The worst way to start each day is to have your service manager fielding calls from customers who have had breakdowns the night before and, at the same time, your techs are wandering around waiting to have their jobs assigned.

Instead, each day in your service department should actually start the night before. Your managers should spend a few minutes communicating with each technician about their current job, any issues the manager should address as well as the job they’ll take on next.

I’ve found after working with technicians for many years is that a tech’s brain never stops thinking if they’re trying to fix a problem. They’ll come in the next morning with a solution in mind and they’ll start producing for you right away. This simple process of end-of-day communication will turn your shop around.

Next, your technicians should always be clocked in to a work order or a job number and these should also have an established time for the techs to work toward. When I ask dealers if this is happening at their dealerships, they often say, “Most of the time.” Do your parts people charge customers for parts only most of the time? In the service department you sell time and I recommend tracking by the 10th of an hour. So, if you charge $95 an hour, every 6 minutes is worth $9.50. Multiply even 6 minutes of lost time each day per technician and you can see how the lost revenue builds up.

And, every piece of equipment should go through the triage process within 24 hours of coming into the dealership. During the triage process, you’re doing an initial assessment about what needs to be done, getting the parts needed for the job or ordering parts. You are also communicating with the customer.

Look for ways to bring the equipment back up to OEM specifications as well and communicate that to the customer. You can add 25-30% more billable time by looking for those opportunities — and create a more satisfied customer as well.

Tune in to Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s Dealer Success Academy for expanded comments from Bob Clements, www.DealerSuccessAcademy.