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Incfile.com


Incfile.com

Old guy but new here!


Curt Hogan

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Good day boys and girls.

Just wanted to drop by and introduce myself and give a little background info about myself. I am a 29 year veteran of the auto repair industry, 25 of those as a shop owner starting at the ripe old age of 22. I started the same way as many if not most owners in this industry. I thought the only way I would be happy, was if I were the owner of the place I worked everyday. Am I glad I took the plunge? .......Every day! Are there times I wish I knew what manicured nails were like?......Every day! But the long and the short of it are that I was afforded an opportunity 25 years ago by a great man, to get up in the morning and never once, in all those years think, "man I just cant do this today".

My lovely wife and I operate a 4 bay shop with 4 technicians (one is my oldest son) and 2 service advisers, my younger brother who has been with me since 6 months after I opened is the main adviser\manager and a part time porter/janitor/gopher (youngest son).

Ultimately I hope to learn from each and every one of you and hopefully I can be of service to some of you along the way. I am not a lurker, very opinionated and at times crotchety (so I'm told) but on thing I have learned over the years is that this is WORK! But nowhere is it written that work can't be fun. Lets Play!

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Thank you for the hearty welcome. I spend quite a few hours per week working on management training through both conventional training channels and internet opportunities just like this site. I truly hope to be able to pass on what I have learned in the school of hard knocks. Joe, I have been on your site today, great info and layout by the way,looking for ideas as I am having my site built and should be online in the next couple of weeks. The internet is a resource that is largely untapped by the independents in my area.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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