). Since that is number one factor in the cost of a copy, every service manager needs to focus his attention on growing that number. In this article, we will look at several factors that affect that metric. These factors can be measured using First Call Effectiveness (FCE), and this is the easier metric to measure.

How to Define FCE

I will use the same definitions and formulas as used by BEI Services to determine the FCE. I chose this method because it more clearly identifies the performance factors involved, and it does not get diluted by including courtesy calls, installs or network calls. This is known as a results-based FCE.

Call back (CB) is: CB%= CB/ (Emergency (EM) + Scheduled Calls (SC))

Hold for Parts (HP) is: HP%=Hold for Parts (HP) + No Parts/ (NP + SC + CB)

FCE would be the balance of the CB% and HP%.

Defining the Terms Used:

Emergency Call (EM) is a call caused by a problem with the device; it would not include courtesy calls, set up and delivery, or other non-equipment related calls.

Scheduled Call is a call caused by a problem with the device and scheduled for a specific time. It would include PM type calls.

No Parts Call (NP) is a follow up visit made when a technician returns to a machine for the same problem and doesn’t install parts.

Hold for Parts (HP) is a return visit made necessary because the technician did not have the part available.

Recall or Call Back (CB) is a return visit made on a machine within a predetermined period after the initial call. In many cases, dealers use some fixed number days or number of copies. These definitions are flawed, because different segment machines will need service at differing rates. This value needs to be defined per model, or per segment basis. A production print machine in a high-volume location may need a PM every two weeks, where a segment one machine in a low-volume office might need a PM every 2 years. Obviously, the parameters for a recall would need to be different.

For a more detailed description of FCE, see Wes McArtor’s post from BEI Services in December on ENXmag.com

(Thanks to Guy Worzel from BEI Services for his valuable insights in this area.)

Real World Data

Below you will see two sets of values. These numbers are the dealer with the lowest CPC on a model and the dealer with the highest CPC on this model. As you can see, there is a difference of .00254 in the CPC rate between the two companies. When you look at the data, you will also see the difference in the FCE between the two dealers. If they are competing in the same marketplace, the dealers with the lowest CPC will either generate significantly more profit or be able to sell the copies at a significantly lower price.

As we compare the two companies, we can see that the worse-performing company actually goes back slightly more than 3 extra times for each failure of machine, while the best-performing company goes back less than 1 extra time for each failure.

These differences are typical across the board when comparing performance on the same models between dealers. It highlights the need to focus on improving FCE and the MCBC. For most dealers improving these numbers is the key to improving their profitability.

Understanding the Numbers

The first stage of improving your service department is to be able to analyze where your departments performance is.  Ideally, you would want to be able to see the following information per model, per technician, and average for department:

  • Number of calls
  • Number of No Parts calls
  • Number of Hold for Parts calls (HP)
  • Number of recalls
  • Mean Copies between Calls

Once you can easily access the information, the next step is to try and identify the areas where there is the greatest opportunity for improvement. It may be that some of the technicians are struggling with troubleshooting a model. You may find that some models have a very high HP rate. You may find that some technicians need improvement across the board.

Identifying the Needs

To achieve the most rapid improvement, you will want to identify the areas with the worst performance. You can think of it like trying to plug leaks in a dam, find the biggest leak and patch it, and then move to the next one. In this case, you are looking for the models and technicians with the worst performance.

After identifying your biggest issues, you will need to try and understand the cause. With equipment that has a high number of recalls, or hold for parts, you could look at which parts are causing the hold for parts. For recalls, you would want to try and identify why the technician didn’t fix it the first time.  Is it a lack of training? Is it a lack of aptitude? Was it a perceived lack of time?

Most of the questions listed above come into play when analyzing your technicians. When a technician has poor performance, you also need to see if it is across the board, or just some models. Are your current evaluation metrics contributing to the issue?

In the following articles, I will discuss how to develop a plan to resolve the issues and improve your numbers.

Ken Edmonds
About the Author
KEN EDMONDS is the owner and founder of 22nd Century Management, which helps managers in the service industries learn the skills they need to successfully lead their teams, exceed expectations and provide outstanding customer service. An Air Force veteran whose background includes owning a copier dealership and working as a service manager for other companies, Edmonds also spent 18 years working for manufacturers as a district service manager. He’s helped dozens of service managers incorporate cornerstone methods to enhance their success.