First Time Fix – More Powerful than Ever
By: Gary Schermann, CFSP – President
FTF – First Time Fix. It is not a new catchphrase, but it is undergoing a re-birth, or at least at General Parts Group it is. For years, it’s been talked about, but the usual trend was to send a foodservice technician to the job site as quickly as possible, whether they had the parts and training to do the job or not. This resulted in many return trips due to a lack of parts or training. Results were not favorable – lower customer satisfaction, added down-time, and wasted time\money for all parties, including the servicer.
The General Parts Group Approach
In fall 2018, General Parts Group significantly changed our approach to First Time Fix. Working with several key foodservice equipment manufacturing partners we right-sized our technicians by market. We selected the appropriate number of technicians, reviewed inventory movement history, and stocked only what those technicians are looking for to achieve an 80%+ FTF number. Additionally, we focused on training mainly on those dedicated technicians, so we actually reduced our training costs.
Our thought process was that if we focus on the techs, training, and inventory and send only the trained service technicians for that brand of commercial kitchen equipment, we will create experts because they would have more exposure to the equipment. We also instituted a pre-call research procedure so any part that could be pre-ordered, would be sent with the tech on the initial visit. We also put procedures in place which required the tech to check with the local office if they need a part that was not in the van. One of the benefits of having local offices is the ability to stock bigger and more expensive parts locally without them bouncing around on the van.
Internally we review all FTF misses, both for warranty and non-warranty calls, for these manufacturers on a weekly basis and report our findings, both good and bad to them each week. We meet with the manufacturers quarterly to evaluate performance and program enhancements as well as updated tech counts, inventory, and training needs.
Get Commercial Foodservice Equipment Repairs & Services from Our Team
Manufacturers, customers, and our technicians all love this program and our FTF for those manufacturers has skyrocketed! It has improved our response times as we are knocking out more calls quickly and freeing up our most precious resource – TIME. Better response times, higher customer satisfaction, technical experts, and the type of SERVICE EXCELLENCE General Parts Group has long been known for – just taken to another level.