Any discerning manager of an auto workshop knows the importance of running a tight ship when working with mechanics. The shop’s output is heavily dependent on the crew, and any slip-up could mean a loss in revenue. In extreme cases, the customer might never patronize your business again.
To ensure that they work productively, and bring their A-game to the workshop every day, here are five ways to manage mechanics effectively:
1) Have comprehensive records
In a business like this, proper records are everything. It could mean the difference between over-paying a lazy mechanic who has been cheating and adequately compensating the staff that put in a decent shift. You need to keep detailed records of work times, output, and total time spent on a project.
Correct timesheets helps you measure how productive your team is and enables you to compensate them adequately. Paying a lazy mechanic can result in poor morale, and so is paying someone less than they expect. In instances where the mechanic is working remotely on a vehicle, proper records ensure they get paid.
It’s also important to have these documents come tax time.
2) Appreciate them after a job well-done
This might seem cheesy, but treating your mechanics with small gifts will do wonders for morale.
There are tons of good gifts for mechanics you can get for them, or you can try team treats like donuts, gift cards, or a nice lunch -- anything that shows you appreciate the value they bring to the table.
3) Set work and time standards
To ensure consistency, you need to set standards for the time taken to complete repair jobs. You also need all repair jobs to be done to a certain standard. You can use an activity log to monitor and work out the average completion time of repair jobs.
These standards must be documented and be part of the onboarding process for a new mechanic. Your current mechanics should also be regularly re-trained on these standards to ensure no slip-ups. Instituting methods like these improve the skill level of the mechanics, and in turn, their productivity.
In instances where there are deviations from the standards, there has to be a process managed by your supervisor to find out why that happened and correct it immediately.
4) Ensure proper capacity planning
Capacity planning is an often ignored practice at most workshops. Here’s how it works: to properly account for any constraints in your daily schedule, you need to consider the maximum amount of hours you have for working. You need to account for any emergencies or express services you might need to deliver to a priority client or someone who wants to pay for a bump up the queue. Then, plan your day’s schedule.
This type of capacity planning forces you to leave more breathing room in so your employees are less pressured to work at lightening speed all day. Instead of packing in appointments along with walk-ins, which inevitably will slow down your crew, you allot extra cushion time.
5) Keep up a clean and safe working environment
A clean environment goes a long way to make your workshop a much better place for your mechanics to work. This doesn’t just mean sweeping -- a safe environment is well-lit, adequately ventilated, and has all the right tools.
Following these five tips not only saves time on the job, but also reduces fatigue and improves morale. With all these 5 tactics in place, you’ll immediately see a difference in the productivity of your staff.