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Separation of Responsibility in Automotive Repair

Assigning responsibility for functions that can leave a shop open to problems can be a very effective management practice. Of course – shops often don’t have the personnel to do this – but these are good practices where they can be applied. Allowing too much control in the hands of one person can be problematic. Even in a shop that employs family members problems can occur as people might leave and need to be replaced with non-relatives. Following are points on separation of responsibility that shops can employ if possible:

  1. Repair Order Labor – Having different people responsible for entering the repair order tasks than those who report time on the tasks can provide a valuable control. In this scenario a person who adds tasks to a repair order cannot report labor or make a task complete. Likewise, a person who reports time against tasks cannot add them or change the flag hours on an existing task.
  2. Repair Order Parts – Separation of responsibility in the purchase and sale of parts is a control that will go a long way toward reducing shrinkage. Having different people purchase parts without being able to sell them will prevent shrinkage. Subsequently a person who sells parts should not be able to purchase them.
  3. Vehicle Delivery – If the person who collects the money from the customer is unable to affect the charges on the repair order and the person who affects the charges on the repair order is unable to collect payment a good deal of problems will be avoided. This control can have a significant impact on loss avoidance.

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