Increasing Your Shops Productivity, Easily!!
Before we get started, let me just state this up front: “this is only one of many ways to increase productivity”! The reason I picked this one is because it is one of the easiest ways I know that has the most significant gains of anything else you can do. It doesn’t affect customer costs or sales, so nothing has to be done regarding any more sales or G/P adjustments, If there is anything that might have to be done differently, it is to spend a little time watching parts IN / OUT and Getting Credit for them.
Now that we have your attention, let’s write / read about your parts vendors for a minute. Do you spread your purchasing dollars around, a little to everyone, or do you use a couple of primary suppliers of aftermarket (non-dealer) parts? As I’m sure you want and like your customers to be loyal, your parts suppliers also look for, LOYALTY! So try and keep parts purchases to a few Primary suppliers. This buys their loyalty to you when they know that you are loyal to them! Why you ask? How does this relate to Shop Productivity?
As stated in the beginning of this blog, there are many ways to increase shop productivity! Most take drastic measures such as pushing everyone to perform better, or cutting labor force to increase productivity, there are MANY ways! This one is MUCH simpler; this is about having parts ready BEFORE the Technicians need them! By ordering your parts when the customer initially comes in, multiple things start to happen: The Psychology of having the parts already there when you go to upsell them makes it much easier to make the sale (trust me, it does), and your Techs can get started on those upsells quicker saving a LOT of time. Think this isn’t that big a deal because you get parts fast from your suppliers? Think again! I have seen production jumps of 25%+ by simply having the parts sitting in the Techs parts bins* ahead of time. Would a 25%+ increase help your facility produce better?
*Tech Parts Bins are a vital part: each tech should have a minimum of 1 parts bin (all Home Depot type stores have them, the tops fold over each other, maybe 18 X 36, preferably clear) on a HD shelf system for incoming parts.
Also remember to have the Technicians look at all incoming parts to make sure they look correct (YES, they’ll miss it sometimes) but since they are the ones working on the vehicles it makes more sense that they look earlier than later just in case. Make sure that each Tech checks early so that if there are some issues, they are corrected sooner!
Maybe you’re concerned about upsetting your vendors with sending parts back? This is where your loyalty to fewer vendors helps, if you explain what you are doing and the end result is more parts sales made! Most vendors we’ve spoken with have unanimously agreed that although they may not like parts coming back (the occasional missed upsell) the hope of selling more parts out-weighs the minor inconvenience of restocking. Please don’t expect your vendors to take back special or custom order parts, as that is a different issue all together! But regular stocking daily ordered parts should not be a issue if you spend enough with the vendors, or at least it never has for our shops!
This is NOT hard to do, so don’t make it seem or feel hard! Simply tell your vendors what you are trying to do and see if they want to play!!
If you need help with your business and want to see and feel the successes you expected when you opened your doors, give us a call at:
The ACT Group, 805-444-2598 or visit our website for more information http://www.automotivecoachingandtraining.com