Issue Date: Service Advisor Sept 1, 2009, Posted On: 9/1/2009
Advisor Skills Shop loading, shop scheduling, and shop capacity One of the toughest balancing acts of a service advisor's job involves scheduling and dispatching work. Schedule too little and you'll be sending the techs home early and your paycheck suffers. Therefore, the natural tendency is to overload the shop. That leads to other problems as you try to get every vehicle finished.
When a shop is overbooked you spend less time with customers at write-up, the technician spends less time on the repair, leading to comebacks and missed diagnosis. As a consequence CSI scores always suffer.
To reach a proper balance, advisors must become experts at analyzing shop capacity (what is available) to decide scheduling.
In order to determine capacity, you need to know the skill set of the techs working with you (this can be your team or for the whole shop). Next, determine the daily capacity in hours for each. In the summer months, for example, you should be aware of upcoming vacations, training or other items that will diminish shop capacity.
When scheduling, you are actually just subtracting from available time. Maintenance items scheduled should reflect the actual time required to complete the repair. Repair and diagnosis should be scheduled relative to what your manufacturer would pay (not the time estimates found in your service pricing guides).
Conventional wisdom is to schedule for 80 percent capacity to account for emergencies, walk-ins, and unexpected carry-overs. DealersEdge would be a little more aggressive than that, you would need to monitor your own shop's trends to know what percentage works best for you. For instance, in a shop that has a lot of "no-shows" you might want to schedule to 100 percent of capacity.