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Do you guys honestly get good use your of your scheduler?


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Just a thought guys. I know I've seen shops where the operation runs amazingly efficient in terms of scheduling. The schedule is laid out where blocks of technician time is blocked off based on the in shop work as well as in coming appointments. Personally I have never gotten it to work well for me. We have a lot of inefficiencies with appointments mainly due to people breaking them. Customers generally do not respect appointments with auto shops as much as they do with doctors and dentists. I have tried every which way to make folks showing up for appointments as accurate as possible. The other problem is when vehicle inspections turn into big tickets with lots of hours. The third problem is blocking out time based on their efficiency %s but depending on the mix of work they might be extremely efficient or less efficient which will can throw a schedule into chaos.

 

How do you guys finding the use of a scheduler?

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The Mitchell scheduler is the best I have seen but I also have issues like mspecperformance.

 

We have done a good job getting people to show up and on time. This is a rather easy issue to cure if you are willing to apply the effort. Here is what we have done to minimize this late/no show issue.

1. We text the customer to remind them of the appointment with the wonderful BoltOnTech messenger pro. If they do not confirm the appointment we will either text them a note or call them.
2. We email the customer to remind them of the appointment with the Mitchell CRM program.

3. When a customer is 1 minute late we call them. This is the most important step because we are training the customer to honor the appointment time. An important thing to know about calling them is to call them in a manner that you come off as being concerned about them. You want the customer to know that you are concerned about their welfare and you want to know that they are okay.

4. I feel that if you have a repeat offender that it is alright to call them and explain to them the importance of your schedule. I have a great customer but he was always late or a no show. I politely told him that we really appropriate his business and he is a valued customer. I then went on to tell him that in order to give all our customers the top notch service we need to follow a tight schedule. By the end of the call he knew that when his appointment was for 9am that I had a tech waiting for him. He was happy and our relationship has never been better. He has never been late or missed since.

Follow these steps and in a short while you will be having customers calling you when they are running a few minutes late.

 

About the scheduling issue!! I am also struggling allot with this. I think smaller shops have more trouble with this than larger shop with more techs. I have days were we can not give service away and days where everything sells itself. I think the only thing we can do is to insure that our techs know their schedule DAILY. A whiteboard is good but takes time to manage. I print the tech's schedule every day and hand it to the tech before the work day begins.

 

Other than that I am at a loss of what to do. It always seems that Mr. Smith who barely had time for the oil service all of the sudden he wants to do that 4 wheel brakes and transmission service. Now we scramble to get him to work, order parts and get the car done with an almost full schedule. I am always fearful to reschedule Mr. Smith in fear of losing the 62% profit margin job. If I don't take the job I risk losing it but on the same token I am one broken bolt away from a disaster day.

I am trained to have more techs than what I need and push the pressure to keeping them busy onto the Service Advisor and tech's but i feel that is an UN-healthy game. I would love to hear some ideas to solve this problem.

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I've actually started to like the new Mitchell scheduler. I don't use it exactly like it was designed, but I think that's probably typical. It took me a few weeks to figure out how to get it to work for my scenario, but I finally figured out some tricks and it works great now.

 

I have kukui email the customer I think 5 or 7 days before the appointment. I use bolt on to send a text reminder the day before (at 6pm). I usually call a customer a few minutes after their appointment time if they haven't shown up.

 

As for inspections turning into large jobs, I'd say look at your average hours/ticket, then anticipate small jobs turning into that. Also, telling the customer that it's going to take longer than it actually will can help you shuffle the schedule around.

 

The efficiency thing: I completely ignore labor guide times and schedule what I think it's gonna take to complete the job. I have a new tech that just started last month, and he has no problem working on 2-3 cars at time. He's quick. So I know put a 2 hour job on the schedule as really at 1.5 hours....

 

Hope that helps.

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Autovitals Workflow lets us see exactly how our techs are loaded and what the real-time status is on each job. We have a touchscreen display in each shop that lets managers pull up the RO on any job in the shop. You can also pull up all of the photos techs have taken during the digital visual inspection.

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I use Mitchell and the scheduler in the system to me is very complicated. So still using white board. It is something I need to spend time on. Does anyone else feel the same about the Mitchell scheduler?

Today, 10:39 PM

Hi Bockauto. I just ordered a dry erase board because I too find the Mitchell scheduler kind of clunky. Not sure how to set it up and I was hoping you wouldn't mind sharing how you use yours? How do you block off time? Help!

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