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Maximize Technician Efficiency to Satisfy More Customers (800 × 600 px)

Maximize Technician Efficiency to Satisfy More Customers

July 10, 2023

Maximize Technician Efficiency to Satisfy More Customers

by Jul 10, 2023Blog

In today’s instant-reward world, no one wants to wait for long to get an answer. After all, we’ve all grown used to Google serving up information instantly. However, when it comes to auto repair, you want to make sure customers get a thorough estimate. That way, they won’t have to pay any extra expenses tacked on later.

So, how do you offer this level of service with speed and accuracy? You use digital tools that enhance auto repair technician efficiency to deliver vehicle inspections faster, based on past experience. As a result, estimates come together quickly and techs get right to work.

Even better, customers find out information sooner and, if all goes well, get their wheels back sooner. In the end, everyone ends up having a better day.

The vast difference technician efficiency makes

On a good day, your auto repair shop will line up several appointments. Ideally, you’ll have a good mix of high-turnover services in some bays and bigger-revenue repairs in others. For this flow to work, you rely on your technicians to work efficiently on each one.

Every minute that a tech spends under the hood or a hoist boosts your profitability. If they get stalled due to misordered parts or another snag, they lose valuable time to switch to another repair order. That time costs you money.

Of course, service writers base every estimate on the time usually spent on a task. However, the technician makes all the difference in hitting those timelines. When they work on a vehicle quickly and effectively, the customers get back a well-tuned machine. That customer satisfaction pays off in return business.  

Ultimately, this respect for a customer’s time makes them loyal to your auto repair shop. Why look anywhere else when you get great customer service at a great rate? After all, when the bill matches the estimate, you build trust and a stronger relationship.

With faster turnaround times, your shop also runs more productively. Every time a tech finishes a work order a few minutes earlier, they can tackle the next car. That moves each piece of the puzzle forward and drops your overall labor costs.

When you hit your ideal car count, your shop prospers. And you cannot do that without having technician efficiency as part of the equation. 

What makes a technician work more efficiently?

When you think of a tech working well, it doesn’t mean fast and furious. Blowing through jobs quickly creates stress for everyone and leaves room for errors. And those add up to losing customers who get fed up with bringing a vehicle back in for a do-over.

No one wins in this low-productivity scenario.

Rather, a well-oiled process sets a technician up to do a thorough job at a steady pace. Yes, they can work quickly, but with a higher degree of accuracy and confidence. To do this, they need more than equipment like impact wrenches and air ratchets.

Every time a service writer creates an estimate, they have the opportunity to set the right timeframe for the tasks ahead. The communication between them and your techs makes all the difference in a smooth repair process. 

With the path laid out clearly, a well-trained tech can make the most of every minute. They move through each step and deliver a tuned-up car that customers can rely on. As a result, cars get fixed sooner and better.

All this makes your staff feel effective with fewer daily frustrations. On the customer satisfaction side, dealing with your shop feels effortless – so they come back to you next time.

Above all, this combination of factors makes an auto repair shop stand out from its competitors. It also makes it more profitable.

How to calculate technician efficiency

Naturally, every auto repair shop runs on its own metrics to fuel its success. By now, you’ve likely identified the key performance indicators for the automotive industry:

  • Car count
  • Average repair order
  • Technician productivity compared to team productivity
  • Gross sales and profit

Certainly, each one feels the effects of technicians working efficiently throughout the day. For instance, labor hours per repair order and jobs completed per day drive your productivity rates. Ultimately, the revenue generated per technician feeds into your gross sales and profit.

With the advent of shop management software (SMS), it’s easier than ever to track individual technician performance and overall shop efficiency. Consequently, you can see where your shop staff hit logjams so you can eliminate them.

For example, accurate estimates count on knowing the typical number of labor hours required per work order. Generally, you know a tech needs 30 minutes for a brake inspection, but a full hour for a brake-caliper service. When they finish sooner, the next repair slides into the bay. If they find another problem while under the hoist, that can set back the rest of the day.

By scheduling a mix of services and repairs, you gather smaller revenues from oil changes and lubes, with more billable hours on larger repairs. Overall, it contributes to a profitable day as long as the quality delivered meets customers’ expectations.

“Autoflow has been an amazing tool for S&S Tire and Auto Service in so many ways,” says Brad Slagle, manager of S&S Tire and Auto Service Center in Phoenix, Arizona. “It saves our team time…and has landed more sales because of the transparency it creates with S&S Tire and the customer.”

Leveraging Digital Vehicle Inspection Software for Improved Efficiency

As Brad mentioned, Autoflow has helped his business thrive. With its leading digital vehicle inspection software, Autoflow creates templates to ensure techs check off every step as they go. Ultimately, this automation saves brain power in this process, so they have more capacity to put into the repair.

Above all, our company has earned a reputation as a team with heart that helps you run your business better. With software created by a shop owner, we make it easy to streamline workflows in the automotive industry.

What sets us apart? Autoflow seamlessly integrates with other systems so you don’t have to keep multiple browser windows open. Similarly, merging with SMS spares you from having to manually enter data entry – eliminating the risk of human error.

Even better, all your data flows between the bays and the front counter throughout the repair process. For example, techs never need to leave their work area to update a service writer. This saves time and steps that could be used for the next repair. It also feeds the service counter’s ability to quickly update customers who want quicker follow-up. 

Meanwhile, Autoflow informs the customer with the option to send photos or videos of a repair. By providing this rich experience, you build customer trust more quickly. And all it takes is a few clicks to forward it to a client’s phone via text or email. 

How Autoflow’s software addresses techs’ challenges 

Face it, your techs know how to do a repair. However, old systems waste their time by requiring them to call customers, write notes and talk to the front counter. With Autoflow, you replace these time-eating processes with a DVI that relies on a series of checkboxes. Even the notes arise from templates from jobs you’ve done before on similar makes and models.

All this automation reduces paperwork and replaces it with real-time access to critical information. Further, it enriches each message with photo or video evidence that repair work is needed – then completed!

Subsequently, techs can focus on the tasks ahead and work efficiently through each step of the repair process. By removing this mental clutter, they can focus on a complex repair, using their time and expertise more effectively.

For your team, this results in better collaboration. When they work together better, it builds teamwork and goodwill that encourages people to stay at your shop. 

Why is achieving a technician efficiency rate above 100% important?

Achieving a technician efficiency rate above 100% is of utmost importance in the context of auto repair shops for several reasons. Firstly, it allows the shop to complete jobs in less time than the industry standard or the time usually billed to the customer. For example, if a shop typically bills 3 hours for a brake replacement but a technician can finish it in two hours, this results in an extra billable hour within the shop’s day. By operating above the standard efficiency, the shop can potentially complete more jobs in a day, leading to increased billable hours and ultimately higher revenue without incurring additional costs.

Furthermore, maintaining a technician efficiency rate above 100% enables the shop to compensate for labor time that is not directly billed to the customer, such as test drives. In these cases, technicians may spend additional time during the repair process which is not accounted for in the billing. However, with an efficiency rate above 100%, the shop can offset this unbilled labor by completing other jobs more quickly. This helps to ensure that the shop’s overall productivity remains high and that the technicians’ time is utilized effectively.

Overall, achieving a technician efficiency rate above 100% is important as it directly influences the profitability of an auto repair shop. By completing jobs more quickly than the industry standard, the shop can bill more hours daily, leading to increased revenue without incurring additional costs. Additionally, it allows the shop to compensate for labor time that is not billed to the customer, ensuring maximum productivity and efficiency in the repair process.

How can technician efficiency and productivity be automated and tracked?

How can you automate the process of calculating technician efficiency and productivity?
You can automate the process of calculating technician efficiency and productivity by collecting data from the technicians’ clocked-in hours and the completion of individual jobs, eliminating the need for manual calculations and saving time for shop owners.

What are the time frames (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly) in which technician efficiency and productivity can be tracked?
You’ll want to track technician efficiency and productivity on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.

How can technician efficiency and productivity be calculated automatically?
With software platforms like Autoflow you can automatically calculate technician efficiency and productivity based on the data collected from their clocked-in hours and the completion of individual jobs.

How can the number of hours technicians are actively working on vehicles be logged and tracked?
Allow technicians to manually clock in and out of individual jobs using their digital vehicle inspections.

In summary

When you create ideal conditions for auto repair technician efficiency, your staff, customers and overall business thrive. In short, you can easily attain the digital tools that eliminate old-fashioned tasks that eat up valuable time. 

Once you switch to Autoflow’s digital vehicle inspection software, you optimize technician performance every day. It may surprise you how many minutes you gain as the software completes routine tasks that you repeat daily. If you want to boost efficiency and transform your repair shop into a streamlined business, tap into digital solutions today.

Lois Tuffin

Lois Tuffin

Automotive freelancer

Lois Tuffin