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Updated: July 15, 2019
Do you know how good your field service drivers really are? There are some key performance indicators (KPIs) on driver safety you should watch. We all know there are challenges with managing field technicians, but it's not just knowing what workers are doing that can be difficult; knowing which KPIs to use for measuring staff performance is another challenge.
Deciding on what metrics to use can be one of the thorniest issues for field service organizations, faced with walking the fine line between being firm yet fair. With the significant damage that a lack of equity in the workplace can cause, managers know it's vital they treat all staff fairly and without bias. They can't be seen as favoring some drivers, or using subjective criteria. Establishing baseline KPIs for field service workers and using them systematically to track driver performance helps.
But when your workers are mobile, remote and not in your direct line of sight, grading their performance fairly can be a nightmare without the proper tools or the ability to measure field service KPIs objectively.
In times past, fleet managers might have used staff or customer satisfaction, tracked on time deliveries or response time, speeding tickets, vehicle damage or just good old-fashioned gut feelings to measure performance, all of which are not always reliable barometers of a driver's performance. Fleet tracking technology has introduced creative and effective ways for measuring field service KPIs.
What field service KPI metrics can I use to grade my drivers?
There are lots of things you could use to measure driver performance, but the best approach is to decide what's important to your business. This will help you determine your most important KPIs. If fuel efficiency is important, then you might measure out-of-route miles or unnecessary idling. If safety is important, then speeding, hard braking and harsh driving events might be what you focus on, whether using only qualitative data or together with video.
Field service KPI examples to consider
Below are a huge range of vehicle metrics that you can monitor to develop field service KPIs unique to your fleet:
- Acceleration — Monitor rapid acceleration or deceleration (braking), which can be both wasteful and dangerous.
- Speeding — Measure driver speeds, creating your own benchmarks for what exceptions you want to record. Get alerts when vehicles are 5MPH or 10MPH over the speed limit. Or perhaps you want to be alerted for certain routes or vehicles that shouldn't be driven over a set speed.
- Engine Off/On — Having the engine running while loading or unloading dangerous goods is unsafe for all involved. Round-the-clock engine monitoring can let you know if and when this is happening.
- Out-of-Route Miles — You can compare the actual route taken by the mobile field service driver with the enhanced route provided by Verizon Connect field service software. You can use this to report on wasteful driving or lost drivers.
- Excessive Idling — Record incidences of vehicles idling for longer than a specified time to maximize fuel economy and minimize your fleet's carbon footprint and fuel cost.
- HOS exceptions — Make sure drivers stay safe by observing HOS requirements, keeping within the legal limits for driving hours and taking sufficient breaks between journeys. This is an especially important key performance indicator for commercial truck drivers.
- First-Time Fix Rate (FTFR) - indicates the percentage of time a field service technician is able to fix a customer's issue the first visit, without the need for a follow up appointment, additional expertise, information, or parts. A high FTFR rate means you're getting the right technician to the right job every time.
- Repair Times - a measure of the average time it takes to repair an item or resolve a customer issue once your technician is onsite. Knowing where your mobile workers are during the day can help provide better mobile troubleshooting and increase collaboration between your field service workers to help them get through more jobs in a day.
There are an almost limitless number of metrics you can monitor using mobile device and vehicle metrics tracked in Verizon Connect fleet management software. Start by deciding what's important to your fleet's bottom line and go from there.
Establish a SMART Driver Performance Policy
After deciding what metrics are important to the fleet and what you will be measuring, it's time to involve HR and link these metrics with your driver management. While your HR department will no doubt have specific policies on how staff are managed, employees tend to work best when they are measured against key performance indicators that are objective, fair and easily measurable. Below are a few tips for establishing and implementing a policy using the SMART technique:
- Specific — Your drivers need to know exactly how they'll be measured. A specific policy such as 'drivers must not exceed the speed limit by 10MPH' is a more effective KPI than 'drivers must not drive recklessly'.
- Measurable — Metrics that are easily measurable by both staff and managers make employee grading easier. This may require issuing weekly reports to drivers to keep them up-to-date with how many 'exceptions' they have accrued.
- Achievable — This will vary according to a driver's experience, so field service managers will need to use discretion in determining whether a KPI is achievable or not.
- Realistic — Similar to achievable, realistic field service KPIs take into account working conditions and extenuating circumstances. It is important to get staff consensus on any KPIs before deciding if they are realistic or not.
- Time-bound — A KPI that is time-bound or relates to a specific timeframe meets the measurability requirement. It also gives workers something to aim for, providing added motivation to hit specific targets.
Many organizations have found that using the SMART criteria outlined above results in happier staff and a simpler management process.
Resolving driver KPI problem areas
Giving your drivers the support they need will help them improve problem areas. With driver behavior management software you provide the tools your drivers need to be successful including: commercial navigation, work order management, compliance solutions, safety tracking, and scorecards for their driving. Providing drivers with these tools, all in one easy to access place, makes resolving KPI problem areas easier.
Whatever performance metrics you choose to use to grade your drivers, make sure you discuss them together, agreeing on common objectives. If they don't agree with a particular metric or performance standard, let them explain why. Be ready to explain why certain measurements are important to business success and important for overall driver and fleet safety.
Take Safety to the Next Level Using Field Service Management Software
The real reason establishing driver KPIs measurement techniques is that they will have an impact on the safety of your fleet. When drivers are coached and incentivized to perform safely, your fleet will be more successful and profitable. Below are five field service management software tools that you can use to improve the safety of your fleet and offer an easy way to develop field service KPIs:
- Fleet Dash Cams
Fleet dash cams mitigate risk, protect your commercial vehicles, and can be used as a tool to coach your drivers on safety performance. Dash cams identify unsafe driving behaviors and back up incidents that occur with HD video footage.
- Field Service Scheduling
Field service scheduling helps you put the right information into your field service workers hands as their day begins. They’ll know exactly what they’re doing and where they’re going. You can review the day’s performance in a dashboard to analyze behavior and monitor field serviceKPIs.
- Truck Roadside Assistance
With 24/7 commercial roadside assistance, you can ensure your vehicles get back on the road quickly if they experience an issue while on the road. This improves driver productivity, reduces time spent off the road, and promotes on time deliveries. With roadside assistance, your vehicles are repaired quickly, helping to prevent any future safety issues from coming up.
- Driver Behavior Management
Data from driver management software can be used to prevent crashes, which lowers the cost of repairs due to accidents, prevents injuries and fatalities, improves fuel efficiency, and can reduce insurance premiums.
- DOT Compliance Management
Fleet tracking solutions capture all necessary and required data for maintaining compliance with federal and state regulations. You can simplify driver’s obligations and reduce paperwork using compliance solutions for DOT, DVIR, and the ELD mandate. Compliance is a field service KPI metric that should not be ignored.
Benefits of measuring driver metrics
When you improve driving behavior and KPI metrics the benefits will be seen throughout your entire fleet. Maintenance costs will improve, customer satisfaction and retention will increase, technician utilization will be improved, and your field service workers will be more efficient.
It's vital for your drivers to realize you are measuring and monitoring their driving history to reduce driver risk, keep the fleet profitable, and promote safety. KPI metrics work best when your employees are on board and understand what’s at stake.
Learn more about Verizon Connect solutions for field service management and get a demo today.