How to Effectively Measure Technicians’ Productivity to Increase Your Shop’s Profit Margins
You’ve got a great crew at your auto repair shop and everything seems to be running smoothly. You’ve invested in the right supplies, tools and machinery to get cars repaired and keep customers happy. Your technicians seem to be busy working, even when the car count is low, but things aren’t adding up on the bottom line. You’re just not hitting your profit goals.
Whether you have one technician or a large team, it’s essential that you have a reliable time management system that provides an accurate picture of your crew’s performance. Because as Peter Drucker famously observed, “Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed.”
The obvious way to make your business more profitable is to ensure your technicians are productive and making the best use of their time. However, tracking the actual efficiency of technicians can be difficult and time-consuming, given that multiple technicians may be working on the same vehicle, bouncing between multiple jobs, or working at various rate structures.
So how can you effectively measure all this while juggling all the moving parts in your shop? Let’s take a look at how Mitchell 1’s industry-leading Manager SE shop management software can help you measure technician productivity – automatically – with very little effort on your part.
TIME MANAGEMENT MADE EASY
The latest release of Manager SE software suite now includes a powerful Time Management tool that automatically generates technician productivity statistics for auto repair shops. It helps shops keep track of their labor margins, along with employee hours, to increase technician efficiency and profits.
Time Manager includes a Shift Clock for employees recording time on premises within the shop, and also a Job Clock that automatically generates productivity statistics as workers clock in-and-out of labor operations. The latter provides metrics on how much time is spent on repair orders.
“Shops don’t have the time or resources to manually input detailed-level data for each labor item, so a technician’s ‘actual hours’ are typically equal to their ‘pay hours’ on the productivity report,” said Tim McDonnell, Mitchell 1’s senior product marketing manager for Manager SE.
“Time Manager makes it easy to track productivity, saving time for shop owner/managers,” he continued. “It captures the hours the technicians are on the clock and automatically fills in the actual hours spent on each labor item when marked completed.”
For large jobs, Time Manager provides a mechanism to pay techs for work completed to meet a payroll cutoff – without waiting for invoices to be posted . This can translate to monetary rewards for technicians, who will see the fruits of their labor sooner than later.
What if Time Manager determines that technician productivity is lower than anticipated? What steps should shop owners take to turn the tables?
Having accurate productivity metrics will provide a benchmark for shops to identify areas that need to be improved. Shop managers can dig deeper into performance gaps and determine if they need to assign jobs more efficiently; reduce nonbillable activities; standardize work processes; or better organize their workspace.
HOW IT WORKS
Time Manager is completely integrated inside Manager SE and fully supported by Mitchell 1. It also includes mobile device capabilities so technicians/employees can manage their hours via their cell phones or tablets when connected to the shop’s wi-fi network. Shop owners and managers can view Time Management details in real-time on a secure, intuitive dashboard. Access to various options is password protected and can be tailored to job functions in the shop.
Let’ take a closer look into the functionality of Time Manager:
The new Job Clock is driven by labor operations from Manager SE repair orders. As technicians “clock in” and “clock out” of labor operations, they can view a “mini Work-In-Progress” screen that lists specific labor jobs assigned to them. There is an option to display all jobs assigned, so techs who are working on the same vehicle can coordinate on the work orders.
The Job Clock can be accessed from a Manager SE workstation PC, or more commonly, their smartphone or tablet on the shop’s local area network using a modern web browser.
They can start a job clock for a labor item then pause it for breaks or lunch as needed. When each labor item is done, they mark it as Completed. That timestamp automatically populates time in the “Actual Hours” field of the R.O. labor item completed, which records productivity on the labor operation within Manager SE repair order.
Shop employees can track their hours on their mobile device; they can clock in/out for work shift, with data access in read-only mode. An employee timecard view displays hours per time period selected. Any changes made by managers inside Manager SE will be visible on the employee’s time card.
Activity supports verifying technician workloads for jobs assigned, with Pay Hours, Clocked Time and Total Jobs they have completed.
Technician Job Time Cards
Technician Job Time Cards provide an overview of Pay Hours, Clocked Hours and Efficiency for each technician. Both management and techs can confirm performance at-a-glance for a given time period relative to their goals. If any clocked time exceeds pay hours it is displayed in red, alerting technicians and managers to view it right away. Direct links are provided back to repair orders for easy access to review, if more details are required.
Employee Shift Time Cards
The Summary tab gives management an overview of all clocked in hours per employee. Clicking an employee tab displays all of their clock in & clock out details. If any changes are made by an owner or manager within Manager SE, those will be reflected on the employee-facing time tracking website.
New settings in Program Security for Time Manager functions have been added to ensure proper access and privileges for every role in the shop. Employees (service advisors and technicians who are also paid hourly) will be using their mobile devices to access their Shift Clock and Job Clock or view their hours (read-only) as appropriate – rather than via Manager SE computers.
ABOUT MANAGER SE
Manager™ SE is the industry-leading shop management solution that helps vehicle repair shops streamline workflow and track activity from estimate to invoice. The tools and reports in Manager SE give shops a 360-degree view of the entire operation, helping them manage repairs, customer service and the overall business more efficiently and profitably. To book a free demo and learn if Manager SE is right for you, please visit https://get.mitchell1.com/asa/managerse-1