• June 30, 2016 at 7:04 pm #64894
    Karl Helbich

    Hello everyone and thank you for your time to read and or give me your input.

    Our shop is currently in a rapid growth of changes from coming up from just me running the whole thing to actually having techs and service writers and hopefully parts shortly. Anyways I have been up and down about the switch from hourly to flat rate for the past couple of months. When I came from the dealer side. I worked at a hourly shop when I first started and when I switched to a new store and company it was flat rate. It didnt effect me much as it was dealer. Now in the independent world I know its a different game. I feel like its my final steps for the shop side and to make like easier with production and or I’m not paying for when they decide to be lazy one day. The following below is what I plotted out for our flat rate pay, but before you read I had a couple questions as well. 1. If you switch to flat rate should you increase their pay per hour? 2. If you have any information as far as labor laws in Washington state Id appreciate all feedback! Almost forgot the shop runs on 4x10s as well! 
    Thank you for your time again! 

    Flat Rate Change

    • Guaranteed 30 hours per week

    • Comebacks will not be billed

    • Warranty from failed component not installer error will be covered by shop hours based on warranty times.

    • Techs are responsible for MPI’s you will be given .3 for a inspection any upsales will continue to you.

    • If a Vehicle needs to be transferred based upon work load, times will be adjusted and be based upon where the vehicle is at or what is left on it. If there is a issue please notify service writer or manager.

    • Time card will change to posted carbon copy place all punches on tech sheets with this is to help track times.

    • We strongly recommend you record your times to verify any discrepancies between systems.

    • If quality of work diminishes or comebacks, MPI’s not being performed or Shotgunning diagnosis is found or becomes common practice. Disciplinary action will be taken write up or possibly let go.

    • Moving Cars will become no longer a item for technicians to do. The task will be performed by morning person opening up. If this is not working you will be allotted .8 for each day needed.

    • Once again we strongly recommend you record your times for any discrepancies!

    • Overtime pay will begin after 40 physical hours on premises begin. If you work 40 hours on thursday and stay 3 hours after. Your total physical labor on premises is 43 hours. Then if you flag 50 hours 3 of those paid 50 hours will be in overtime. So 47 hours of standard hourly rate and 3 hours of overtime will be applied. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    • You are required to take a minimum of 1 hour lunch with two 10 minute breaks.

    June 30, 2016 at 8:10 pm #74444
    Tom Ham

    Guarantee car count, not hours. Get software that allows techs to do all time punching on their laptops or tablets. I suspect that OT system may not be legal. FR pay should be proportional to OT hours. Under federal wage law dealers are exempt from paying OT, but indies are not.

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    June 30, 2016 at 8:20 pm #74445
    Karl Helbich

    Ok Thanks tom, can you explain your Ot input? that’d be very helpful! 

    July 2, 2016 at 7:36 am #74446
    Tom Ham

    This issue is poorly explained and inconsistent when it comes to government regs. It is best to consult your accountant and/or attorney so you have something more definitive. The feds have their fuzzy way, then each state has theirs. If someone can post a formula that actually came from a government document or official, that could be very helpful.

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    July 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm #74450
    Tom Piippo

    I pay my techs with a hybrid system. I got tired of techs belly-aching about not getting the ‘good’ jobs and then not being thorough so I started paying hourly. I soon realized that there was no incentive to be busy, so now I pay a base hourly rate that they can live with when times are slow, or when the techs are doing non-revenue generating jobs; plus I pay on hours billed every week. My office gal (wife) puts a note with the checks every week showing their effective hourly rate for that pay period. ($XX.xx/ hr x 40 hours plus $XX.xx/ hr for hours billed that week)

    It works well for us!

    July 12, 2016 at 10:19 pm #74451
    andre remillard

    The easiest way I’ve found to stay legal in any state [ check local laws] you classify your techs as hourly w/ commission.  Say your going to pay tech A $20.00 per hour, then $5.00 per flagged hour from 0 to 35 hrs. add another $2.00 from 36 hrs to 40 hrs from the first hr. 41 to 45 hrs add another $2.00 from the first hr, 46 hrs and up add another $2.00 from the first hr. you pay overtime only at the base rate, in this case $20.00 per hr.  This allows you to design pay plans to each individual tech. Raises can be made to the base pay or to any level of production or flag time that you like. You could also set different production levels per tech.

    July 14, 2016 at 12:51 pm #74453

    Hi . I have had my shop for 21 years . I have been using flat rate for about 4 years . It is a real pain in my opinion . It only works if you have a very top qualty A level tech who is VERY efficient and Very knowledgeable along with a strong car count . Trying to do flat rate with B or C level techs has not been a very good experience for us . 

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