Auto shops generally run the same way they have for decades. Very little has changed about how an auto repair garage operates on a daily basis.
The problem with this, though, is that most auto shops are incredibly inefficient. Because they are stuck in the past, things take longer. And that leads to wasting money and frustrating customers.
The good news, though, is that there are plenty of ways you can improve repair shop services. There are simple decisions to make and tools to purchase to make for more efficient repair shops.
Wondering what it takes to upgrade your auto repair shop? Want to save tons of time and money, while also improving your customer and employee experience on a daily basis? Keep reading to discover what your options are.
Use Shop Management Software
There is a lot that happens in an auto mechanic shop on a daily basis. Phone calls and emails are coming in. Customers are scheduling appointments.
Cars are coming in with tons of problems. Inventory is being used up. Payroll is being processed and books are getting balanced.
The problem, though, is that these are all happening in different places. Much of it takes place with paper and pen. And there is no consistency.
One of the best ways to improve shop efficiency is by investing in shop management software. New software options, such as that from Tekmetric, make it easy to manage your entire shop from one piece of software.
From one dashboard, your employees can clock in and out, helping you manage timesheets and payroll. From one dashboard you can set up appointments, send reminders to customers, and process payments.
You can track repairs and create custom repair quotes. You can manage inventory. And you can do so much more.
By getting shop management software and shifting all of your day-to-day processes over to it, you can radically increase shop performance. You’ll be able to complete faster repairs, serve more customers, and stay organized day in and day out.
If there’s one thing you do to increase productivity, this is it.
Invest in Employees
What makes your shop function on a day-to-day basis? It’s not the shop itself. It’s not the tools or the computers. It’s your team.
Without your team of employees, you don’t have a business. It’s easy to forget that and overlook your employees. But if you really want to increase shop productivity, you need to invest in your team.
There are many ways to keep your team happy and productive. One is by providing vacation time and encouraging employees to actually take it. In fact, you should make vacation mandatory.
Everyone needs regular time off to recharge. They need time to enjoy their hobbies, travel and spend time with their family.
It also helps when your shop can close for one day each week. Some auto shops are open seven days a week in hopes of earning more business. But giving your team a guaranteed day off goes a long way to having happy employees.
You can also shorten the Friday or Saturday shift so your team can get out early and enjoy their weekend.
Make Your Auto Repair Garage More Comfortable
Your employees are working hard every day. They exert a ton of energy and get easily get tired and burned out.
Keep your employees going by making your shop more comfortable. In the winter, that means having an effective heating system so they aren’t trying to fix cars with numb hands.
In the summer, that means air conditioning so they aren’t getting heatstroke. Your shop should have a comfortable break room with a kitchen and comfortable chairs and couches so they can actually relax and recharge.
Fuel Your Team
Working on repair orders all day is physically taxing. Your employees need to be eating and drinking all day in order to get through each shift.
Unfortunately, many people don’t bring enough food with them to work each day. Invest in your employees by providing healthy snacks and beverages at the shop. Not just cookies and candy, but actual food that will give your crew energy.
Provide coffee, sports drinks to replenish electrolytes, and plenty of drinking water. Sure, it costs money, but having fueled employees means getting more done at the shop each day.
And the more enjoyable your shop is for your employees, the longer they will stay with your company. When you retain employees longer, you waste less time and money hiring new people all the time.
Invest in the Shop Itself
You can also invest in the shop itself in order to make it more efficient. There are many ways to do this.
Start by improving the existing lighting system, making it brighter and easier to see throughout the shop. Make sure to get LED lightbulbs to save money.
You can also add new lighting fixtures in the shop to make it easier to see inside and underneath cars, as well as in inventory rooms.
It’s also important to invest in an organizational strategy. Shelves, storage containers, and tool mounts can make your shop much easier to navigate. If you want employees to work faster, every tool and supply needs to have a home.
They need to know exactly where to find everything. Make it a point to put everything away in the same place every time.
Another way to improve efficiency could be to add a drive-thru lane. Consider a drive-thru lane for quick services like oil changes, and you can get a lot more cars coming through your shop on a daily basis.
Stop Doing Things the Same Way
As you can see, there are many different ways to make your auto repair garage more productive. There’s no reason to keep doing things the same way you’ve always done. Otherwise, you are wasting tons of money.
Invest in your shop and your employees today and you’ll reap the reward tomorrow.
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