Optimize Technician Utilization and Increase Service Revenue With PSA

Published: May 21, 2024
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Time is money, and when it comes to maximizing the efficiency and value of your technicians, using the right PSA tool and time-tracking techniques can make a significant difference to your bottom line. 

The team behind PSA, formerly Tigerpaw, is dedicated to partnering with technology service providers and integrators to better automate and improve business processes including technician time-tracking capabilities. Here are a few insights the team has gained from 40 years of direct experience creating strategies that can help you optimize technician utilization rates. 

What are technician utilization rates?

Put simply, a technician utilization rate is expressed as a percentage of billable hours or hours that can be charged against a contract measured against total available hours. So, if you have a technician with 40 available hours a week and they deliver 30 billable hours for the week, that technician has a 75% utilization rate. Simple, right? Not so fast.  

Many factors can affect utilization rates, and care must be taken to ensure they don’t skew your measurements or your expectations. If you’re taking the time and putting in the effort to improve utilization levels, you want to make sure they adjust for real life circumstances such as sick leave and vacation, non-billable projects and tasks, and inaccurate time accounting if your team isn’t using a professional services automation tool like PSA. Keeping these things in mind will be important as you develop your utilization framework. 

What is a good utilization rate?

According to ThinkHDI, the average utilization rate for a desktop support technician is 57%, with a maximum utilization rate of nearly 89%. On the other hand, the minimum reported utilization rates were 26%. These numbers will vary depending on the type of technical services offered, but from our experience, it’s a good baseline to work from. 

Now that you’re ready to begin improving technician utilization rates, here are some tips to help ensure success: 

3 tips for improving utilization rates

1. Establish Realistic Utilization Targets

If your current technician utilization rate is 45%, setting a 90% target will be difficult and likely unachievable. Consider moderate increases to start, say 10% to 20% for the first quarter. You can reassess after the first quarter to see if there are additional improvements that can be made in a manageable way or determine if your original targets aren’t being met. Take special care to share the math and logic of the new targets so your technicians can more comfortably buy in to what is proposed. 

2. Include Plans for Efficient Route Planning

Travel time and efficiency can have a dramatic effect on utilization rates. As you look at expanding your pool of billable hours, make sure to group customers that are closer together with the same technician. Good time-tracking software like PSA will make this easier, as the dispatcher can determine the best routes for technicians based on a grid that shows all of them in a centralized view. 

3. Consider Dedicating a Role for Non-Billable Tasks and Duties

It might sound counter-intuitive to remove billable resources and put them into planning roles, but FacilitiesNet found that utilization rates could be doubled by moving 2 out of 22 technicians into planning roles. This led to a dramatic increase in overall billable revenue simply by removing day-to-day unbillable tasks from billable resources’ responsibilities. 

For more information, download our free guide “Maximizing Technician Utilization: Boost Service Revenue and Profits” or reach out to our experts today to learn more about how PSA empowers your entire team.  

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