by Anthony Greenhalgh, Rapid Recon
The old argument the dealership has been using for years – “add more people”-- does little more than provide temporary fixes and a ton of personnel expense.
When I was in your role, I had to make my techs better, but I was already heavily engaged in ongoing training, so what more could I do to help them improve?
The answer: I needed (and you do, too) to remove obstacles slowing them down.
Challenge yourself to find 20 small-time saving tips that will help your staff. When you do, you’ll cut days out of your speed to sale, time to line cycle time. As a result, your techs will have bigger paychecks (they’ll like that!), and your net profit will thank you.
Here are a few time-saver examples; Using them, I improved technician production by 9%.
- Add phones to technician stalls (no more running up to find an estimator/advisor)
- Stripe the floor in the shop with parking stalls (techs place cars anywhere and sideways, so by striping the floor, you help them move vehicles in and out without interrupting someone to relocate another car that might be in the way).
- Move the detail bay, so it is a straight shot in and out from the overhead door (my policy expense dropped too, resulting in fewer accidents).
- Put in a complete onsite backup of shop supplies. Techs only stop work for two reasons – to retrieve parts/supplies and information).
- Purchase multiple vacuums for the detail bay, so detailers need not drag the vacuum from one side of the vehicle to the other: this burns time, and vacuum hoses scratch the paint.
- Here’s the big tip: Organize supplies for each tech for their work area. I put these carts in my shop and saw a 9% increase in production hours. The supplies should go to the tech, not the other way around.
- Load the carts with all the supplies the techs need.
- Task a supply sergeant to keep the carts stocked. This includes opening packaging and loading the cart, not just dropping the supplies on the bench for the tech to deal with. Techs won’t negotiate, and you’ll end up with an expensive mess.
- All techs use the same brand of supplies; If they’re not comfortable with the brand you’ve chosen, the manufacture or jobber rep will provide training.
- Keeping supplies organized, so the tech goes to the same place for the same product makes them more efficient. Less wandering around wondering, “where did I leave that?”
- Adding reconditioning software to my former body shop and recon operations boosted tech efficiency by 27% year over year.
Recon and tech efficiency comes down to people, processes, and software in that order; recon workflow software provides the communication engine that keeps techs working and eliminates wasted time chasing people for answers.
Stay efficient, my friends.
Anthony Greenhalgh is director of sales and marketing operations for Rapid Recon. Before joining the company in 2016, he spent 24 years at a multi-franchise metro dealer, responsible for internalizing all cosmetic reconditioning into its collision center. General Motors has recognized him as a “Top Performer” for his success in the automotive parts industry. Reach him at email@example.com