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  • Integrating a Quick Lube into an already full shop

    Posted by jons999 on January 7, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Heres my problem, the shop runs on a team system, 3 guys per team (A,B,C tech). The shop is full, only 1 extra bay for 6 techs. I need a system to get waiter oil change customers in and out of the shop in under a half an hour. Right now waiters are greatly delayed by the lack of extra bays, we can’t pull an oil change in until another job is done and a bay is freed up. And i think that the techs can pull more hours in a day if they can concentrate on real work and not LOF’s. A lot of these are low milage cars with no opportunity for upsell but we need to keep them as customers for when the cars do need repair.

    Expanding the building isnt an option right now. Do we turn a C tech into a lube tech and make him do oil changes all day? Does anyone have experiance having a team of two techs (B and C level) working on one lift doing maintenance services?

    lowellnigoff replied 8 years, 7 months ago 8 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
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  • Tom Ham

    January 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm


    No simple answer that I know of, but you are half way there since you are asking the question. Here are some thoughts.

    Restrict that extra bay to quick jobs and jobs which allow the car to be driven out almost instantly.

    Make sure your waiting area is exceptionally nice. We found that this has a huge effect on how much the customer is “in a hurry”.

    It is critical that you and everyone on your staff understand how important oil changes are to the business. You never, ever want your customer in any other shop for anything…period. Many highly successful shops will show an oil change on 40% to 55% of their RO’s. This helps ensure good future car counts. If all staff are fully on board, oil changes will occur more often and more quickly. Techs are smart…they can figure out how to get it done once they grasp the importance.

    With the two teams, a competition might be in order. Who can do the most or increase the largest percentage amount.

    I believe that the successful shops of the future will likely do a lot of oil changes (or maintenance services, if you prefer).

  • rhopp

    January 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Ditto’s Tom,

    If we can’t have a dedicated LOF/tire bay, we at least need dedicated

    staff that understand the shops flow and are willing to help make sure

    a bay is available or close to available at all times.

    Many in our industry have worked long & hard to reduce the impact that

    the Quick Oil Change “model” had on independent shops 20-30 years ago.

    In my area, the Quick lubes are fading out. We’re doing our best to

    help them fade.

  • davesgarage

    January 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    It is easily done by proper scheduling. We have 3 techs, four lifts. We schedule the waiting services for first thing after opening, 8:00 am. we will then fill up additional appointments on the hour. If really needed we can also schedule for first thing after lunch, 1;00PM. We make it very clear to the techs that we need to keep the clients comming to or shop for everything, including services that we sub out. Each tech has a computer work station and the techs can check the schedule for the day, no surprises.

  • leoandeds

    February 7, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Keep that lite duty bay for lof,tire, whatever.. with two teams if they alternate they should be able to knock out an oil change in about 15 min with time to sell extra work. And if you schedule them say every hour except maybe lunch..just a thought..Rick

  • hoauto

    April 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    We have tried to limit the times we take waiter appointments. We shoot for 8, 10, 1, and 3. We have a dry erase board that we use to keep the techs in the loop and based on schedule will try to assign the tech so that they can plan for it. We also tell out waiter customers to plan on about 1 hour, which gives us time to prepare estimates and sell additional work. That gives us the opportunity to offer loaners and leave the vehicle for the upsold work.

    Attitude at the desk and in the shop do make a difference. My guys sometimes have to be reminded that they are all opportunities, not just a drain on productivity.

    Don’t know if that will help or not.


  • rperea

    April 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    For my 5 bay shop, we’ve actually been much more productive by having a C tech do LOF’s on the hour in the morning, and then in the afternoon he does safety checks (a yearly requirement here in Hawaii).  It works best to schedule an hour for oil changes/tire rotations, as he is very thorough.  My 2 skilled techs only do oil changes as part of a larger job.  They book many more hours and their attitudes have vastly improved.

  • lowellnigoff

    November 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Techs usually do not like to do oil changes. We gave a bonus for each oil change in the way of “Tool Bucks”. These were printed, with my picture in the center, looking like a dollar bill. These could be exchanged on the tool truck and I would periodically reimburse the tool man. With a little imagination you can expense these making a win win for all. Although they still didn’t love to do oil changes, getting a tool buck lowered the resistance.  <span style="font-size:12.0pt;
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