Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?
Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
By Gerald Martin
No one loves comebacks. But they are a part of life. They come in all shapes and sizes:
1. Faulty parts. We have more part quality issues than ever before, including (less frequently) OEM parts.
2. Tech error. A tech fails to properly tighten brake caliper frame bolts. A belt is installed with one groove off the edge of a pulley. Some techs rarely make these errors. But mistakes will happen.
3. Warning lights on or new symptoms noted "ever since you worked on it". Always needs to be taken seriously - sometimes issues identified are fall into category 1 or 2. Or further OBD monitors ran since repairs were made and other issues are coming out of the woodwork. And sometimes people will try to pin every new issue on the shop that last worked on the car.
How do we deal with warranty cases?
When tech error is involved, is the employer responsible to pay the tech's time to correct his own mistake? Does it make a difference if there is a pattern of carelessness? If the employer picks up the tab for everything, doesn't this reward the making of mistakes?
It seems reasonable that the tech should not take responsibility for part failures not caused by tech error, doesn't it?
And what about that follow up scan to see why the warning lights are on? Should the tech handle this as a courtesy until determined what area the fault is in? It may be, after all, that he left a vacuum line off the air cleaner box. But it shouldn't take too long to know if the advisor needs to request more testing approval from the client...
And should any of these questions be influenced by whether the shop pays flat rate or hourly?
I know that's a lot of questions. But I hope it starts a conversation, because it's an area we really need to develop an SOP and stick with it.
"Give Me 10 Mission: To provide a work-based learning model that any industry can utilize to bridge the skills gap. Combining classroom instruction with on the job work based learning opportunities. This program integrates the classroom with employers to create an introduction to a career path of the student's choice.
The program simplifies the relationship between an industry lead business and vocational education that can lead into a career path. We ask for no money. Our “ask” is for your time. Time to integrate a student into your business to create a career fit. It starts with 10 hours and can grow into a new employee. Can you “Give Me Ten?”
Sue Dixon, the creator of the "Give Me Ten" program, discusses the importance of collaboration between the automotive industry and education. The "Give Me Ten" program, which exposes students to the automotive industry and helps them explore potential career paths, is highlighted. The discussion also covers the need for updated curriculums, industry involvement, and the success of the "Give Me Ten" program in providing work-based learning experiences. Sue Dickson, Closs Tire & Auto Repair Inc, Waukegan, IL Sue's previous episodes HERE Show Notes:
The importance of collaboration with education (00:00:40) Discussion about the need for collaboration between the automotive industry and education to promote career pathways and work-based learning opportunities for students. Career pathways endorsement in education (00:03:30) Explanation of the career pathways endorsement in education, which requires students to complete 60 hours of career work-based learning in the transportation cluster. The "Give Me Ten" program (00:04:50) Introduction of the Give Me Ten program, which aims to simplify engagement between businesses and education by providing 10 hours of work-based learning opportunities for students to explore potential career paths in the automotive industry. The importance of collaboration between industry and education (00:09:15) Discussion about the need for collaboration between the automotive industry and education to update curriculums and provide work-based learning opportunities. Simplifying work-based learning and engaging businesses (00:13:02) Explanation of the importance of simplifying work-based learning and engaging businesses to create career pathways for students, with a focus on liability and industry standards. Starting the collaboration (00:19:47) Sue Dixon explains how to start building the Give Me Ten program in your own community and the support they provide, including a free consultation. Thanks to our Partner, Dorman Products.
Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
Connect with the Podcast:
-Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz
-Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider
-All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books
-Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom
-Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm
-The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com
-Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections
Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
Raising labor rates is not just about increasing prices. It's about finding more value in the industry and positioning ourselves as professionals. Join our panel as they highlight the need for understanding the concept of effective labor rate, ensuring services are charged appropriately, viewing the business as a professional entity, providing a positive customer experience and addressing core business problems before raising labor rates. Our panelists encourage shop owners to take a comprehensive approach to their business strategy, considering all factors and not just focusing on raising labor rates. Aaron Woods, X-tra Mile Auto Care, Stillwater, OK. Institute for Automotive Business Excellence. Listen to Aaron’s previous episodes HERE Brent Fleischman, Yocum Automotive, Republic, MO. AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching. Listen to Brent's previous episodes HERE Jennifer Hulbert, Service Plus Automotive, Calcium, NY. Institute for Automotive Business Excellence. Listen to Jennifer's previous episodes HERE Show Notes:
Raising Labor Rates: Importance and Impact (00:00:01) Discussion on the reasons to raise labor rates, the impact it can have on a business, and the need for a long-term strategy. Factors to Consider Besides Labor Rate (00:04:14) Exploration of other factors that contribute to a business's success, such as overall business strategy and addressing pain points. Calculating Effective Labor Rate (00:07:34) Importance of understanding and calculating effective labor rate, including the need to charge appropriately for all services provided. The mindset shift and the need to raise labor rates (00:08:33) Discussion on the importance of raising labor rates and positioning the industry as valuable and professional. The impact of undervaluing the industry (00:09:52) The negative effects of undervaluing the automotive industry, including difficulty in attracting technicians and obtaining loans. The bottom line and approaching the business as a business (00:12:10) The importance of considering the bottom line and treating the automotive business as a professional enterprise rather than a hobby. The importance of customer experience (00:17:59) Discussion on how people buy feelings and the need to focus on providing a positive experience in the automotive industry. Sharing new labor rates with the team (00:18:39) Importance of communicating labor rate changes to the team and how it helps maintain profit structure and make investments. Effective labor rate and its impact (00:19:03) Exploration of effective labor rate, its calculation, and the need to consider menu jobs and their effect on gross profit dollars per hour. The importance of personnel and procedural issues (00:27:40) Discussion on identifying whether the problem lies with personnel or procedural issues in a shop and the need to align the shop's mission and vision statements with its culture. Addressing cultural issues and offering training (00:28:50) Exploration of the top-down approach in addressing cultural issues, identifying personalities, offering training, and monitoring staff to create long-term relationships with customers. Considerations before raising labor rates (00:30:07) Importance of analyzing gross profit percentages, solving core problems, and focusing on profitability and core processes before considering raising labor rates.
Thanks to our Partners Shop-Ware and Delphi Technologies Shop-Ware: More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management https://getshopware.com/ Delphi Technologies: Keeping current on the latest vehicle systems and how to repair them is a must for today’s technicians. http://DelphiAftermarket.com Connect with the Podcast -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections
Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
"AutoTechIQ helps car and truck owners identify problems their vehicles are having. We provide proven auto repair work that has solved similar issues thousands of vehicle owners have faced. We also recommend auto repair shops in your area based on trust, customer education, and quality of work. These shops inspect your car using a courtesy Digital Vehicle Health Inspection and create a state of health report with symptom information and necessary fixes." Frank Scandura and Krista Erickson discuss how AutoTechIQ aims to bridge the gap between shops and customers by creating better relationships through technology and transparency. The goal is to empower customers with knowledge and build trust. Frank Scandura, Frank’s European Service, Las Vegas, NV. VP of Certified Shop Relations and Member of the Board of Directors, AutoTechIQ. Frank’s previous episodes HERE. Kirsta Erickson, VP of Client Services and Marketing, AutoTechIQ Show Notes
AutoTechIQ: https://www.autotechiq.com/ Transparency is the New Trust (00:01:02) Discussion on the importance of transparency in building trust with customers and how it relates to online reviews and consumer behavior. Using Data to Inform Customers (00:03:52) Explanation of how AutoTechIQ utilizes data from repair shops to provide customers with relevant information and help them make informed decisions about their automotive repairs. The Power and Carefulness of AI (00:08:55) Exploration of AI as a smart algorithm and a powerful search engine that requires careful questioning to avoid getting incorrect answers. Transparency and Expertise in Automotive Services (00:10:33) Explanation of how AutoTechIQ aims to connect customers with expert shops that provide transparency, digital inspections, and communicate in a language that customers understand. The disruptors (00:15:16) Discussion on the impact of disruptors in various industries and the need for new solutions. Vetting process for certified shops (00:16:30) Explaining the requirements and process for certifying shops, including reputation, online reviews, and digital inspections. Driving consumers to shops (00:17:54) The importance of bringing consumers to shops through technology and creating a bridge between customers and shops. The digital vehicle inspection revolution (00:23:06) Discussion on the importance of digital vehicle inspections and the need to educate shops and customers about its benefits. The percentage of shops doing digital vehicle inspections (00:23:33) Exploration of the industry-wide adoption of digital vehicle inspections and the varying definitions of what constitutes a digital inspection. Disrupting business directories with transparency (00:25:22) The potential impact of AutoTechIQ on business directories, focusing on transparency and high-quality service. Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Learn more about NAPA Auto Care and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting https://www.napaonline.com/en/auto-care Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections
Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
By Changing The Industry
We have FREE training on Saturday in North Carolina!