While the automotive industry continues to face unique challenges, dealerships everywhere are looking for ways to not only make money, but save money, too. The focus has turned to fixed operations to keep a steady revenue stream throughout the chip shortage, but in order to be truly profitable in this space when it’s needed the most, service operations need to become highly efficient.
Often overlooked by dealerships, there is an added cost to losing time efficiency in the service lane—but that cost won’t be handed down to your customers. It will ultimately end up affecting your own profitability, and worse yet, overall growth. In order to create better customer experiences, more efficient operations, and increased revenue, start implementing an easy, game-changing shop loading technique.
Shop Loading 101
As any service manager can attest: service departments are always going to have varying skill levels within their team. And that’s not a bad thing! But overall efficiency can quickly go off the rails when assigning work to a service technician with mismatched specializations. For example, you may have skill levels designated as A, B, & C, connecting a transmission rebuild to a more skilled level A and an oil change to less skilled level C. If you assign an oil change to a tech level A, you’re mismanaging much-needed time.
Even worse, you may have the level A tech tied up with an oil change, leaving a level B tech to handle more complex electrical work that just came in. While they may have the basic knowledge to handle this type of appointment, it could result in a longer service visit than was needed or expected. This will not only affect your shop capacity, but may also result in a longer wait time for a customer sitting in the service lounge. So now, you’re not only losing time on an appointment that could have been completed early—opening the door for more appointments—you’ve also potentially lost the growingly impatient customer waiting to get their vehicle back.
Better Control the Workflow and Output of Your Shop
Manually managing your service department’s workflow to create more efficiency, ironically, is inefficient. The right service scheduling tool is invaluable for streamlining the booking process for both your customers and your advisors. Affinitiv Book’s shop management tools were designed to help you keep a full service lane without overbooking. With the opportunity to see up to 97% service capacity utilization—managing appointments across teams, advisors, transportation type, skill groups, and opcodes—service departments can gain full control of their appointment-booking potential.
To reach peak efficiency, service managers need the ability to create and view availability in loading their shop based on the availability of specializations. Shop loading can be uniquely customized through Book, as shown in the image below:
Eliminate Common Scheduling Issues
One common scenario that many dealers face? Struggling with having enough time in the afternoon to identify and fix major diagnostic concerns, while still being able to complete the repair before the end of the day.
By creating a Major Repair or Diagnostic Skill Group in Book, you can limit operations by time intervals and cut off the scheduling of those operations in the afternoon. This results in effectively managing customer expectations and allotting necessary time for technicians to diagnose vehicles, while still allowing less complex operations like oil changes to be scheduled. This easy modification ensures stronger workflows—and a huge bonus—helps minimize technician downtime. Book has helped save an impressive 270 labor hours per year by automatically routing appointments and matching jobs to the right technician teams.
It’s no secret—boosting traffic to your service department is going to be key for dealerships to survive this stretch of low inventory on the lot. To maximize opportunities for revenue, you may even get creative to fill any gaps, such as offering coupons for weekdays that are typically slow or using a call center to drive more appointments. But in order to fully maximize your scheduling potential, a shop loading technique is essential for both department growth and dealership loyalty. In uncertain times, your dealership can’t afford to let any opportunities fall through the cracks.
Interested in learning more? The experts at Affinitiv will show you how skill-based capacity booking can help create a better customer experience.
All | October 11, 2021