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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.
Join 3 shop owners as they share some great stories and wisdom about what works and what doesn't when talking about pay. Can you show how to earn the pay they want? How can you bring the team together when there are earning discrepancies?
Chris Lawson, TechnicianFind.Com. Chris' previous episodes HERE Mehrdad Avar, Haven Auto Repair, Rancho Cucamonga, CA Shawn Gilfillan, Automotive Magic, Kenvil and Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Shawn’s previous episodes HERE
When in doubt about what to list as pay in an ad, look at your top compensated tech and use that as a benchmark. Commitment to training- investment, not a liability, not a cost. It’s always best to put your best foot forward with respect to salary in an ad. “What’s the highest pay level you feel comfortable having a conversation about?” In other words, “If you were sitting across your desk from a tech and they asked for that salary/compensation, do you feel comfortable having a conversation where you show them how they can earn that level of income?” (production and efficiency levels needed + salary, bonuses, profit sharing, etc.) Changing the perception of your technicians not wanting to hire another. Asked, “Did your income get better or worse?” Sharing profit and loss, where and how the shop will continue to grow. Make sure your salaries and job titles match up and are in alignment with market rates.(you can verify this on Indeed Hiring Insights) As the owner- look at yourself from the inside out. Make yourself worthy of the top employees. What is the perception of your business from the outside? Your business is a reflection of yourself. Interviewing technicians- you will spend more time at work than at home. Is 1-hour interview worthy of a ‘marriage?’ Listen closely to the interviewee’s questions. Get your team involved in the process, and consider a trial period. Comebacks- learning experiences with the whole team, quality control employee Zero sum decision making- knowing what you know now, would you make the investment in XYZ, if you wouldn't make that decision again, move on.
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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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How many jobs do your service advisors have? Who covers when you are short-handed? How many technicians per advisor do you have? Are you using technology and systems to a service advisor’s advantage? How clear are your objectives to everyone in the shop? What are some different pay plan options?
Dave Schedin, CompuTrek Automotive Management Systems. Dave’s previous episodes HERE Bryan Kelley, Valley Automotive Repair & Electric, Covington, WA. Bryan’s previous episodes HERE. Jeff Grassman, Carsmart Auto Service, Sumner, WA. Jeff's previous episodes HERE Dave Kusa, owner of AutoTrend Diagnostics in Campbell, CA. Listen to Dave’s other episodes HERE. Key Talking Points
Service advisor ranked 5th or 6th most stressful job- how many jobs do your service advisors have? Who covers when you are short-handed? How many techs per advisor? Are you using technology and systems to a service advisor’s advantage? How clear are your objectives to everyone in the shop? Building a model with everyone involved and everyone wins- 360-degree view with transparency with the numbers of the business What is your culture? Hiding numbers? It is about the money, but it’s not about the money- the incentive is to motivate and not ‘just enough to get by,’ and it has to be customizable based on their level. The plan has to have a direction. Ask a mentor, coach, peer Incentivizing the behavior- it has to be attainable Future for advisors? Self-check in? Will they be needed? Other compensations, no weekends? Hours of operation M-F? Lunch break schedule? Vacation time? Medical/dental cost paid by the employer? If you have a family culture, what about the kids or spouse? College fund? Spouse bonus?
Connect with the Podcast Aftermarket Radio Network Subscribe on YouTube Visit us on the Web Follow on Facebook Become an Insider Buy me a coffee Important Books 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
Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
By Joe Marconi
I recently read an article that said that giving a technician a pay guarantee each week promotes complacency and leads to lower production. In other words, if they don't produce, they don't get paid. Really? While I do get the logic, I don't agree.
I am not going to promote one pay plan against another, but for me, if I require a technician, or any employee to be at my company a certain amount of hours, then they will get paid for every hour they are there. Now, I do believe in performance-based bonuses; so if someone produces more, they need to be rewarded for that.
What I have found is that business success and maintaining high production levels requires hiring the right employees, and having the right culture combined with the right leadership.
Your thoughts and comments?