Tips for benchmarking mechanical work
What metrics should tire dealers be tracking to make their mechanical work more profitable? Service advisor to tech ratio is one benchmark.
“You should have one service advisor to two auto technicians,” says Bob Fox, owner of J&J Tire Factory in Helena, Mont.
“You’ve got to give your service advisors time to price, call the customer, sell it or have it written down so they know what it costs to fix something. If you can’t give the customer a price, they might go down the street and get the price from somebody else.”
Other benchmarks Fox suggests are car count, average sales per invoice, average alignments per month to percentage of tires, net profit and billable hours.
How to track is as important as what to track. For example, Fox advises following three areas when tracking technicians’ time: “We track the hours they are in the building, the hours they are working on a vehicle, and the hours we are billing for when they are working on a vehicle.
“For instance, if they are scheduled for 40 hours a week, and you sell 30 hours a week and they do that work in 25 hours, they are making more money. But if they are in the building for 10 more hours, what are they doing? And if they don’t have the work then why aren’t your service advisors selling the work if they can do it faster?”
Another metric tracked in Fox’s shop is vehicle inspections. “Every day we go through invoices and measure the cars that get a full inspection. Our benchmark is 75% of the vehicles that come in get a vehicle inspection. If you don’t track your inspections, the next thing you know they’re not being done consistently. And those inspections create the labor of your future.”