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It is an indisputable fact that everything that happens within the walls of the Service department is tracked and controlled by the repair order. Most personnel in the department are paid directly or indirectly by what happens on the repair order. The repair order is so crucial, that what happens in the shop can be completely different than what is represented on the repair order. However, when that repair order is closed, and the charges are posted to accounting, there is a very good chance that, right or wrong, the result will show on the financial statement. With this in mind, it is important to know as accurately as possible, when and how the facts and figures become what they are.
When completing a manual repair order survey, time is not your friend. Given the task to accumulate repair orders, review them, document each item and tabulate the findings, it may require you to implement a new structured process just to get started.
Now there is a better way. It is M5’s Repair Order Survey Evaluation - ROSE.
Many times when I visit dealerships the first thing the service manager tells me is that more techs are needed. Work is not getting out of the shop and carry-overs are growing.
My first question is, what is the productivity of the shop? Many times there is no answer or a very vague one. Then I ask another series of questions: How do you dispatch work to your techs? What are the required hours to be at work (do they clock in and out)? What is the skill level in your shop? Are special tools organized and easy to find? Is the back parts counter staffed properly? What is the repair order fill rate? Do advisors know what inventory of labor hours they have available to sell each day? How are appointments handled? How is the internet infrastructure?
Bob Cawley is the Director of Fixed Operations for the Horne Auto Group located in Arizona and is our guest writer this week.
A strong, positive self image is the best possible preparation for success.
- Dr. Joyce Brothers
There is an old proverb that says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." It is my contention that much of the poor performance that shows itself from time to time on our service drives is due primarily to a poor attitude, spawned by a poor self image. If you see yourself as just another guy out on the drive writing repair orders and pushing flushes, that negative self image is going to come across to the customer and produce the "self-fulfilling prophecy" that you believed. For the life of me, I just don't understand why we minimize and degrade the role of the Professional Service Consultant.
One of my clients has a new Parts Manager in a new store, and it didn’t take long for the crooks to seek him out. Here’s how it went down.
Day 1: The bum calls in representing himself as a buyer for a small import/export company. He calls from in state, but wants the parts shipped out of state. He orders 4 parts and pays for it with a credit card which goes through without a hitch. This was so small they didn’t even set him up as a customer in the DMS; mistake number 1.
This was the first question a dealer asked when I entered his store recently. I sat down with the service manager to get his take on the question. He didn't have an answer. So we got out 100 repair orders to review. After spending several hours looking at repair orders, looking at the DMS, and looking at repair orders again I suggested looking at another tool that might help locate the issue. When completing a manual repair order survey, time is not your friend. Given the task to accumulate repair orders, review them, document each item and tabulate the findings, it's now time to look at a more structured process that will take only a small portion of a manager's time each day. ROSE (Repair Order Survey and Evaluation) is the answer.
Having worked with many different parts managers that represent more than 35 different manufacturers, we see factory programs come and go. Today, several domestic and import franchises are assisting dealers in stocking the “right” parts. This is being done with manufacturer-sponsored daily replenishment order (DRO) programs. Depending on your franchise, it may be based on a regional or national sales demand history.
The purpose of this article is not to debate if these DRO programs are good or bad, but, to show the importance of a Lost Sale.
It gives me great pain to report my firsthand experiences with a local independent service provider (ISP).
I have been in the dealership world for over 30 years and bring passion and enthusiasm to the people I work with every day. During any one of our special consulting visits to our clients, the M5 team and I develop and deliver the customer experience as the driving force to retention. It saddens me to say, not all the dealerships’ service staffs have embraced this concept. Are they slow learners or just haven’t had the opportunity to acquire the tools to succeed? Who knows, but another customer goes away.
A defining characteristic of businesses that are successful over the long term is the ability to continually adapt to change. Knowing what to change, when to do it and how to do it well is a task that can stump even the most progressive and well-meaning dealers and their managers.
There are three roles that must be taken by someone who wants to effect sustainable change in a dealership – the Weed Killer, the Surgeon and the Sledgehammer.