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The Opportunity

Our client operates an organization of field service technicians who make repair and scheduled maintenance calls on equipment under service contracts.  They desired to combine service call records with part reliability data to advise technicians to:

  • Suggest the parts most likely needed for a fault code.
  • Perform preventive part replacements to avoid premature return service visits.

Our Approach

  • Based on an “expert system” we produced a report, to be applied to a particular service call, recommending the most likely parts needed.  The report also provided information about how often a part would typically need to be replaced and its expected lifetime, as well as the expense in terms of parts and labor.
  • To evaluate effectiveness, in a carefully controlled field pilot test, we deployed the report with a test group of technicians and compared their use and success with the report to a statistically balanced set of control technicians, who did not have access to the report.

The Impact

Throughout the test, our client kept quantitative and qualitative data on the results through surveys.  Among the findings:

  • 63% of the technicians used the report;
  • Remarkably, 100% of them found it to be useful;
  • The report was helpful in four different ways: troubleshooting; part and trip planning; understanding cost; and speed/efficiency.

Our client was pleased with the results, such that they ended the pilot early and rolled it out to the entire team.

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