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The Digital Shop® Blog

Here’s Why Your Shop Needs a Labor Management System

Five hundred and eighty minutes. That’s how much time the average technician spends asking questions during work each month. Put another way, your techs spend nearly 10 hours monthly on non-billable activities you could all but eliminate with the right software solution.

Of course, this is just one source of inefficiency in today’s independent auto shops; every month, the typical garage loses $2,500 to wasted time. Despite this, many shop owners insist their workflow is already as efficient as possible. But that’s not the case—not if you aren’t already using a labor management system, that is.

If you don’t have software in place for labor management, you should know these systems can take shops that are already well-run and make them more productive than ever before. Keep reading for a closer look at why your shop needs its own labor management system.


Is your auto shop still reliant on old-fashioned labor management techniques? If it is, keeping up with everything on your to-do list might feel like a hassle. After all, tracking every vehicle and technician in your garage is a challenging task when you attempt to handle it with pen and paper.

In contrast, upgrading to a digital labor management system will give you an up-to-date, high-level overview of everything happening in your shop. With access to that information, your service advisors will have no trouble prioritizing jobs. And if you see any signs of trouble (such as an unexpected delay on an ongoing repair), you can address these issues before your customers complain.

Resource Allocation

Running a successful auto shop isn’t solely about having access to as many resources as possible (though this can certainly help). Instead, you’ll need to make full, efficient use of the resources you do have, particularly labor. 

Without efficient labor management, you could end up with too many or too few technicians for the day. Idle technicians with nothing to do or overworked technicians with too many jobs on their plate both negatively impact shop efficiency and team engagement.

Professional labor management software will help you sidestep this problem. Among the many other features included with programs like AutoVitals, we provide technician reassignment capabilities. If you foresee any issues related to your techs’ assignments for the day, this feature will help you change these assignments with the touch of a button.

Employee Satisfaction

In the world of independent auto shop management, keeping your employees satisfied requires a delicate balance. Naturally, you don’t want to overwork your technicians—doing so will burn them out before you know it. But at the same time, not providing enough work means your employees won’t get the hours (and pay) they need.

Technician scheduling problems are one of many factors that could rub your employees the wrong way. Regardless of the amount of work they get, your technicians could have trouble figuring out what they’re supposed to do from one day to the next. Even if they have a strong understanding of their duties, your workers might struggle to prioritize the tasks they’re responsible for.

A high-quality labor management system will help you address these concerns. By providing an at-a-glance overview of everything on your employees’ plates, you’ll find it easy to see when their workload is too heavy (or too light). Meanwhile, the straightforward job visibility and prioritization features included with these systems will make life easier for your technicians.


Finally, let’s take a look at the final piece of the labor management puzzle—and the source of the aforementioned 580 minutes your technicians lose each month. While your techs should be able to ask service advisors questions when they need clarification, they’ll likely have to walk to and from their bay to do so. Spending a few minutes on this might not seem like a serious issue, shopbut over time, those minutes add up and turn into hours.

The solution to this problem is simpler than you might think. If you use the right labor management software, you’ll benefit from built-in chat capabilities. Your techs won’t have to physically visit your service advisors to get advice. Instead, they can type their question into a chat window on their tablet and work on another task while they wait for the answer!

Rethink Your Labor Management Strategy

In the service industry, labor is the core of your business–so it only makes sense that an appropriate labor management strategy can help your shop succeed. That said, not all labor management programs are equally high-quality. 

Your system of choice needs to be fast and efficient, but even that isn’t enough on its own. When your labor management system is part of a larger comprehensive workflow tool, you can take advantage of even more optimizations that streamline every step in your shop’s overall customer experience.

If you’re looking for a labor management system that meets and exceeds these requirements, look no further. AutoVitals is the industry leader in this niche, and our software makes it easy to reallocate resources on the fly while keeping your workers happy. Better yet, that’s just one of our workflow services—we also deliver digital vehicle inspections and appointment management features. 

To learn about all these capabilities and more, set up your AutoVitals demo right away!

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