Published on May 16, 2024

KPIs for Success: What Every Trades Business Should Measure


In the bustling world of HVAC, appliance repair, and restaurant equipment service trades, there are countless measures of success. But how do you grasp which metrics genuinely indicate your business’s health and growth potential? After dedicating over four decades to mastering these industries, I’ve learned that focusing on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can offer unparalleled insight into your business’s performance. Let’s dive into the critical KPIs every trades business should keep an eye on.

1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

At the heart of any successful trades business is a satisfied customer. CSAT measures how your service meets or surpasses customer expectations. A simple post-service survey asking for a rating can provide you with this invaluable data. Consistently high CSAT scores often correlate with repeat business and referrals, which are gold in the trades.

2. First-Time Fix Rate

This KPI is especially crucial in the trades where efficiency translates to profitability. The first-time fix rate measures the percentage of jobs completed correctly on the first visit, without the need for a callback or follow-up service. High rates not only improve customer satisfaction but also enhance your team’s productivity and profitability.

3. Average Response Time

In emergency repair services, response time can be a major differentiator. This KPI tracks how quickly you can get a technician to the job site after a service request. Faster responses can improve your CSAT scores and set your business apart from competitors.

4. Technician Utilization Rate

Understanding how much of your technicians’ available time is spent on billable work can significantly impact your bottom line. This KPI helps in identifying gaps in scheduling and opportunities to improve task management. Optimal utilization rates mean your workforce is efficiently contributing to revenue without being overloaded.

5. Profit Margin Per Job

Knowing how much profit each job brings in can help you pinpoint the most lucrative services and those that may not be worth the resources. This KPI requires a clear understanding of all costs associated with service delivery, allowing you to make informed pricing and marketing decisions.

6. Job Completion Rate

This metric provides insight into the volume of work your business can handle and complete successfully within a specific timeframe. Tracking job completion rates can highlight productivity trends, staffing adequacy, and potential issues delaying service completion.

7. Annual Contract Value (ACV) Growth Rate

For businesses that rely on service contracts, tracking the year-over-year growth in the value of these contracts can reveal the health of your recurring revenue stream. An upward trend in ACV indicates customer retention and a stable financial foundation.

8. Inventory Turnover Rate

In the trades, having the right parts at the right time is crucial, yet overstocking can tie up valuable resources. This KPI helps you understand how efficiently you’re managing inventory, balancing the need to meet demand without excessive investment in stock.

Implementing and Monitoring KPIs

Identifying which KPIs to track is just the first step. The real magic happens when you consistently monitor these indicators and use the insights to make strategic business decisions. Investing in a robust CRM or business management software can streamline this process, providing real-time data at your fingertips.

Remember, the goal of tracking KPIs is not just to collect data but to act on it. Adjusting your strategies based on KPI trends can lead to improved customer satisfaction, enhanced operational efficiency, and ultimately, increased profitability.

By focusing on these critical KPIs, trades businesses can navigate the complexities of their industries with more confidence and clarity. As you apply these measures to your own company, keep in mind that the most successful businesses are those that remain nimble, ready to adapt their practices in response to what their KPIs are telling them.