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Using IoT to reduce truck rolls and improve customer satisfaction

Technician truck riding down the road for a service call.

Each truck roll that’s required for a service call can cost more than $1,000 after factoring in all of the expenses.

October 8, 2020 - Service organizations across a wide swath of industries (retail, healthcare, enterprise IT, industrial, aerospace, manufacturing) want to reduce truck rolls.

It’s no wonder when you look at the costs: each time a technician is dispatched to a site to perform a repair, the average call runs anywhere from $150-$500. The Technology Services Industry Association estimates the “fully-burdened” cost (i.e. including the training and salary of the technician, the fuel used to power the technician’s vehicle, the cost of additional labor needed to support the on-site visit, etc.) to be $1,011 per incident.

Let’s imagine for a moment a small service organization that employs 200 technicians each performing just 10 truck rolls per week (a conservative estimate). That equals more than $2 million a year on truck rolls.

When you factor in the times when the technician arrives at a site only to learn they could not identify a problem (also called a ‘No Fault Found’ incident), the cost seems even more onerous. Estimates from the aerospace industry for No Fault Found incidents run anywhere from three to 15 percent.

If the same rate held true for our imaginary small service organization, this group would be spending $60,000 to $300,000 per year on No Fault Found truck rolls. Needless-to-say, that’s a lot of wasted time and money.

To be sure, truck rolls will be necessary to some extent for the foreseeable future. After all, equipment goes bad and needs to be replaced physically. But, how can we reduce the total number of truck roles in order to save on expenses and improve customer satisfaction?

Here are a few ideas:

Use remote monitoring
Internet of Things technology can be used to facilitate remote monitoring of equipment, assets and even software. What does this do for your service organization? First, it helps set a baseline of data and key performance indicators that can be used to provide a view of how everything operates under ‘normal’ conditions.

Once we know what the normal operating conditions look like, it’s possible to detect when things go wrong. More importantly, it can help support personnel pinpoint the root cause of any issues. And, if we know the root cause, it can be much easier to diagnose and fix the problem.

Remote resolution
Again, IoT technology can be used to help alleviate truck rolls. This time, IoT can be used to facilitate remote resolution of common problems. The idea is to use the IoT technology to create two-way communication between the devices out in the field and a centralized control center where support personnel can perform actions remotely such as rebooting a machine, updating software or executing a command to adjust a setting.

Provide customers with self-service options
Along the lines of remote resolution, it’s also possible to use IoT software to provide customers with self-service options for fixing common problems (like rebooting their own equipment). This can reduce the number of truck rolls if the customer can see what the problem is and then take action themselves.

Empower technicians with better information
If we need to send a technician to a site, it’s certainly best to equip that person with as much information as we can. This way, the technician knows more about what to do when they arrive and they will hopefully have the correct replacement parts with them if they need to replace anything. This type of preparation can help ensure that the problem is fixed on the first truck roll and prevent us from having to schedule additional truck rolls. As a consequence, customer satisfaction improves because, well, who doesn’t like it when the job is repaired correctly the first time?

Want to learn other ways IoT technology can help reduce the burden of truck rolls in your service organization? Contact us today for a demo of our software.

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