Key performance indicators (KPIs) are business metrics that provide raw quantitative data about your company’s performance.  Unfortunately, too many field service professionals are leaving valuable insights on the table and making decisions based on inaccurate assumptions.

Without using KPIs to measure your company’s performance, it will be difficult to measure how well you’re fulfilling organizational needs and objectives.

You can chart your course and measure success by capturing verifiable data about business performance.  Without using KPIs to measure your company’s performance, it will be near impossible to measure how well you’re fulfilling organizational needs.

Utility companies should keep a close eye on their KPIs in order to keep operations on track and better serve their customers.  As the demand for utilities continues to increase, businesses need to handle the necessary rise in production while also improving their efficiency and productivity metrics.

In this article, we will discuss 5 of the most important KPIs that field managers should monitor to keep their projects on time and under budget.

EnSightPlus Infographic: Field Service KPIs

KPIs for Customer Management

Problems with customer metrics are an early sign that something needs to change operationally.  Two of the most important customer KPIs are:

  • Growth rate: The rate at which your customer base is growing on a quarterly or yearly basis.
  • Retention rate: The percentage of customers that return to your business, relative to the number of customers that you had at the beginning of a given time period.

These metrics are similar but don’t precisely measure the same information.  Even if your customer base is growing, for example, you could be seeing high levels of customer churn that are hurting your bottom line.  This likely indicates that there’s room to improve on how you retain new customers.

Keep in mind, customer metrics are important because many customers choose to “vote with their feet”.  Although they may not communicate their dissatisfaction directly to you, customers will depart your business if they are not pleased with the service they have received.

Get ahead of upset customers and other common issues: 3 Field Service Manager Challenges (and How to Beat Them).

Service Reliability

Customers are extremely sensitive to problems such as power outages, water shortages, and other service interruptions.  Because of this, service reliability is closely related to your customer satisfaction KPIs.

Service uptime and downtime metrics can have a major impact on how customers perceive the quality of your business.  Electric power companies use indices such as SAIDI (Service Average Interruption Duration Index) and SAIFI (Service Average Interruption Frequency Index) to assess how often their system experiences downtime.

Field Service KPIs

Once an outage occurs, you need to act fast. The measure of how efficiently your team can perform service is another important KPI for utility companies and contractors alike.

The KPIs in this category may include:

  • First-time fix rate: The percentage of problems that are solved during a technician’s first visit to the job site.
  • Billable hours: The time that a technician spends working vs. the total time that the technician is on the clock.  Some issues such as traffic jams and delays can’t be helped. Other problems, such as lack of punctuality and poor working habits, may contribute to a low billable hours ratio.
  • Overtime hours: The ratio of time that a technician spends working overtime.  While overtime hours can be a good sign, they can also be an indicator of inefficiencies, slow workers, and poor planning.

Download the Guide to High First-Time Fix Rates by EnSight Plus

Employee Metrics

Without the right technicians and support staff on your payroll, you will most likely be unable to adequately service the needs of your customers.  Two of the most relevant employee KPIs are:

  • Training and development costs: If you are not able to find qualified technicians, you may have to spend more time and money onboarding and training them.
  • Injury rate: Technicians are often put in perilous situations in order to fix a service issue, putting them at a great deal of risk.  Your company’s injury rate is a good indicator of whether technicians are taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves while on the job.

Financial Metrics

Financial metrics are the ultimate measure of your company’s performance because they are so heavily dependent on the other four KPI categories listed above. One important metric of a company’s financial health is its debt-to-equity ratio (D/E).  This calculates the shareholders’ equity as compared to the debt that the company takes on to finance its assets.

Another important financial KPI is your operating cash flow (OCF), which measures the amount of cash generated during your normal business operations.  OCF can help determine whether your business is self-sustaining or whether it needs external financing in order to expand.

Final Thoughts

KPIs and benchmarks are a fundamental part of the way that today’s utility companies operate.  Having access to modern field service management software that tracks important metrics on the fly can be extremely valuable.

EnSight+ Field Service Software makes it easy for you to monitor the KPIs that matter most to your organization anytime and anywhere.  With a greater understanding of the figures behind your business, you will be better prepared for future challenges.

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