Automotive repair resources are one of the primary components in planning and scheduling. Effective use of available resources will positively impact profits and customer service. Maximizing the use of technician labor hours is the objective of work scheduling and this goal is impacted by effective use of resources that support the repair process. Minimizing scheduling conflicts in all areas of the repair process will result in the most effect use of resources. Following are resources to consider in scheduling automotive repair work:
- Technicians – Labor utilization is the focal point of scheduling and technician time often ends up being the scarcest of resources. When scheduling is easy technicians are assigned to vehicles and the complete all work on those vehicles. When scheduling is tight required tasks on a vehicle may be assigned to different technicians and reassignment while work is in progress may be necessary. When work is assigned and reassigned in this fashion technician efficiency may suffer and morale may be negatively impacted.
- Service Advisors – A service advisor can support more than one technician. Also a service advisor performs many different functions. When a service advisor has more than one demand on his/her time simultaneously a conflict results and work flow will be impacted. For example, if a service advisor supports 3 technicians who all start their morning doing safety inspections on 3 different vehicles and they all finish at about the same time – the service advisor will need to build recommended services for all three then obtain approval from the customer. The chances for delay on one or more of these vehicles will be increased and productivity in more than one area will be affected.
- Bays – Some bays are dedicated such as those with tire mount and balance equipment or alignment racks. Double booking a dedicated bay can result in conflicts that result in work flow slowdowns. If a technician has to wait for a dedicated bay dead time results and the overall completion of repairs on vehicles may be impacted.
- Equipment – The use of specialized equipment such as an engine hoist can result in conflict if double booked. This can easily result in downtime and missed scheduled vehicle delivery.
- Support Personnel – If people that support the repair process aren’t available scheduled work can be delayed. For example if no one is available to accept parts deliveries and forward the parts to technicians delays will occur.