Plumber fixing a leak under a sink in response to a service request

Key Takeaways

  • Tracking service request management KPIs keeps the maintenance team accountable for providing high customer service.
  • Response Time and Turnaround Time are common KPIs for measuring your service request process.
  • Despite their simplicity, these KPIs must be looked at in context of your maintenance environment.
  • Using these KPIs, you can identify growth opportunities and drive continuous improvement.

Timely and effective resolution of service requests is a critical aspect of maintenance operations in order to reduce asset downtime and increase customer satisfaction. As such, it is important for maintenance organizations to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) for service request management. This article provides an overview of common service request KPIs and discusses how they can be effectively leveraged to improve maintenance operations.

Recommended Reading: What is Maintenance Request System?

Service Request Management KPIs

The service request management KPIs presented in this article are not intended to be a definitive list, but instead are meant to spark discussion about commonly used maintenance metrics. After all, even seemingly straightforward metrics have some underlying nuance worth exploring.

Use this discussion as a jumping off point and work with your key stakeholders to develop KPIs that best align with your organizational and maintenance management goals.

Average Response Time

Average Response Time KPI formula for service requests

Average Response Time is the amount of time between when a service request is submitted and when the maintenance team starts executing the requested work. It measures the maintenance team’s promptness in addressing maintenance issues reported by others.

To calculate Average Response Time, first sum up the response times of all service requests that were both submitted and responded to within the reporting period. Then, count the number of these service requests used in the calculation of the sum. Finally, divide the sum of response time by this count to get the average response time. Ensure that response times are expressed in a consistent unit of time, such as minutes, to maintain accuracy.

NOTE: We acknowledge that organizations may calculate Average Response Time differently. Our version of this KPI focuses on how responsive the maintenance team is to the requester and only measures response times for requests submitted and responded to within the reporting period. We have purposely excluded requests that were submitted prior to, but responded to within the reporting period, or requests submitted, but not responded to within the reporting period.

How to Interpret Average Response Time

Like other KPIs, Average Response Time is most helpful when compared to a benchmark, as it allows you to see whether the metric is improving or declining. Compared to a benchmark, lower values mean response time is short and indicates that the maintenance team is able to deliver timely maintenance assistance.

Higher values mean that it is taking the maintenance team longer to address requests. This could be due to a large backlog, understaffing, poor request processing practices, or other issues.

When measuring Average Response Time, it is important to look at the result in context of your maintenance operations. A number of factors may greatly influence your measurements and give an inaccurate impression of performance if taken at face value. Let’s look at a few scenarios.

Measurements are Skewed by Outliers

When calculating an average, it is easy for outliers to greatly weigh down or inflate the result. For example, think of a product review on popular online shopping websites. On products where most ratings are 3-4 stars, a small number of 1-star or 5-star reviews shift the average lower or higher.

Similarly, some requests take a relatively long time to complete due to complexity, or a relatively short time due to their straightforward nature. These outliers can skew measurements, making the maintenance team look artificially quick or slow to respond. Since these outliers do not reflect your typical response times, you may consider omitting them from the calculation.

Process for Handling Low Priority Requests

Low priority requests will naturally take longer to execute. As we just discussed, these outliers can artificially lower your response time, making the maintenance team appear slow to respond.

In an ideal scenario, service request administrators or reviewers communicate delays back to the original requestor. Some organizations may consider this communication to be the start of request fulfillment, as some work has been put forth in reviewing and prioritizing the request. If this is the case in your organization, this initial review will help control the response times for low priority requests.

Another approach to measuring response time is to limit the calculation to high priority, or medium and high priority, requests. Doing so focuses on your response time calculation on urgent maintenance needs, and ignores low priority, minor requests that may skew results lower. After all, your responsiveness to highly important requests is more apparent to others and leaves requesters with a better impression of the maintenance team.

Turnaround Time

Average Turnaround Time KPI formula for service requests

Average Turnaround Time is the duration of time between when a service request is submitted and when the resulting work order is completed. It measure how long it takes for service requests to be processed, from start to finish.

To calculate Average Turnaround Time, sum up the turnaround times of all service requests that were submitted and completed within the reporting period. Then, divide the sum by the number of service requests used to calculate the sum. For greatest accuracy, turnaround times should be expressed in a single unit of time, such as minutes.

NOTE: We acknowledge that organizations may calculate Average Turnaround Time differently. Our version of this KPI focuses on how quickly requests are completed from start to finish, and only measures turnaround time for requests submitted and completed within the reporting period. Some organizations may opt to measure the duration of time between when a technician receives an approved requested and when the resulting work is completed. In some industries, such as IT and customer service, this is referred to as the resolution time.

How to Interpret Turnaround Time

As mentioned before, turnaround time calculations should be compared against a benchmark. Lower times equate to faster turnaround time and processing, while relatively higher values mean longer turnaround times. As turnaround time reflects customer service and addresses how quickly requests are addressed and completed, maintenance teams aim for low turnaround times.

High turnaround times may be interpreted differently based on whether your organization has a formal request review process, or automatically adds requests to the work order queue. If requests are reviewed before being assigned, first take a look at your process and ask questions like:

  • Are all requests coming in through a single channel?
  • How quickly are requests reviewed?
  • Are there enough reviewers?
  • Are requests being properly prioritized?

If there are no process problems, high turnaround times may be due to other factors such as manpower constraints, out of stock inventory, influx of more complex, higher priority maintenance needs, or other issues that prevent the completion of requests.

Improve Your Service Request Process with FTMaintenance Select

As demonstrated, service request management plays a critical role in maintenance management and keeping others within the organization satisfied. By measuring service request management KPIs, you can gain actionable insights into your process or performance.

FTMaintenance Select’s service request management functionality enables you to implement a formal channel for receiving, processing, and communicating about service requests. Request a demo today to learn more.

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