Field service organizations can produce mountains of data each day — so much so, that there’s a real risk of data overload. If you can’t find the data you’re looking for, or worse, find the wrong thing, you won’t be able to translate that data into the insights you need to optimize field service operations.

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Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you understand exactly how your field service organization is doing and shape future operational decisions by tracking a defined set of critical metrics. KPIs associated with field service technicians are particularly valuable, as your field service team interacts directly with customers and can dramatically improve their experience, which in turn improves customer satisfaction and your company’s bottom line.

Understanding KPIs for Field Service Technicians

So, which KPIs should you track? When determining your metrics, keep three things in mind:

  • A KPI only works if you can measure it. Choose metrics that are practical to track, rather than data that is complicated, difficult to extract, or time-consuming to measure. Bear in mind, however, that a metric you can’t easily track may become more measurable and useful once pulled into a dashboard that integrates and brings meaning to all of your data.
  • While it's tempting to focus on measuring activities, such as the number of calls in a day, it’s often more valuable to focus on KPIs that measure impact on the business, such as attachment rate.
  • While most KPIs are measures of past events, remember what the “I” stands for: Indicator. Choose KPIs that measure past performance in a way that will let you predict and influence future operations. For examples of this, keep reading!

Traditional metrics like first-time fix rates, turnaround times, and technician productivity are useful KPIs in the sense that they are easy to measure and show how your business has been impacted. However, they are all lagging indicators that tell you only how your business has performed previously, not how it might perform in the future. This makes them valuable for reporting, but not necessarily for planning, setting goals, or driving decisions.

Instead, KPIs that act as leading indicators or provide company-specific insights can help you truly impact the business.

While this is usually where you might expect a list of KPIs you should track instead, here’s the secret: each company will likely have its own unique KPIs for field service technicians.

The reason is simple. It’s that each company has unique operational processes, resources, capabilities, business models, and data sources, such as your CRM, ERP, and database systems. Your unique data is your unique advantage, so determining a customized set of KPIs developed from that data is key to uncovering and nurturing opportunities for improved field service.

For example, some OutSystems customers have used real-time location and updated skills data to more efficiently assign resources to tasks, used purchase and services data to target customers for up-sell and cross sell, and used project status to better manage near-term revenue.

Achieving Dashboard Dominance

Once you determine your KPIs, using a customized field service dashboard to track and measure them is a must. A dashboard also makes your performance and progress more easily visible to the field service team and to others throughout your organization. However, a custom set of KPIs often means that a commercial off-the-shelf solution is unlikely to be able to measure your business exactly the way you need it to.

This is where OutSystems can help. Our high-performance low-code application development platform can help you quickly and easily build highly intuitive dashboards that connect, synthesize, and visualize your data, turning it into useful information. By making it easy to build and share customized dashboards, you can more effectively track your KPIs for field service technicians and capitalize on what differentiates you from competitors.

Here are just a few examples of companies that have improved their field service management with dashboards created with OutSystems.

  • Colliers International created a mobile OurDeals app using OutSystems to initiate and manage its commercial real estate, leasing, and consulting deals. A web dashboard brings the status of all the company’s deals together in one place so that finance leaders can better forecast business results.
  • Van Iperen built a mobile app with OutSystems to enable field service technicians to take orders digitally in the field. A detailed order management dashboard shows detailed purchase histories and associations with past crop yields, enabling customers to monitor their long-term use of the company’s fertilizer products to improve future crop yields.
  • Using OutSystems to build its Connect Ops application, Chevron has been able to integrate geospatial and IoT data to map pipelines, identify facilities, and locate trucks and operators in real time. OutSystems’ non-proprietary user interface makes these integrations possible, so that the field service team has all relevant data available in a single app, and business managers can use the app to optimize their future field service activities.

The OutSystems high-performance low-code platform allows you to easily build and optimize custom dashboards faster, instead of spending months custom-coding or configuring a dashboard to your unique specifications.

Because low-code empowers collaboration, the traditional gap between executives, developers, and your field service operations disappears, allowing you to track KPIs as an integrated team. Once it’s built, it will look exactly the way you want it to, no matter what devices your technicians or business decision-makers use to access it.

Not only that, but it’s available and shareable across the field service organization and the broader enterprise, ensuring everyone understands the team’s goals, knows how they’re tracking against those goals, and is invested in the team’s success.

Ready to build a custom dashboard to track your field service KPIs? Learn how to build a dashboard on OutSystems. Or, get started with improving your field service operations today by trying our free field service application template.