IT support for manufacturers is an essential component of ensuring smooth business operations. With the advent of advanced technology, businesses are increasingly reliant on IT systems, and manufacturers are no exception. However, these systems can also be a source of potential issues if not managed effectively.
This is where IT support comes in, providing manufacturers with the necessary assistance to keep their IT infrastructure up and running. To ensure optimal performance, it’s crucial to measure and track key performance indicators (KPIs) for IT management.
In this article, we’ll explore the top KPIs for IT support for manufacturers.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for IT Management
KPIs are essential metrics for measuring the performance of IT support services. They help businesses identify areas that require improvement and set benchmarks for success. The following are the top KPIs for IT support for manufacturers:
System uptime and availability
System uptime and availability refer to the amount of time that an IT system is operational and accessible. For manufacturers, system downtime can be a significant issue, leading to loss of productivity, decreased output, and potentially lost revenue. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that IT systems are up and running as much as possible.
To improve system uptime and availability, manufacturers should regularly perform system maintenance, including software updates, security patches, and hardware repairs. Predictive maintenance techniques, such as monitoring systems for potential issues and addressing them before they cause problems, can also be effective. Redundancy and failover mechanisms can also be implemented to ensure continuity of service in case of system failure.
Mean time to repair (MTTR)
MTTR is the average time it takes to fix an IT issue once it has been identified. It’s a critical metric for IT support services as it measures how quickly problems can be resolved. For manufacturers, long MTTRs can be costly, leading to extended periods of downtime, loss of productivity, and potential revenue losses.
To improve MTTR, manufacturers should have efficient incident management processes in place. This includes clear reporting procedures, escalation paths, and prioritization mechanisms. Automation of incident management can also be beneficial, reducing manual intervention and speeding up the resolution process. Finally, regular training and upskilling of IT support staff can help them identify and resolve issues more efficiently.
First call resolution (FCR)
FCR refers to the percentage of incidents that are resolved during the first interaction between the user and the IT support team. It’s a critical KPI for measuring the effectiveness of IT support services, as it directly impacts user satisfaction and productivity. For manufacturers, high FCR rates can lead to increased uptime, improved productivity, and better overall user experiences.
To improve FCR, manufacturers should streamline incident reporting and resolution processes. This includes providing clear guidance on how to report incidents and ensuring that incidents are correctly categorized and prioritized. Improved knowledge management systems can also be beneficial, providing IT support staff with easy access to information on known issues and their resolution. Robust self-service portals can also be implemented to allow users to resolve simple issues themselves, freeing up IT support staff for more complex incidents.
Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
CSAT measures user satisfaction with IT support services. It’s a critical KPI for manufacturers as it directly impacts user productivity and the overall perception of IT support services. High CSAT rates can lead to increased productivity and user retention, while low CSAT rates can lead to decreased productivity and potentially lost revenue.
To improve CSAT, manufacturers should regularly conduct customer feedback surveys to identify areas of improvement. They should also ensure that they comply with service level agreements (SLAs) and provide regular updates to users on incident status and resolution progress. IT support staff should be trained to provide excellent customer service and communicate clearly and effectively with users. Finally, IT support services should be continuously improved based on user feedback and evolving business needs.
Cost per incident
Cost per incident measures the average cost of resolving an IT incident. For manufacturers, cost efficiency is essential, and minimizing the cost of IT support services can be a critical factor in maintaining profitability. By measuring cost per incident, manufacturers can identify areas where they can reduce costs and optimize their IT support services.
To reduce cost per incident, manufacturers should implement efficient incident management processes, such as automated incident reporting and resolution, effective incident prioritization, and knowledge management systems. Regular training and upskilling of IT support staff can also help reduce costs by increasing their efficiency and effectiveness. Finally, outsourcing IT support services to third-party providers can also be a cost-effective solution, as it allows manufacturers to benefit from economies of scale and specialized expertise.
What Makes Us Experts in IT Support for Manufacturers?
I am Robert Jolliffe, President of Sabre IT Solutions. This blog is part of a series of blogs, videos, and webinars targeted at informing C-Level management on some key concepts regarding IT and especially KPIs for IT Management. I speak to C-Level / Business Owners all the time about IT, and they are often very happy that I explain complicated topics in simple terms. Most people not in the IT space lack even basic knowledge of IT. This isn’t because of a lack of desire to discover what they need to know. It’s mostly that information on IT is targeted toward those who are or want to become professionals. It isn’t put in layman’s terms.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”Peter F. Drucker
I have sales reps that I have managed in the past. I know their number of meetings per week, their sales pipeline, and their closed deals. Certainly, I can tell whether they’re doing their job without having to be able to do their job. I also have customers who manufacture parts. They measure how many parts per hour their machines and machine operators output. Furthermore, they measure the scrap they produce when manufacturing and they can tell when the factory is running well or running poorly.
IT Professionals, like all other roles in a business, need KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure and manage their effectiveness.
Other Essential KPIs for IT Support in Manufacturing
IT professionals in the manufacturing sector receive a range of complaints, requests, and preventive maintenance tasks that require their attention. To measure the productivity and effectiveness of IT support services, manufacturers must track and analyze each of these requests using the following KPIs.
Tickets Per Day
IT Professionals receive complaints or requests or preventive maintenance tasks. That’s pretty much their whole life. People have problems or things that need to be done in the background, and they contact them to ask them to fix it. You need to track each and every one of these requests for the IT professional’s time. A good IT staff member should be capable of handling 7-9 Tickets per Day. Any technical task the professional needs to do is a ticket.
Tickets per User
Not including “project”, tasks one Desktop Support staff member should be able to handle 200 end-users when all their preventive maintenance is done properly. The 200 users should therefore generate no more than about 8-9 tickets per day. If this number is much higher, then preventive maintenance is a problem, or the IT infrastructure is badly misconfigured.
Average Resolution Time
Most internal IT staff respond to a new ticket very quickly. They answer the phone in real time. They visit your desk to see the problem right away. This time is irrelevant. It makes people feel better, but it doesn’t address the problem. The IT staff may fix the issue in a minute or two after arriving or may take days to complete the task. This is much more important.
In a professionally run IT department, the target resolution time is less than 2 hours. This means the vast majority of tickets close on the same day. Some tickets will always take a long time – but these are typically projects. Projects are always handled differently.
As discussed, some of the tickets and activities of the IT professional are projects. Projects don’t need to be complicated to be considered as such. A project can be as simple as buying and setting up a new laptop. IT can be as complex as installing new servers, wiring, firewalls, and routers in a massive server replacement.
IT projects conducted by the network/systems personnel rarely require more than 12 weeks to complete. This is in professional IT teams where project work is assigned to a staff member. When the IT professional is also handling non-project tickets this can be hard to achieve. In these cases, projects can take years to complete.
Understanding the Quality of IT
These KPIs allow you to understand something of how your IT department functions. With this information, we can measure if the IT professional is doing a good job. Human nature says people will try and hide if they are not doing a good job or feel a threat to their job.
Let’s say your KPI looks like this:
Tickets per Day – 3
This means you have a very small IT requirement. Unless your IT professional has a lot of projects they will be bored and possibly exaggerate how hard things are to make it look like they are busy. They will either leave or do what they can to create work projects.
Average Resolution Time – 18 hours
This means you either have a low Ticket per Day – so they are intentionally stretching things out, or they are having problems figuring things out and are, therefore, struggling to do the job.
Tickets Per User – 16/day/100 users
You might have 7 tickets per day – justifying an IT professional – but you only have 20 users. The tickets per user should be 4/day/100 users – so, in this relatively small office, there are 4 times more tickets than should be. This IT professional is either unable to do the job (lacks the skills) or is avoiding doing preventive maintenance. Sometimes this is to keep the daily tickets high, so they can justify their position.
IT support for manufacturers is critical for ensuring smooth business operations and maintaining productivity. By measuring and tracking KPIs for IT management, manufacturers can identify areas for improvement, optimize their IT support services, and ensure that they are providing high-quality services to their users.
The key KPIs for IT support for manufacturers include system uptime and availability, MTTR, FCR, CSAT, and cost per incident. By focusing on these KPIs, manufacturers can improve their IT support services, increase user satisfaction and productivity, and maintain profitability in a highly competitive marketplace.
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