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By Joe Marconi in Joe's BlogTypically, when productivity suffers, the shop owner or manager directs their attention to the technicians. Are they doing all they can do to maintain high billable hours? Are they as efficient as they can be? Is there time being wasted throughout the technician’s day?
All these reasons factor into production problems, but before we point fingers at the technicians, let’s consider a few other factors.
Are estimates being written properly? Are labor testing and inspections being billed out correctly? Are you charging enough for testing and inspecting, especially for highly specialized electrical, on-board computer issues, and other complex drivability work? Is there a clear workflow process everyone follows that details every step from the write-up to vehicle delivery? Do you track comebacks, and is that affecting production? Is the shop layout not conducive to high production? For example, is it unorganized, where shop tools, technical information, and equipment are not easily accessible to every technician? Are you charging the correct labor rate and allowing for variables such as rust, vehicle age, and the fact that most labor guides are wrong? Also, is there effective communication between the tech and the service advisor to ensure that extra labor time is accounted for and billed to the customer? These are a few of the top reasons for low productivity problems. There are others, but the main point is to look at the entire operation. Productivity is a team effort. Blaming the techs or other staff members does not get to the root cause in most cases.
Maintaining adequate production levels is the responsibility of management to create the processes that will lead to high production while holding everyone accountable.
By Transmission Repair
What does the future look like for the automotive industry? Listen to the perspectives of Jennifer Maher, Executive Director of the TechForce Foundation, Derek Kaufman, Managing Partner at Schwartz Advisors, Matt Fanslow, Lead Diagnostician and Shop Manager at Riverside Automotive, and Dustin Brown, Shop Owner of Brown Auto Experts with 3 locations. We have an open discussion about future trends, aftermarket challenges, and electric vehicles.
Jennifer Maher, Executive Director, TechForce Foundation, Jennifer's previous episodes HERE Derek Kaufman, Managing Partner, Schwartz Advisors, President of C3 Network. Listen to Derek’s previous episodes HERE. Matt Fanslow, lead diagnostician and shop manager, Riverside Automotive, Red Wing, MN. Matt’s previous episodes HERE Dustin Brown, Brown Auto Experts, 3 Locations in New Mexico, Albuquerque, Village of Los Ranchos and Rio Rancho. Listen to Dustin’s other episodes HERE
Today's BEV headlines may be "over the top" in terms of the pace of BEV adoption, but the VIO will definitively change over time – we are forecasting the VIO at 7.3% BEV in 2030, 26.5% in 2040 and 51.2% in 2050 We know that people are talking about 60 and even 70% reductions in BEV maintenance versus ICE cars, and that may be true – but the true lifetime service of BEVs has more to do with major part failures than it does maintenance. Motors, power modules and other BEV components will fail and the aftermarket will be ready to service them. BEVs will generate new under-car and cooling system service opportunities – they are heavier and have higher torque, so suspensions, half shafts, and steering gear will see more wear than ICE cars. Cooling systems will be much more sophisticated with multi-directional and intelligent valves, PTC and Heat Pump heaters, multiple radiators, and many more fluid connectors. Multi Shop Owner- consistency of service Technology not only makes things more complex, in many cases, but that complexity is usually in the background. Technology also makes things easier. Not just vehicle technology itself, but tools and equipment technology. The technology is here for a 100% automated tire changing system, but it is cost prohibitive for many/most. It won't remain so, and if it isn't 100% automated, you'll just need someone to take the wheel off and roll it to the machine, the machine will replace the tire, maybe test the TPMS sensor, and then mount the new tire and balance it. The human will be little more than an assistant. Technology may make vehicles, as it has already done, even more reliable, but also change how we service them. The following are already expected by most but will soon be expected by all due to the cost of repairs. Top Notch Facilities, clean and professional appearance inside and out. Top customer service experience. Professionalism from all areas of the business. Tools, equipment, digital inspections, customer education materials Diversity in the workforce- including more women and the younger generation, puzzle solving Variety of vehicles in the next 30 years New jobs- power stations, power grids, safety on repairs Investors- real estate game (pit stop), autonomous trucks in ‘service center.’ Be malleable and willing to adapt
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Check out today's partners:
Shop-Ware: More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management getshopware.com
Delphi Technologies: Keeping current on the latest vehicle systems and how to repair them is a must for today’s technicians. DelphiAftermarket.com
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By Joe Marconi
As we close out 2022, it's time to reflect on the past year. Review your accomplishments, the state of your business, your personal life, and things that could have gone better. The key thing to remember is that it's better to have a plan and goals instead of trying to fly blind.
Establish your goals for 2023 and beyond. Include family time too, and time for yourself. It's not all about business. Having the right balance will actually make your business more successful.
Speak with your employees too. Find out from them what went wrong, what went right, and what they would like to see in the coming year. While you can't always act on what your employees want, getting their perspective will not only help you create the plan moving forward, it will help to build morale, a win/win for all.