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spencersauto

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I am frequently faced with the dilemna of pay. I don't want to low ball someone when hiring, but on the other hand I don't want to over pay either. I am currently in a hard spot on what to do with an employee who I feel is making too much based on his skill set. He is very weak in his diagnosing skills, but is a good parts changer. He's not honestly much better than my lube technician who is making $13 an hour. Tech B is making $16 per hour and $10 a flag hour. On average this is coming out to $22 per hour. I decided 90 days ago to put him on probation for violating state inspection procedures, some shop policies and because he was not meeting the expectations of the job description. Well the 90 days is up. He misdiagnosed a blend door problem yesterday which was a heater core restricted (cooling 101 in my mind), he's since lost his inspection license because he didn't followup with the state on the ticket he received, and he is not running the 35 hours a week I expect him to. The shop is average 80-90 hours per week so the hours are there, but he just isn't running them. Plus, I feel like I have to babysit him on making sure he is doing his job. I did put an ad out to get feelers and we had no one qualified enough apply. So do I let him stay based on he does do clean work, but at a slow pace and cut his pay or just cut my losses and can him now.



spencersauto

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Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:42 am





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I am looking to see if I understand this. Your problem tech is getting paid $ 16.00 per hour for attendance and an additional $10.00 per billable hour produced? If he is not up to par explain it to him in counseling sessions, and get his signature on the counseling form each and every time. Document, document, document. Then be sure that you are on solid ground thru the State of Texas or your employee leasing company before you fire him.

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I am looking to see if I understand this. Your problem tech is getting paid $ 16.00 per hour for attendance and an additional $10.00 per billable hour produced? If he is not up to par explain it to him in counseling sessions, and get his signature on the counseling form each and every time. Document, document, document. Then be sure that you are on solid ground thru the State of Texas or your employee leasing company before you fire him.

Exactly. Have every little thing documented and signed. It sucks, but it has to be done. I had an employee violate a policy in the handbook that was signed and they still received unemployment (which raies your taxes)... :huh: Thanks Texas.

 

I know the real reason why she received unemployment, but that's not something I'll comment on in a public forum. So have a paper trail like Shopcat said. The more write ups, the better you off you are

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....
....
Have you spoke to this employee as a person, yet? Seriously...you have a carrot dangled for productivity, yet they are not reaching it. Perhaps more is going on?

Is this employee a number or person to you?

Perhaps after such a meeting, perhaps over lunch or dinner after work, you'll find an answer....and perhaps the answer is to part ways, but amicably.

 

Later,

Matt.

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What kind of benefits do you have?

Do you expect the mechanics to provide their own special tools and scanners?

Do you expect your mehanicd to work on Saturdays? Do you have a retirement plan for your techs? Do you have a nice House and cars for you your wife and kids? Send you kids to college? Are your mechanics barely getting by. Do you even care?

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The employee was paid $16 per hour for attendance and an additional $10 per flag hour. He's been written up twice in the last 90 days. Unfortunately I let him go shortly after this post. He misdiagnosed a blend door and it was a heater core and after all that he failed to let me know the temp. gauge wasn't working. We do not offer health insurance, 23 do supply all tools and scanners, and no saturdays. We also have bonus programs for record months. In regards to having a nice home I in fact do, and I work hard for it. This individual could have had to same if he was willing to work for it, but he wasn't.

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Something this thread has left me unclear of. Was the tech in question doing daily tracking of his productivity, which is different then the manager or owner doing it. If we have an expectation of our techs, do they know what it is and how they are measuring up, every single day. I don't hold much back from my staff. My line techs understand that we work for a 70% gross profit margin, or better, on there labor. Techs tracker allows them to see their gross pay calculate every day against what we should be paying them based on the gp% goal we have set for them. Pretty basic excel spread sheet that they fill out everyday.

 

We saw a marked improvement in technicians buy in/understanding, when we implemented this in 2012. It's not a fixall, but it is an ingrediant.

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Mechanics use to be payed 50% of the labor and some got paid a smaller percentage of parts. The cost of doing business has NOT gone up that much! Something is wrong with the system. Mechanics/ technicians are getting cheated. The shop managers and shop owners are being told how their shops should be run by all these professional business advisors and their software management systems and they use the "numbers" to beat over the head of mechanics. In addition there is this whole expectation that they have to totally up to speed on all the new cars and technology. The shop owners and managers need a reality check.

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Mechanics use to be payed 50% of the labor and some got paid a smaller percentage of parts. The cost of doing business has NOT gone up that much! Something is wrong with the system. Mechanics/ technicians are getting cheated. The shop managers and shop owners are being told how their shops should be run by all these professional business advisors and their software management systems and they use the "numbers" to beat over the head of mechanics. In addition there is this whole expectation that they have to totally up to speed on all the new cars and technology. The shop owners and managers need a reality check.

Seems to me you've spent most of your time on this forum upset that the shop owners are turning a profit. That being said your post also show that you don't have the shop owner perspective. Why don't you start a shop and see the cost of doing business for yourself. I agree, tech pay is low in some areas, but you seem like you just have a bone to pick. Almost like the world owes you something? If your getting cheated go out on your own!

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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Seems to me you've spent most of your time on this forum upset that the shop owners are turning a profit. That being said your post also show that you don't have the shop owner perspective. Why don't you start a shop and see the cost of doing business for yourself. I agree, tech pay is low in some areas, but you seem like you just have a bone to pick. Almost like the world owes you something? If your getting cheated go out on your own!

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Well said ncautoshop. Both my lead tech and the one I just terminated are making close to what I do. By no means are we greedy! Like the other post said if you don't like the pay try starting your own shop and then you can see what we're up against.

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Mechanics use to be payed 50% of the labor and some got paid a smaller percentage of parts.

 

I was one of those Mechanics. 45 years experience. Remember 50% labor was $10 and it was 50% wether you made flat rate or not. We did it on the floors, very few racks, the shop supplied almost not tools. If you had a SUN machine that was a top shop. Flat rate for a Chevy water pump was .7

 

The cost of doing business has NOT gone up that much! Something is wrong with the system.

 

I am now an owner. I have to pay my techs insurance, the shop insurance, a new alignment machine is $25000.00, new rack $15k, any diag equipment $1000.00 or better, water bill power bill(you know how yours has gone up) internet, phones, etc. And then wages for the techs and the service writers that deal with the customers so the tech don't have too, order parts so the techs don't have too and can just work

 

Mechanics/ technicians are getting cheated. The shop managers and shop owners are being told how their shops should be run by all these professional business advisors and their software management systems and they use the "numbers" to beat over the head of mechanics.

 

Any business uses "numbers" to track their employee productivity. I worked in a factory and if you did not do a certain amount of production they wrote you up and after a few of those you had no job.

 

In addition there is this whole expectation that they have to totally up to speed on all the new cars and technology. The shop owners and managers need a reality check.

Just remember in most cases we are the last to get paid.

 

Richard

 

(Sorry look in the Quote for my comments as a reply}

Edited by Truett
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The cost of doing business has NOT gone up that much!

 

Probably the dumbest thing I've read on this forum to date. Actually, your entire post failed to help the OP entirely. How a moderator hasn't already blocked you for contributing CRAP to this topic is beyond me.

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Mechanics use to be payed 50% of the labor and some got paid a smaller percentage of parts. The cost of doing business has NOT gone up that much! Something is wrong with the system. Mechanics/ technicians are getting cheated. The shop managers and shop owners are being told how their shops should be run by all these professional business advisors and their software management systems and they use the "numbers" to beat over the head of mechanics. In addition there is this whole expectation that they have to totally up to speed on all the new cars and technology. The shop owners and managers need a reality check.

 

Steve, respectfully do you own a shop? Do you really know the day to day struggles of a shop owner?

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Something this thread has left me unclear of. Was the tech in question doing daily tracking of his productivity, which is different then the manager or owner doing it. If we have an expectation of our techs, do they know what it is and how they are measuring up, every single day. I don't hold much back from my staff. My line techs understand that we work for a 70% gross profit margin, or better, on there labor. Techs tracker allows them to see their gross pay calculate every day against what we should be paying them based on the gp% goal we have set for them. Pretty basic excel spread sheet that they fill out everyday.

 

We saw a marked improvement in technicians buy in/understanding, when we implemented this in 2012. It's not a fixall, but it is an ingrediant.

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My shop also does a gross profit plan. This kind of pay structure really helps encourage the technicians to increase productivity and work together to solve problems. I recommend having morning meeting so it has our entire staff to go over productivity goals and monthly projections. With a gross prophit pay plan technitians will keep eachother accountable for hours and will work together to increase hours and abilities.

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I'm pretty sure Steve is a troll from a facebook group which shares post from aso but takes it put of context. It's basically a group of techs which have failed or are failing in their chosen career and seem to blame everyone but themselves. I wouldn't put too much weight in it, just ignore him and they'll get bored and go away. It may even be Micheal Costa himself who has frequented the forum in the past.

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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I have been a tech for 30 years , 17 of them a business owner. I wholly agree with Steve's comments.

I became a shop owner because I got tired of being somebody else slave.

Granted , being a shop owner is tough. But at least I am nobody's boy.

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I have been a tech for 30 years , 17 of them a business owner. I wholly agree with Steve's comments.

I became a shop owner because I got tired of being somebody else slave.

Granted , being a shop owner is tough. But at least I am nobody's boy.

Please, do share with us fellow shop owners how you are paying your techs 50% of your labor and still keeping the doors open! I'd love to hear more, because I must be wasting 20% of my labor sales somewhere.

 

So how many techs do you have working for you? Are they all paid 50%, or is that just like an average of all of them combined. Are uniforms, insurance, and other perks included in this calculation, or is all that additional to the 50% they are getting?

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I have been a tech for 30 years , 17 of them a business owner. I wholly agree with Steve's comments.

I became a shop owner because I got tired of being somebody else slave.

Granted , being a shop owner is tough. But at least I am nobody's boy.

 

yeah, sure you do. Lets see your numbers, if you are paying your techs that, show us. And also show us their union cards.

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2 of my techs came from dealerships because they were tired of being slaves. Sans our bonus structure, their original starting pay was lower than the dealer and they were happy as can be to start. And 2 years in they are extremely happy. Are they making 50% of labor sales? No.

I would love to know how you operate a legal shop and pay your techs that.

Taxes, Insurance, Tools, Identifix, Mitchell, Diag computers/software, Gas/Power (have full HVAC year round), unemployment/WC, Paying for environmental grade disposal and storage of fluids, advertising/marketing, CC fees, 401K, Rent, phones, security, uniforms, etc.

 

You drop most of that, have a hole in the wall shop, cash only, pay everyone under the table, etc. I can see them getting 50%.

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I hired a Tech from a dealership. He wasn't making enough flag hours to pay his bills. He talked a big game and can do fairly extensive work on certain vehicles of a certain manufacturer. But anything else he's struggling. Just about everything he's touched in the last few weeks has broken, stripped, and generally FUBAR'd along the way costing me a bunch. He called in sick Saturday by instant messaging me on Facebook Friday night saying he didn't feel well and had a runny nose. He's a complete slob and despite me asking him repeatedly to wear my uniform colors he insists on wearing a crappy sweatshirt over my uniform that doesn't match because he's cold. He can't figure his way out of a paper sack without Identifix and diagnoses everything by saying "Identifix says..." so it 'could' be this or that. He's also very, very slow and methodical.

 

I don't document leading up to a firing. What's the point? I caught a guy stealing from my cash drawer and the State still granted him unemployment! This guy is gone as soon as I can talk to him tomorrow morning. Hate doing it this time of year but there's more to this than I have time to write. I've got a large loan on this business and he's costing me money and can't keep up with basic expectations. I started interviewing last week and my first two candidates had felony drug charges or child endangerment charges. Geeesh!

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_2080, on 27 Nov 2016 - 9:09 PM, said:snapback.png

I have been a tech for 30 years , 17 of them a business owner. I wholly agree with Steve's comments.

I became a shop owner because I got tired of being somebody else slave.

Granted , being a shop owner is tough. But at least I am nobody's boy.

Please, do share with us fellow shop owners how you are paying your techs 50% of your labor and still keeping the doors open! I'd love to hear more, because I must be wasting 20% of my labor sales somewhere.

 

So how many techs do you have working for you? Are they all paid 50%, or is that just like an average of all of them combined. Are uniforms, insurance, and other perks included in this calculation, or is all that additional to the 50% they are getting?

 

 

 

DID I EVER SAY ANYWHERE THAT I WAS PAYING 50% TO ANYONE????

You people are just a bunch of retards.

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Mechanics use to be payed 50% of the labor and some got paid a smaller percentage of parts. The cost of doing business has NOT gone up that much! Something is wrong with the system. Mechanics/ technicians are getting cheated. The shop managers and shop owners are being told how their shops should be run by all these professional business advisors and their software management systems and they use the "numbers" to beat over the head of mechanics. In addition there is this whole expectation that they have to totally up to speed on all the new cars and technology. The shop owners and managers need a reality check.

This is the post everyone keeps referencing, not you _2080. No need to get so defensive and rude.

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I have been a mechanic at the same shop for 26 years.. I do get 50% of labor but that is it, I buy all my own diagnostic tools and all other tools. I don't get medical insurance, I get 10 days paid vacation a year and that is it.. no retirement, no a/c in the summer we suffer and yes it is hot here. I get no sick leave no Christmas bonus to speak of 50 bucks. No paid holidays which aren't many a year anyway just the big ones. No perks what so ever ! I have to pay 740 a month out of my pocket for health insurance.. basically I live paycheck to paycheck and have no retirement. So 50% may sound great but really it sucks!

Edited by skm
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_2080, on 27 Nov 2016 - 9:09 PM, said:snapback.png

Please, do share with us fellow shop owners how you are paying your techs 50% of your labor and still keeping the doors open! I'd love to hear more, because I must be wasting 20% of my labor sales somewhere.

 

So how many techs do you have working for you? Are they all paid 50%, or is that just like an average of all of them combined. Are uniforms, insurance, and other perks included in this calculation, or is all that additional to the 50% they are getting?

 

 

 

DID I EVER SAY ANYWHERE THAT I WAS PAYING 50% TO ANYONE????

You people are just a bunch of retards.

 

 

_2080, you need to keep it professional here.

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I have several questions and answers. I have been in business 48 years. Our head technician makes $38.00 flat, he flags at least 135 % and makes about 100K I have a b technician with shop duties. He makes $19.00 an hour plus 5% commission. His average work order for the month of Dec 215.00. CSR makes 14 per hour plus commission. Other Techs are on flat rate ranging from 26-30 per hour. Our marketing person makes 50K plus bonus. (to make sure we have a good car count) Service writer makes straight 8% of all sales. Hope this helps someone.

 

My question is Technicians are so hard to find. The last 3 techs we hired, said they had to give 2 week notice. Then they go back to their job, tell their owner, he raises them to what we pay and they decide to stay where they are. The last one, the service writer, asked if he got a signing bonus if he could start Tuesday. We'll see if that works. I hate doing that, but we need 1 more tech.

That's some great information! I aspire to reach that level, but as you noted techs are hard to find. A local dealer we work with says for ever 10 techs he hires, they loose 9 within 2 months for one reason or another. I recall a part of a zig ziglar recording I heard once where he says "when the children leave our classes and head into the real world, they know that if the business owner isn't turning a profit, they can't afford to pay them. We teach them that it's more than a job, it's a career. It's more than a pay check".

Here we're finally headed in a better direction. The shop is expanding and we've brought on a new hire with less experience but a better attitude. Things feel much better - I hope he's here to stay. I hope I can continue to grow and pickup another tech and some more space.

Added the link for those interested.

https://youtu.be/hg8ciJs-f3Q

Edited by ncautoshop
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Steve and _2080,

 

If you want to make a difference (seems like you do if you're going out of your way to post on this forum), try to get people to understand where you're coming from. You can start with the following:

  • Do you run an automotive service shop (not just own but actually involved in day-to-day?)
  • If so, how many technicians do you employ at your shop?
  • What exactly is your pay structure?
  • What city, state is your shop located in?

There definitely are things to be said and discussed about regarding the treatment, perception, and pay of mechanics in this industry. But the way you both have posted about it gives me the assumption that you don't run an autoshop that employs mechanics. If that is untrue, then please, let us know so we can have a discussion about it because this forum is about learning from each other. But if you're not interested in having a meaningful conversation, and just want to offend people by assuming we all own nice houses, we intend to screw over our mechanics, that we are "retards," that we are "greedy," that we "don't care".... then please GTFO.

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Who are you talking to? I have owned and work daily in my business for 48 years. Not sure what your intent was. I thought this forum was to help other shop owners. If you don't agree that is one thing but you don't need to put down other owners. .

he's speaking to some "trolls" that frequent the site trying to get a rise.
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Oh boy, there's so much to learn about wages and all.

From calculating the hourly rate of the shop to what employees should be paid and how they should be taken care of

 

It's probably information that should be common sense but it's really not working out for me cause i'm starting out.

 

*bows to all the masters here*

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The employees never take a loss. They are guaranteed a paycheck for hours worked plus overtime pay. They have the comfort of unemployment insurance , workers comp, and insulation from litigation and most importantly they can clock out and go home. As shop owners we don't get these benefits, we risk it all every day. I expect a higher compensation commensurate with higher risk. That's capitalism. Looking at my p/l statements there are some months where I made less than my tech, a lot less. Add up all my hours worked and my salary and I slot in somewhere between minimum wage and seasonal migrant worker, some months I make less than an inmate. The few months I actually earn executive pay balances it all out.

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Steve and _2080,

 

If you want to make a difference (seems like you do if you're going out of your way to post on this forum), try to get people to understand where you're coming from. You can start with the following:

  • Do you run an automotive service shop (not just own but actually involved in day-to-day?)
  • If so, how many technicians do you employ at your shop?
  • What exactly is your pay structure?
  • What city, state is your shop located in?

There definitely are things to be said and discussed about regarding the treatment, perception, and pay of mechanics in this industry. But the way you both have posted about it gives me the assumption that you don't run an autoshop that employs mechanics. If that is untrue, then please, let us know so we can have a discussion about it because this forum is about learning from each other. But if you're not interested in having a meaningful conversation, and just want to offend people by assuming we all own nice houses, we intend to screw over our mechanics, that we are "retards," that we are "greedy," that we "don't care".... then please GTFO.

The silence in response is deafening.

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Mechanics and technicians need to start and join a UNION for better pay and benefits and if the shops can't handle it they should close up and open a pizza place or a bar. Let the big chains and dealers handle it. Too many greedy mom and pop shops.

 

 

Sorry for not following this close enough. To be honest, I had to read this a few times because I found the words upsetting.

 

In all due respect, the majority of shop owners WANT to pay their techs and other employees a decent and honest wage. We, actual shop owners, want to take care of people and keep valued employees. The solutions to adequate pay is not through the formation of a union, but in the success and profitability of the business.

 

And the statement, "Greedy mom and pops shops" is disrespectful to all the hard working, dedicated shop owners throughout this great nation.

 

Those mom and pops put in countless hours, stay late, get in early, give their heart to the community, hold fund raisers, sponsor little leagues, donate to their local church, hardly take a lunch break, take little to no vacation time, come in to work sick and will work on Sundays and holidays if it means taking care of a customer. How do I know all this....This "Pop" has done it for 36 years!

 

In general, shops do not make enough money, in spite of what some may think. But that is a topic for another day.

 

MOST IMPORTANT: Let us all have an open and honest discussion, without the drama and let us be respectful to each other. This site is called AutoShopOwner for a reason, so let us all stick together and not disrespect the business we devote so much of our lives to.

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      Millennials are going to be the key players in the industry Learn, apply and do things differently and better for the next time, be organized, gamification Millennials need feedback, constructive criticism, information, and guidance, but we also need some freedom to be able to make mistakes and be able to get on our feet. Adoption- 2 out of 3 of Kent’s children are adopted. “People look at our kids and say they are so lucky, but we (as their parents) are the lucky ones.” Gamification- the advisor teams will compete to improve their parts margin. Educate them, and train them on how to do that. If you have an individual element and a team element where they can still earn a bonus on their individual performance and earn an additional bonus with the team that's performed well, then it becomes more viable because they're not just relying on the team itself. Reward and incentivize the behavior you want to see
      Connect with the Podcast: Aftermarket Radio Network Subscribe on YouTube Visit us on the Web Follow on Facebook Become an Insider Buy me a coffee Important Books Check out today's partners: Set your sights on Las Vegas in 2023. Mark your calendar now … October 31 - Nov 2, 2023, AAPEX - Now more than ever. And don’t miss the next free AAPEX webinar. Register now at AAPEXSHOW.COM Shop-Ware: More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management getshopware.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


  • By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

    By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

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