3 Inconspicuous Reasons Why Your First-Time Fix Rate is Low

Written By: Beverly Spaulding
  • Service & Parts
  • 11/20/2017

It’s not crazy to obsess over your company’s first-time fix rate. Aberdeen Group found businesses with first-time fix rates greater than 70% increase their service revenues by 4% annually

Sometimes it’s obvious why a technician couldn’t complete a job during the initial visit – a missing part, for instance. Other times, you may deduce a technician didn’t have enough experience, but this assertion diverts you away from three very real, but often overlooked problems often associated with your service and parts information:

1. Your service information is dispersed across multiple publications

Tech-Clarity found 43% of service leaders said their staff need to search multiple locations to gather all the information they need to fix problems. How could you avoid this issue?

Assuming you’re using DITA, reassess your topic creation standards. When developing repair manuals, consider including the following information in each topic:

  • A 3D technical illustration or animation demonstrating how to complete a service procedure.
  • The number of the part that needs to be replaced.
  • A link to the product’s service history.

Depending on your service information management capabilities, you may be able to assemble these details relatively easily. The question is, do your technicians have the means to access them once they’re all in one place?

2. Your service information isn’t easy to access

It’s easy to dismiss augmented reality (AR) as a near-future technology that won’t be feasible to implement until everybody can afford to buy an AR headset, but that’s not the case.

Both Google Play and Apple’s App Store offer AR apps, granting technicians the convenience to view 3D illustrations through their smartphones. Aberdeen found 78% of field service companies are looking to use AR as a means to deliver work instructions to technicians. 

Imagine watching those instructions instead of reading them. Animations could eliminate the confusions technicians encounter when working on complex products, thereby reducing the risk of them having to visit job sites twice.

3. Your documentation isn’t up-to-date

Put yourself in your technicians’ shoes. You show up at a machine shop to fix a chop saw. However, when you go to repair the tool, you realize the saw has a part that isn’t listed in the work instructions. You may not have the part, and as a result, have to revisit a parts warehouse to procure it, thus negatively impacting your first-time fix rate.

Just as associative links automate much of your single source practice, they also effectively manage product information changes. You obviously won’t be able to reflect those changes automatically in printed publications, but your digital publications will always stay up-to-date.

Bottom line: If you’re constantly struggling to improve your first-time fix rate, take a hard look at how you get information to your technicians. The eBook below features some insights as to how Airbus Helicopters and a Embraer revamped their service information management practices, increasing their service productivity as a result: 

Extend PLM to Service eBook Download

  • Service & Parts

About the Author

Beverly Spaulding

Beverly Spaulding is a Director of Demand Generation for PTC’s Service and Retail divisions. She is a Boston University alumni with a background in digital marketing, demand generation and B2B marketing. She has a curiosity for technology, data and the science behind marketing.