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Episode Description

On this episode of The Digital Shop Talk radio, we learn how to use the Technician Effectiveness report to boost productivity and profitability for your shop.

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Episode Transcript

*This transcript was generated using Artificial Intelligence. Errors may occur. If you notice an error, please contact [email protected].

Tom Dorsey (00:00:06):
Good morning and good afternoon. Welcome to this week’s edition of The Digital Shop Talk Radio. I’m Tom Dorsey and I am joined by my co-host and CIO Uwe Kleinschmidt and one of our expert panel of experts, Bill Connor to talk about technician effectiveness report today. Why? Because it’s important. And so you need a pen and paper today, pencil and paper if you got to make a lot of erases because you’re going to want to take notes. We touched on technician effectiveness report about, oh, maybe a month ago, a few shows back and we gave a pretty good rundown, but we thought because of the level of engagement and the questions we were getting, we needed to go a little bit deeper and today’s that day. And so today what we want to talk about is exactly how to use that technician effectiveness report, how to interpret that technician effectiveness report, what does the numbers mean, and then what do you do about it specifically, what do you do about it? And so I couldn’t ask for a better panel to talk about technician effectiveness report today than Uwe and Bill. Welcome gentlemen.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:01:11):
Good day to everybody. Thank you.
Tom Dorsey (00:01:12):
Yep, thanks for joining. And so let’s just jump right in. Uwe, if you could start us off, maybe give us a little bit of a summation of what we talked about last episode and why in your opinion is the technician effectiveness, such a critical component of the solution that we offer, but also b, I think one of the most overlooked? I think one of those really, it’s this powerful tool that just sits kind of unused in a lot of instances.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:01:43):
Happy to, good morning and happy lunch everybody. So why did we do it? A long time ago, I got called out by a few ATI shops who said, look, that’s all great. There’s digital inspection stuff and we’re talking 2000 and, I don’t know, 15 or something. But if I cannot measure what my technicians are doing, I don’t know how to actually introduce something new in the shop. And it dawned on me how true this is. We just introduced a new way of digitally measuring behavior, which was impossible before, but all we did was creating an inspection sheet. And so we were thinking what’s the best way of trying to measure behavior without alienating people and came up with the Technician Effectiveness report. And it has since been a very powerful tool, and especially for shops which just get started.
But even for sophisticated advanced shops, there is always an amazing opportunity to fine tune because this is what this is all about, right? Incrementally get better and better and better. So that’s how it got created. And we all know one of the biggest challenges coming over from the paper-based inspection was what’s referred to as either pencil whipping and over recommend, right? Technicians who don’t feel motivated and encouraged to do a thorough job look at have looked at an inspection as a waste of time, especially if there was not enough work sold to make it worthwhile. And the clever ones knew exactly what the service advisor was going to sell and magically more cars had exactly that problem. And so both is a phenomenon everybody’s aware of and the Technician Effectiveness report just allows to point out those tendencies and eliminate them or amplifying them. Sometimes it’s actually a good thing. But we will get into this hopefully during today’s session.
Tom Dorsey (00:04:43):
Yeah, we better. But you touched on a couple of great points because really the Technician Effectiveness report has several applications, right? Yes. It’s a pretty quick way to find out if you’re pencil whipping or over recommending on stuff, but there’s also tracking trends on quick wins, looking at the effort or the consistency across your technicians. There’s a lot of different pieces of data that you glean from that report that you can apply in your decision-making process. As a matter of fact, I mean, I would say that’s one of the data, whether you’re a customer or not of AutoVitals, right? If you’re a customer, you should be using your technician effectiveness report. You should be part of your regular auditing of your operation. If you’re not a customer, you’re about to see one of the most valuable things. I mean, you could throw the inspection out the window, throw the workflow management out the window.
The price that you pay for AutoVitals is worth it just for the data that we provide and the ability to get information at your fingertips that you can’t find any other way really, unless you’re just standing there in everybody’s back pocket all day long taking notes. Bill, give us your input from a trainer’s perspective because as Uwe had mentioned, the technician effectiveness report should be introduced right as you’re ramping up as a new AutoVitals customer, as a shop coming on board, and then it should become a regular part. How as a trainer do you use that and what do you say is the value from both your perspective as a trainer identifying their ramp up, but also from that new shop, that new digital shop operator using that technician effectiveness report?
Bill Connor (00:06:32):
So there’s a ton of stuff that can be determined from that sheet. Just as you start looking at it, you can see how many inspections are being done in the entire shop. You can see the distribution across your employees who’s doing how many. It’s pretty easy to go ahead and understand if somebody’s under recommending or over recommending. But another thing you can find out, and it may not necessarily be the service rider or the technician doesn’t have the service riders that don’t think they have the ability to sell the job. It might be the technician hates to do certain jobs, therefore he’s going to go ahead and look at that inspection sheet with a blinder on and he’s going to go ahead and just kind of move on past it. There’s a ton of information there. And like I said, it’s all about going ahead and understanding how your inspection seats being used. Is it being used by everybody in a consistent manner? And as you grow over time and you’ve got a longer time window to work with, can you go ahead and see that across the shop if you’re doing a single topic has got maybe 30% recommendations on it, why does this guy here have zero and this guy here have 50 something percent? What’s the difference between how they’re accomplishing that inspection?
Tom Dorsey (00:07:41):
And if anything, it gives you a starting point, a jumping off point. If you’re having some inconsistencies, the numbers just aren’t adding up, you can’t figure it out and you’re rack in your brain. You get into there and you see that data and you make those comparisons and now hey, you know exactly where to watch, you know where to start to monitor and do your comparisons. And to Bill’s point, we’ll see this as soon as we get into kind of the live versions of the report, but it gives you that comparison, right? If all things are equal and you’ve got one tech doing half the amount of inspections as another, and then from there you’re seeing their ratios of recommendations. And if there’s a big kind of a chasm between results there, well, you got to do some training, right? You got to have some one-on-ones, exactly where to focus your attention and your best practices and your protocols to turn that around.
And the other thing is, and this is why this is really important, because as you dig into the data, and we’ve spent days looking at these actually years looking through these technician effectiveness reports, it is undeniable that the people who A, have high levels of usage and B, consistent results across their technicians have a much higher ARO, have a much higher approval rate, have much higher motorist research time, so on and so forth. All of those healthy best practice metrics that we’re in here preaching about all the time really start to pay off. And so it’s important that if you’re not at least using the technician effectiveness report as part of your regular auditing and reporting, today’s the show to get you started and see those results. Give it couple of months and I think you’ll be,
Bill Connor (00:09:30):
Tom, one of the things we probably need to point out is this report is so important that on TVPX, we actually gave it its own menu spot. So just open that menu and you’ll find it right there. So that’s it. And one of the other things you’ll find out is a lot of people, they create their own inspection sheet and they’ve got a lot of topics on there. Some of them may or may not apply. And if you’re looking at the thing month after month after month and nobody’s touched that topic all the way across, it’s time to have a meeting with your staff and decide, do we need to understand why this topic is on here and use it or do we need to remove it or replace it with something else?
Tom Dorsey (00:10:05):
Yeah, that’s a great point. Yeah. And we’ll see, I don’t want to steal thunder, but I was going through some of these and some people have these massive inspections with all lots of topics and other people really have consolidated. And I got to tell you, the ones that are consolidated I think have a much higher and more consistent usage. So I thought that was pretty interesting. But let’s dig in who you want to share your screen and let’s start going through some examples and really focus on helping folks to determine what it is that they’re looking at, number one and number two, what do they do and how to interpret that information. And then what do they do about that information once it’s known? And also I want to welcome Jon Belmonte popped in surprise panelist visit from our CEO. Hopefully he’s got great input on technician effectiveness report, maybe some insight on what’s coming, but we’ll find out when he comes online.
Jon Belmonte (00:11:06):
Yeah, I guess I am a panelist emeritus. I was a panelist last week and when I logged in, here I am. So you’re,
Tom Dorsey (00:11:15):
Jon Belmonte (00:11:16):
How we do it. I’ll let you know if I see you guys missing anything, I’ll be sure to weigh in. Otherwise, I’m going to listen and learn like everyone
Tom Dorsey (00:11:21):
Else. You will, buddy. Thank you.
Bill Connor (00:11:22):
We call that and learn here on the digital shop Talk radio,
Tom Dorsey (00:11:27):
Learn. Welcome, welcome.
Jon Belmonte (00:11:28):
Tom Dorsey (00:11:31):
Alright boys, what do we let
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:11:33):
In sharing? Bill, I hope you okay with that. Can everybody see it or should I zoom in
Tom Dorsey (00:11:42):
More? Yeah, it’s great. And by the way, for folks in the audience, use that chat button, use that q and a button in your Zoom dashboard there in your webinar dashboard to ask any questions, right?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:11:53):
Don’t be shy, we’re here to help. Cool. Before we get into the nitty gritty, I really like to comment on what Bill just said, number of inspection topics on inspection sheet. So we introduced digital inspection and it was like a liberation because before you were constrained to the size of the paper and it was printed already. So a change was really hard, really hard. You have to reprint everything. And with the digital inspection and that whole freedom of defining whatever you wanted led to some very interesting inspection sheets with 120 topics, and that makes it really, really hard for technicians. So I would highly suggest, bill, what do you think is a good vehicle health inspection sheet size?
Bill Connor (00:13:03):
Most of the time if you’re trying to go ahead and do an inspection on every vehicle, which is what you should be, the sweet spot seems to be somewhere between 30 and 50 topics, and it really depends on the type of vehicles you’re working on and whether your business model says you’re going to drop this car off and leave it with me, and I’m going to develop a process for delivering a safe, comfortable vehicle on every visit or whether you’re in a quick service mode, that basically is along the lines of I’ve got to get X number of topics done because if people are pacing back and forth in front of my counter and then use it to go ahead and kind of tie the vehicle down, find a safety or breakdown issue where they’ll actually leave it or have a full inspection done. But somewhere between that 30 and 50 topics seems to be a sweet spot to accomplish the task of getting the customer aware of what’s going on.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:13:57):
And what do you recommend, when do you start making specific inspection sheets? What would be reasons to not just have one vehicle health inspection, but maybe a vehicle type specific one or similar reasons?
Bill Connor (00:14:17):
So if you’re a specialist shop, I would maybe even take that main inspection and go ahead and duplicate it and then go ahead and make it for like a Lexus RS three 50 or something that has specific can jobs, vehicle specific can jobs. I might go ahead and have a separate inspection sheet for a certain task, like a brake system evaluation, which is something I want more detail on. Maybe an air conditioning system, HVAC performance test. So system specific test. Those are all examples of when you might want to build that separate inspection sheet specifically to use along with a repair ordered labor operation to continue to build value into what it is and the complexity what we’re working on.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:15:06):
And if you had to make assessment, how many different inspection sheets the library would contain for a seasoned all makes all models shop, what would the number be?
Bill Connor (00:15:26):
That’s really hard to say because it’s going to depend on whether a specialist shop or an all make and all model shop
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:15:32):
All makes all models.
Bill Connor (00:15:36):
I think over time they probably should have one for each specific system on it. So if they service maybe 15 or 20 different systems, there’s a POS system out in the marketplace that actually has inspections built into it that has 22 different inspections and they’re based on system specific inspections and they do that for a reason.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:16:04):
So you’re not willing to volunteer your number.
Bill Connor (00:16:09):
I’m going to go ahead and say my number would be that anything that produces the best return on investment for time and goes ahead and educates the customer in a way that we can demonstrate the value of the complex vehicles that we’re working on.
Tom Dorsey (00:16:23):
That’s a great answer.
Bill Connor (00:16:26):
I’m starting to be a politician too, by the way.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:16:27):
I was going to say something like that.
Tom Dorsey (00:16:29):
I’m pretty sure he was somewhere more than one in less than 22. I thought that was his answer.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:16:36):
Cool. So let’s go into the technician effectiveness report really
Tom Dorsey (00:16:41):
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:16:42):
Oh, sorry.
Tom Dorsey (00:16:43):
Yeah. Marty’s asking, what if you all makes all models and specialize in hybrid? We’ve found many inspection sheets cause confusion in the back and that’s a good point because of specific systems to vehicle type.
Bill Connor (00:16:59):
If I’m a hybrid, I would probably go ahead and have a hybrid specific inspection sheet for the simple reason is that if I’m probably the only one in my area, I would want my consumers out there sharing that inspection sheet with others and I’d want it to say hybrid specialists on it or something on it to further go ahead and drive people into my business. So the inspection sheet isn’t just to show the customer what’s going on, we want to encourage them to share it with friends, family, coworkers and so on.
Tom Dorsey (00:17:27):
Yeah, no, that’s a great point. And if you’re in an area, let’s say you’re working on a lot of all wheel drive vehicles, four by fours or you see a lot of diesels, you’re out and working on a lot of farmer’s trucks and stuff like that, then that would be another reason that you would create a specific, because it’s going to have components on there that don’t apply to a lot of vehicles. And so that’s what kind of causes that confusion. It adds to the number of topics and it makes the one inspection sheet more onerous, harder to deal with and manage, but also you’re skipping through because the transfer case doesn’t apply or whatever it might be, and you might skip too many things when you’re skipping. So really consider creating.
Bill Connor (00:18:08):
So that actually brings up a pretty good point and Jeremy, if you’re listening this you’ll appreciate this, is that we know that there’s certain diesels out in the market as far as engine performance. They’ve got pattern failures. So to me to go ahead and make a inspection sheet for a power stroke 6 0 6 7 or Cummings or so on that we can use to go and identify them things and have some of the specifications built into that as far as a pass or fail for the technician, I got a lot of shops that are actually doing that. So the technician, they’re going to be charged in probably three hours to go ahead and perform the initial testing on that diesel, no start. Now they’ve got a way to go ahead and document everything that they do in that test so they could go ahead and use that to tell the customer, Hey, it only costs $460 to go ahead and test this vehicle. Now here’s what needs to be done about it. But again, you’re using the inspection sheet as an educational tool to go ahead and build value into the complex systems that we’re working on.
Tom Dorsey (00:19:09):
Thank you. And you get more data, which helps you to forecast better and actually be able to overcome objections at a lot of times because you have that kind of knowledge and history that wisdom built up in your experience in your data.
Bill Connor (00:19:25):
Well, that actually solves another problem also is because there’s certain people when they’re diagnosing a vehicle, they find that one problem and they stop there and that’s the solution. But they’ll find that if they went ahead and did a full complete systems test on it, there was probably three or four other things that they’re going to need to go ahead and fix also. Otherwise the repair is not going to be done. So having that guided inspection sheet for pattern failures along with the specifications and tests billed into it, that’s not a bad plan.
Tom Dorsey (00:19:53):
Yeah, that’s a great point. So did that answer your question, Marty?
Bill Connor (00:20:02):
He’s nodding his head.
Tom Dorsey (00:20:07):
He’s busy making his inspection sheet right now. He’s fixing it. See that’s what I like to hear. He took that knowledge and went right into action, didn’t even wait for the show to end. Alright boys, let’s dig in. Let’s talk tech effectiveness report and what am I doing with this?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:20:25):
Cool. Can you all see my screen?
Tom Dorsey (00:20:27):
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:20:29):
So let’s just get the basics quickly established. What the technician effectiveness report does is it looks at all topics on the inspection sheet and then counts per topic how often an action has been recommended, meaning it’s not just a good check mark. And for this exercise here today, we assume that if less than 5% of all topics of one topic for all inspections have any action recommended, then we highlight that in yellow and that’s interpreted as a tendency to pencil it. So again, if less than 5% of all inspection sheets for one topic, have no recommendation, have a recommendation, sorry, then that’s just not enough. That’s highly unlikely that this was a thorough inspection. And the other extreme, if more than 25% of the vehicles inspection seats have a recommendation and action as we call it a recommended action, then we marked it as red and that’s interpreted as a tendency to over recommend.
And now we can debate whether those are the right numbers. We simply don’t debate. We just allow you to set those numbers for yourself and say what you feel is the right threshold to either say it’s a tendency to pencil with or it’s a tendency to recommend. But everything today in the examples will be based on the five and the 25. In addition, you also select what technicians you want to actually look at. And so you can do it for one technician for the whole team totally up to you. And you of course selected for a specific inspection. And so the inspection is set here. The technicians are blurred out here for privacy reasons, you check mark. And then last but not least, if you want to get a little sophisticated, you can actually say, I only want to look at immediate attention actions. Why would that be important? For some of you who have policies where maintenance items are always a future attention recommended action, you might want to skip the all actions report and use the require immediate attention to look at the behavior. Any questions so far?
Tom Dorsey (00:24:00):
I have one. Or just I guess a general statement is that just because something’s marked in red doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, right?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:24:06):
No, that’s why I say tendency. I’m now just a politician like
Tom Dorsey (00:24:12):
Bill is.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:24:13):
He’s learned
Tom Dorsey (00:24:14):
Mayor Bail.
Bill Connor (00:24:16):
We’re going to get into some data that will help us understand whether the red or yellow make any differences as we get down a little farther on the screen. Yes.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:24:23):
So yeah, yellow and red is just a first hint to look at it. It catches your attention and then you do a little research and find out whether it’s true or not. Like Tom said, red could be very well a very positive thing and we get into a few examples of them. So once that’s set up, then let’s talk also about a few shop policy things. So you see here, for example, the name of the inspection, let me find it for some reason. So you can see here the inspection one and two and there’s a star in front of it, an asterisk. So two comments I would like to make about this. The asterisk always indicates the default inspection. That is what it’s normally your comprehensive vehicle health inspection, but you can select any, but that’s the one you need to start with to look at the behavior of the whole batch shop. The recommendation I want to make as by the way, inspection one and two might be an awesome way to manage it internally. If you present it to the customer with that name, you’re going to have some questions. At least it’s confusing what it means. So we highly recommend give it descriptive names and so it’s clear in the shop as well as to the motorist like vehicle health inspection,
Tom Dorsey (00:26:14):
What was schomberg called again? What was J’S called?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:26:18):
Do you remember? Oh, it was do I can’t remember?
Tom Dorsey (00:26:21):
Schomberg Automatics Vehicle health assessment or something like that.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:26:26):
State of health.
Tom Dorsey (00:26:27):
State of Health, right.
Bill Connor (00:26:29):
As long as it doesn’t have the word check in it, I’m okay with that. Check normally is synonymous with free and having little value. So inspection, analysis,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:26:38):
Whatever complimentary should not be on the either.
Tom Dorsey (00:26:43):
That’s a great point.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:26:45):
So the next thing I would like to point out, and let me get back to my Zoom feature here. Let’s see. This is important to look at before you look at anything else because it tells you a lot. So it tells you how many appointments were in total done during the selected timeframe, if that is a super high number. And then the other numbers are super low, especially the first one. The report is not really helping because most of the appointments haven’t received an inspection. So there should be a good, this number should be as close as possible to this number. Same for the next number. Unassigned means that inspection sheet has been done by a technician who is unknown to the system. So in this case, 64 inspections don’t have a wheel owner. That often happens when you share tablets or not assigning attack and so on and so forth. And last but not least, just for completeness, deactivated means some inspections are simply invalid. And since we don’t delete anything, we just deactivate it. It’s called deactivate. So yeah, check this number compared with this number and then avoid that you have any unassigned inspections because the more unassigned inspections you have, the less value you get from the report.
Bill Connor (00:28:44):
Would you say the high number of the unassigned, there is a symptom of a shop dispatching by adding the technician in the point of sale and not dispatching from a no tech column where we don’t pick up the default technician?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:28:58):
Yeah, there’s several reasons, right? There is no tech assigned on the tablet and the tablet is simply shared and there’s never a selection of tech or we are unable to link back the inspection sheet to an OO number. So for example, you start the inspection on the tablet and then there’s no VIN number which allows us to match them up or other reasons.
Tom Dorsey (00:29:35):
So real quick, Uwe, Monica Studevan is asking, is there a report that shows how long it takes for the technician to perform inspections?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:29:43):
There is not. We used to have a net time. So the big challenge we have is, let’s put it this way, the best way to measure how long an inspection takes is make the inspection a job on the work order and let the tech start and stop a timer with any other job. Any attempt we have done in the past to get better data has failed because all we can really measure is how much time the tech spends on the tablet to document the inspection results. But whether it took him three times the time to look it up on the vehicle and disassemble stuff and assemble it, again, we have no way of knowing. So that’s why we eliminated those times we had in the past because there were misleading. The best way to measure the time, how long it takes is make the inspection a job on the work order, which is a best practice anyway, and ask the technician to start and stop the time on that job.
Tom Dorsey (00:31:14):
And in your shop effectiveness report, you could go in and you could identify when the tablet was open to that vehicle and then when the inspection was sent to the customer. I mean that’s a longer period, but that also incorporates in the service advisor’s editing and preparation time. But that’s really what you’re looking for is how long does it take to get to the customer. So hopefully that helps you a little bit,
Bill Connor (00:31:39):
Monica. And so that tip that you just pointed out there is not just for the inspection, it’s for anything you want to go ahead and do a labor time study on to go ahead and make sure that the customer is getting charged the right time and the technician being reimbursed for it. So normally the way this is used is for a period of a month, everybody in the shop clocks time on that. The data gets exported, you do an average and then you know don’t have to go ahead and do it again unless something significant change on whatever operation, be it an inspection or any other operation you’re trying to make sure you charge the customer properly for or reimburse the technician properly for. And that’s a labor time study.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:32:24):
The next thing I want to point out is pulling tricks like unassigned texts is great for internal reporting. It just throws off the whole reporting because that’s just the placeholder for inspections. You cannot assign to attack and should be avoided. I mean it’s not a big deal, I’m just pointing it out. If you really want to do a good analysis, it should be personal. There should be a locked intact. And so you can talk about the results later. Now let’s look at a few examples. So here you see a lot of topics, right? Walk around, smoke certificate, test engine, cranking front tires, rear tires breaking where everything is either red or up here the walk around is read all the way across. In this case, that’s a positive thing. Why the walkaround is documented with pictures and actions. And so there is no reason to worry about it. And I mean it’s amazing this shop is doing it in a highly consistent manner
Tom Dorsey (00:34:19):
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:34:20):
Tom Dorsey (00:34:20):
Some cases it might be mandatory in your shop. And then this tells you that the guy in the middle column or the second first and second column, it is 72% of the time. So if it’s mandatory, what’s going on there and it at least gives you a direction to go find information.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:34:36):
But this is a perfect example where red shouldn’t vary, right? So this is a shop policy. This is all under the umbrella of shop policy, your shop policy. This shop’s policy is to have tons of recommended actions with notes to document the walk around.
Tom Dorsey (00:35:01):
Hey Uwe Bill’s asking if you could zoom in one level on the,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:35:05):
Of course, how’s this perfect?
Tom Dorsey (00:35:11):
Bill’s used to being in the spotlight and so his eyes aren’t as,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:35:16):
I think that was too much. Lemme go on back. Well, my 70 inch monitor,
Tom Dorsey (00:35:21):
I was going to say we need to get Bill a bigger monitor. Yeah,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:35:26):
Going to need a bigger office. So the next one, the SM certificate test is also one where red might not be necessarily a bad thing, although in this case you can see there’s a widespread across because the test has to be done and results have to be documented. So not a big deal. Engine cranking is one where we have the opposite example, but here you can basically ignore this line for any conclusions. Why Look at the total numbers seven, it just doesn’t help you much to make any conclusions in the comparison between the text because you have zero, one and two that most is three, right? So yes, the numbers are correct, but they have to be kind of statistically evident so you can make conclusions. And so in this case actually engine cranking would probably one of those topics if you increase now the time window to say, why do I need that on the inspection sheet? Because the problems don’t happen often enough, but that’s up to you for the analysis. Let’s go back to where everything looks really red and scary initially. Front tires, rear tires breaking almost a hundred percent. That’s clearly a shop policy. Again, just like the walk around where you have to find that good is not enough to document. You want them to document more than just a good status and then you find those results. So in this case, red is awesome.
Bill Connor (00:37:52):
And so in a case like that, it could also be the way the inspection sheet is built. So it could have a condition that says tire pressure is examined, and then a action that says tire pressure has been adjusted. So sometimes you have to go in and apply what you know about the inspection sheet to here. Also,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:38:12):
Yes, you have to know your inspection sheet before you analyze the data. But going across with 80 and a hundred percent clearly indicates there’s a shop policy to document everything. Here we see an interesting phenomenon. It seems to be a sharp policy. The question is, is it a good one? And I let you decide if 70% of all vehicles have a cabin air filter problem. It seems a little bit on the high side. Well, for the whole shop, half or more than half of all vehicles coming in have an air filter or cabin filter problem that looks potentially like a shop policy or the lack of where technicians find easy things to inspect and then mark ’em. So I leave that up to you to decide. I just want to point out anything where red goes across all technicians is most likely a shop policy, right? There’s some way how the technicians have been instructed to do the inspection, good or bad, it doesn’t really matter.
Bill Connor (00:40:04):
So in this case, the shop policy might be that to check either of these things, if it requires a tool, I want you to choose a condition that says not inspected due to location, recommend a change it service interval or by mileage. So that would be an example of a shop policy that would affect it in this particular direction. Now whether it’s a good or bad shop policy, that’s to be determined, but that would be why you would see something like this.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:40:34):
Here we have another example for where we don’t have enough data. So you could now dig into technician one has 36% and technician B has only 49. And now that’s such a huge difference. So what are we going to do about it? In this case, nothing. You just don’t have enough data with four and two inspections as a basis to even make a call. So I cannot stress that enough. You need some significant number of inspection sheets and visits to make a call here. And so running a technician effectiveness report, for example, for just a week timeframe is unless you have a very specific goal you want to achieve is not advisable because
Tom Dorsey (00:41:39):
You look at let’s say, recommendation percentages of your promos or something. If you’re running a pro, then you go in, look at a week just starting, you kind of get an idea that way, but definitely take a longer trend to get the data you need to make analysis decisions.
Bill Connor (00:41:56):
So really, if you’ve got a bunch of technicians and you’ve been doing inspections for a while, what you should do is widen out that range, look to the shop average and then look across to see if they’re doing a decent number of inspections and then see if they’re varying higher low from the shop average. You would think over a time, a wider timeframe that average for the shop should be what would be average across all employees if they’re doing a consistent inspection.
Tom Dorsey (00:42:23):
And real quick on that point too, and just something that’s going to help you out when you’re doing your analysis is go in and uncheck the boxes of people who don’t do inspections all the time, or maybe your A tech doesn’t. Every once in a while he helps out or you get the owners in there or something like that and he does very inconsistent inspections. Remove those from your report so that you’re really just looking at apples to apples.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:42:51):
So here’s an interesting one. You can see that a battery test as an example, this technician said 45%, this technician, 19%, this technician, every single car basically, and this technician 23%. So the overall shop average is 60%, but that 60 doesn’t say much because the spread is so huge between 19 and 98. Bill, what’s your interpretation of that?
Bill Connor (00:43:33):
There’s a general service guy that’s going ahead and cleaning battery terminals or putting whatever on each one and he actually, that’s a service he can do and he likes it. Perhaps that would be one thing that would come to mind, but I’d definitely be asking questions.
Tom Dorsey (00:43:49):
And here, I mean it looks like the GS guy is actually tasked with doing the most inspections. And that’s sometimes a bad idea because they follow the rules, they follow your protocol more, I think closer. And so then you get that type of number because yeah, they’re going to do everything that’s on that sheet.
Bill Connor (00:44:09):
That actually brings up something that I keep saying over and over again is those general service guys, those are probably, if they’re doing inspection, the most important player on your team. If they learn how to do an inspection properly and efficiently, one good inspector can keep two or three techs busy all the time just by spotting needs and documenting properly. So we need to stop treating them guys like second class citizens and put ’em to most valuable player status.
Tom Dorsey (00:44:38):
Yeah, that’s a great point. They’re the offensive linemen of your shop. They don’t get nearly enough credit.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:44:47):
So under the circumstances, in other words, if this is a GS targeted with all the inspections, it’s still to be determined why every car has a battery test problem or whether it’s a shop policy again to document everything with an action. Whereas if it wasn’t, this would be a perfect example about the discrepancies within the shop between technicians under the assumption that all technicians do the vehicle health inspection. This would be a reason to talk with the technicians.
Bill Connor (00:45:35):
And when you make that discovery, would you make that the focus of your five minute morning meeting and say, look, I noticed this on the battery test. Let’s all talk about exactly how we should all be doing this one topic and then let’s watch it over the next few weeks.
Tom Dorsey (00:45:51):
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:45:54):
Bill, do you have other examples from your where the tech sweet spot is really very easily identifiable?
Bill Connor (00:46:07):
Oh, sure. Take your wheel alignment guy. Every vehicle he works on is going to have crack control, arm bushings, loose ball joints and so on. And a guy that hates doing that type of work maybe doesn’t ever want to go near an alignment machine again in his life because he doesn’t like doing them. He will never go ahead and spot those type of needs. So that’s where it gets to be kind of important to understand what is their sweet spot as far as what they like to do, and are they missing them things specifically because they don’t want to work on it. And really, if they don’t want to work on it, why not let ’em discover it anyways? Have somebody else in the shop go ahead and do that particular type of work?
Tom Dorsey (00:46:46):
Yeah, so that would be your recommendation then is not to go in there and force them to do that. It’s to dispatch that inspection to somebody who does that or is more thorough.
Bill Connor (00:46:59):
That depends on the culture in the shop and working together as a team. But if you’ve got a guy that can go ahead and knock something out and be highly effective doing it and another guy can’t, it’d be kind of common to go ahead and let them swap the things that they’re good at and dispatch to the next available technician with the skillset in that can actually do it in a timely manner rather than hanging your guys out to dry just because it’s an operation on that repair order. So sometimes specializing can be very profitable for everybody concern.
Tom Dorsey (00:47:31):
That’s really interesting because I mean stuff like that’s identified, you go out and do the initial walk around, maybe your service advisor’s doing it, or you got a porter that’s doing it and they see the tire wear pattern and they go, Hey, this is going to need the, so let’s dispatch it to technician B, who is our alignment guy? Or whatever it might be.
Bill Connor (00:47:48):
And then some shops that go the other way is they say that, look, you do the inspection, you get all the work on it regardless. So again, shop culture plays a lot into doing it. But again, if you can start by understanding what’s going on first, and then when the numbers, there’s a disparity, then you can start asking questions or observing or go ahead and get your business control panel out and look at the canned jobs sold and add some other tools to go ahead and discover what’s going on rather than just are they inspecting it.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:48:23):
So back to specialization, because that’s double-edged sword for some, because we have for the last six, seven years, the same question pops up over and over again. Do you pay for the inspection? And if you have a higher specialization and one person does a lot more inspections than somebody else, how do you solve that from a compensation perspective, Bill?
Bill Connor (00:48:58):
So I could tell you, looking at it from everybody’s view in the shop and that is working as a technician, it would just actually get under my skin to go ahead and be asked to do something and then not be compensated for it or to be told that I want you to do this and we’re going to go ahead and all gamble together that I go ahead and get this done. So I always took the tack of anything that went on in my shop, had a time assigned to it, the technician got paid to do whatever it was, even if the service writer didn’t charge the customer for it, and we charge it off as an advertising expense or whatever. But in order to attract, keep really first quality technicians, we have to adjust our way of thinking a little bit.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:49:46):
So you’re clearly your advocate to pay technicians for the inspection. It’s just another job. Like any other job build or not,
Bill Connor (00:49:54):
I’m kind of advocate of paying anybody for any job that they do, period. And if we have to do something to go ahead and satisfy a customer, then that actually gets paid out of another bucket. But again, this is a discussion that’s been going on ever since the caveman’s been walking earth pretty much. So
Tom Dorsey (00:50:14):
That’s right.
Bill Connor (00:50:18):
And again, do a labor time study and across 30 days, see how long it takes everybody in the shop from the most skilled to the least skills to do it, average it out, have a discussion, and that’s what it is, and use that particular route. Fair compensation is what we need and we need to stop giving away things to the customer to go ahead and because we think that they won’t pay for it. Going back to years ago when we first started doing this, after we did our first bunch of inspections, I asked customers said, I’m not going to charge you for this, but how much do you think this would be? If I was going to charge you for it, what value do you think this inspection would have? And when the customer is telling me 80 to a hundred dollars, then I know the customer sees that.
So why wouldn’t I go ahead and consider either maybe at a certain point charging the customer for it or going ahead and making sure my technicians are reimbursed for something that’s highly valuable? And look at it this way, these customers are already in your shop. Think about how much money you spend to get that customer in your shop and now they’re already in your shop. I would rather go ahead and give my technician three or four or five tents to do an inspection than to pay some advertiser on a gamble that they might bring somebody new in.
Tom Dorsey (00:51:35):
Brilliant points, buddy.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:51:40):
So wow, we are almost at the top of the hour. Let’s look at a few other things. We mentioned that before, there’s a tendency to use digital to really be highly detailed and put as many possible choices on the inspection sheet. You should go in on a regular basis and study the activity on all topics. So in this case, for example, 960 inspection accomplished, created across the shop, three actions for this topic, three actions for this topic, and zero for this, right? So really the question seems to be why is it on the inspection sheet?
Tom Dorsey (00:52:42):
And in this instance, you might make a inspection sheet that’s drivability, right? And you move those types of people because that might be important for your shop to gather that information. You just don’t need to do it on your default inspection.
Bill Connor (00:52:54):
Or you go ahead and make one topic that’s road test and you go ahead and put conditions in there for each of these two topics here. And you take the cooling system hoses, heater, hose bypass or whatever, and think about do you combine that with some other type of topic that’s already there as a condition on that topic.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:53:20):
And then there are overlooked opportunities. You do exactly the same, you check a year or a little bit longer. And then in this case, it would mean that for a period with 2,500 inspections, only only four vehicles had a heater operation problem. That seems extremely unlikely
Tom Dorsey (00:53:53):
Unless you’re in Arizona.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:53:56):
This shop was not in Arizona, but I agree with you. Or the alignment, right? Yeah, that 1 41, which is the highest of all, but still seems to be extremely low with this amount of inspections. 1.6% of vehicles in general in this shop have an alignment issue that seems extremely unlikely and it goes across all techs is not that one. Tech is making a realistic amount of recommendations and others are not across the shelf.
Tom Dorsey (00:54:44):
Even if you don’t have an alignment rack, you should still be documenting that. And if you sublet it out, at least you have the information and you’re doing a comprehensive and complete analysis
Bill Connor (00:54:54):
Even if you don’t sub it out. We really owe it to the customer to go ahead and tell them the condition of their vehicle, period. And again, as I’ve stated over and over, we are not into repair business any longer. It’s our job to deliver a safe, comfortable, and dependable vehicle on every service visit. We do that with a condition based inspection and documenting it and let the customer decide what they do or do not want to do. I mean, the worst thing in the world would be to go ahead and have something get missed and somebody go out there and get hurt. And then even if you’re not responsible, you should probably feel responsible.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:55:36):
So the advice is for you as a shop owner, take the time, look at the technician effectiveness report on a weekly basis to identify sweet spots and reasons to instill a change of behavior and review that with the team and maybe every three months, take a real long time range and look for opportunities where you either shorten your inspection sheet or take it out and put it in a specialized inspection sheet. And also take a good look at overlooked opportunities where you basically leave money on the table and the customer leaves with a car, which has still issues highly likely.
Bill Connor (00:56:35):
So in summary, what you’re saying is, unlike the constitution of the US, the inspection sheet is a living, breathing document that can be changed as needed.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:56:44):
Tom Dorsey (00:56:44):
Looking like a true Texan.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:56:53):
That’s all I got for today. I hope it was.
Tom Dorsey (00:56:56):
That was really good.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:56:57):
It gives you some food for thought and do a review of your inspection sheet using the technician effectiveness report, especially when you start becoming a digital shop. This is the best tool to identify next to the BCP on how to get everybody working as a team with the same procedure and goals,
Tom Dorsey (00:57:28):
Especially in the beginning as you’re getting your feet wet, especially, this is great information to introduce into your weekly shop meetings because people like to gauge where they are in relation to their peers, and it helps to develop that motivation and teamwork. Teamwork makes the dream work right, gives you insights into your operation that you probably didn’t realize and didn’t see, helps you to tighten up your inspection sheet, which is really important from an adoption perspective in a results perspective, getting that critical information out to your customer as soon as possible. This is where it all starts. So if you haven’t looked at yours, you need to hang up from the show, open it up. If you’re on Legacy, it’s going to be down under reports and your sidebar reports technician effectiveness report. If you’re on TDPX, it’s right there on the left hand sidebar.
You’ll see it about midway down Technician Effectiveness Report. Click on it and play around with it. Get comfortable with it. If you have any questions, bring it into the Facebook form. There’s hundreds of people in there that willing to help answer those questions, give you advice and some guidance on how to make the most out of not only your Technician effectiveness report, but AutoVitals solution as a whole. Take advantage of that. Those folks are ready, willing, and able to help you and look forward to doing it. We are blessed that we have such gregarious customers that are always willing to help, and I want to thank them very much. Hey, virtually vision is happening. AutoVitals Booth is in exhibit Hall B, so if you’re not registered, you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google it virtually Vision, it’s the MW of Vision Trade Show. Get in there, come say hi.
It’s a nine day event this year. Some fantastic speakers in there. And of course myself is in there and Garrett representing from AutoVitals. So come by and say hi. You’ll find us in exhibit Hall B. Looking forward to seeing you in there and tune in next Wednesday. We’re working on some really good how-tos for you around driving weekly revenue by Service Advisor and also build hours per inspection. So tune in next Wednesday, same time, same place. Learn more, bring a pencil and a pad of paper, tell your friends and share this information as much as possible. And let’s continue this conversation on the Facebook forum because we’re here to help.
Bill Connor (00:59:58):
Don’t forget to share this with your competitors because we want to get them to help grow the industry rather than being that low price leader of the marketplace. So tournament’s an ally instead of a competitor.
Tom Dorsey (01:00:09):
Exactly. Oh, and by the way, yes, Roy Foster, somebody will reach out to you immediately to help you to upgrade to TVPX. Write that down, Bill. And Marty, we had a great time with you too, buddy. It’s good to see you, or at least your virtual presence again. You’re very welcome. Thank you very much.
Bill Connor (01:00:27):
One of these days we have to get Roy on again.
Tom Dorsey (01:00:30):
Oh, I know. Yeah, believe me, I’ve been racking my brain for Toxic Dream Roy on Roy’s always a firecracker to have on the show. So I’ll be talking to you soon, Roy. Have a great day everybody. Thank you very much.
Bill Connor (01:00:44):
Thank you.

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