How to Achieve Higher First Time Fix Rates for your HVACR Business

How to Achieve Higher First Time Fix Rates for your HVACR Business

For those in the HVACR or gas maintenance sector, improving your first-time fix rates (FTFR) is crucial to remain competitive and profitable. So how do you get it right first time to ensure you have a happy customer and a profitable call? 

A route cause of repeat visits is often a lack of visibility and communication in your back-office systems. Legacy service management systems, or worse – multiple spreadsheets, make it hard to manage the simplest of engineer call outs and can result in your engineers arriving at a site without all the information they need or the right spare parts necessary to fix the problem or finding no one is home. 

End-to-end Service Management for Gas Maintenance  

Your company’s service management platform is the foundation of service delivery to your customers. The right system will transform the efficiency of your back office, field engineers and subcontractors and provide complete visibility of your customers’ assets, service history, inventory, stock consumption, engineers, costs and margin.  

While the initial cost of investing in a new platform may seem daunting, making the change rather than find yourself reverting to Excel spreadsheets as you have outgrown your current way of working, will increase your productivity, profit and help you to grow your business in the long run.  

With Aeromark, you get world class software and an end-to-end Digital Transformation Partner who will work with you to help you grow; a partner who will enable you to seamlessly grow, organically or through acquisitions and ultimately increase your profit. 

Optimised Scheduling for Increased Productivity 

Intelligent automation of your workforce scheduling enables you to significantly increase engineer productivity and the number of completed jobs per day without the need to recruit more engineers. 

A service management platform can automatically select the best engineer for a job based on their expertise, location and availability, while route optimisation ensures the most efficient service schedule for each engineer, cutting out unnecessary travel time and costs.   

Meanwhile your back-office team have real time visibility of the status of jobs throughout the emerging day. If jobs are overrunning work can be automatically reallocated ensuring SLAs and promises to customers are always met. Equally, when service calls are completed quicker than expected, additional jobs can be added to an engineer’s day. 

When reactive callouts are received, advanced multi-intervention scheduling identifies other planned or reactive maintenance work at, or near, the same location, which can be done at the same time; improving efficiency and reducing service miles and costs. 

Mobile Workforce Management System 

Maintenance engineers need to be empowered with all the knowledge needed to achieve a first-time fix.  The mobile application displays everything they need to know from issue detection to finish via their smart phone or tablet.   

Furthermore, an automated process for sending SMS or email notifications to customers reduces “no access” and minimises engineer time on site as the customer is ready to receive the visit.  

Service requests are streamlined from issue detection to resolution: 

  • Automatically created job sheets and quotes including photo capture, time on site, parts used, rates and customer signature 
  • Engineers can initiate inventory orders 
  • Compliance certification generated automatically once the Engineer has completed the job
  • Eliminates all service-related paperwork

If additional parts are required to complete the job the engineer can access supplier parts lists and initiate an order via the mobile app. Once the job is completed the parts order automatically passes to a commercial queue for review, approval and billing and, below contract agreed thresholds, this can be fully automated.  

Sub-contractor Management 

Working with subcontractors can bring its own set of issues with visibility and reliability which can affect service profitability. 

With a good service management platform, subcontractors can be managed in the same way as your in-house engineering team which improves operational efficiency, gives you a better control of costs and provides the all-important continuity of customer experience and adherence to your service levels. 

Within the platform, your back-office team can: 

  • Allocate and alert work directly to your subcontractors
  • Monitor subcontractor job progress and performance
  • Provide real-time access to job details and history

When jobs are allocated to your sub-contractors, they will get access to the task details via the mobile app or web portal, which includes full information about the job including any asset service history. While on site, sub-contractors can update information and the costs to be applied to the job, via the portal, including details of the issue, photos, billable time and usage of parts. 

Survey and Quotation Software 

Producing accurate quotations is essential to controlling the profitability of your maintenance jobs. Aeromark’s customisable survey and quotation workflows enables engineers to quickly quote for small works or easily compile a comprehensive survey and quotes for big jobs. 

The system will also: 

  • produce a bill of materials and quotation. 
  • accurately price spare parts, labour rates and any additional labour resources required. 
  • Log any photographic records, such as the location of a boiler, flue and meter for future reference. 
  • Provide an audit trail and full understanding of what work was carried out. 

Different types of work may have different margins which can be adjusted and automatically calculated. The system also manages agreed discounts including price after discount and margin after discount to provide essential control and visibility of pricing. This significantly reduces administrative burden on your back-office staff.  

Advanced Inventory and Parts Management 

A good field service management system will allow you to automate your stock management and parts ordering to ensure FTFR, accurate billing and stock control. 

Optimising your existing inventory is key to improving first-time fix-rates by giving you: 

  • Real-time visibility and value of van, warehouse, reserved and site stock
  • Visibility of stock ordered, collected, consumed, returned
  • Complete stock and inventory audit trail
  • Supplier price and availability checks
  • Rolling stock management process

An automated process tracks orders, reserves stock for jobs and provides real-time visibility of parts in the warehouse, on site and van stock.  

Van stock templates control what parts engineers hold in their vans and are linked to the asset profile and nature of contracts so adjusting the number of parts and the combination of parts needed is easy. Automated replenishment with main suppliers improves efficiency and first-time fix rates. Job-stock

Landlord Gas Safety Records 

As an HVACR or gas safe contractor you are legally required to record and track the use of refrigerant (F) gas and provide Landlord Gas Safety Records following gas safety checks, both of which can be time-consuming to manage. 

A good service management system will not only save you time and money, but it will also create a time-stamped record and producing the necessary documentation for your clients as part of the system’s workflow; removing the burden of this compliance administration for your engineers and back-office staff. gas-certificate-opaque-1

Enterprise Asset Management 

Asset management is also a challenge if you do not have accurate records or joined up systems. Aeromark has a self-cleaning database of assets which ensures all cost (labour and parts) are correctly assigned to each asset. 

A good service management platform is designed to meet the complex demands of some of the UKs largest service management companies and can be tailored to your exact requirements, unlike off the shelf software solutions.  

From maintenance history, age, warranty monitor, asset images and specifications to the asset cost and service cost, the system will enable you to predict when an item is beyond economic repair or at the end of its life. Contracts, warranties, schedules of rates and price books are all stored and automatically assigned 

Any task, from installation to planned preventative maintenance, reactive, repair or replacement has end-to-end visibility within the system and drives both performance and behaviours and eliminates all service paperwork. 

Efficient Automation 

Back-office administration is often mundane and laborious, leading to mistakes and inaccuracies.  Within the system, tasks are fully automated to remove these obstacles. All necessary information required for accurate invoicing is held within the platform. The software will automatically apply the right rates to jobs enabling your sales and purchase order process to be streamlined, freeing up valuable time for your finance team, speeding up customer payments and improving cash flow. 

The automated commercial approval function checks if billable items for jobs meet set criteria so that invoices can be issued without the need for manual checks. 

Operational insight 

Having a deep understanding of how profitable and productive your maintenance business really is, comes from the operational data provided by a system such as Aeromark. 

The platform allows you to monitor, manage and improve your operations by interrogating and analysing the system to find out which of your jobs are most profitable, what your first-time fix rate is, how long your average fix time is, and which assets cost too much to maintain.  

From a resource perspective, the data provided can highlight areas for engineer training and help you understand areas of underperformance, recruitment needs and subcontractor issues.  

Digital transformation helps you make the right decisions for your business to improve first time fix service levels, and lower operational costs to improve margins and revenue. 

To read more about how Aeromark could transform Service Management for HVACR and Gas Maintenance companies, download our whitepaper.