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It is an indisputable fact that everything that happens within the walls of the Service department is tracked and controlled by the repair order. Most personnel in the department are paid directly or indirectly by what happens on the repair order. The repair order is so crucial, that what happens in the shop can be completely different than what is represented on the repair order. However, when that repair order is closed, and the charges are posted to accounting, there is a very good chance that, right or wrong, the result will show on the financial statement. With this in mind, it is important to know as accurately as possible, when and how the facts and figures become what they are.
When completing a manual repair order survey, time is not your friend. Given the task to accumulate repair orders, review them, document each item and tabulate the findings, it may require you to implement a new structured process just to get started.
Now there is a better way. It is M5’s Repair Order Survey Evaluation - ROSE.
After being in the automotive business for over 40 years and a dealer 20 of those years and visiting many dealers in our great nation, I’m not sure everybody understands what our advisors are worth to our stores.
I believe that this position deserves our respect and is one of the most important in our stores. If CSI and customer retention is our goal, then certainly our advisors need to be on the front shelf. I know our salespeople sells the customers their initial vehicle, but our advisors keep them coming back, time and time again. Now let’s see if I can help answer what an advisor is worth. I’m going to use information from NADA guides:
During any Fixed Operations visit I always take a look at special order parts. This is an area that most parts managers really don’t have much control over what is ordered. Most of it is ordered by the service operation, typically a technician or advisor. I feel sure that no one has ever had a technician come to the shop parts counter on a Friday afternoon about 3:30 and ask for an oddball part. He knew you would not have one. BUT, magically you return to the counter WITH THE PART!
He is stunned and says “You have that part? I’m not going to do that this late in the day. Just tag that part with a special order form and send a card in the mail. I’ll do it next week”. Never happened to you? If you answer that NO....you're lying!!
When you are talking about a Repair Order Survey & Evaluation (ROSE) the answer is simple. There are countless ways ROSE can help to increase your Effective Labor Rate (ELR), raise your gross profit and your gross profit percentage, as well as increase your maintenance sales and productivity. You are probably thinking, "This sounds too good to be true--where is the catch?" Well there really is none. Any Service Manager that has conducted a Repair Order Survey knows that they learn a lot of valuable information from looking at a sample of ROs. So why don't we do them more often? Well the bottom line is, it takes WAY too long!!! ROSE is a tool that can sort through ROs in no time at all and can break down any information that you want to see. Let's look at some reports and decide for yourself if this information is valuable or not.
There are often times as managers that we brainstorm an idea for the department that seemingly will work, and probably very well. However, the one common and sometimes most fatal mistake that we have all made (including yours truly) is that we are the only ones who know about it.
When we, with all good intentions implement a process, we seem at times to forget about the all-important “buy-in” factor. The reader’s digest version of the buy-in factor is quite simple and effective: keep everyone in the loop and solicit the input of your staff. Before you implement a new procedure or process, the first thing you want to do is simply start talking about it. I would recommend that you have a meeting with everyone that will be affected by the new process and get the feedback of the staff.
Every time the word “millenials” is uttered, it’s easy to see the eye rolls and groans from the employers of America. They are a part of our workforce that were given participation trophies and grew up with a computer in their hands. But now they are all grown up. Today they are starting families and desire jobs that pay more than minimum wage and offer a lifestyle above the poverty line.
“Millenials” are typically considered Americans between the ages of 18 and 30. They make up roughly one third of our workforce (about 50 million adults) and will soon surpass the GenXers and the Baby Boomers generations.
In the past several years, convenience has been the motivating force behind selection of a vendor once the need for the product or service is established.
We live in a society that is driven by convenience. Just think about these examples:
The service department’s maintenance menu has changed over the years, but without question, it is the strongest sales tool we have.
In 1978, I was first exposed to a maintenance menu as a service manager for a Toyota store. My dealer had retained service consultant Chris Mazur. His directive was to make our service department profitable.
The first task was to develop a service menu. It took us several days to handwrite the master. We began to present it to customers and, wow, what a difference.