It is easy to monitor the productivity of your sales department. I don’t know a dealer in this country that doesn’t ask this question every morning or check his email to find out, “How many did we get out yesterday?” On the flip side, I only know a handful of dealers who know how many hours the shop did yesterday. It is not a metric that we track – but imagine if when you asked your sales manager how many he sold yesterday he responded, “we got ten out, but all the rest of the inventory is gone this morning.” That is what happens in your service department. Every hour that wasn’t sold yesterday is gone today. You never get it back. How can you monitor this very volatile metric?
All DMS systems track repair order hours. Of course the first thing you need to know is that there are four types of hours; clock time, actual repair order time, sold time and flag time. For many of you, sold time and flag time should be the same – if that is the agreement that you have with your technicians. All DMS systems can provide this information and if your are just getting started in looking at the hours in the shop, get a report of this by each technician. Add up how many total working hours were available yesterday, last week or last month and compare that to the sold and flag hours report. Are you technicians reaching the productivity levels comparable for your manufacturer? There are many reasons why some technicians might be lower than others and often it is the fault of your DMS. If your DMS is not dispatching work fairly and accurately – then one technician might be getting all the “gravy” work while another gets the troublesome drivability issues. Getting into these issues is something that we work on in my Profit Accounting Academy in Las Vegas this November. Actual time is often missing on your DMS system. In order to get the DMS system to record actual time you either need the technicians to use the technician terminal to “clock on and off” jobs or have a service advisor, cashier or dispatcher enter the actual hours that might be recorded on the back of a hard copy. This can be hard work and actually measures efficiency instead of productivity.
What about your other employees – are they productive? Employee productivity is at an all time low. An article on July 24, 2013 by stock analyst, Jeff Bailey, “ADP: A Great Company Facing A Huge Problem” highlights ADP’s recent low score on worker productivity. ADP’s 57,000 workers brought in $10.7 billion in revenue, or about $187,000 per worker but 10 years earlier, with 40,000 employees at June 30, 2002, ADP had revenue for that year of $7.0 billion, or roughly $175,000 per employee. What is your revenue per employee and how does that compare to 10 years ago? Is this headcount truly a measure of productivity? If you have two part-time accounting clerks making ten dollars an hour doing the work of one highly paid clerk at twenty-five an hour, then you are most likely coming out ahead in productivity – and making twice as much profit. Not only do you have flexibility during sick days, but you might not be required to offer health care insurance to the part-time employees. I’m not recommending doubling the size of your office staff with part-time employees making less. Without having a well-designed plan and the right technology – you’ll create a huge supervision problem with trying to track what each person does. Most likely tasks will get missed and you’ll pay fines. Again in my Profit Academy we work on assigning tasks to employees instead of “desks” based on skill level and learn how to use technology tools like TasksMaster to monitor if the task was completed. A desk might be the “Used Car biller” but a task is to “Add Used Cars to the DMS.” You don’t need a highly qualified clerk to enter vehicles into the DMS, but to post a used car deal with today’s complicated packs and aftermarket sales – it almost takes the skill level of a rocket scientist to get the car deal postings right! The first step is to document your existing accounting office by tasks instead of desk job functions I’ve written many articles, guides and given webinars about this new concept. Regardless of your where you need to increase your productivity, consider various technology tools available to measure, track, and monitor productivity and you’ll be pleased with your profitable results.