The Nuts and Bolts of Technician Pay

In the compensation programs we recommend, the tech is paid an hourly rate based on their level of experience and the dealership location. For example, in the Midwest, a C-level tech might make $8-$10 dollars an hour. A tech in the Boston area, however, might need to be paid $14-$16 per hour. You know your area and what you have to pay to get a technician at the various levels, so adjust accordingly.

In the Midwest, a B-level tech makes $10-14 dollars an hour while an A-level tech makes $15-$21 dollars an hour. A tech’s hourly rate should be increased based …Read More

How Do I Determine My Labor Rate?

One of the most common questions we are asked at BCI  is "How do I determine my labor rate?"  For most dealerships, the process of setting a labor rate begins with calling all the competitors in the market, asking them what their labor rate is and then making sure that they are somewhere close to the competitors. In our company, we jokingly refer to this method as “pooling ignorance”.  Why, you might ask, is this not a good method? Well most of your competitors do the same thing to set their labor rate and ultimately it has nothing to do …Read More

4 Ways Surveys Can Benefit Your Business

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were out with our kids at a restaurant chain. The whole experience was wonderful, and, with two five-year olds and a one-year old, to have a positive experience from start to finish is the equivalent of winning the lottery. Specifically, our waitress was fantastic. She was a true professional, knew what we were going to ask for before we needed it and was wonderful with our kids. While she got a huge tip from us, I even thought for a second about asking for the manager to tell her how wonderful she …Read More

Customer Loyalty Programs

One way to generate new customers and while maintaining your current customers is through a Loyalty Program at your dealership. Think about how many stores have a “shopper card” or a “preferred customer” program. These stores are marking up prices on items to be able to give discounts on other items. We all understand that, but it makes the customers feel like they are getting a perk for doing business at the store.

We encourage you to create a similar program for your dealership. While a customer loyalty program may not be right for every dealer, it is a program that …Read More

The Importance of Tracking Recovery Rates

In your dealership, do you track your Recovery and Efficiency Rates? If you are like some of our dealers, you are on the fence about putting in the work to pull these numbers together, but if you are willing to take the time, these numbers will give you great insight into how to get your shop performing at a higher, more profitable level.

The Efficiency Rate is the time that the tech is clocked into the work order vs. the time that you bill the customer for that work order. Top technicians strive to have an efficiency rate of 126% (or …Read More

Why We Triage

Triaging is vital to keeping our shops moving and our techs efficient. The triaging process happens after the equipment has been checked into the dealership, the work order has been filled out and hopefully signed by the customer, and a red ribbon has been attached to show the equipment has just been checked in.

At 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the service coordinator will go to the service manager or service writer, take the clipboards and begin sorting out the equipment based upon the work orders on each tech’s clipboard. As an example, if the service coordinator took my clipboard and …Read More

Tune Up Your Techs Before Season

When I work with the service techs at a store, my goal is to help them, and management, understand the value they bring to a dealership and how they can do their work in the most efficient way possible. A service tech’s inventory is “time” and your goal as a dealer is to sell all of the tech’s time each day. Is it possible to sell eight hours of labor each day per tech? Absolutely. Most of my dealers sell more than that. I am a NASCAR fan and love to watch the efficiency of a pit stop. In most …Read More

Inventory on Hand

Today, it makes no sense for a dealership to maintain a large parts inventory, or stock ten of the same item, because manufacturers have greatly improved their ability to get you the parts you need when you need them. Twenty years ago, it took almost 30 days to get a part, and now you can get a part delivered to you in one to four days. Think how that changes your approach to deciding on the number of any particular part item you should keep on hand. Twenty years ago, you may have had to carry eight different carburetors in …Read More

Transaction Time

When I hear people talk about the parts department in dealerships, I am always amazed at how simple they believe it would be to work behind the counter. Most people think that parts people just hang out, look things up, and hand parts to customers. Nice, simple, and easy.

If you are in the parts department, you know that is not what happens. During season, there may be eight people waiting by the locked front door of the dealership, ready to rush in behind you. They want you to find parts for their equipment. While you are trying to help them, …Read More

The Importance of Triage

During the triage process and for most outdoor power equipment, a technician allows himself 10-15 minutes to look over a piece of equipment to see if he can figure out why it is not working properly. He will also determine what parts he will need to complete the job.

In our dealership process, the Service Coordinator does a “pre-triage” before passing the piece of equipment on to the technician. The Service Coordinator looks over and evaluates areas that do not require a technical background, such as checking the oil, air filter, tire pressure, and load testing the battery. Doing this helps …Read More