We are a small rural shop; my guys are on salary and average 55-60 hours a week. Between the salary & bonus plan I think we are fair on our pay. We only charge 65.00/hour for mech work but our main shop is a tire shop, so we don't get into much other stop besides brakes or light mech work. The shop stays very busy that we some nights must stay late to get everyone taken care of. 1 employee focuses on the mech. part & helps with tires, the other is mainly tire & office sales & paperwork. There are a few times a month that the tire guy will need to do an afterhours call from anything from a jump start to a tractor tire repair. I want to compensate him for his extra work but not sure how to figure something simple & fair. I also don't want to make it something that they will start running more after ours because they will get more pay then if they were able to go out & do during reg business hours. Anyone with idea what they do hate to give profit away we still need to pay for the truck & fuel?
By Joe Marconi
Got your attention? Please read on...
In case you were hibernating the last year and half, you had to notice all the increases around you. From food, gas, utilities, taxes, insurance, etc., etc., etc. Not to mention all the training and tool investment we must make from now on, to remain in the business.
I have been preaching this for decades: As an industry we don't charge enough, especially when it comes to labor.
While there are ways to increase labor dollars, for example: becoming more productive, making sure that we charge for complex testing and driveability; Base labor rates have to factor in as the most important KPI in your business.
Do the math, get help from a coach if you need help calculating your labor rate.
A real Down and Dirty calculation: If you have one tech and you pay this tech $35 per hour ($42 loaded), then this tech has to bill $140 of labor for every hour worked. ASSUMING THIS TECH IS 100% PRODUCTTIVE.
DISCLAIMNER: THIS IS A REAL DOWN AND DIRTY QUICK CALCULATION, SEEK ADVICE IF YOU WANT A MORE ACCURATE REQUIRED LABOR RATE.
How to Have a Four Day Work Week with Eric Henley [RR 627]
Eric Henley, owner of H-Teck Auto Care in Gray, TN, is 4th generation of mechanical repair. He received an associate's degree in Auto Service Technology and spent over 15 years at a Honda dealership. Eric started H-Teck Auto Care in 2006 with just him, his dad and his wife. Going on over 15 years in business he now has a 6 bay shop.
4 generations in the automotive industryGrandfather was a blacksmith and father used to bring home cars to be fixed up. Eric grew up fixing bicycles, lawnmowers and cars. Received an associates degree in Auto Service Technology Spent 15 years in dealerships- income can go down as skill level goes up (more skilled jobs often wouldn’t pay as much) Hiring new techniciansUses Indeed and Facebook Marketplace but the best results come from word of mouth and referrals from existing employees Current prospect is 21 year old Skills USA graduate Current tenured technicians - 15 years, 11 years, 3 years Food Friday’sEither grill or go out to eat every Friday- have employee meeting over a meal All employees and Eric discuss any issues, improvements, ideas, areas needed for training, or tools needed. Open dialogue and non-formal Eric gives his employees the opportunity for responsibilities in the business- currently working on updating SOP’s with more DVI usage Shop is open 5 days a week with weekends offEric is in the shop 4 days a week because he trusts his employees- they are good people able to follow the SOP’s in place and make day to day decisions Employees will know if you don’t trust them- creates “neediness” for everything Gives his employees monthly expenditures they can use for customers in need Spends extra time in the community and with his family He is very involved in his employee's lives and is flexible with work schedules based on their family schedules What makes a great service advisor?Excellent people skills and communication skills- enjoy talking to people Can think quickly on their feet, a warm personality, patient and good listener Similar to a good waitress/waiter- there when you need them, listen to what you need, then go on to the next table. Both of Eric’s service advisors are in ongoing training Best service advisor trainers- previous service advisor, or previous technician with good people skills, or having parts experience TrainingRequires minimum 30 hours per year of training Utilized online training a lot last year during COVID shutdowns RRR 588 with Jim Fleischman and Matt Manzone- Dealership tech now works for an independent How to Have a Four Day Work Week with Eric Henley [RR 627]
Thanks to Eric Henley for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP's HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
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NAPA Autotech Training helps your technicians keep their skills sharp and their NAPA Know How up to date. It’s the highest quality technical training that covers almost every vehicle system and every make and model. NAPA Autotech is presented by experienced instructors who are ASE master certified technicians. Even after a class is over, techs can access course information online with ClassPass. So when questions come up later they can get the answers. AutoCare Center owners who have taken advantage of Autotech Training say that well-trained technicians are helping to increase their shop’s repair capability and raise bay productivity. That results in fewer comebacks, more satisfied shop customers, and reduced technician turnover.
Learn more about NAPA AutoCare and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting www.NAPAAutoCare.com.
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We are in desperate need of techs. I tried Indeed and was very dissatisfied with the "talent" they sent us. I am considering Find A Wrench they post on Indeed as well as Zip Recruiter and some 90 other companies as well as social media. Has anyone tried them or ACT Auto Staffing?
Greg Skolnik is the owner of Motor Works, Inc. in Rockville, MD. He is certified as a Master Automobile Technician and holds the prestigious L-1 advanced engine performance and emission analysis certification. Greg also received his (AMAM) degree from the Automotive Management Institute. Greg has a four day work week and has been doing pre-scheduling for years. He is also a part-time coach for Elite World Wide. Listen to Greg's previous episodes HERE.
Bill Thompson is the President of IMR Inc. Founded in 1975, IMR conducts syndicated and proprietary market research studies that focus on the automotive industry including the automotive aftermarket, heavy-duty, and fleet segments. Since Bill joined IMR in 2003, the company has expanded its research portfolio and service offerings to provide a wide range of strategic and tactical solutions that provide insight into your most pressing questions. With a focus on industry trends, consumer and repair shop purchasing behavior, channel trends, and many other important metrics, IMR’s research provides insight into your market that can bring you closer to your customers, distribution channels, and market opportunities. Listen to Bill’s previous episodes HERE.
Craig Noel, Owner of 4 location Sun Automotive Springfield, OR. Craig graduated from Lane Community College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Repair and quickly went to work. He worked for Ford as a Senior Master Technician and then working my way up through the ranks as Team Lead, Service Advisor, Assistant Service Manager.
He has also built ground up Street Rods/Show Cars for over 30 years as a hobby. He was “headhunted” by the original owner of Sun Automotive in 2011 and became GM at that time. As of January 1st 2017, he is the proud owner of Sun Automotive. Craig was also on the Academy discussion on 250K Maintenance Program.
Key Talking Points
IMR Charts How worried are you about being exposed to Covid-19 by taking your car to a repair shop? If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you research reviews for vehicle repair shops? If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you choose a repair shop that offers a ‘Touchless’ customer experience? If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you take advantage of a financing option for a major repair? If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you accept an appointment in the future for your vehicle’s next scheduled maintenance? Schedule in advance like you do the dentistPencil them in on a certain date Follow up a week or two prior to confirm Sell it as ‘you want to make sure the right technician is here to accommodate the repairs or maintenance needed for this appointment’ Get the customers conditioned to this process What if the customer says noWhy be penny wise pound foolish with your car Explain to them why it’s important Extend the life of the car/investment Scheduling ahead is a piece of mind for the customer How do we go about doing this?What are the processes in place here? Create a ‘canned jobs’ services sheets Create a series of processes by your front office We are in the relationship business At the beginning, you might get some pushback, but eventually, your customers will ask you about scheduling the next appointment Offer a credit for pre-scheduling appointments Phone rings and service advisor needs to spend 10 minutes booking an appointment vs the pre-scheduling appointmentsProactive internal and external communication Imagine the freed-up time you get with clients Move from a reactive shop to an action focus Move the process forward Offer a limited loaner car and you want them to be able to get one Final ThoughtsBill ThompsonOut of 26K households questioned, 59.7% of them say that they would accept an appointment in the future Craig NoelFocus on the relational part of what our responsibilities to help the customer are all about It’s all about being proactive Greg SkolnikThe end result of this is, we will have trained our clients that we have our stuff together vs the guy down the street
A special thanks to Bill Thompson, Craig Noel, and Greg Skolnik for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Facebook Twitter Linked In Email
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