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One goal of every business is to achieve the highest possible quality at the lowest possible cost.  It stands to reason, therefore, that cost and quality should be measured on an ongoing basis.  In fact, many would argue that cost and quality are the only two things that really matter in a service and support organization.  In past articles MetricNet has discussed the importance of using metrics as a diagnostic tool to improve performance.  So we have to ask ourselves, if cost per ticket is one of the foundation metrics for desktop support, how can we affect it?  How can we improve it?  What are the primary levers we have to manage cost?

Desktop support is a labor-intensive function.  Technician salaries and benefits make up more than 60% of all costs for the average desktop support group.  And when you consider the salaries and benefits for non-technicians – e.g. supervisors, team leads, QA/QC, trainers, and workforce schedulers – approximately 74% of all desktop support costs are personnel related, as shown in Figure 1 below.  Labor productivity is therefore the biggest lever we have to manage and control desktop support costs.

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Jeffrey Rumburg

Jeff Rumburg is a co-founder and Managing Partner of MetricNet, where he is responsible for global strategy, product development, and financial operations for the company. As a leading expert in benchmarking and re-engineering, Mr. Rumburg authored a best selling book on benchmarking, and has been retained as a benchmarking expert by such well known companies as American Express, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, IBM, and Sony. Mr. Rumburg was honored in 2014 by receiving the Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the IT Service and Support industry. Prior to co-founding MetricNet, Mr. Rumburg was president and founder of The Verity Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in IT benchmarking. While at Verity, Mr. Rumburg launched a number of syndicated benchmarking services that provided low cost benchmarks to more than 1,000 corporations worldwide. Mr. Rumburg has also held a number of executive positions at META Group, and Gartner. As a vice president at Gartner, Mr. Rumburg led a project team that reengineered Gartner’s global benchmarking product suite. And as vice president at META Group, Mr. Rumburg’s career was focused on business and product development for IT benchmarking. Mr. Rumburg’s education includes an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, an M.S. magna cum laude in Operations Research from Stanford University, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Mechanical Engineering. He is author of A Hands-On Guide to Competitive Benchmarking: The Path to Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement, and has taught graduate-level engineering and business courses.

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