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7 Steps to Improving Auto Repair Shop Proficiency

Making optimal use of available resources is the goal of shop proficiency improvement. Increasing proficiency means that a greater amount of work is performed within the same available number of hours. Proficiency is measured by dividing the number of hours spent working on vehicles by the total hours available. So if a shop has 120 hours available to work on repairs during a week and 100 hours are spent actually working on cars then the shop proficiency rating would be 80 percent. A proficiency increase of 5 percent would mean that 5 more hours were billed that week. Proficiency can be improved by having technicians report time spent working on vehicles as well as not working on vehicles, setting proficiency goals and streamlining processes to reduce wait times. The following steps will support increased proficiency:

  1. Report Time Spent Working on Vehicles – Measuring proficiency requires that the actual time spent performing specific tasks be reported. It will take time to do this but the benefit of measuring proficiency ratings will far outweigh the cost of reporting.
  2. Report Time Spent Not Working on Vehicles – The critical component of proficiency measurement is the time spent not working on vehicles. Employees should clock on to an overhead account when not working on a vehicle so the actual time available can be reported.
  3. Measure Time Spent Working on Vehicles vs. Time Available – The measurement of shop proficiency is calculated by dividing the hours spent working on cars by the total hours available.
  4. Set Target Proficiency Ratings – A realistic achievable goal should be established. It should be a rate that can be reached but should require focus and effort to achieve.
  5. Streamline Processes to Improve Proficiency Ratings – Improving proficiency is about making the best possible use of available resources. For technicians and labor time this means eliminating wait time as much as possible. It means that parts, equipment, tools and time between vehicles should be reduced by designing procedures that ensure that wait times are diminished as much as possible.
  6. Offer Incentives for Reaching Proficiency Goals – People that schedule jobs and supply parts to technicians can be offered incentives for making sure there is no wait time involved.
  7. Hold Review Meetings for Input on Improvement – Higher proficiency ratings benefit technicians if they’re paid based on flag hours. If the people that feed work to technicians are given incentives for higher proficiency ratings they also will benefit. People with these motivations will want to offer suggestions to improve process flow.

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