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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    45

    In-house tech: everything should be fixed the first visit?

    I'd say about 90% of the calls I get for our McDonald's stores are repaired the first visit. However, there are times where I find a common problem that looks like the cause of all the symptoms and then get a call back a few days later and find a different more rare and harder to detect problem. Does this happen to you guys too? How in depth do you look at the unit after you've already found a likely problem? For example a walk in freezer drain pipe was cracked underneath the insulation, so the only way I found it was to rip off the insulation. Should I just always check for cracked drain lines? Am I crazy? Are some problems really complicated and hard to find the first time when there are multiple problems that could all cause the same symptoms?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,564
    If you check everything everytime, your callbacks will be at a minimum. That being said, if I'm on a job and have 2 calls backing me up, I leave the work ticket open to return at a later date to finish up my checks. As far as cracked drain lines, there will be water on the floor. If you're doing a PM feel the heat tape to see if it's warm.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Paper Street Soap Company
    Posts
    2,304
    If it's your equipment and your responsible for PMs then stuff like drain line can be headed off early.

    Experience is a good counter to call backs.

    The more familiar you become with the equipment you service the better you'll be at finding problems before they cause service issues.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,540
    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    If you check everything everytime, your callbacks will be at a minimum. That being said, if I'm on a job and have 2 calls backing me up, I leave the work ticket open to return at a later date to finish up my checks. As far as cracked drain lines, there will be water on the floor. If you're doing a PM feel the heat tape to see if it's warm.
    I take a little bit different tact on this.

    If I am in your building, I'm yours. I'll stay and fix all day, then I'll move on to the next job.

    All of my customers understand this and appreciate it. They know that their turn comes when I'm done and I'll stay as long as needed to get things working.

    The problem that I've found with the "come back later" method is that later doesn't ever seem to come. You mark a follow-up, then another and another and another, then, 3 months later, you're back because it broke down again and you facepalm and say "I shoulda done that follow-up" It eventually turns into the vicious cycle of

    "it's broke and we've got 5 calls backed up"

    "slap a patch on it and come back next week"

    "OK."

    A week later.

    "The patch broke"

    "Slap another one on, we've got 6 calls backed up this time"



    Been there, not doing it again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    I take a little bit different tact on this.

    If I am in your building, I'm yours. I'll stay and fix all day, then I'll move on to the next job.

    All of my customers understand this and appreciate it. They know that their turn comes when I'm done and I'll stay as long as needed to get things working.

    The problem that I've found with the "come back later" method is that later doesn't ever seem to come. You mark a follow-up, then another and another and another, then, 3 months later, you're back because it broke down again and you facepalm and say "I shoulda done that follow-up" It eventually turns into the vicious cycle of

    "it's broke and we've got 5 calls backed up"

    "slap a patch on it and come back next week"

    "OK."

    A week later.

    "The patch broke"

    "Slap another one on, we've got 6 calls backed up this time"



    Been there, not doing it again.
    That's helpful. Thank you. I think I'll adopt that approach.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,564
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    I take a little bit different tact on this.

    If I am in your building, I'm yours. I'll stay and fix all day, then I'll move on to the next job.

    All of my customers understand this and appreciate it. They know that their turn comes when I'm done and I'll stay as long as needed to get things working.

    The problem that I've found with the "come back later" method is that later doesn't ever seem to come. You mark a follow-up, then another and another and another, then, 3 months later, you're back because it broke down again and you facepalm and say "I shoulda done that follow-up" It eventually turns into the vicious cycle of

    "it's broke and we've got 5 calls backed up"

    "slap a patch on it and come back next week"

    "OK."

    A week later.

    "The patch broke"

    "Slap another one on, we've got 6 calls backed up this time"



    Been there, not doing it again.
    Not at my company. If I need to follow up it's normally done the next day or two. If it needs to be fixed today it will be fixed today. Dispatch will make the schedule based on the techs input. We have enough vans on the street that things can get moved around.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NW AR
    Posts
    2,478
    We have minimal call backs but we do get them and we do a complete check. We dont just fix what was broke and run for the truck. Id say our most common callback is capacitors. They can check out fine when we are there and blow the next day. There is nothing we can do about that short of changing capacitors on every unit we service but I just dont feel good about doing that. I WILL change a working contactor if the contacts are black and/or deteriorated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    12,077
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post

    The problem that I've found with the "come back later" method is that later doesn't ever seem to come. You mark a follow-up, then another and another and another, then, 3 months later, you're back because it broke down again and you facepalm and say "I shoulda done that follow-up" It eventually turns into the vicious cycle of

    "it's broke and we've got 5 calls backed up"

    "slap a patch on it and come back next week"

    "OK."

    A week later.

    "The patch broke"

    "Slap another one on, we've got 6 calls backed up this time"



    Been there, not doing it again.
    wow, it's as if you called me up and asked me what I use to do for a living. Use to as in my last call was at 7pm last night.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Dowadudda View Post
    wow, it's as if you called me up and asked me what I use to do for a living. Use to as in my last call was at 7pm last night.
    It was a difficult chore and took me several years to turn the mentality of several guys around.

    It's kind of nice going home at 4:30 on a 90 degree day and not hearing the phone ring.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
    Posts
    3,268
    man, I'm working till 7, and not many callbacks.

    I like to look the system over pretty hard if I've not been there for awhile. Checks caps, evap coil, etc. You're not just eliminating callbacks, you're selling more repairs! And if they don't fix, you're cya'ed.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,540
    Quote Originally Posted by billygoat22
    man, I'm working till 7, and not many callbacks.

    I like to look the system over pretty hard if I've not been there for awhile. Checks caps, evap coil, etc. You're not just eliminating callbacks, you're selling more repairs! And if they don't fix, you're cya'ed.
    Most markets are a different animal.

    Our work is typically done under a parts and labor contract. They pay us flat fee and we fix whatever.

    Makes it doubly important to keep the callbacks and OT down, not to mention leaks and major part failures....

  12. #12
    I have been and I now manage in-house techs. It is a constant battle to teach former contractors to 100% everything while they are there. I want my contractors to fix what they are called to fix, to a brief look over, and go. I want my in-house tech to camp and solve all the problems while they are there. They should cost me less. Windshield time kills that. They have a heavy work load, and windshield time makes that worse. The more calls they have, the more they struggle to keep up. When they solve everything every time they are at a location, there work load gets better, and they start enjoying life again. It takes a couple years to get the area running like jps describes, but the payoff is tremendous for the Tech, and the company. For those that don't, they will fail / burn out.

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