Blog Posts

Close the Skills Gap and Cut Service Costs: Insights from Aquant’s 2024 Field Service Benchmark Report

The race is on for field service organizations to bridge the skills gap, meet customer demands, tame complex machinery, and ride the tech wave — all at the same time. 

Hot off the press, Aquant’s 2024 Field Service Benchmark Report uncovers how a widening skills gap and increasing costs impact today’s service orgs. It also dives deep into how top-performing companies use data, AI, and the Shift Left Method to adapt to the changing times and build service teams equipped for the present and future.

We gathered and analyzed actual, anonymized data from:

  • 145 service organizations, including service divisions within OEMs and third-party service organizations across manufacturing, medical devices, commercial printing, industrial machinery, food service equipment, and more
  • More than 24 million work orders spanning 6.6+ million assets
  • Over 582,000 technicians
  • Nearly $7.71 billion in service costs 
  • An average of 3 years of service data per company

This year, we uncovered: 

  1. The skills gap is the root of many challenges, including skyrocketing service costs. On average, bottom performers cost 34% more than the highest performers at top-ranking service organizations. But at bottom-performing orgs, low-performing employees can cost 80% more than their top-performing counterparts. Additionally, bottom-performing companies take four times longer to resolve an issue and have three times more Visits Per Asset than their top-performing counterparts. The good news: if every employee had the knowledge and skills to perform like the top 20% of the workforce, service costs would be reduced by as much as 22%.
  2. Top-performing organizations are pulling ahead of their lower-performing peers mainly because they have a smaller workforce skills gap. They have higher First Time Fix Rates among their workers. Top-performing organizations also have lower service costs, with only a slight difference between top and bottom performers. Additionally, they typically have more time between visits, which signals fewer visits needed for repairs or addressing maintenance issues. 
  3. Companies need to pay attention to their Customer Experience Gaps. Companies who measure First Time Fix Rates in 7-day or 14-day windows are setting the stage for a significant gap, leading to frustrating customer experiences. When measured in short windows, it becomes easy to overestimate First Time Fix Rates and underestimate Resolution Costs. We recommend measuring First Time Fix Rates in 30 days, prioritizing upskilling, and making every service team member equally knowledgeable about equipment and best practices.
  4. Best-in-class organizations are getting ahead and staying competitive through data, tools, and the Shift Left method. Their best practices include:
  • Regularly reviewing their organization’s performance. 
  • Using quantitative and qualitative data from multiple sources to understand their service landscape.
  • Normalizing data sanitation.
  • Starting with their existing data and refining outputs to get better results.
  • Adopting and implementing the Shift Left approach, which moves service resolutions closer to the end customer so they don’t need to contact the company until necessary. 
  • Assembling a workforce with diverse soft and hard skills to create a better customer experience—and committing to upskilling teams. 

How does your org stack up against 2024’s service benchmarks? 

Participate in Aquant’s 7 Day Challenge to find out — at no cost. 

Our analysts will process and analyze your data via Aquant’s robust AI engine. We’ll show you the results of your org’s key metrics (including First Time Fix Rate), how you can be more efficient, and where to save money. 

Use your data to uncover the most significant opportunities for performance improvement and see how Shifting Left can help your org stay ahead of the competition.