The people who do the work on the front lines know best about the issues plaguing your shop, pointed out a shop coach. So if the shop owner isn’t keeping the lines of communication open, how will those issues be known?
Bill Haas, president and Owner of Haas Performance Consulting, recommended a meeting between technicians every week. Just them, no one else. If the shop has a lead tech, they should lead the meeting. If not, one of the techs should be designated as the meeting leader. Not even the shop owner should be there.
It should be a 10-minute meeting on Friday after lunch or at the end of that day asking the techs what prevented them from being more productive this week. If they spend more than 10 minutes talking, it’s just going be a bunch of complaining, Haas said during the seminar Shop Production and Payroll Drives Profits at the recent Midwest Auto Care Alliance Vision Hi-Tech Training and Expo.
The meeting leader or the lead technician takes those notes back to the owner to review the issues. Then, of course, act on them.
“You will be amazed at what will happen in your store after you start to listen to the people who do the work tell you why they’re not more productive,” Haas said.
The worst thing a shop owner can do it jump to conclusions about a lack of productivity or other issues in the shop. “Don’t assume that you know why they’re not productive,” Haas said.
When you start identifying issues, the shop owner’s job is to identify solutions to those problems. If they say they’re wasting time waiting for parts, make sure they’re not waiting, for example. If they’re waiting on the service advisor to get authorization to do the job, find ways to get that authorization faster.
“When you solve those problems, you are improving the environment where the work is done,” Haas said.