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How Improving Service Labour Efficiency Can Increase Garage and Workshop Profits

27th February 2020

Understanding labour efficiency is vital to running a garage or workshop in the automotive industry. The purpose is to discover exactly how productive your technicians are in the time they spend at work, while also serving as a key performance indicator (KPI).

The efficiency of your staff can be affected and influenced by several factors, including:

Experience / Training

A team of technicians will be quite diverse and have different skill levels, from apprentices and recently qualified staff all the way up to extremely experienced technicians, who will have a broad knowledge gained over a number of years. Typically, the more experienced staff with good technical knowledge will be more efficient and able to complete tasks more quickly than those with less experience. Ongoing technical training, therefore, is important to consider when looking to improve efficiencies.

Salary and Benefits

Competitive wages, a bonus structure and other benefits can prove to be a key motivator for technicians, as they will be rewarded for increased efficiency in their work. However, some staff may also respond more positively to promotional opportunities, recognition and job satisfaction, so it’s worth considering other ways to make your staff feel appreciated.

Working Hours

Reasonable working hours can also help to keep efficiencies at a high level. Along with regular breaks, this can help reduce tiredness and keep staff motivated. Working longer hours, especially if there is no real financial incentive in place, could actually be counterproductive for your team and demotivate them, which is likely to have a negative impact on efficiency levels.

Environment

The working environment is another big factor that shouldn’t be overlooked, as a pleasant garage environment can promote positivity and motivation. Employees spend a typical 40 hours a week at work, so an unpleasant working environment can be a big demotivator over time. Consider if improvements can be made, such as ensuring you have adequate lighting, ventilation and heating in the workshop bay areas, keeping bays and ramp areas as tidy as possible on an ongoing basis, and having a comfortable and clean designated area for the technicians to take their breaks.

 

Service Labour Efficiency Calculation

Labour Efficiency

 

Measuring Labour Efficiency To Increase Labour Sales

Dragon2000 have recently launched a new Workshop App, which is designed to revolutionise the way garages and workshops track their work in progress. Fully integrated with the DragonDMS dealer management system, managers and service advisors can now gain full control of the workshop and schedule jobs more effectively with real-time service job tracking of both productive and non-productive tasks from their mobile device. Full transparency of time and attendance, with alerts when items are behind schedule, means you can also measure technicians’ efficiencies and take action to make improvements where necessary.

Additionally, the DragonDMS features a Technician Scheduler which allows workshops to view the capacity of their garage at any time and schedule jobs more efficiently. It also suggests which technician should be assigned to a particular task, taking into account their skill set and the requirements of the job. This allows each job to be allocated to the most appropriate technicians, and even accommodates shift patterns for those that work weekends or night shifts.

Improving service efficiencies results in a quicker turnaround of jobs, meaning more work can be booked into the workshop, therefore increasing the number of hours invoiced in a day. Increasing efficiency by just one hour per day, charged at £80 an hour retail, could bring in over £20,000 extra labour sales per year.

Most garages have more than just one technician. If each of your technicians can improve their efficiency by just one hour a day, then the opportunity for selling more labour hours is increased accordingly for each technician – so for workshops with five technicians this could equate to over £100,000 extra labour sales a year!

 

For more information about Dragon2000’s Workshop App or the DragonDMS, please contact our sales team on 01327 222 333 or email sales@dragon2000.co.uk

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