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Technician Utilization: What It Is and Why You Need To Track It

What does an average workday look like for one of your service technicians? You may think you have a basic understanding of what happens once you roll a truck, but do you have the metrics in place to ensure your field service efforts are as efficient as they should be?

Let’s examine a scenario: One of your technicians heads to a customer site. He encounters an unexpected hiccup on his way there — there’s an accident on the freeway closing multiple lanes. He sits in traffic for over 45 minutes, singing along to the radio.

Once he arrives at the customer site, he completes the service required in record time — he’s in and out in twenty minutes, and your customer is thrilled. Then, your technician takes the work order to your main office, where he waits for another thirty minutes or more to get the form filed and receive his next assignment for the day. 

Remote customer support issues like delays caused by this kind of schedule can be detrimental to your business. Is this an average day for one of your techs? There’s only one way to find out - start tracking Technician Utilization.

Read on to learn what Technician Utilization is, why it matters, and how to improve this metric in your business. 


What is Technician Utilization? 

Before digging into the details of Technician Utilization and its importance in your field service efficiency efforts, we should first agree on what ‘Technician Utilization’ means. 

Technician Utilization is a metric used to determine the percentage of billed hours your average technician spends handling customer issues and service requests. In other words, the time they spend commuting to a customer site, restocking equipment, or waiting on other processes isn’t eligible in this calculation. 

Related Read: Want to Reduce Truck Rolls? Rethink Your Call Center’s KPIs

Blitzz understands the importance of efficiency in your field service efforts. We’ve helped dozens of clients improve their efficiency with our remote support solutions. Learn more about how Blitzz can help your efficiency efforts by checking out our use cases. Read on to dive into the details about Technician Utilization. 

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Measuring Technician Utilization 

The calculation to determine your Technician Utilization metric is pretty simple:

(Time spent handling tickets) / (Number of work hours) = Technician Utilization

For example, let’s say your technician works a ten-hour day. They spend four hours on the road traveling between customer sites and another hour waiting at headquarters between work orders. The remaining five hours are spent on customer sites handling tickets.

In this case, our calculation looks like:

(5 hours) / (10 hours) = .5, or 50%. 

In other words, though our technician was on the clock for 10 hours, you were only actually utilizing that technician for ticket handling 50% of those hours. 


Why Technician Utilization Matters

Technician Utilization is a vital metric for determining the efficiency of your field service management efforts. You can use the original reading as a baseline and set goals for your team based on desired improvements to their utilization rates.

In the situation above, you can examine this rate and ask yourself, is it an acceptable loss for your organization that your technicians can only operate at 50% efficiency? If not, you can examine the less efficient parts of your field service processes and work to improve your numbers.

Additionally, Technician Utilization can help you identify stronger employees who may be capable of taking on a higher workload and employees who may need additional training or professional development to improve their scores.

Though Technician Utilization is essential on its own, this metric is also essential to track because it can assist you in calculating other KPIs. Knowing how efficiently your technicians work can help you determine cost per ticket and cost per service request. 


How to Increase Technician Utilization

Once you begin tracking Technician Utilization, you may discover that you need to improve those rates. Below, we’ll discuss a few top methods for increasing Technician Utilization at your company.

  • Increased Technician Training
    If inefficiencies occur in unloading or administrative processes, you may need to examine your training processes for technicians on these subjects. Can you offer additional training to technicians or support staff that will enable faster paperwork-related processes?
  • Traffic and GPS Improvements
    One area you may be losing lots of time is while your technicians are commuting to customer sites. Changing traffic and road conditions are a challenge for any traveling support technician, but you can mitigate these challenges by investing in high-quality GPS solutions for your trucks. Many modern GPS programs like Google Maps incorporate current traffic conditions into their time estimates and will re-route drivers to avoid particularly congested areas. 
  • Remote Video Support
    Another way to ensure your technicians are as efficient as possible is to invest in a remote video support solution. Avoiding traffic and improving paperwork handling processes can only go so far toward increasing your Technician Utilization. Offering live video assistance in the field can take your Technician Utilization efforts to the next level. Remote video support tools, like Blitzz, enable technicians to cut out the drive time altogether, assisting customers remotely, jumping from appointment to appointment without ever getting behind the wheel. 


Level Up Your Technician Utilization with Remote Video Support 

Armed with this new knowledge about Technician Utilization, you will have the power and know-how to increase your customer support center efficiency. One of the most glaring inefficiencies in most field service processes is technician commute time. Why not cut that out altogether by incorporating a remote video support tool into your field service tech stack?

Blitzz’s remote video support platform offers service technicians the ability to walk customers through their technical issues just as effectively as if they were physically on-site. Technicians love how augmented reality and OCR-driven text extract features simplify solving customer issues, and customers love Blitzz’s easy-to-use interface. See for yourself! Take Blitzz for a free test drive today.

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