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Service Writer pay for independent garage


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We are hiring for a service writer and was wondering what pay plans are working and easy to maintain. I am currently with the ATI program and they are giving me a run around on this. We currently do 15,500 weekly. Was wondering what they should make on this and how to figure it out. I don't feel salary is good nor hourly. Just want to make it worth it for the writer and not break my pocket. Let me know if you guys have any suggestions. Thanks.

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One rule of thumb I found was to pay 8% of gross on a good service advisor. (once all salary/hourly + bonuses are factored in)

There are practically unlimited ways to incentivize their work, and simply based off gross generally isn't the best (they can get into a needless upsell mentality)

 

Remember, a good service advisor should MAKE you money, not COST you money, same goes for good techs.

You should have a plan in place to track how much is being sold now (presumably by you doing the SA duties) and track how much is sold by your new SA.

A good well trained SA should be able to sell more then you as the owner since you also have to do other owner stuff on top of advising amongst other reasons.

 

http://www.motor.com/article.asp?article_ID=438

http://www.shopownermag.com/service-adviser-pay-program-tips-work/

http://www.nmeda.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pbt-11-2013-Effective-Pay-Plans.pdf

Edited by bstewart
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Who do you have as a coach? I never had a problem getting a pay plan made up by my coach. ATI teaches 7% goes to your sales team (be it one person, two, three, etc) Offer a base salary plus incentives for holding profit margin (parts margin, etc) This will discourage from discounting.

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rule of thumb 7-8% of gross sale works well if you are holding proper margins (most would say 60% profit is a good number).

 

Now that I have a service advisor, what I find challenging is what happens when I have 2 service advisors? Right now he is on his trainee pay or what I like to call his "rookie contract" lol. After he is off I plan on paying a % of profit dollars apposed to gross sale. My challenge really will be when I am ready to add a second service advisor and how exactly will that pan out in terms of pay split. The worst thing I could do is create animosity and conflict over who's sales belong to who.

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Mspec, take a look at that 3rd link I posted (the pdf document).

Towards the end, it shows you a few pay plans for service advisors, including one similar to the one you're referring to.

It also says that your SAs should have team incentives along with individual incentives (just like your techs should) to foster a team mentality.

It also shows a good method to calculate your "nut" aka your breakeven point to pay for profit rather then gross.

**One small mistake in the document, the SA bonus values should be doubled or the math doesn't add up - $200/400/600 instead of $100/200/300. You'll see what I mean**

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  • 1 month later...

Who do you have as a coach? I never had a problem getting a pay plan made up by my coach. ATI teaches 7% goes to your sales team (be it one person, two, three, etc) Offer a base salary plus incentives for holding profit margin (parts margin, etc) This will discourage from discounting.

I currently use Kevin Meyers. I Told him what my current service writer pay plan is and he keeps saying he will get back with me, baffles me with bs, or keeps sending paper work on technician pay plans saying that's all he has. Its been 3 months and making me upset. The experience with them hasn't been great. This website is more useful then the information i get from them sometimes. Thanks for the input.

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  • 2 months later...

Stay away from my coach. He's evil and you wouldn't like him and No I won't tell you who he is. :) If you've given your coach a fair chance to perform and you've done your part, and you're not satisfied, call Brian Stasch and give him a chance to fix the problem. If I tell my coach I want help, he immediately provides tools and ideas and dogs me until I get a potential solution in place. They have access to a wealth of tools and tried and proven techniques. I don't know why they wouldn't give you quick proposals to help you solve your problem. Our coach helped us develop a matrix that covers SAs, techs of all grades and it pretty much insures good margins if you're doing all the right stuff. It's nice because we don't have to sit around fretting about what we should pay - we just figure out where a new prospect falls on the matrix based on skill level. It rewards them for different aspects of performance and it keeps us out of trouble on tech overtime.

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  • 1 month later...

My coach is Brian Hunnicutt. Call ATI and ask to be switched. He got me a pay plan in about 3 days, and he is very demanding, but that's what you want. You're paying like heck for it.

I wish I would had a better coach with ATI, my experience wasn't the greatest. Brian H is who I would've preferred.

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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