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How first time fix rates are being improved

The term First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) indicates the percentage of the time that a system manufacturer is able to correct a customer’s equipment issue on the first visit, without the need for a return visit after obtaining additional expertise, information, or parts. For a company with a downed printer that is holding up production, the ability of a supplier to solve the problem quickly is a primary driver of customer satisfaction. As a result, FTFR is an important measurement of the quality of an equipment manufacturer’s service capability, which can in turn be a strong selling point for the company’s systems.

1. Assessment

Every repair begins with an assessment of the problem. The manufacturer gathers details about the problem either during that initial request for service call. Depending on what the assessment reveals, the manufacturer may be able to walk the customer through correcting the problem over the phone, schedule a site visit by a repair technician, or remotely access the equipment software to address the problem.

2. Corrective action

The ability to take corrective action is also evolving. In reviewing the printer’s software data, the technician may see that resolving the problem won’t require replacing a part. The customer may be able to get the printer up and running with the technician walking line personnel through the solution.

The ability to take corrective action quickly has also evolved as the design of equipment has evolved. The most recent printers are modular structures, making repairs much simpler to make. Newer printers, with more advanced user interfaces, can even display detailed preventative maintenance instructions that aid in optimizing performance and reducing downtime.

Even with the most advanced equipment and connectivity, corrective action is still a cooperative effort. Whether the customer has the most recent model printer, capable of being assessed in detail via the cloud, or an older version, the customer’s team plays an essential role in the success of the repair.

3. The future of First Time Fix Rates

There are multiple reasons why FTFR rates today are steadily improving. As the next level of service–predictive maintenance–becomes more widespread, will FTFR cease to be an important metric?

The basis of predictive maintenance is that, as all systems become connected to the cloud, their status is continuously and automatically monitored. Alerts are sent to customer and manufacturer service teams as they approach, but have not yet reached, the point of failure. Service for all customers is being improved, and the benefit is increased productivity for all.

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