Greg Masewic, a Meineke multi-shop owner, and our Digital Shop® Talk Radio hosts, Bill and Uwe, spent some time discussing process changes and strategies for shop owners to maximize their labor inventory and increase production with their existing staff.Going From Pen & Paper to a Digital Shop:
This episode goes in-depth on how workflow management and labor inventory management have changed over time to today’s digital shop. The result? Shop owners are now dispatching their technicians in the smartest way possible to maximize the number of billable hours.
Workflow management can be defined as dispatching technicians in the most efficient way possible to maximize production. It is a means of monitoring labor inventory. “How many billed hours can I produce in a certain period of time?”
“Our then manager, now general manager, was just clawing at the floor and refusing to change", says Greg of his shop in Concord, NH. "Now he will be the first to tell you that he’d retire before going back to the way it used to be. The sales in that shop increased by almost $700,000 with the same staff."
Service managers have become used to working at a “hair on fire” pace since they do not know the status of a vehicle at any given time without walking out to the bay and speaking with a technician. With AutoVitals, all of the running around is eliminated as service managers can look right on their devices to obtain an instant update.
"The biggest difference with us having workflow with AutoVitals is now, at a glance, you know right where everything is and what step it's in, and that increases efficiency ten times."
Today’s vehicle page (TVP) in AutoVitals system can help shop owners view in real-time the productivity of technicians in hours worked compared to their desired goal. Address any issues flagged yellow before they get to the red stage. If a tech is falling short according to the data, you can address the reasons why and adjust accordingly.
"So now, techs are always working on a car and always producing. I shudder to think how many hours we were losing with all of that wait in the past. So, that’s for us been the biggest thing for efficiency"
Workflow notifications shared with the motorist also keep the vehicle owner more engaged in the progress of the work being done on their vehicle. It should not be limited to the pickup stage, where a shop has the capability to present the invoice and educate the motorist on recommended future work, and then schedule an appointment for their next visit. Much like visiting a doctor’s or dentist’s office, there is always a need for future service.