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Hey all Auto shop owners,

 

Got a question and need all the input and advise I can get.

 

A little history, I am Alan and I am a proud owner of a small Automotive shop. We only have 3 bays and 1 tech. I have been the service advisor/manager of the previous company for the last 5 years.

 

About a year ago, the previous owner called it quits and closed the place down due to financial difficulties.

 

Long story short, I kept the same locations address, changed the business name due to logistic reasons and kept the best technician for the shop.

 

He is currently and has always been a flat rate techician, meaning that he is paid according to what he produces/completes.

 

I am coming into a possible problem where I am in need of more production. He was much more assertive in the beginning and now he is not producing as much as he use to. He used to take 20 minutes lunches and now he is taking 1 hour lunches everyday.

 

I have tried to motivate him by giving him raises, bonuses, and positive reinforcement as much as possible.

 

I am inclined to bring another tech in. Flat rate or hourly? My tech is pretty sensitive and if I were to bring another tech in flat rate, he may be offended and possibly complain about a lost of hours for him.

 

On the other hand, if I brought in a hourly, I don't want him to use him as a personal assistant and try to take extra hours for what the hourly guy completes.

 

I have been straight up with him and tried to motivate him and would not want to lose him as my lead tech.

 

Any opinions and suggestions would be appreciated.

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Thank you so much for your response. One of my other concern is also whether I have enough work to satisfy a new hire (hourly or flat rate).

 

At this point, my lead tech knows that anything coming through the door is for him to earn. But it would be a problem if I hired another flat rater and not have enough work for both of them.

 

And if I hired an hourly tech, would I send the hourly home early if it is slow?

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I think you need to talk to your technician. If his work performance has drastically reduced find out why. There is something going on in his personal life. There is a reason he lost motivation. If this doesn't help, find someone who is money motivated, or find out what motivates the tech you have now. Good luck and never let an employee be the fall of your business.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You may have made the same mistake I did. I am paying my flat rate tech too much on the hour and that is was is slowing his production. It seems nice to pay them well but if they are comfortable with say $1,000 a week in pay, they will work really hard for that 1k at $20 am hour or not very hard at all for $30 an hour. You would think that everyone is as money motivated as you are but I've come to find out that is just not true.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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