First-time fix - How does your organisation compare to the best?

First-time fix rate is a really useful metric, as it often correlates highly with many KPIs used by field service organisations. There is, for example, a strong link between first-time fix rates and tenant satisfaction. So if your tenant satisfaction scores are dipping, looking at first-time fix rates may be a good initial step to take when trying to identify issues. But what is a good rate for first-visit resolutions for a service-based business? Check out the stats below and compare your organisation to the top performers.

What is first-time fix (FTF)?

As a quick introduction, first-time fix is simply a measure used by social housing organisations and contractors to determine the proportion of issues that are resolved on the first visit by an operative.

There are two basic requirements you need to get right to have a higher chance of resolving issues on a first visit – the right operative (i.e. someone with the skills and knowledge to resolve the issue) and the right part(s). Without either of those things in place, you’re highly unlikely to get a successful outcome. This is a simplistic view, of course, but is fundamentally true (it’s also worth noting that a part may not always be required – research from the Aberdeen Group showed that 48% of field service visits require a part).

Why is it important?

You really shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the first-time fix metric – as mentioned, it can correlate with many KPIs used by field service organisations. For example:

  • Tenant satisfaction – unsurprisingly, research showed that the top reason tenants were unhappy with service was that the engineer/technician did not resolve the issue the first time, and they had to come back, sometimes repeatedly. The more often your engineers are able to provide a first-time fix, the happier your tenants will be.
  • Profitability – in its latest report, Inside Housing found that English housing associations spend a combined £5.51bn on repairs and maintenance. Every time you send an engineer to a site to fix an issue, it is costing you money. So, if an issue isn’t fixed on the first visit, it could have a major impact on your profitability.
  • Productivity – although this will depend, to an extent, on how you measure productivity, it is nonetheless likely to take a hit if you have a low first-time fix rate. Every additional visit a field engineer needs to make to resolve an issue is time they could be spending on another job.

How does yours compare?

There is a marked difference between the best-performing organisations and those that are falling behind. Aberdeen’s research showed that the top 20% performing organisations have an average first-time fix rate of 88%. This compares to just 63% for the bottom 30% of organisations. So how do you compare?

Increasing your first-time fix rate

While a first-time fix rate of 88% is impressive, you may be able to do even better. In fact, building repairs firm Sovini has managed to achieve a first-time fix rate of 90%. As a result, customer satisfaction levels also reached a staggering 98%, which highlights the link between the two factors.

With government-imposed tenant satisfaction measures due to come into force for social housing landlords, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you have adequate measures in place to increase your first-time fix rate. Standards to meet by housing associations will include completing repairs within target timescales and improving tenants’ satisfaction with the quality and timeliness of repairs.

So if you’d like to increase your first-time fix rate and see the impact it can have on your organisation, here are just a few questions to consider:

  • How do you schedule jobs? Remember that simply sending the closest field worker to each job may not be the best option. Choosing an engineer with the best-fitting skills for the job is more likely to make your first-time fix rate improve. Oneserve’s optimised scheduler removes the risk of inefficiency by automatically arranging appointments in the most efficient schedule possible.
  • Are your engineers finding they often lack the parts or tools they need to resolve issues? If so, try to improve the way issues are diagnosed so you have information about the parts or tools that may be required before an engineer is sent to a job. Oneserve integrates with our suppliers so that your frontline team can request parts, assigned parts to specific jobs, order and collect parts on the go.
  • Can you find issues by looking at historical data? You may find a few issues are cropping up repeatedly and by addressing them you can improve your first-time fix rate. But bear in mind this isn’t a strategy you should rely on, as things are likely to be constantly changing. By using Oneserve’s job management software you can easily access historical data via intuitive dashboards – making strategic planning easier.

Technology and first-time fix rates

Don’t forget about the role technology can play in helping your organisation improve not only its first-time fix rate but also its overall performance.

Find the right solution to make your business even better today. Check out our job management software for social housing organisations and see what difference Oneserve could make to you. Request your demo today.