PowerSports Business

March 13, 2017

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www.PowersportsBusiness.com SOLUTIONS Powersports Business • March 13, 2017 • 29 "Prosperity only comes as a result of production." — Sunday Adelaja Monitoring the efficiency and production in any department is one thing; increasing it is another. Folks gotta produce, right? If our team members don't produce, we don't make. If they're not efficient in doing their job, we don't make what we all could. When I owned my dealership, there were times when someone would come in and ask me for a raise, and I'd say, "Your raise will become effective when you are!" You want folks to be efficient in how they do their job, and you want them to produce at a high level. Increased revenue can be one of the great benefits, if you can get both going simultaneously, and continually. And that's the tricky thing: keeping it going. But first you've got to set your dealership up to be productive and efficient, if it's going to happen at all. And making sure that what should be done is done, and determining how it's done, is up to the leadership at the dealership. The buck stops at the top, folks. Let's look at the service department as an example. I hear this a lot on my dealer visits: "How do I get more production out of my service department? We're always backed up. I can't get PDIs, warranty work and recalls done. How do we keep it all moving? I don't understand why a tech can only produce 60 hours every two weeks, when we've got three weeks of work stacked up (and it's grow- ing!), PDIs to do for the sales department (my sales manager is screaming for units for the floor!) and enough warranty work to float a battleship! We've got the work; we just can't seem to get it done." One thing that is produced pretty consis- tently is the excuses for why not. "My service manager tells me our techs are slow and we need another A tech to make his and my life easier. The hours would cer- tainly come up then, but no A techs are out there because my service manager looked over and over without success last year, a few months ago, can't remember when, but looking further would be a waste of time, of course. "The hours would go up if he had the parts he needed for the jobs that he's doing. The parts department doesn't stock anything. How can you get something done, when you don't have what you need? Of course, mak- ing sure in advance that what is needed for the job is there? That's never the issue. "How can we tell what this vehicle needs? We don't have a crystal ball! We won't know until the customer brings in the vehicle to know what it needs. "And then we have to spend time doing a walkaround of the vehicle when it's brought in. Who has time for that? We're too busy. And we can't get it done on the phone is advance; our phones are ringing off the hook." Does any of this sound familiar? More often than not, it's your service manager and your advisors who are at cause in an unproductive, inefficient service department. It's generally not your techs. This is not to say your techs are not part of the issue; they certainly can be. Something else to think about: Most ser- vice managers were techs at one point and know nothing about running a business, let alone a profitable service department. You can't do what you don't know how to do. Can your service manager tell you what your effective labor rate is? Can he or she tell you clearly what causes it to be what it is? Does he or she know what the depart- ment's expenses are and how profitably the department is running? Does he or she monitor what percentage of labor sales is being paid to techs (cost of goods)? Does he or she know what it should be? Does he or she monitor warranty submittals and the rec- onciliation of paid claims? Open RO reports, weekly labor sales revenue breakdown, parts-to-labor sales, technicians' productiv- ity, special order parts tracking, consistency and accuracy of department documentation? Is this on his or her radar and yours when it comes to monitoring what should be done, or only when issues arise from not doing it? Does he or she know how to schedule work properly? You would think that every service manager in the world knows how to schedule work properly, but that's not always the case. Cause and effect: If your scheduling and distribution of work is inef- ficient, the production of your techs will be inefficient as well, no matter how capable they may be at producing labor hours at an acceptable level daily. Your techs have nothing to do with how an RO is written or how many hours are quoted to do the job. If the work needed to be done isn't written or explained clearly on the RO, who's fault is that? If you don't do an adequate job writing up an RO, it's not the tech's fault! Are you setting your techs up to produce at a high level? Do your techs have two lifts to work from? Do they have to hunt for their own work? Do your techs get their own parts, or are they pulled for them? Wait for parts, wait for jobs. Wait means less — less production, less techs being as efficient as they could be, less revenue for everyone and jobs probably not always getting done when they should have been done. And during the busy times that means you're behind, playing catch-up, telling folks you're further out and producing less, in a less efficient way. The only time techs Service dept. productivity starts at the top THINK ABOUT THIS… MARK MOONEY See Mooney, Page 39

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