Struggling to get enough hours billed out each week? Your first thought might be that you have a problem with your technicians. As a shop owner, you need to be aware of how your shop is doing at all times and where the weak spots are; making sure plenty of billable hours get completed each week is definitely a top priority. But productivity involves more than motivated technicians.
Here are 5 top areas in your shop to evaluate to see what is causing your auto repair shop’s low productivity:
1. Clear Expectations
Failing to clearly set expectations with your team is like asking someone to use a GPS without entering a destination. Based on each tech’s skill level, you should have an agreed-upon goal for the billed/flat rate hours they can produce each week. You should also agree upon ongoing training and ASE testing or recertifications. The same goes for your service advisors; develop agreed-upon goals for total sales, billed hours sold, and ongoing training.
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2. Properly Maintained Facility and Equipment
Any equipment that is not properly working is a productivity killer. A lift that no longer works is costing you far more in lost sales and billable hours than it costs to fix or replace. Regularly service all equipment and address any issues with your building quickly to guarantee everything is in safe working condition and is not causing a loss of productivity.
3. Sales Skills at the Front Counter
Getting work completed in a timely manner is only one side of the productivity coin. Selling the billable hours is the other. If you have on average 12-15 cars a week per technician but they aren’t getting enough billable hours, its time to evaluate the sales skills of your service advisors.
4. Manage Workflow
Are you distributing work appropriately? If you give your lesser-skilled technician complex jobs that they are not trained and experienced at, chances are productivity is taking a huge hit. Assigning work to the best tech for the job is a key to increasing productivity. So is efficiently ordering parts, pre-planning jobs throughout the week, and setting appointments for your customers for scheduled maintenance.
5. Feedback and Accountability
After you and your employee agree to their expectations and goals, it’s your job as the shop owner and leader to provide feedback and help them be accountable to meet those expectations. A short, weekly meeting with each employee is a great way to make sure you are providing both recognition for hitting those goals and feedback when they fall short. It also allows your team members the opportunity to discuss their progress and what they need from you to get on track.
What about you, the shop owner? What goals and expectations did you set for yourself this year? At ATI, we help owners achieve those goals through one-on-one coaching, in-depth training, and ongoing support and resources. Check out our free webinar for more information.