Struggling with Express Service?

Written By Joe Carroll

We recommend all processes be written out using employee input for each step of the process. Once the process is written out and reviewed by all employees involved, we recommend training each employee on this process.  After classroom training is completed observe and coach your employees daily. These processes should include:

  • Determine what services will be completed in your express service department.
    • Oil and filter change, tire rotations, tire balance, tire repair, tire replacement, air and cabin filter, wipers, quick campaigns, state inspections, and brake pad replacement.
  • Appointments
    • Are you going to allow appointments and if so, how do you give those clients priority over walk-ins?
    • Some manufactures and retailer advertise “No appointment necessary”
      • I understand the thought process here, but we have seen many retailers get overwhelmed with walk-ins and customer satisfaction suffers due to cycle time during peak times.
      • At some point, the business grows to a point that managers change to have an appointment only, and walk-ins are turned away or leave the service department to seek another vendor.
  • Write-up
    • We recommend you include proper greeting, listen and understanding the guests’ primary concern, menu presentation, explaining vehicle inspection, total estimate with tax and supplies, and promise time to reflect under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Technician’s role
    • Two team process have begun to work very well completing basic services in 30 minutes or less
    • We recommend you train, train, train to this process
      • Classroom training
      • In bay training
      • In bay coaching
    • We recommend additional Technicians called Light Maintenance Technicians to perform higher mileage oil and filter changes, tire replacement, brake pad replacement, campaigns that pay one flat rate hour or less
    • Remember you should have speed bays, two team Technicians, and light maintenance 1 person bays to keep the speed bays flowing
  • Additional Service Recommendations
    • We recommend your Express Service Process include 15-minute inspections
  • Redelivery
    • Explain what you expect.
  • Scheduling next service
    • Set the next appointment for every customer every time.

Time Studies

  • Inspecting what you expect
    • Observing and coaching the process is key to process sustainment
    • Time on the service drive observing appointment, write-up, and stall processes is highly recommended
    • Employees will revert to their old routines unless managed and coached on the new process


  • Plan your structure and use it as our vision.

  • 18 Express Technicians working on teams out of 6 stalls
  • 6 Express Plus Technicians working out of 6 stalls
  • 18 total Technicians each day Monday through Friday
  • Opened Monday through Saturday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • 40-hour workweek no overtime

Work Schedules

  • Plan and structure your schedule

4-10 Rotation


If you need help in developing your plan, please contact M5.

From a complete Service Department Assessment to targeted Classroom Service Advisor Training options, I am here to assist you with all of your Fixed Operation improvement custom-tailored to your specific needs. For more information feel free to contact me anytime at (407) 221-8974 or

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