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Calculating Technician Efficiency in Your Auto Repair Shop

As the owner or manager of an auto repair shop, you know the importance of maximizing every aspect of your operations for profitability. You also understand that people, particularly great technicians, are the lifeblood of your shop. Therefore, maximizing technician efficiency and productivity is essential to improving your bottom line. In this blog post, we will discuss how to calculate, track, and improve technician efficiency and productivity. 

Understanding Technician Efficiency

Technician efficiency is the ratio of the number of hours a technician bills compared to the number of hours they actually spend working on a vehicle. The formula for technician efficiency is... 

Technician Efficiency = (# of billed hours) ÷ (# of hours technician spends on job)

For example, if your shop bills 1 hour for a diagnostic test but the technician can complete it in half an hour, their efficiency rate for the diagnostic test would be 1/.5 or 200%. This indicates that the technician is able to complete the job quicker than the time allocated, increasing the profit potential of your auto repair shop. Your shop should always aim for a technician efficiency rate above 100%. A technician efficiency rate above 100% will enable your shop to compensate for unbilled labor time like test drives. 

The Importance of Achieving a Technician Efficiency Rate Above 100% 

One might wonder, how can someone be more than 100% efficient? In the context of auto repair shops, a technician operating above 100% efficiency can complete a job in less time than the industry standard or the time usually billed to the customer. For instance, if your shop bills 3 hours for a brake replacement but your technician can complete it in two hours, you have effectively gained an extra billable hour in your shop's day. Such efficiency boosts profitability, as you can bill more hours daily, leading to increased revenue without incurring increased costs. Additionally, a technician efficiency rate above 100% will enable your shop to compensate for labor time that is not billed to the customer, like test drives. 

Understanding Technician Productivity 

Technician productivity measures the amount of time a technician spends actively working on vehicles compared to their total clocked-in time. The formula for technician productivity is... 

Technician Productivity = (# of hours spent working on vehicles) ÷ (# of hours clocked in)

For instance, if a technician works on cars for 6 hours of an 8-hour shift, their productivity rate is 75%. Technician productivity will always be less than 100%. However, your shop should keep productivity rates around 80%. Technician productivity will never be over 100% because that would indicate that the technician works on vehicles for longer than they are clocked in. For hourly employees, this is not possible. Additionally, there is necessary downtime in a technician's day, such as mandated breaks, shop meetings, and more. 

Why Measure Technician Efficiency and Productivity

While technician efficiency helps determine how quickly a technician can complete a job compared to the standard time, productivity gives insight into how effectively the shop's service advisors and the technicians utilize the technician's available working hours. A technician might be highly efficient but may have long periods of downtime due to inefficiencies elsewhere in the shop, such as parts not being available or jobs not being assigned quickly enough. This is where technician productivity comes in. By monitoring this metric, you can identify bottlenecks and operational issues that prevent your technicians from maximizing their work hours. 

The Benefits of Tracking Technician Efficiency and Productivity

By keeping a close eye on both technician efficiency and productivity, you can

  1. Drive profitability by ensuring optimal utilization of resources, leading to increased revenue without raising overhead costs.
  2. Improve operational efficiency by identifying bottlenecks, training needs, or areas where process improvements are necessary.
  3. Motivate your workforce by recognizing and rewarding technicians who consistently operate above 100% efficiency.
  4. Enhance customer service through faster turnaround times, which leads to happier customers and more repeat business.

How to Automate Technician Efficiency and Productivity Tracking  

Manually logging the number of hours your technicians are actively working on vehicles can be daunting. Additionally, manually calculating technician efficiency and productivity for your entire shop team can be time-consuming. Luckily, AutoVitals can automate this process for your shop so you can spend less time crunching numbers and more time optimizing your shop operations. From AutoVitals' digital vehicle inspections, your technicians can clock in and out of individual jobs. From here, AutoVitals will automatically calculate their efficiency and productivity daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. 


In the competitive world of auto repair, understanding and optimizing technician efficiency and productivity is crucial for the success of your shop. By monitoring and striving to improve these metrics, auto repair shops can streamline operations, boost profitability, and ensure they get the most out of their most valuable asset: their employees.



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