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Cell phone and internet distractions


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This is a tough one. My guys spend a signifcant amout of time on the internet doing research about the cars the are working on. Forums, Youtube videos, Alldata, etc. They use their cell phones as well for research, to take pictures of things they are working on to share, or for a reference so they are sure to put it back together correctly. They also spend a fair amout of non business related time on the web and on their phones. If you took these tools away from them, would it be a gain or a loss for your business? My guys get their work done, so for me right now the benefits outweight the costs.

Scott   

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Texting and random non-buisiness related internet searching is not allowed except during lunch and break. Occasional cell phone use (in coming and out going) is allowed and has not been abused. All of the above can get quickly out of hand unless strict guidelines are established and consistently enforced. This means that owners and managers need to follow the same restrictions. “What is good for the folks is good for the people”. If all of America eliminated all non-work related cell phone/internet use our overall productivity would increase dramatically.

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5 hours ago, JimO said:

Texting and random non-buisiness related internet searching is not allowed except during lunch and break. Occasional cell phone use (in coming and out going) is allowed and has not been abused. All of the above can get quickly out of hand unless strict guidelines are established and consistently enforced. This means that owners and managers need to follow the same restrictions. “What is good for the folks is good for the people”. If all of America eliminated all non-work related cell phone/internet use our overall productivity would increase dramatically.

I'm curious how you are able to eliminate all non-work related use? How do you monitor that? What are your parameters for detemining non-work related?

Scott

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1 hour ago, ScottSpec said:

I'm curious how you are able to eliminate all non-work related use? How do you monitor that? What are your parameters for detemining non-work related?

Scott

I have a three bay gas/service station that I own with my brother for 45 years. Either myself or my brother or both of us are there at work every day. We are fortunate to have two great techs that have each been with us for over 35 years. They both respect our rules and style of work and in turn we appreciate and respect them. My day is split between being in the office and being out in the shop working with my techs, sometimes side by side on the same job or by myself in the next bay. I guess the best, most direct answer to how I monitor internet use is this: I am there handing them the brake pads for their next job, I am there opening the bay door on a cold day, I am there in the shop seeing a 24” monitor being used for shop related reference, nothing more, nothing less. If I was an absentee owner I would no doubt be somewhat out of touch and monitoring texting and internet use would not be my only worry or concern.

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On 12/24/2017 at 11:16 AM, ScottSpec said:

This is a tough one. My guys spend a signifcant amout of time on the internet doing research about the cars the are working on. Forums, Youtube videos, Alldata, etc. They use their cell phones as well for research, to take pictures of things they are working on to share, or for a reference so they are sure to put it back together correctly. They also spend a fair amout of non business related time on the web and on their phones. If you took these tools away from them, would it be a gain or a loss for your business? My guys get their work done, so for me right now the benefits outweight the costs.

Scott   

No offense but why are your techs looking on forums, youtube etc.... while working on cars? Is this what a Mechanic is now a days? Is this possible why a huge part of the general public believes that anyone can fix a car all you need is google , youtube. or the little device you plug into the obd port and link to an app on your phone? NOT a good thing!  Wouldn't the shop be much more proficient and money making if the "significant amount of time on internet doing research about the cars they are working on " was already in their heads? Seems as if maybe different techs are needed .

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1 hour ago, skm said:

No offense but why are your techs looking on forums, youtube etc.... while working on cars? Is this what a Mechanic is now a days? Is this possible why a huge part of the general public believes that anyone can fix a car all you need is google , youtube. or the little device you plug into the obd port and link to an app on your phone? NOT a good thing!  Wouldn't the shop be much more proficient and money making if the "significant amount of time on internet doing research about the cars they are working on " was already in their heads? Seems as if maybe different techs are needed .

skm,

I've never met anyone who had that vast amount of knowledge "already in their heads". I would love to know how and were one obtains all that information. Especially knowledge of problems and testing methods that are experimental or don't even exist yet. Are you saying your techs already have all this info in their heads? Do they know where the most connectors are on every model of Volvo and BMW? Do they know if there are any software updates to address the neutral lockout on the turn of the century Volvo's? Or if their is any software updates to address Volvo evap codes? Do they know which modules are on the high speed bus, low speed bus, lan, and all the functions of each module? What modules use serial and which modules use parallel communication? Do they know which manufacturers require a locksmith license in order to program keys? Do they know what causes oil consumption in the SIL 6cyl? Do they know what modules are mated to a car and what modules can be transferred to another car? Do they know where to have a module cloned or repaired increasing the likelyhood of the customer purchasing the repair, and increasing profit to the shop? Do they know how to test every make and model air fuel ratio sensors? Do they alreay know how to set up ISTA, ISTAP, OSS, Techstream, VIDA, STAR, and how to configure them with the OE interface or a J2534? 

I hope you get my point that anyone who claims to have all this knowledge already in their heads is most likey not being honest.

Scott

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scott, I knew I would hit a nerve.... one easy solution a shop program such as alldata, shopkey etc.... of course nobody has all the information , but also you are not going to find software updates on Youtube.. you are reaching for an excuse let's be honest my friend if you went to the doctor and saw him looking up symptoms or how to perform a particular procedure on youtube you would not have much trust or faith in them.. so why would you with a mechanic.. now if they were accessing a clinical program with proper documents written by professionals not self proclaimed Dr's you would have more faith in them... Next time you have to have a surgery or something I hope you don't notice the doctor pulling out his tablet and accessing youtube .

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5 hours ago, skm said:

scott, I knew I would hit a nerve.... one easy solution a shop program such as alldata, shopkey etc.... of course nobody has all the information , but also you are not going to find software updates on Youtube.. you are reaching for an excuse let's be honest my friend if you went to the doctor and saw him looking up symptoms or how to perform a particular procedure on youtube you would not have much trust or faith in them.. so why would you with a mechanic.. now if they were accessing a clinical program with proper documents written by professionals not self proclaimed Dr's you would have more faith in them... Next time you have to have a surgery or something I hope you don't notice the doctor pulling out his tablet and accessing youtube .

skm,

You are correct about hitting a nerve, but probably not for the reason you think. It was by introducing a fictional character into a discussion about the costs and benefits of modern technology in our shops. A discussion about how to clearly define what is and what is not business use, and how to enforce policies. When one of my daughters was in her teens, I monitored all her internet activity. Because she was a teenager and I did not trust her decision making. This was about 15 years ago. I want my mechanics, my customers, and the public to see my mechanics as the professionals they are. If I have to monitor their activity, like I monitored my daughters, it would seem that I see them more like teenages, and less like professionals.

I'm not saying I have the answers or know what is best. As I stated in my original post. This is a tough one. Which is why I joined this discussion. I do know my business has benefited immensely from their access to these tools. I have been out of the shop for the last week. I know that when I go back next week everything I left to be done, will be done. And they do it without a single call or email to me.      

We have Alldata, VIDA, ISAT, ODIS, & Techstream, as well as access to Mitchell and most other manufacturers online systems and I can assure you from experience, that they all have their shortcomings. With regards to YouTube, I personally find it an invaluable resource. I have created and posted numerous videos that contain valuable information that I can guarantee you will never find anywhere else.

Scott 

 

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Scott,

I am sorry i upset you, I am very passionate about what I do . I see way too many hacks and street guys out there. I can see you are also very passionate about what you do as well, this is what we need to keep this industry in check. We will all have different opinions on things and the way things should be done just because one enters an opinion that differs from one's own it does not mean it is an attack on them it is just an opinion.. (we all interpret things in different ways, one may read something and see it totally different to how someone else may see it)

It is great that you have the confidence in your crew ! I am sure that makes your job that much easier. 

Yes we all need access to information and yes there is no such thing as too much information . Sometimes that information may be very questionable especially when coming from a very public source .. If you don't mind I would like to see some of the videos you have made . 

Anyway enjoy the rest of you time off and Happy New Year to you. May this coming year be even more profitable than the last !

Happy New Year

simon

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8 hours ago, skm said:

Scott,

I am sorry i upset you, I am very passionate about what I do . I see way too many hacks and street guys out there. I can see you are also very passionate about what you do as well, this is what we need to keep this industry in check. We will all have different opinions on things and the way things should be done just because one enters an opinion that differs from one's own it does not mean it is an attack on them it is just an opinion.. (we all interpret things in different ways, one may read something and see it totally different to how someone else may see it)

It is great that you have the confidence in your crew ! I am sure that makes your job that much easier. 

Yes we all need access to information and yes there is no such thing as too much information . Sometimes that information may be very questionable especially when coming from a very public source .. If you don't mind I would like to see some of the videos you have made . 

Anyway enjoy the rest of you time off and Happy New Year to you. May this coming year be even more profitable than the last !

Happy New Year

simon

Simon,

While you did hit a sensitive subject, I don't feel attacked, and there is no need to be apologetic. Our exchange may be a bit passionate, but I don’t feel it has been uncivil or disrespectful. I think we are probably very much in agreement, just stating it in different ways. I want mechanics to be treated as the professionals they are. I think your frustration with the lack of professionalism and questionable characters in this industry, is another way of stating the same thing.

Here is where I have struggled in our exchange. You seem very committed to learning all you can to be the best shop owner you can be. You are here participating in this forum, on a holiday weekend even. You are willing to watch YouTube videos and have probably watch some of the videos promoted here from the Car Count Guy or the Car Count Fixer. You seem willing to consume as much information as you can, in order to improve your job performance. I image you consider yourself to be a committed professional, and you should. I don’t know if you still see it the same way, but in your initial reply, you painted a mechanic that approaches his profession the same way, as inept or inefficient.  

My guess is that you are thinking about the guy who watches a few YouTube videos and thinks he is a mechanic, while I thinking about one of my guys trying to find a better way to keep tension on a BMW timing chain while he replaces the upper timing cover gaskets.  

Most of my YouTube Videos have to do with software development, but here is a  good example of somthing you might find useful if you ever run across a 3.0 or 3.2 SIL 6yl with a bad R.E.A.D. unit. https://www.scottsautomotivemd.com/volvo-rear-end-accessory-drive/ 

Hope you have a great 2018 as well.

Scott

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I'm good with my guys researching on any platform available. I agree, as a shop owner I'm continually researching and learning. I want my guys to have the same attitude, and they do. If the quickest way for them to look something up is on their phone, I will live with it. Yes, first they look at our shop resources. However, we've been standing there talking about something and one looks it up on the phone while we're talking and finds good info. This is the age and world we live in. I hate seeing the guys have their phones handy, but so far I've put up with it because it can also be productive. I've also seen each guy is different, and I believe it's best (for me) to allow some flexibility with how my guys want to do things.

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1 hour ago, gandgautorepair said:

I'm good with my guys researching on any platform available. I agree, as a shop owner I'm continually researching and learning. I want my guys to have the same attitude, and they do. If the quickest way for them to look something up is on their phone, I will live with it. Yes, first they look at our shop resources. However, we've been standing there talking about something and one looks it up on the phone while we're talking and finds good info. This is the age and world we live in. I hate seeing the guys have their phones handy, but so far I've put up with it because it can also be productive. I've also seen each guy is different, and I believe it's best (for me) to allow some flexibility with how my guys want to do things.

It's funny, Yesterday I came in and one of my techs was searching a BMW for a starter relay that Alldata showed behind the glove box. So then he went scouring the web for help. Eventually he found that there was no relay and that the information in Alldata was incorrect. This seems to occur many times a week. My service manager has nicknamed it smalldata and nodata.

Scott 

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