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Six Sigma and field service/repair applications

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  • #36963

    Fontanilla
    Participant

    Can Six Sigma be used effectively to increase the “first
    time fix” rate of field service technicians, if the data they enter
    regarding the reason for the return call is innaccurate or unreliable? Is
    there a good reference site to find more info on Six Sigma applications
    for improved field service efficiency?

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    #107753

    OLD
    Participant

    Dan,
     
    Put another way, does this say the same thing you did?
     
    Assumption #1:
    On the first trip, the technician correctly identifies the problem and makes the repair.
     
    Assumption #2:
    On the return trip, the technician may have come back to address the original problem only to log the second trip as a different (presumably wrong) reason.
     
    Result:
    The “first time fix” percentage is skewed too high due to incorrect data.
     
    Questions:
    Is the error/unreliability involved with the return trip intentional? Accidental? Due to two, technicians viewing the problem from different perspectives? Other?
     
    Also, what is to say the first call reason was logged correctly?
     OLD

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    #107754

    Ritz
    Member

    Dan,
    I’ve done some similar work in the past, and the simple answer is “yes.”  But if your input data is corrupted you won’t get very far. 
    Try to clean-up the reason codes utilized by the technicians.  It’s one way to begin getting a clearer picture of what is going on during the repeat visit.  But, my personal experience has demonstrated that you can only get so far with that approach – self-reporting activities is nortoriously erroneous.
    The field work I was involved with ended up looking at causal parts codes and labor codes to proxy for the actual “reason” for the return call.  By looking at patterns in the repeats, we were able to isolate the individuals that “threw parts at the problem” and take corrective action (parts cost was the expense reduction for us). 
    Depending on the types of service work being performed, I’d recommend trying to understand the repair process better – maybe developing a “repair pathing” map or decision tree view of the issues.  If the repairs are repeated often adn by multiple people, you might be able to isolate the best process for certain types of repairs.
    I’m not aware of independent resources, and I would be interested in hearing from others.
    Good luck to you.

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    #107787

    Fontanilla
    Participant

    Thanks for the response. You are correct in how bad self reporting is. It can make it difficult to see the big picture. I will try to narrow my cause codes down to a manageable amount and hopefully it will clear up some of the discrepancies.

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    #107789

    Fontanilla
    Participant

    Basically, yes we are saying the same thing. I believe the codes for the second call may be intentionally entered incorrectly to increase the fix rate.

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    #107790

    OLD
    Participant

    Dan:
     Thank you for the additional information. Be careful in that errors/variation on the “first visit reasons” are just as important to eliminate as eliminating errors/variation in the “return visit reasons”. You might be making a return visit for the same problem but think that it is a new problem due to improper reason code entry on the initial call. Very tricky as it is important to get it right on both visits… GOOD LUCK! OLD

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    #108048

    Ritz
    Member

    Dan,
    That’s the first step I would take as well.  My last recommendation is to keep the continual improvement philosophy in mind as you go forward.  Sometimes the first steps will not yield much, but persistance in digging can eventually yield dramatic process improvements.
    Good luck.

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