Many service business owners know and understand that their business would be more profitable if their technicians were more productive. The problem they run into is that many times they end it there. To increase technician productivity and profit from it, you first have to define what that means before you can go about trying to improve it.
See how you can monitor your business profits with software here.
Productivity is the act of producing.
What is it that you want your technicians to produce? What are the top priorities for them to produce? What is the secondary product? What should be left to the end or left out completely? You can only improve the productivity of your service technicians when you know what a productive technician looks like.
Productivity is a measurement.
It measures how much output comes from a given amount of input. For a technicians’ labor, it is usually measured as a ratio of output per labor-hour. More specifically, it could be the number of service calls per working day or the total invoice dollars per working day.
A technicians’ productivity can be measured in any number of ways. It is important to pick one and benchmark it so you can measure your attempts to improve productivity. However, there are weaknesses to various forms of measuring tech productivity.
Know what to measure.
You could measure your technicians’ productivity by the number of service calls they complete in a day. The more service calls a tech finishes in a day could mean more revenue and profit, but it could also mean they are just busy, running from one place to the next. They may not be doing the best job if they’re hurrying to fit the most jobs into a day.
You could also measure it by total invoice amount. But this could lead to techs trying to squeeze extra items onto invoices that may or may not help the customer and may have a very narrow margin. Just because they are able to bring in a lot of money with many large invoices does not mean they are productive. It could be that the revenue is not contributing to the bottom line.
These measures of productivity and others like them can be important, but they are not the primary goal, they are not the end game. Profit is. By making that the measure of productivity, technicians have an objective goal to strive after, one that is clear in its contribution to the company’s well being. The primary measure of a technician’s productivity should be the gross profit they bring into your company. The truly productive technician does good work at all stages and brings in the most profit for the work he performs.
Focus on what’s important.
Making techs more productive means identifying and optimizing the way they perform their core functions. It also means moving or eliminating non-core tasks like filling out paperwork, calling the office to give and get updates, and filing reports. It is important to focus on the key performance indicators but it is most important to only measure the things that are crucial to their performance. Eliminate all the tasks that are not crucial and move the rest so your technicians can focus on contributing to your bottom line by applying their unique knowledge and skills. If they’re spending time on things that are not essential to the job, you end up paying both the cost for them to do the work and the cost of the jobs they don’t have time to complete.
You may not be able to measure the productivity of all your technicians by the same metrics. Different rolls may require different standards of measurement. Also, these measures may change over time as your business strategy evolves.