*The following stories are based on real service experiences. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
A new and pricey manufacturing machine sends out an error message, and a tech who needs to drive several hours to reach the device is dispatched. The tech jumps into action! He loads up a van full of multiple tools, a wide range of spare parts and gets behind the wheel with minimal understanding of the problem before arriving on site. This same scenario happens more than 100 times in a year. Alas, no time off for the weary road warrior. Most visits were not even necessary. The problem could have been fixed 9 out of ten times by hitting the “reset” button and allowing the machine to recalibrate. Because the tech was inexperienced at these repairs, he opted to show up on site and test out multiple parts and repair solutions. Zonks! After 100 visits our tired tech turned into a zombie...
"A Ghastly Groundhog Day"
This organization spent hundreds of thousands of $$$ servicing a single device over the course of a year when all that was really needed was a basic recalibration -- which could have been done on-site by the customer.
Make an accurate service diagnosis before dispatching a tech to drive remote resolution. Learn more.
"Revenge of the Swamp Creature"
Somewhere along the Bayou, air heavy with humidity & the fragrance of gardenias, a researcher toils away in a facility feet from the haunted swamp. He opens a window to let in a breeze and the instruments go haywire. A dashing service engineer is dispatched. “Is it the electrical wiring?" He swaps out parts. He rewires the plug. He returns every day that week. Nothing works. Is it the curse of the swamp creature? The service manager is forced to send out his best tech, Beauford, who has been racking up overtime even though management demanded a cut in OT pay. When Beauford arrives on site, he doesn't even look at the instrument, but immediately understands the problem. “I do declare, it’s the air that’s the problem! This piece of precision equipment will not work in the humid environment.” Within hours of relocating the device, it’s up and running. Beauford clocks out with another 12-hour day.
This repair scenario wasn’t in service manuals, but the service pro had previously encountered the issue and knew how to resolve.
Read more to learn how to figuratively clone your most seasoned experts.
In a Beaux Arts residential jewel in the middle of Manhattan on a cold winter day, loud clangs rise from the basement. Meanwhile, no heat is circulating through the delicately carved plaster walls. The residents say the chill feels like death itself. In the basement, the boiler roars, and the inexperienced service tech wipes the sweat from her brow. She is throwing every part at the boiler, from simple screws to pricey steam valves. The hungry boiler spits them all out. In a single day, she’s racked up thousands of dollars in parts and labor costs, and still the residents freeze. Defeated, she calls for backup from the legendary boiler whisperer -- the only person who has ever taken on the boiler and won in one pass. When the veteran tech arrives on-site, a cursory examination of the fussy furnace reveals that what’s really needed is a lesser-known, but inexpensive part. In fact, he always keeps one in his service bag for calls to these historic haunts. A few turns of the wrench and the angry boiler is back in service -- until the next time.
Increase access to knowledge to reduce parts consumption and decrease service costs.
"Taming the Famished Fiend in the Basement"
Learn how to help techs find the right answers to service problems quickly.
This elevator mishap may seem extreme, but escalation black holes are common & present some of the most costly service scenarios.
A problematic elevator, failing more than 40 times this year, has trapped several people -- again. But this time, it’s a prominent Tik Toker inside & they are live-streaming the ordeal. Dozens of technicians make weekly repair trips and declare the elevator unfixable. Cables have been replaced, pistons refurbished, and electronics swapped. Why? The company suffers from a high workforce turnover rate and their institutional knowledge has left the building. Without a better plan, management decided to live with the consequences of subpar service. Now, the rival elevator company is responding on social media with an offer to bring in their superhero team to liberate the riders and replace the elevator. If only they could conjure up the ghosts of elevator repair people past to get better insights into what would work, once and for all.
Learn how to avoid being trapped in the never-ending service cycle.
"Tower of Terror"
"The Folly of the Fools Gold"
Blane is an average technician, but he has a taste for the finer things in life. He’s often spotted with the most expensive parts in his toolbox, assuming that the more expensive the part, the more likely it is to fix the service issue. His conspicuous consumption haunts him & causes the company’s first time fix (FTF) rate to plummet. On a recent job to repair a large medical device, without a clue to the underlying issue, he replaces several items, starting with the priciest part first. Instead of running a simple diagnostic, or looking into the history of the machine, he simply made a swap. He does this six more times in a single month. It turns out the device didn’t need a new motherboard, nor did it require high-tech sensors, or gold-plated accessories. The issue was an unshowy and inexpensive part -- but when properly replaced, made all the lights lasers in the medical device cry out with joy.
Underperforming technicians aren’t always as obvious as our pricey parts swapper.
Learn why it pays to look beyond FTF stats to understand how your team is really performing.
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