NATDA Magazine May/Jun 2017 NM_May2017_Final - Page 63

the right tools , the right parts and the right equipment to do the service ? If not , then every minute the tech wastes costs you money . In NASCAR , one second more or less in a pit stop can mean the difference between winning and losing a race . One second doesn ’ t seem like much , but in a NASCAR race , it is equal to about 200 feet or about 10 car lengths . As a business owner , I always think better when I put things in terms of costs . If your posted labor rate is just $ 60 per hour , one minute of wasted time costs you $ 1 . That may seem insignificant until you look at how many minutes are wasted on every repair your shop completes .
One tech wasting 30 minutes per day could cost you more than $ 7,000 per year of unbilled labor . Multiply that by a couple of techs , and you start talking about some real money . It ’ s not that hard to eliminate that waste , if you are willing to spend some time watching what happens and improving your processes . You may find that your techs are wasting time waiting for parts to work on equipment . If that ’ s the case , change your process and pre-diagnose equipment so that they have the parts they need before the equipment comes in to be serviced . If that is not possible , at least have the fast-moving parts they need — blades , filters , plugs and oil — right beside them so they don ’ t have to take time to get them from the parts department .
Have the equipment they are going to work on each day staged , so they are not wasting time dragging it out from behind the new pile of equipment that came in the previous day . Hire a high-school kid to test and wash the equipment after it is serviced instead of having the techs use their valuable time doing it .
Look at the tools you have and consider investing in equipment that will speed up your process . Something as simple as a service lift can add six minutes per service hour to your shop . In an average
day , you have added about 45 minutes of service time or , at $ 60 per hour , your techs could bill out another $ 45 in labor . For just one tech , you can add another $ 8,000 to your bottom line . Don ’ t forget about extra air hoses or even another broom so that your techs aren ’ t walking around trying to find the one broom the shop has that someone has misplaced .
Take some time over the next week and look at your check-in process . Are you and your employees getting the right information , so that when the equipment reaches the service department , it can easily be moved through the process and back into the customer ’ s hands in a smooth , seamless process ? If not , make some adjustments . It is not the time to make sweeping changes , but a few minor adjustments won ’ t upset your system and can make a big impact on your turnaround time for your service .
Think about your pricing . If you are already behind and have customers pounding on you to get their equipment serviced , is there any reason why you couldn ’ t or shouldn ’ t move that posted shop rate up a few dollars ? An increase of just a few dollars an hour won ’ t be noticed by a customer this time of year and , depending on your number of techs , could add thousands of dollars to your net profit .
And finally , do a quick evaluation of your techs and the time that may be wasted by waiting for parts , moving equipment in and out , or crawling around on a floor instead of using a service lift to get the equipment up in the air and serviced efficiently . Invest some time and fine-tune your shop and processes . If you do , you can take advantage of the busy season and make your service department a money-making machine .
For more helpful information , visit www . bobclements . com .
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