Improve MSP Efficiency with a Support Cost Gut Check

Taking inventory of employee time is a great way to determine how employee efficiency can be improved. But even though this assessment is fairly straightforward, many MSPs avoid it. If this sounds like you, you’re in luck. There’s an even easier way to determine how many seats one support resource can manage.

Time and time again you’ve heard us at TruMethods talk about how important it is for MSPs to calculate RHEM (reactive hours per endpoint per month) to gauge how time is being spent each month on addressing reactive IT tickets. The less time MSPs spend on reactive tasks, such as alarms, user requests, time and materials, tickets, and unscheduled service, the better. By taking a more proactive approach to address potential issues with your clients’ IT systems, you’re able to cut down on your reactive time and client downtime. This leads to profitability.

But RHEM (which is calculated by simply adding up the amount of time dedicated to reactive tickets in a month and dividing that number by the number of endpoints you’re responsible for) has its own issues. For example, even though looking at RHEM on a trendline is a great way to determine how you can lower reactive noise, the actual RHEM number an MSP reports is almost always either overstated or understated.

And the reason for this is everyone is going in and putting time on tickets all day. Just by the nature of that process, you’re going to be understating or overstating your RHEM number. What your RHEM ultimately determines is how many seats can one support resource manage.

So, what’s the easier way to determine how many seats one resource can manage efficiently?

Try conducting what we call a “support cost gut check.”

To do this, divide the number of your resources by the number of seats they manage to calculate seats per support resource. In other words, how many seats do you have under management and how many resources from the support standpoint do you have available to manage those seats, and that ratio of support resources to seats gives you a really good idea of what you’re working with.

This approach removes the time entry work required when calculating RHEM and provides you with an overview of what your efficiencies and cost per seat are in the real world.

While you should still calculate RHEM, figuring out your support cost gut check number gives you a quick and easy way to determine whether you’re spending too much time on reactive tasks.

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