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Joe Marconi

Will Minimum Wage Hikes Affect Auto Repair Shop’s Technician’s Pay?

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There is been a lot of discussion lately across this nation about raising the minimum wage. I am not going to debate that issue today, but I will go on the record that I believe it may affect our industry and how we pay out technicians.

 

With companies such as Wall Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, Chipotles, and many more increasing wages, this will send a message to the workforce that wages need to be more in line with the needs of the worker.

 

Pay scales for techs are all over the map depending on where you are in the country. But, the age old issue is that we need to attract quality entry-level people to our industry. With chatter that entry-level positions in the fast food chains and other big box stores may exceed $10.00 per hour and even reach $15.00, we need to take a look at what we pay our people.

 

The bottom line here is truly the “bottom line”. Shop owners cannot simply raise wages unless the shop’s profits are enough to support the raise. Shop owners need to take a long hard look at their pay plans and ensure that you offer competitive wages, but importantly, offer a work environment and career paths that will attract quality people.

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

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    • By Joe Marconi
      Not every shop pays flat rat; for many reasons.  So, many techs are on hourly pay.  There is nothing wrong with hourly pay, as long as you have an incentive program in place that promotes high production levels to avoid complacency.  For hourly paid employees I strongly urge you to have a pay plan that rewards production levels on a sliding scale.  
      As a business coach, I have seen too many times shops with low production levels and high tech payroll due to overtime pay. Overtime pay must not be used to get the jobs done with no regard to labor production.  Limit overtime and create a strategy that increases production and rewards techs with production bonuses.  By the way, there are many ways to incentivize techs, it's not all about money. 
      Overtime without high levels of production will eat into profits and if not controlled, with kill your business. 
      If your shop is an hourly paid shop, what incentives do you have in place to maintain production levels? 
    • By Joe Marconi
      I was speaking with a shop owner the other day about an issue he is having with technician comebacks. After a series of questions, the reason for the comebacks became clear.
       
      At the start of the year he implemented a very aggressive growth strategy, putting a lot of emphasis on quotas, sales and labor production. The strategy also included increased bonuses for the service advisor and techs for hitting certain goals.
       
      Now, at its core, this is not a bad strategy. However, the focus was on quotas,sales, profit and production. What was lacking was a process to ensure that quality was maintained, and basing sale decisions on what is in the best interest of the customer.
       
      A focus on quotas instead of service quality, is a recipe for eventual failure. For example: Instead of setting a quota to sell 5 batteries this week and 10 sets of wiper blades, create a process that your technicians will test all batteries and inspect all wiper blades. This strategy will achieve the same results while maintaining a focus on quality and integrity.
       
      The bottom line is we all need goals. But we also need to maintain quality. So, when setting your goals, include a quality control process to cut down on mistakes before the customer gets his car back. Put emphasis on customer service and integrity. Celebrate positive customer reviews. And lastly, base all service and repair recommendations on what is in the best interest of the customer.
    • By Joe Marconi
      Source: Will Minimum Wage Hikes Affect Auto Repair Shop’s Technician’s Pay?


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