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3 Ways to Help Technicians Work Smarter, Not Harder

Article Highlights:

  • Give the technician ownership of multipoint recommendations.
  • Is your dispatching tool really dispatching efficiently?

Technicians aren’t satisfied with their jobs, and the industry is changing (but needs to change faster) to help keep them from leaving their bays and not looking back. Between manual labour and oftentimes paying for their own tools and training, it’s understandable why they would not recommend their job to a friend. However, according to NADA the service department makes up 49.6% of gross profit, so technicians deserve some changes to help make their jobs less difficult.

If you provide an outlet for technicians to work smarter you can acknowledge their struggles, and help your dealership run more efficiently. This means more money in your pocket and in theirs.

Here are three ways to help your technicians:

1. Make them do the multipoint and give them ownership.

I know, making them do more work doesn’t seem like making their jobs easier, but this will give them more job satisfaction in the long run and will make their jobs (and everyone else’s) run smoother while also protecting your business. If the technician does the multipoint, the customer gets a better understanding of their car (and builds more trust with the dealership), the advisor has more they can sell to the customer, and the dealership has declined work they can follow up on for additional profits.

There are a few key pieces to the multipoint process that are necessary to make it worthwhile for techs. First and foremost, if a tech finds work on a vehicle that is declined, but the customer comes back in later for that service, the same tech should be the go-to for that work (unless the work is outside their skill level). Give the technician a sense of ownership for them to really buy into a multipoint process.

Their findings should be recorded in the DMS without having to rekey the information. This is the critical piece that allows technicians to get that work back and it takes the pressure off the technician to type the same information multiple times for the same repair. If there is any rekeying needed to get information into your system, the information can get lost and the entire process can’t be enforced.

2. Help improve their service productivity.

I frequently see technicians walking away from their bays. Every second a technician is away is wasted time and money. If you are having technicians walk to the parts counter for any part of the repair process, or having them walk to the advisors, your dealership is not making their jobs any easier and is taking potential profits out of everyone’s pockets.

Focus on keeping them in their bays. Give them accurate parts pricing and availability at their fingertips, allowing them to type notes on the RO to load the advisor’s lips, or messaging with parts to ask questions. When you keep techs in the bays you cut down on wasted time and also help eliminate lines at the back counter and the advisor’s desk.

3. Help the dispatcher help technicians.

Your technicians rely on your dispatcher to get work to them quickly, but is your dispatcher or dispatching tool also giving them the work efficiently? Technicians need to have a qualified RO in their hands as fast as possible to keep getting cars out the door, and your dispatching process can’t leave ROs on unnecessary standby.

Technicians should be able to stay in their bays and have the next RO assigned to them automatically on the screen once their previous job is complete. This helps them maximize the hours they are able to book and alleviates headaches for both your technicians and your dispatchers.

Overall, a few tweaks lead to a more efficient process for technicians and everyone else in the dealership.

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jeff Adams is a Product Planning manager for Service applications at Reynolds and Reynolds.

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