Consider the investment you have made in your best Technician, who has at least ten years of brand experience. This could have been accomplished through an apprenticeship scheme and continued in manufacturer training programmes. You would like to think that after all of this investment, these people would provide the highest monthly labour gross profit, but perhaps not? The technicians who perform efficient maintenance tasks, such as changing filters, typically see the highest returns, while your most esteemed technicians are typically the ones who handle more complex diagnostic work, which is frequently harder to recover labour for and is all too often performed at a reduced manufacturer's warranty labour rate.
This becomes a vicious circle, as we start falling into the trap of getting the apprentices to spin the filters to achieve the desired labour gross profit benchmarks we are chasing, meanwhile we’re not developing them to keep up to date with the latest technologies. These guys then lose interest due to the monotony of service work, whilst you become more dependent on the few guys who have the diagnostic skills necessary to fix the more complex jobs. Apprentice retention rates will likely fall off as a result and the flow-on effect being that at some point you find you don’t have sufficient resources with diagnostic capability to ensure all vehicles flowing through the workshop are diagnosed correctly in the first instance. Ultimately, your limited diagnostic resources become stretched, and you start seeing your fixed-right-first-time scores heading south. This obviously has a flow on effect to the bottom line as manufacturers now remunerate dealers according to just how good you service your customers.
Excel Resourcing understands the challenges faced by today’s service managers. Indeed, the biggest challenge we face is finding highly skilled and experienced automotive technicians. They are out there, and UK is still a pretty big drawcard offering a very high quality of life according to United Nation’s Human Development Index ranking 18th in the world.
However, the days of trying to acquire these professionals for a measly hourly rate are gone.
What is the true value of your most experienced home-grown technicians, who know your product from bumper to bumper? (All things being equal, assuming they have a good attitude and are intrinsically motivated in doing their job). If you do not know it now, then consider this. If they leave tomorrow, could you replace them? If so, where would you get them from, what would be the costs associated with finding them? What would be the impact on the business? How long will it take you to bring another tradesman up to speed from another brand?
Excel Resourcing sole purpose is finding highly experienced automotive contractors with experience and training at the highest level. All our contractors are what we like to call, ‘Plug and Play’, that means they’ll hit the ground running, know your product, and already possess the training and experience you desire.
A skilled labour force are the foundations of any service department. If you have high staff turnover, then it is likely you will be amongst the lower echelons of the Customer Satisfaction Index rankings. If your Customer Satisfaction Index scores are poor, then chances are your bottom-line financials will be too. Do not wait for your labour force to leave before assessing their value. Technology advances faster every day, and having strong diagnostic skills are critical to the efficient operation of any modern dealership.
To unlock the true potential of elite engineering professionals whilst providing an honest, reliable service to our clients in the Road Transport Industry.