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  • “How far scheduled out are you?”

    Posted by Tom on September 28, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Shop owners commonly are asked “How far scheduled out are you?” with the intent of finding out how great this shop is. But, what the question is really asking is “How inefficient are you?” Not only are all those cars languishing in the parking lot not making the shop any money, they are costing the shop money occupying real estate, and generating zero income while doing so.

    douglas hillmann replied 1 month, 2 weeks ago 7 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Nate Smith

    September 30, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    That’s a nice thought, and of course it is correct. However, we are often booked several days ahead. And if a tech is on vacation, the backlog gets worse. So lets say we are booked ahead half the time, what’s your answer? I have not been able to ever find the 1/2 tech that is needed. Or, perhaps the full tech that is only needed half the time.

    Just like a good doctor, we have lots of customers that want us to work on their car. But we have a limit to our capacity. Once we reach our limit, the customer will have to wait – a day, a few days, a week.

    There are plenty of unrealistic solutions – raise our prices until the backlog goes away; make our techs work overtime or an additional day per week until the backlog goes away. No thanks. I’ll live with what we have.

  • joecval

    September 30, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    If I’m in pain I don’t care how good my doctor is I’m going to find a doctor who can remove my pain as quickly as possible. When a customers car breaks they are in pain. Sure they may call you first and schedule it for later next week but then perhaps look around to see if they have other options. If they see a shop that is comparable or one they even perceive as better, they call. If that shop can get then in a few days sooner they will probably go there.

    If you are carrying even close to 40 hours over into the next week it’s time for another technician. If your technicians are not at least 80% productive (hours billed divided by hours in the building) you need to figure out why. We are living in a world that loves convenience and speed That goes for the services we choose as well 😊

  • Joe

    October 3, 2022 at 11:07 am

    We live in a society today that does not like to wait for anything. Like it or not, thats the way it is. It is up to us as shop owners to be efficient at what we do, to allow for customers to get in to our shops within a day or two. If you tell your customer that they need to wait longer than that, they will be looking for a new shop. That is how you lose market share.

  • Mike Deutmeyer

    October 7, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    If we are consistently booked 2-3 days out, we hire another tech. After our last hire we are currently @ 24 hours booked out

  • Steve Wootton

    October 19, 2022 at 3:17 pm

    This really is a “loaded” question. It encompasses so many factors that you really need to break down each factor and determine what is acceptable and what is not.

    We are currently scheduling about 2 weeks out and were almost 4 weeks out during the summer months. We are turning vehicles around same day, next day or two days depending on what work we are performing.

    Just this week alone, three new customers came in, we did inspections and found $3,000 on one, $4,000 on a second one and $3,200 on the third. We normally schedule about 75-80% of our daily workload and fill the holes with the upsells. Due to jobs like this which are very normal for us we have been scheduling only 40-50% of our daily workload which now pushes our scheduling out further.

    This is all while hiring two new techs in the past 3 months. Most weeks our entire crew is 110-130% efficient with the exception of the “rookies”

    We are limited by the capacity of our facility and the available parking. One thing that does help is our fleet of 8 loaner cars which are out nearly every day.

    If a customer cannot “wait” till our next available appointment they are either “not our customer” not good at planning when their car needs service. We have very few tow ins/break downs(Maybe 1-2 per month) We also try to always have 1-2 loaners on reserve just in case a regular customer has a breakdown and needs transportation.

  • douglas hillmann

    October 24, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    Fast, quality, cost. Pick two. Call me old fashioned if you want or not “with the times”. If you are a high quality shop customers will wait. If they are in that much of a hurry they are not my customer. Turn them away on a regular basis and still booked at least a week out. Its worked for 22 years.