Which Are “on-the-Clock” Services at Your Shop?


on-the-clockRecently in a survey we asked our users to check all that applied to this question: Other than when performing the actual repair or service, during which of the following are the techs at your shop normally punched (clocked) onto the vehicle?

In trying to determine what the majority of auto repair managers consider services that can be billed directly to the client as a part of the repair itself (on-the-clock), we listed the following:

  • Driving with customer to observe something
  • Initial reading of the RO
  • Reviewing service history
  • Searching for repair or service information, TSB’s, recalls
  • Initial test drive
  • Getting out tools, equipment, supplies, assortments, parts
  • Testing, diagnosis, inspection
  • Entering findings on inspection or RO
  • Clean up after the job
  • Putting away tools, equipment, supplies, assortments, parts
  • Final quality checklist
  • We don’t punch (clock) on and off cars at our shop

You may also be interested to see what we learned. Of those responses, in which respondents were encouraged to click all that applied, 97 (or 31%) stated that they do not punch a clock on and off cars at their auto shop. The remaining 69% (or 222 respondents) whose shops do punch a clock listed the following services as the most likely to be billed as a part of the repair:

Advertiser / Sponsor

Of those 222:

  • 85% said testing, diagnosis, inspection (189 out of 222 responses)
  • 78% said initial test drive (174 out of 222 responses)
  • 77% said searching for repair or service information, TSB’s, recalls (171 out of 222 responses)
  • 76% said entering findings on inspection or RO (169 out of 222 responses)
  • 73% said getting out tools, equipment, supplies, assortments, parts (162 out of 222 responses)

So the large majority respondents included testing and diagnosis, searching for information about repairs, and assembling the tools necessary for the repair as necessary to the repair and included in the bill. In contrast to this, only 32% (98 out of 222 responses) would include putting away tools, equipment, supplies, assortments, and parts as a part of the repair, and only 33% considered the clean up afterward as part of the repair. The remaining services were chosen by fewer than half of those surveyed. To see all results of this survey, go here.

These results make for an interesting conversation starter for those of us in the auto repair industry: Which jobs that techs perform count towards work on a specific repair and which can or should be considered a cost of doing business? Have you found that techs punching a clock encourages productivity or is it a waste of time and oversight checking the clock records. Have you made adjustments to your estimates of how long work should take based on the records you’ve kept? Have you changed anything in your auto repair shop because of them? How easy was it to get your staff to punch in and out of jobs properly? Was it worth the effort?

Weigh in on our forums or on our other social media about your experiences with staff and clocking jobs/record keeping. Our members’ experience is valuable, and we encourage you to share it with each other.

Related Articles