The service advisor is an integral link in the repair process chain. A technician is supported in the repair process by many supporting processes. A service advisor supports the repair process of many technicians. While the technicians work is linear in nature the service advisor deals with many different kinds of demands on his or her time. A service advisor can be more productive if work is scheduled taking into the consideration the impact on the service advisor. For example if 2 or 3 technicians complete their inspections simultaneously the service advisor must build the recommended services and obtain approval for 3 different repair orders. This will result in a bottle neck and cause delays and wait times. Following are ways to optimize utilization of service advisor time:
- Organize Work Feed from Technicians – Service advisors feed work to technicians and then must react to the additional services they identify. If work is scheduled so that technicians complete their inspections and diagnoses allowing for the service advisor to build and price recommended services without bottlenecks being created throughput will be significantly improved.
- Minimize Scheduling Conflicts – If a service advisor has a customer drop off their vehicle at the same time they’re supposed to be performing another function something will suffer. Scheduling work so as to minimize conflicts will reduce this type of negative impact on resource utilization.
- Allow for Unexpected Events – No matter how well scheduling is performed unexpected events will occur. Someone will call in sick, a customer will not show up for an appointment, parts may not be delivered on time and so on. A schedule should be formulated to allow for a certain degree of unexpected events. This will include the ability to adjust the schedule when required.
- Schedule Time for Follow Ups – A certain percentage of a service advisors time should be dedicated to following up with customers. There are a number of reasons for follow up such as quotes, declined services, or customers who haven’t returned for a time longer than expected. Customer follow up can improve retention rates and boost sales.