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Concise Tech Handbook

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Morning, I am still working the offsite owner gig and have ran into many more battles ( Joe Warned me ) than I thought I would but I am still winning the war. Security camera system with remote access is helping ALOT. Anyways my lead tech ( rocket scientist :lol: , actually he used to be) says the verbage in my tech handbooks seems to ramble on and needs to be more concise. While I am good at fixing cars, employees, etc. my writing skills could use some improvement. This handbook by the way covers how repairs are excepted to be done ( Brake checks, ball joint checks, leak checks etc. ) so it is not your typical handbook covering dress codes etc. Anybody know of any software or anything that's out there that could help me. Let me know and enjoy your weekend, Mike.

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I told you so.  Just kidding.


I don't know of any software for what you are referring to. Most shops built there own checklists that are specific to their shop. If you are building repair procedures, I could see how that can get a little lengthy.  I think that should be left to the information systems we have access to: Alldata, Mitchell Repair, Identifix, Etc. 


Procedures, polices and checklists are to systemize the workflow process to bring consistency to the workflow.  Most important are diagnostic inspections that are specific to your shop. Other procedures include the workflow process from vehicle write up, to dispatch, vehicle inspection, quality control, and then car delivery.


You should even have a checklist for facility maintenance.  Check the entire building, lighting, equipment operation, lifts, etc.


I think you are the right track. For the business to run without you, you need every aspect of the day to day operations clearly systemized. But don't overdue it if repair procedure are already published. Just have a process in place that for certain jobs (such as a heater core) the tech must refer to the repair manual. 


I hope this helps.

That's exactly what I'm looking for! Let me know when you publish it lol

We're trying to write one up but it seems to be an ongoing process.


Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk



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Thanks for all the replies. First off, I am definitely finding that this was the best business move I have ever made ( getting out of the back room). Looking from the outside in, has gave me a much different perspective, much like a business consultant .I have remodeled the waiting room ( 5 compliments this past week, mostly women) , I changed policy concerning safety issues , tightened up control over the cash coming in and out of the shop, started calling back customers again and not relying on emails to check customer satisfaction, changed a lot of my marketing techniques and joined this GREAT website. In my original post about the handbook, I misstated when I said " how repairs are excepted to be done ", I meant how inspections or diagnostics should be done. I think the problem is, I wrote the handbooks ( a lot of them and now even a lot more coming ) from my experience ( 30 plus years) and tend to go on and on and on, on how I came to the conclusion that this is the way the inspections or diagnostics should be done for shop efficiency. MAP has good guidelines, but most their guidelines are to broad, so to cover every vehicle ( we service mostly SUV's and 4wd vehicles because of our rural location in the foothills outside of Denver). I think I will have someone that knows nothing about how to do auto inspections or diagnostics look at it ( like my wife) and see what she reads into it. I will keep you guys updated. Thanks, Mike.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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