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Wondering how other shops handle this. A tech starts a head gasket job on Thursday. The head is sent out to the machine shop for a valve job. It returns the following Monday and the job is completed on Tuesday. Do you pay him that week for the teardown or wait till the following week and pay him for the whole thing? It seems kind of confusing sometimes if you split it up and then you are wondering the next week how much time you paid him for the previous week. Don't want to cheat yourself or the tech. Any better ideas?

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We were having that issue a while back. What we implemented were tech time sheets. We found this to work out great, then the tech would get paid the week he had time into the job. Not only is it good for the tech, it is also good for the shop to be able to track properly. So, each week the tech would get paid off of his weekly time sheet. It works really well.

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pay him when the job is done, as a tech myself thats what I would do to myself. you get paid when the job is done and ready to ship.

This is when it won't be fair to the tech. Scenerio: Tech does 8 flat rate hours worth of work on a vehicle on Weds, then finds out a part you were waiting for isn't going to come in until the following Monday. How is that fair? So what you are saying is the tech should not get paid for a full day of work because he was unable to finish the job?

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Keeping track of what was paid last week is the way to go. Its easy to do. As far as what to pay, pay the tech for what is complete at the end of the pay period. The cylinder head example is a good one, The tech has no control over the machine shop, or when correct parts arrive. Its not fair to withhold his pay over things out of his control. It will kill his motivation and create animosity in the shop.

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pay him when the job is done, as a tech myself thats what I would do to myself. you get paid when the job is done and ready to ship.

Agreed. I did plenty of engine jobs that I didn't flag till Monday morning, just made the next weeks paycheck that much better.

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I have worked for more companies then I care to admit and not one ever paid for 1/2 the job. From the stand point of paper work it makes no sense.

 

I pay percentage of sales and the percentage depends on the dollars sold. That being said, it is better for the tech to get paid when the job is complete. It will give him a good head start towards the current weeks sales so he can climb from 15% to 18% of his sales.

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This is when it won't be fair to the tech. Scenerio: Tech does 8 flat rate hours worth of work on a vehicle on Weds, then finds out a part you were waiting for isn't going to come in until the following Monday. How is that fair? So what you are saying is the tech should not get paid for a full day of work because he was unable to finish the job?

 

 

Pretty much sorry about your luck better luck next time, some weeks are good and some are bad. I will pay him when he hands the ticket in and the job is done. If it take the customer a week to come pick up their 30 hour stupid 6.0 headgasket job then sucks to be me and I have to float that. But thats also where having strong financials helps.

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Right now I pay actual time on the tear down and the rest of the book time on completion. It's just a pain the next week trying to remember how much you have already paid him for. I would rather give him the benefit of a doubt than cheat him, but I don't want to cheat myself either. I also try to keep up with my gpm each week and it looks like it messes up my numbers if I split it up.

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KMS, how often do you review/audit the time sheets? I would think daily makes sense since at the end of the week any errors or mistakes can be harder to track since its been days since the work was done.

All time sheets are gone through daily, so I know what a tech has produced each day. Then, at the end of the week, the times sheets are what their pay is based upon. The service advisor should be going over all work performed daily with the techs so the time sheets stay current. It helps keep the numbers accurate for each week.

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Pretty much sorry about your luck better luck next time, some weeks are good and some are bad. I will pay him when he hands the ticket in and the job is done. If it take the customer a week to come pick up their 30 hour stupid 6.0 headgasket job then sucks to be me and I have to float that. But thats also where having strong financials helps.

Its not the techs job to float the costs of the business ever. It is up to the business to pay the techs for what they have done weekly.

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I'm surprised this is an issue, in the body shop business when I owned or ran one each tech had a time sheet with job number, time, dollar amount or if needed time stamp and it was sticky on the back. The tech may have a job in one of his stalls for weeks depending on the severity of the repairs and as the week ended if he accrued time on the repair vehicle he could flag money against that job. I as the owner/manager would initial the time sticker on each repair order that he wanted to flag, then took it off his ticket and stuck it to the back of the repair order, and collect the employees time sheet at the end of the work week, so he could collect his pay check for that week the following week. It was my responsibility to ensure that he was not over collecting, or collecting more time that was needed to complete the job. Some guys never touched the time/money allotted on a job till it was done, others took is as a draw so they had a pretty steady paycheck. The shop was large enough that each employee had 3 stalls and if held up on parts, adjusters or some other delay, they had work in another stall. Some of these expensive repairs could be in a stall for may weeks and if the tech was putting hours in on that job he could flag time/money if he wanted. These techs were making 75 to 100 grand a year and some paid their helpers out of their gross still leaving them with these incomes.

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Its not the techs job to float the costs of the business ever

 

I don't think anybody every said it was the techs job to float the costs of the business... And I don't think anybody would ever expect that. Regardless, the idea of paying a tech when a job is completed isn't exactly floating the costs of the business.

 

It is up to the business to pay the techs for what they have done weekly.

 

I disagree. We sell entire services and complete jobs. I pay my tech and service writer when all the services are finished and the whole job is complete. Not if they spent 15 minutes on it here, 2 hours there, 45 minutes the other day, etc.

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For ease of tracking and for selfish reasond it would be nice to pay for hours that have been posted however its unreasonable to not pay say a big job that had 20+ hours tacked to it that the tech already has say 10 hours in and is held up til the next week due to parts. We have cashflow issues so do techs. Im still trying to figure it all out lol

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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