5 Ways to Increase the Productivity of Your Auto Shop

Ways to Improve Auto Shop Productivity - Workflow 360

5 Ways to Increase the Productivity of Your Auto Shop

Even the hardest working and experienced service advisors can run into productivity problems in a busy auto shop. While a busy shop can indicate a thriving business, a bottom line that doesn’t reflect the number of hours performed points to a lack of productivity.

To see a healthy ROI, you want to make sure that the high level of activity is productive and not a result of bottlenecks and constraints. While it’s normal for service departments to run into issues with customer complaints, staff shortages, and an onslaught of service requests, constant productivity issues can be remedied with the right automotive route sheet software and MPI dealership software combined with a Production Efficiency Platform like Workflow 360.

What drives productivity down in the service department

While an empty service bay doesn’t bring in revenue, an inefficient service bay can cause profit loss. If the service bay is full, but vehicles aren’t rotating as efficiently as they should be, it creates a bottleneck and lost revenue. Often, this happens because:

  • Service technicians are waiting for client approvals
  • Service technicians are waiting for communication from the parts department
  • The dealership lacks an effective communication stream
  • There is no software integration, causing technicians to spend more time seeing a vehicle through to service completion
  • A lack of real-time reporting for managers and service techs to see where a vehicle is in the service process

How to increase productivity in the automotive service department

1. Improve communication – Clear and consistent communication is vital for any business, especially for busy auto shops where mistakes and repeated efforts can result in a significant loss. Consider the methods that employees and managers use to communicate. While face-to-face communication is valuable for more urgent and serious matters, it may not be sustainable with day-to-day operations and quick instruction. Your automotive service software should have a feature that allows accessible communication to all areas of the business and the customer for faster approvals and repairs. Consider implementing a Production Efficiency Platform to solve the issue if you’re finding constraints with your existing software.

2. Embrace technology – In today’s day and age, businesses must stay up to date with technology to remain competitive. An innovative Production Efficiency Platform provides auto shops with enhanced reporting, customer service, cloud-based data storage, and text messaging and SMS features. Advancements in technology help alleviate repeated efforts and reduce the time it takes to complete certain tasks. With the latest dealership software or dealership management plugin, customers can be informed of the job status, such as when a service technician has begun working on the vehicle, waiting for parts, and when the job is complete. Service technicians can send customers videos and pictures of a part that needs replacing or repair through text, which helps speed up the approval process, keeping vehicles rotating in the service bay.

3. Analyze and plan accordingly – To add to the advantages of technology above, an automotive service software combined with a Production Efficiency Platform gives managers a bird’s eye view of the business. With real-time reports and analytics, managers can plan for a smoother workflow and identify busy times that require more staff.

4. Work between jobs – Most cloud-based automotive service platforms enforce step-by-step task completion, which leads to increased downtime and technicians waiting before other services can be performed. With a Production Efficiency Platform, techs can work between jobs when possible. The platform allows for a task to be placed on hold and returned to seamlessly. This feature creates more billable hours because service advisors can keep their job stacks moving while waiting for parts and approvals.

5. Eliminate bottlenecks and unnecessary steps – Some of the most significant contributors to productivity constraints are bottlenecks and unnecessary or repeated steps. By continually analyzing your processes, you can identify where these constraints are happening and take the necessary steps to reduce them. Productivity in the auto industry can be significantly improved with detailed real-time reporting, two-way communication, and a smart platform that enhances your workflow and delivers results.

The bottom line

Almost every industry revolves around technology and software, and the automotive industry is no exception. With automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud technology on the rise, dealerships and service centers are able to become more productive. Innovative software solutions have already slowly transformed the automotive industry through the years.

The bottom line: it’s impossible for automotive service departments to remain competitive without adapting to the necessary technology that will boost their productivity.

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