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12 Days of Christmas


Gonzo

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 12 Days of Christmas 
      at an Automotive Repair Shop
 
You know the song, so just sing along with me in the holiday spirit.
 
On the 1st day of Christmas  a customer sent to me:
A cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 2nd day Christmas a customer sent to me:
2 Latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 3rd day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
3 Wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun. 
 
On the 4th day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
4 Wire straps, 3 wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 5th day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
5 Piston rings, 4 wire straps, 3 wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 6th day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
6 Brand new sockets, 5 piston rings,  4 wire straps, 3 wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 7th day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
7 Dash lights flashing, 6 brand new sockets, 5 piston rings,  4 wire straps, 3 wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 8th day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
8 Engines leaking, 7 dash lights flashing, 6 brand new sockets, 5 piston rings, 4 wire straps, 3 wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 9th day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
9 Coils a-sparking, 8 engines leaking, 7 dash lights flashing, 6 brand new sockets, 5 piston rings, 4 wire straps, 3 wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 10th day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
10 Headlights blinking, 9 coils a-sparking, 8 engines leaking, 7 dash lights flashing, 6 brand new sockets, 5 piston rings, 4 wire straps, 3 wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 11th day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
11 Gears a-grinding, 10 headlights blinking, 9 coils a-sparking, 8 engines leaking, 7 dash lights flashing, 6 brand new sockets, 5 piston rings, 4 wire straps, 3 wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
On the 12th day of Christmas a customer sent to me:
12 Trannys slipping, 11 gears a-grinding, 10 headlights blinking, 9 coils a-sparking, 8 engines leaking, 7 dash lights flashing, 6 brand new sockets, 5 piston rings,  4 wire straps, 3 wrench ends, 2 latex gloves, and a cartridge for my grease gun.
 
Speaking on behalf of the entire automotive repair industry,
Thank you to all our customers for their patronage.  We appreciate it.
Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

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      Typically, 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? 
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      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. 
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