First time fix (FTF)

What is first time fix?

First time fix (FTF), sometimes referred to as a ‘rework' or 'resolution' level, is a metric that’s commonly used to measure the amount of times a technician is able to fix an issue the first time, without the need for additional expertise, information, or parts. It is usually expressed as a percentage.

FTF can impact a number of core areas of business performance, including:

  • Customer satisfaction - First-time fix rates generally have the largest impact on overall customer satisfaction. Customers are happy when their problems are resolved quickly and efficiently. Likewise, if your first time fix rate is low and you are unable to resolve the problem, your customer satisfaction rates will likely suffer.
  • Productivity - Taking more than one time to fix a problem not only uses up resources to address the issue, but also means that any operations that rely on that asset are also delayed. A high FTF rate helps you leverage maintenance to increase production efficiency.
  • Profitability Assigning more time and resources negatively impacts your profitability as more budget is required to fix the problem. Multiple visits to the same problem wastes money and resources that could be better used elsewhere.

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How to increase first time fix rate

Aberdeen Group’s report, First-Time Fix: Revisit a Metric Driving Success, shows that the top 20% of high-performing organizations have an average first-time fix rate of 88%. This compares to just 63% for the bottom 30% of organizations.

As it relates to customer retention, for businesses with a first-time fix rate over 70%, customer retention was at 86%. However, those with a first-time fix rate below 70% saw their customer retention rate drop to 76%. So how do you increase your FTF rate?

There will always be occasions where technicians won’t be able to fix a problem on their first try. It may be more complex than they first thought, or it could be a combination of problems that were not originally planned. However, those should be the exception versus the regular.

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

  • Who do you assign to jobs? Remember that simply sending the closest technician to each job may not be the best option. Choosing an engineer with the best-fitting skills and experience for the job is more likely to make your first time fix rate improve.
  • Do you have the right parts and tools to resolve issues? Explore different troubleshooting techniques for ways to improve how issues are diagnosed. This will help you get an accurate picture of what parts and tools are required before an engineer is sent to a job.
  • Can you access historical data to inform you of past issues? If particular issues are cropping up repeatedly, evaluate data from previous maintenance logs to avoid making the same mistake.
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