Guest Column | December 16, 2016

The Most Important KPIs For MSPs

Ed Mana ASCII

By Ed Mana, Technologist, Technology on Demand and ASCII Group Member Since 2011

When you think of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), there are a plethora of metrics you can monitor within your MSP practice. In my experience as an MSP, and also as a consultant to other MSPs, I have found the following work well:

  • Total Sales
  • Total Quotes
  • Total Profits
  • Total Money You Owe
  • Total Money Owed To You
  • Tech Utilization

These totals can be reviewed weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. Keep in mind, it’s important to review the same time period for one- to two-year periods to get a clear picture of where your business is today versus the prior period(s). This process is also helpful in forecasting your business’s future. As the saying goes: “you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.”

The above KPIs are nothing new. While they do tell you how your business is doing, I would like to offer a deeper dive into metrics that are important to MSPs from a service delivery standpoint. For these, I enlist the five W’s (who, what, where, when, and why).

  • Who: Who are the company, and user within the company, that opens the most tickets in the time period for which you are reporting?
  • What: What is/are the top issues for your tickets?
  • Where: Where are the issues causing you to deploy techs to site or are issues resolved in the office?
  • When: When do these tickets open? Is it at the same time each period; after a patch rollout, for instance?
  • Why: Why are the top issues happening? Is it a training issue? A tool issue? User issues?

Once you start asking these basic questions and looking at the supporting data, it can be a real eye-opener. You are only guessing at the answers until you start looking at the numbers.

One area the above metrics are useful in is scheduling. If you know Wednesday is the day with the most tickets, you can plan tech staffing accordingly and have little chance of being short-handed.

Similarly, “Who” is equally as important. If your top caller each month is the same person, perhaps that user is in need of more training, newer or better equipment, or some damage-control based on the quantity of issues he/she is having.

Following is a real-world example illustrating the usefulness of the 5W’s.

One of my MSP clients started running these metrics and found that, in a given month, 85 percent of tickets for a particular client were for password resets. Initially, the end-user was greatly concerned about the amount of tickets and started to question the effectiveness of the service the MSP provided.

When the MSP presented the “What” (password resets) and the “Who” (repeat offenders), the end-user’s tone immediately changed. What could have been a bad situation for the MSP was averted. and the end-user also learned the value of an AYCE (All You Can Eat) service contract!

W. Clement Stone said it best when had said, “You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.” Having not only metrics, but meaningful metrics, is what makes you the MSP hero instead of the MSP zero (pun intended!).

About The ASCII Group, Inc.

The ASCII Group is a vibrant reseller community of independent MSPs, VARs, and other solution providers. Formed in 1984, ASCII has more than 70 programs that provide turnkey cost-cutting strategies, innovative business building programs, and extensive peer interaction. ASCII members enjoy benefits such as marketing support; educational information; group purchasing power; increased leverage in the marketplace; and multiple networking opportunities. These programs enable ASCII members to increase revenue, lower operating costs, and grow service opportunities. ASCII is the oldest and largest group of independent information technology (IT) solution providers, integrators and value added resellers (VARs) in the world. Learn more at www.ascii.com.