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Fellow shop owners and entrepreneurs,

Over the last several months, I've spoken to hundreds of shop owners and managers who have all seemed to have a different issue in their shop, resulting in slow business (or sometimes, no business at all). These issues seem to range from not enough car count, disgruntled employees, inability to turn a profit, can't find a good tech, high turnover, marketing isn't working, and the list goes on. For most of these shops, the conversation I've had with them has either been able to assist in solving their biggest problem, or at the very least, steer them in the right direction.

I wanted to take this topic over here to AutoShopOwner and generate a better understanding of the biggest problems that shops are having right now - whether they are based on season, shop placement, or circumstance. Please leave your reply below and I am sure that I'll either be able to help, or steer you in the right direction.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

    • By Joe Marconi in Joe's Blog
         5
      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? 
      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. 
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