IT Service Managers: Ask This Question to Boost Profits

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IT Profits

This article is part B of the second installment in the three-article series on Aligning Service Manager’s focus with the company’s #1 goal: making more money (profit).  

Each article examines one of the following topics, exploring what they represent, how to benchmark, track, and improve; and finally, how they make more money for the company: 

  • Time to Completion
  • Number of Open Tickets 
  • Resource Utilization 

To read the introduction to the series or Time to Completion, and Number of Open Tickets go to 

Please Note: My expertise is as a Resource Planning Analyst, so I write from the perspective of mining and transforming data into golden information for Service Managers. In this series, the “Gold” is making more money for the Company (profit).

Improve: What could we have done to proactively prevent the service request in the first place? 

One MSP-Ignite Service Manager Peer Group member is using the “What could we have done …?” question of the technician resolving the issue to reduce the volume of Service Requests received. The results have been significant, and several other Peer Group members are implementing the process.

The process is somewhat on the honor system, as there is no way to prevent closing the ticket until the question has been answered. If someone knows of a way to prevent closing out the ticket until the question is answered, please reply as inquiring minds would like to know. 

The Managed Service Provider has a checklist in all Incident Tickets. The questions in the checklist include: 

  • Was the client contacted and was it confirmed that the issue is no longer occurring? 
  • Was the documentation updated? 
  • Was the root cause determined or a follow-up investigation ticket created? 

Another Managed Service Provider member in the MSP-Ignite Service Manager Peer Group  has added a Work Flow Rule that notifies the technician that completed the ticket if an item in the checklist is unchecked.


Both of these proactive measures have created a collaborative environment where the technicians understand that preventing service requests is just as valuable as remediating them. 

Reactive (Incident) Hours per End Point/End User per Month (RHEM) 

Increasing profits through ticket management

This is a metric promoted to give a baseline of how much staffing is needed to support 1000 End Users.  

  • The average Managed Service Provider needs 6 Resources per 1000 End Users.  
  • The best in class need 2 Resources, which is the same as hiring 4 Resources to do other things such as Advance Network Administration visits.  

This approach hinges off improving the quality of the Network, so there is a significant reduction on the number of tickets generated per 1000 End Points.  

This is How to Make More Money for the Company 

Making more money for the company comes down to increasing the value of the Managed Service offerings. For every hour the company saves in Incident response, the value of the Managed Service agreement goes up, not only in reducing the cost of supporting the agreement, but the value of the agreement in the first place.  

Companies with a low RHEM number charge more for their managed services because their agreements have less disruption to the Customer’s productivity, and therefore more value in the agreement for the Customer. 

By repurposing the workforce from Incident response to higher value work such as projects or Advanced Network Administration visits, the billable hours move from a cost center to a high-value revenue stream.  

Also, the Advanced Network Administration visits position the Account Managers/vCIO’s to have sales opportunities to improve the stability of the Network (projects).  

IT Service Managers | IT Project Management | Resource UtilizationIf for every dollar the Customer spends on Advanced Network Administration visits, the return was 10% sold in new, undiscovered project work, then each technician converted from Incident support to Advanced Network Administration would return another $14,400 in new business net profit without hiring another Employee. 

 This makes proactively preventing the Number of Open Tickets, like Time to Completion efforts, a highly valuable and worthwhile Service Manager focus and aligns them with the company’s #1 goal of making more money. 


Stephen Buyze is a Resource Planning Analyst who is “Empowering Service Managers to increase profit.”  


For more about Stephen Buyze:  

 To follow me, Stephen Buyze

 For more information about MSP-Ignite Service Manager Peer Groups

 For more: HDI “The Association for Technical Support Professionals.” 


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