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The Digital Shop Talk Radio

Episode Description

Your service team could start to pack on a few pounds by eliminating the never-ending stream of back-and-forth trips to the bays. That is if they optimize digital communication and workflow management.

Here are some things we learned:

  • Workflow management tools and strategies that keep your techs busy and your SA focused on selling more work
  • Best practices on digital communication, both internal and with customers, to eliminate confusion and wasted time
  • The financial results (and potential weight gain) that can come as a result of a highly-efficient SA – Real-life examples and experiences from shop owner Thomas Richardson (Master Tech Automotive, Richland, Wash.)

Episode Transcript

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

Tom Dorsey (00:00:02):
And today we’ve been talking about, we’re on number 9 of our 10 part series, and we’ve been talking about kind of the transition to go from a paper-based shop to a fully digital shop. And we’ve been kind of starting out with some baby steps and now we’re getting into the good complex stuff. And today what we’re going to be talking about, the title of the show is a digital service advisor might need a gym membership. And what does that mean? That’s some term that Uwe coined a long time ago and he loves using it. But basically what that means is if you take full advantage of the productivity and the efficiency tools that AutoVitals provides, you’re going to do a lot less running around in the shop. And we’ve actually measured this stuff out, right? Matter of fact, Frank Scandura did an analysis for us, and in a paper-based shop average in a day, your service advisor’s going to take about 15,000 steps on average.
We had guys wearing Fitbits, the whole thing, tracking their mileage, right? Well, every step they take is one step away from your customer on the phone or at the counter. It’s one step towards going to interrupt a technician. It’s one step towards more of an inefficient, kind of make it up on the fly type of a process, which inherently has a lot of flaws. And if we can communicate better, if we can see our statuses and use things like our special markers more effectively while we stay at the counter, the techs don’t get as many interruptions. And what ends up happening is we reduce those 15,000 steps a day down to about 4,000 on average. And so that’s a lot less calories burned. And so you might get some fat service advisors, but that’s a good problem to have because your wallet’s going to get fat too. And so we want to kind of explore that. We’ve got Thomas Richardson, I don’t know if you’ve got introduced yet, Thomas, but Thomas is from Master Tech Automotive, been with us for quite some time involved in Turbo, involved in a lot of the back and forth with us on improving the product out of Richland, Washington. Welcome, Thomas. Great to have you on.
Thomas Richardson (00:02:18):
Hey, good to be here. It’s a good product, so I’m really glad to support it.
Tom Dorsey (00:02:22):
And tell us a little bit about how you got involved on Turbo and kind of getting, not just as a user, but actually getting involved in designing the nuts and bolts as it were.
Thomas Richardson (00:02:35):
Yeah, we jumped in on TVP and wanted to be cutting edge digital shop, communicating with the customers with pictures. Those things were really important. So when we dove in, it just so happens that my technician, especially one of my technicians and me, were both pretty aggressive about what the digital product was doing and pretty vocal about it and finding at first, okay, we’re finding some holes, some things we’d like to fix, and we started finding workarounds or vocalizing it. And so it just grew into something where we felt like we were doing the effort anyway of saying, Hey, here’s what I see, here’s what happened, here’s what broke, here’s what didn’t. As well as here’s what works great. I mean this isn’t a bash session, but we were a little extra critical at times, but on purpose. And so it worked really well for us to have an outlet and help develop some things and had some influence. We think we’re pretty aggressive.
Tom Dorsey (00:03:39):
Yeah, no, that’s fantastic. And that’s how we get to the point we’re at, right? It’s shops like you that come in and hold us accountable and like you said, give us the good, bad, and the ugly helps us just to make a better product.
Thomas Richardson (00:03:51):
And we did some things like, Ovie, can you change this? He goes, yeah, we might be able to do that. And I said, UVY, can you change that? And you guys built this tool and the backend and he says, no, I’m not changing that. Okay. Okay. Thanks Uwee for the conversation. Yeah,
Tom Dorsey (00:04:08):
Groovy Uvy. And that’s kind what happens, right? Is some stuff is, and we like to put it up to a consensus and kind of throw it out there and say, because you know how it is. You guys are a bunch of rugged individualists, a bunch of really a bunch of anarchists with businesses and you’re going to want it your way. And if you can get enough people that say, yeah, that’s going to benefit me. And of course you’re always going to have people that are going to say, that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. I’ll never use it. But if we can get enough users and then develop it from there, it’s going to benefit all eventually. And even some of those people that initially they end up coming around at the end of the day, it might take a little while. They see other people having success, they hear about these things and then they jump on board and they start taking advantage of it. And that’s kind of all that digital road to adoption,
Thomas Richardson (00:04:59):
Tom Dorsey (00:05:00):
Are you going to come sit down with me? We’re going to start the infogram. We got to get Uwe logged on. I had to come take his seat. He’s wandering around over there, doesn’t know where to go. Hey Bill, have you been introduced, Bill? I’ve got my cohort, my partner in crime here. Bill Connor, welcome onto the show. Bill.
Bill Connor (00:05:29):
Thanks for inviting me again. I’m just lurking and listening in the background, waiting for my opportunity to participate a little bit later.
Tom Dorsey (00:05:37):
Do you guys know each other yet, Thomas?
Thomas Richardson (00:05:40):
We talked on the phone quite a few times. Yeah, Bill is the one that keeps calling me and asking me are we ready to go live yet?
Tom Dorsey (00:05:47):
Good, good.
Bill Connor (00:05:49):
Looking for signs of life, that’s
Thomas Richardson (00:05:50):
All. Yeah. Yeah, that’s good.
Tom Dorsey (00:05:54):
And so if we can, let’s jump right into it again, we’ve got a really good, I think, roadmap, some to-dos and don’ts that Uwe built out for us for this episode. And we’d like to, I think, open up and just kind of go through and start a discussion and really talk to Thomas if you can and give us some insight on are we crazy just like you’ve been doing, or is this something that you’re adopting or looking to adopt or have a plan to adopt and really get a good conversation going around? How do we make that efficient? What process changes maybe did you have to implement? What kind of retraining maybe did you have to do or habit development and how did you handle that? And really how do we make those implementation changes at the front counter so that we can use those productivity and efficiency tools to their fullest and get those advantages. Dustin, are you going to go ahead and pop that graphic, what we’re going to be talking about? Oh, there’s Uwe, Uwe got, it’s connected. I think Uwe’s going to walk us through it a bit once we can get that loaded up. And really what we want to talk about is some of those best practice habits that you can change to starting tomorrow, starting today at the front counter to start to realize some of the potential from those tools.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:07:24):
Tom already explained very nicely why we coined the phrase a long time ago. We just stopped the steps so tremendously, and that’s hard, right? It’s a habit. Every service advisor and some technicians know the portion of the paperback process is running back and forth to get information, which is crucial to do the job. And now we’ve turned it all into digital things. So what’s the first reaction from somebody who has been doing this for a long time? Are you nuts? I’m not going to type this out. I’m so much faster in caulking, so the little bit back and forth is not going to slow me down.
That’s often the first reaction because the habits have been perfected and now we come along and say, oh, you can stay at the counter and you can stay at the vehicle. And so I would like to introduce basically the vehicle alert feature because we were thinking about this hard and I think we’re the only ones the system in the market doing it. We really try to find a way to say what is the easiest and fastest way to generate information for the tech and the service advisor? And so we invented the vehicle alone, and what is that? Instead of opening a chat window by the service advisor or by the tech and then say, Hey, service advisor or Hey tech, I’m talking about our O number X, Y, Z and the job A, B, C, there’s a problem with it, or here’s an update. We just put everything on a button. So all you need to do is go into your TVP, press a button or on your tablet, press the smart alert, and then everything gets autogenerated. Meaning you can just communicate with one button press. There’s no way that anything else can be faster than that. So Thomas, from your perspective, if you had to say what the percentage is between using the vehicle alert and using normal team chat as we call it, do you have an estimate how much the vehicle alert is used versus the team chat?
Thomas Richardson (00:10:22):
For us, I think we’re like 2080 now, 20% on the alerts, but wanting to grow that tooth, I’m guessing, but I’d like to do it to like 50 50 because of the robustness of it. If it has the right, there has to be some thought I think put into what those alerts do and say, so you’re not cookie cuttering the other direction, you’re hitting a button because it’s quicker and easier, but it should have the right information to be correct. So some of the buttons we use, we use on every job all the time. So when we do start using these alerts and the tile buttons to get used a lot, and so we’re just going to be growing from there. A lot of these tile alerts are about when the car needs to be done. That’s really important to us. Staying on schedule. That’s one of the first ones we implemented. It’s ins on the tile in the button and you can see it every time you open your tablet, look at it, you can see where your time schedule is.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:11:35):
Do you have your TP in front of you? See it? And so what you’re talking about is creating a smart market which then says either using countdown time or say it has to be done whatever or saying it has to be done at 10,
Thomas Richardson (00:12:01):
Right? We created our own one on that. And then customer waiting, things like that, or those are easy answer, tow in the car was towed in. We used to write that into the text body because we want to make sure that’s documented because towing it in is also a legal thing. It gives us permission to work on the car without a signature. There’s some things that are important to document and have in place and I can now do that with about three seconds worth of work.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:12:37):
So if you could share your screen, I don’t know, maybe I cannot see it on my tablet here.
Thomas Richardson (00:12:44):
I’m on it on my other computer so I can get it up on here though. I’ve had it running on my tablet, so let me jump over there. I’m not sure how to do that on this. I haven’t done that, so I’m hoping I don’t lose you. I still hear you in the background.
Dustin Anaas (00:13:05):
Hey Tom, maybe in the meantime you could answer that or ask the question that Jose posed in the q and a section
Tom Dorsey (00:13:11):
Paid on me buddy. No, I can’t.
Dustin Anaas (00:13:14):
Yeah, no, that’s fine. Jose says, has anyone developed a position that takes care of all digital inspection editing or do all the service advisors take care of all of them specialized roles? Blue? Yeah, anybody? That’s a
Tom Dorsey (00:13:28):
Great question and I believe, yeah. Hey, first of all, thanks for coming on Jose and listening. Thanks for the question. And I believe there are some, and I know I was talking with a guy who’s looking to do exactly that is just hire somebody whose job it is is to kind of publish that inspection sheet, do all the editing and really dial it in and make it perfect for that motorist and do all the detail work. So I mean, if you’ve got the bandwidth or even if you’ve got somebody, a family member, maybe your son or daughter who’s coming up into the business, great place to cut their teeth there. And a lot of people will hire even some interns or some part-time help to come up and teach ’em how to do some of those basic steps. So I think any help to put the focus on completeness of the inspection sheet is going to pay off for you.
Bill Connor (00:14:26):
So Tom, one of the things I see with shops that I work with all the time is the service writer actually edits the inspection sheet and then it shows if a shop has an estimator or a parts person, they take over, take care of the estimating, then it goes back to the service writer for review and then the service advisor sends it. So breaking up that work into specialty areas, and that’ll be one of the things that John probably talks about next week also is effectively using the skill sets that the people have in your shop and breaking it down and letting them specialize in what they’re really good at. Yeah, I see that all the time and it’s pretty common to see that developing as we get more into the digital age.
Tom Dorsey (00:15:07):
And it’s really good to have an extra set of eyes on stuff because you catch more things and especially somebody, even if you bring them outside, maybe you’re hiring ’em more for their customer service ability than their automotive background and knowledge. They kind of approach things from a motorist perspective versus from a tech perspective. And that can help you a lot in your communication to people who aren’t a SE master techs.
Bill Connor (00:15:40):
So Eva seems to be muted.
Tom Dorsey (00:15:42):
Yeah, I think you’re muted. Uwe.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:15:45):
Yeah, I guess I should not do that. Thomas, how far is your attempt to share your screen?
Thomas Richardson (00:15:54):
I think I have it. I think I figured it out. I haven’t ever done that on this. I’ve never tried. So let,
Tom Dorsey (00:16:02):
I like this show. See, this show teaches you new skills in real time.
Thomas Richardson (00:16:06):
Yeah, it is real time. And I have screen recording up now. I don’t know what that means. We’re going to go with that. I dunno, are you seeing, that’s interesting. This is a new practice for me, but
Bill Connor (00:16:26):
So hover over the top of your screen and see if you can find a button that says share and then choose the monitor you want to share
Tom Dorsey (00:16:32):
On a tablet.
Bill Connor (00:16:34):
Oh boy.
Thomas Richardson (00:16:35):
Yeah, it’s a tablet. It’s an Apple tablet. That’s
Tom Dorsey (00:16:38):
That’s tricky.
Thomas Richardson (00:16:39):
Yeah, it works great. Except for new features. Does that do anything?
Tom Dorsey (00:16:47):
No, I just turned off your camera. Yeah. Okay. How about Bill? Bill, can you bring up Thomas’s TVP and share it?
Bill Connor (00:16:56):
Yeah, if you give me just a minute to do that, I’ll go ahead and prepare it in the background here.
Tom Dorsey (00:17:02):
No problem. I’ll fill some more time in. I’m up here floating around in the clouds anyway. I’m over here in.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:17:15):
So maybe we talk about the ability of the communication again. So we talked about special markers, replace a lot of chat you normally have in the team chat. Thomas, use two examples. When a customer vehicle has to be done, very important, you don’t need to chat. And then other people have to remind that, remind themselves somehow because the chat is like Facebook, right? It’s only current in the next five minutes. And then you have to think wasn’t there something about this customer? So that’s why we introduced special markers. They stay on service advisors, them and technicians see them on the tablet and they can create even alerts. If the time is up, then you better are done by then. And that has nothing to do with chat or anything. It’s just an awesome way to remind everybody in the shop what’s important about this vehicle.
And you can use it for parts management, you can use it for actually anything. We have shops who use the smart marker feature in a way that they created up to 400 different smart markers and then run everything in the shop using the smart markers so everybody sees at any time what’s special about the vehicle. And in the new version they’ll let us know when you’re up instead of only three smart markers. We doubled that number. We have now six and two are dedicated to customer and vehicle and four are dedicated to the work order. How are you doing Bill?
Bill Connor (00:19:25):
I’m still waiting for my computer to load. I’m in the middle of a thunderstorm. It’s just another one of today’s challenges.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:19:35):
Yes. So then let’s talk and it’s a little weird that we, so
Tom Dorsey (00:19:40):
Ray, real quick, Uwe, if I could, can we just talk, so maybe some folks don’t use smart markers that are in the audience right now. Maybe they’re new to AutoVitals. So let’s talk a little bit about what exactly is, let make it a little bit more clear what a smart marker does if we could.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:19:56):
Okay though there are three types of smart markers and Thomas, feel free to chime in. The very simple one is it’s just a button, a status button where you can, for example, tell the tech this is a no start vehicle, don’t go on a test drive, don’t grab the key and try to stop the vehicle and go on the test drive. That’s a typical example. Soza puts it on manually simple status.
Tom Dorsey (00:20:32):
So almost think of it like it’s almost like a canned post-it note, right? It’s almost like instead of having to go in and type this information, hey the wheel lock key is in the glove box or who said tow in don’t or don’t roll down the passenger side window. All those kind of little customers, a waiter. Those little bits of information that you would either need to write down somewhere or remember to tell somebody, now you have the ability to just attach that digital post-it note to that job with a click of a button and they’re fully customizable and a lot of ’em will do even more functions for you. Like timers, countdown, when your parts delivery is expected, the guy told you he’s going to be here in an hour, start running the timer. When it gets down to zero, you better see some parts on the counter. And so you’re more efficient in managing your dispatching and setting expectations for when parts delivery are. But guess what else, when they don’t show up, you’re quicker to realize it. Get on the horn and expedite delivery.
Bill Connor (00:21:39):
Am I going to sign in this Thomas?
Thomas Richardson (00:21:41):
That’s one of the things we actually use the chat for now more and maybe I’ll review processes and see whether that we can transition to a smart market and my decision will be is it either a more efficient process or less likely to have information get missed or lost on that decision, whether to implement a new procedure, missing information, missing communication is the big gorilla in the room with either of these tools. So that’s always my standard.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:22:20):
This is awesome if I may Tom to talk about this, right? So we have been thinking about this a lot because the old TVP looks like a Boeing cockpit. It’s always so much information. Where do you look first and how do you keep that all in mind? This is really difficult. So we made a decision and said graphical information is much better consumed, easier to digest, and you keep it in mind because you look at it and immediately knows what it’s if done. So instead of having to type it out, which costs time to read it, which costs time and then remember where it was written. In other words, scroll up and down in chats, you just put it on a spot marker and that’s it, right? And so what is the typical smart marker? If you could expand the work order Bill, we can all see it. So here’s one smart marker. It’s called extended Tom, as you will probably explain to us what that means.
Thomas Richardson (00:23:47):
The yellow one, and it’s usually the first one we put on that is our time car needs to be finished on so the tech can look at the job and say, okay, I’ve got to get this done today. This one is actually a custom project. And so extended means we don’t have a finished time scheduled. That’s really rare actually. We usually have some finished time. That’s my son-in-law, so he doesn’t count, but
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:24:18):
Thomas Richardson (00:24:18):
Double that one. We’re waiting for parts. So that one actually, we’re using this as a catchall right now, and as I said, I’m going to be reviewing adding on some pieces and changing that. But as you can see, when the tech looks at it, he knows. We know right away we’re waiting for parts. The job’s extended, we’re not working on it today, there’s going to be that one. Yeah, go down to the nine 11. If you keep going, you’ll find some working jobs. Scroll down is what you need to do. There you go. Those are more of the more active jobs.
Bill Connor (00:25:00):
And today 6 26
Thomas Richardson (00:25:03):
And that one needs updated. That’s one of the things I’m looking at is we are going past the deadlines right now on these. So it’s teaching us something. There’s one that one’s in the shop and we want to finish it today. The ones that were past deadlines on, that’s to me training my service writers. It’s fairly new and he needs to open up all these tiles and go over them and look at his day and schedule and tell the technicians what the new, because 6 26 doesn’t work anymore. So that one is not going to happen. So we need the information to be brought into reality. Our first expectation was 6 26 on that vehicle, but that changed with a new service writer. I’m now in training mode. I’m actually going to go out and tell him to do processes and things like that. But when it works right, it works really, really good. And that most of the jobs that are here today, all the markers are correct on ’em because I scrubbed over those like that. The Porsche nine 11, I know it’s right, it’s an alignment, blah, blah, blah lot. So even as much as we’ve been using this, go ahead.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:26:27):
What exactly do you use the alignment marker for? Is that kind of also a equipment resource management? So everybody knows the alignment machine is
Thomas Richardson (00:26:38):
Used by we need the rack. Yeah. When my production manager sees that, he knows that today we may not use the alignment rack every day for alignments, but today we need it for an alignment and it’s going to be a three hour alignment. All that stuff happens intuitively just by seeing the marker. That’s the efficiency.
Bill Connor (00:27:02):
So one of the other things when you talk about the efficiency of these markers is there’s certain jobs that we want to apply that marker for. Two reasons. One is so that we know that that piece of equipment’s going to be tied up, but also for the service rider to have a great visual just by putting the labor line on the repair order, what piece of equipment’s going to be used and the skill level of that technician. So I have some shops that they’ll use this for alignment, so use it for testing and diagnosis. They’ll make another one for computer flash, pre-programming because they know only certain techs can do that. It makes it really easy to quick look, dispatch, drop it on ’em and go to work.
Tom Dorsey (00:27:43):
And so let’s talk a little bit about what happens now, or I should say what doesn’t happen now that you have those special markers in place. How do you realize the efficiency gains, Thomas? I mean, would you have double stack in the alignment base or then the service writer’s out trying to problem solve and has a group meeting with the techs trying to sort it all out in the middle of the day, right.
Thomas Richardson (00:28:17):
Maybe a little unique. My lead tech is also the production manager. He dispatches, so everything goes out to him and the service advisor doesn’t dispatch, but he does block out time per tech. So the time per tech is done by taking, we take every job and we add if it’s scheduled for five hours, we put it at five and a half or six hours on the calendar, we block out a little extra time and watch for all of our utilization of hours being taken up in that day. And then whatever else needs to happen has to move forward. It’s physically impossible to do more work. And then after that we don’t even really assign a tech at that level. I let Carl do that in the shop as sort of a shop foreman and production manager. I feel like he’s on the floor, sees all the balls rolling in the shop.
So he’s the one that needs to know who can do what. He knows the technicians the best. He knows their skills. He’s out there all the time and he’s also a duck of water with it. He’s really good at it. So in our position, we have somebody that can be the shop and delegate everything out. And so maybe for that reason, partly we haven’t embraced a bunch of new markers yet because we’ve been doing this for two years. And so we’re in that mode where it works right now, we’re going with it and then we’ll get in a mode pretty soon where we’re going to start going for the next things and pushing the envelope and trying some new things. And he’s very amenable at doing that as well. So we have a lot of fun doing it. And this tv, the game fairly news still, we had some bugs with the Newt VPX. It was fairly new, so some of it I just wanted it to work the way it worked. First the way we did things and we had some internet problems here, we had some issues. So I really wanted the system to just settle down for a few months and run and then go back into, okay, let’s try a whole bunch of new stuff. That’s kind of the
Tom Dorsey (00:30:44):
Way. Yeah,
Thomas Richardson (00:30:44):
That makes sense. I’ve been treating it. Yeah.
Tom Dorsey (00:30:46):
Yeah, that makes sense.
Does your lead tech have a workstation out in the basement? He has his own TVPX. So that’s another thing that folks might not know and we should discuss because that goes towards that efficiency and productivity is, you know, can set configurations for your role. And so instead of seeing all the columns and kind of all the stages, you can set up a configuration that just applies to what you need to get done. For him, it’s going to be kind of Post-Dispatch, parts deliveries, qa, that kind of stuff, building out the special markers to Marcus Bays and things like that for equipment resources and really be able to get a view that is going to benefit you and cut out all of the waste and the fluff and the extra stuff you got to scroll through and deal with and again, raise up that efficiency.
Thomas Richardson (00:31:43):
So we have Carl as a shop foreman or production manager. I need to play with a production manager role. I’ve set it up, but we haven’t played with it yet because we had another system running. We assigned Carl on every RO as a labor assist technician. So on every ro, Carl, everything gets every notification. That’s awesome. And yeah, it makes him a little busy, but they’re really quick to clear. He can keep working. He has TDPX up on or no, the tablet up on his little Samsung phone. It’s not compliant but it works great. And so he has it on a tablet and on his cell phone and he’s finding all parts of here for that. Great. And he puts a phone back in his pocket, he needs all the information so he can make shop flow decisions and what’s next, all those decisions. And he gets all that because we set up in max tracks a labor assist line. And so maybe that was one of our workaround. That’s why I haven’t really needed maybe to work into the production manager part of TVPX yet because we built a system immediately when we started on TVP.
Tom Dorsey (00:32:57):
Muted again buddy. You’re, you’re muted.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:33:02):
The production manager will be discussed next week, but I still have some work to do here. I guess. Bill, you got an alert for diagnostic level one? You want to take care of this?
Thomas Richardson (00:33:16):
Yeah, yeah. My service writer’s on the phone,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:33:23):
So this is what we call the vehicle alert. So there is no real chat to a named person. It’s all about the vehicle. So you see on the vehicles all listed which had alerts and then you can sort them, you can see that at the top there’s a search order. We recommend the unread oldest on top and then the most recent. So you don’t, things don’t fall through the cracks. And so that’s exactly what Thomas had said here. But if you have a different process and it’s all about speed of the most recent first, then you can change the order
Thomas Richardson (00:34:19):
And Uwe you reacted correctly. When you see those little red dots on those flags on the right side, that’s danger will Robinson, that’s the way I teach it. You need to get there. My technician might need just one simple answer on something and he’s waiting out in the shop for me to answer it or move the car out or lots of little things. And that becomes your primary flow factor and you have to take it really seriously.
Tom Dorsey (00:34:49):
Oh yeah. Because in the past that would’ve been a guy standing at the counter, right? He wouldn’t have got an answer. He would’ve came up front and he’d be standing there.
Thomas Richardson (00:34:56):
So it’s a mindset he on the phone. Yeah. Yeah. It’s a mindset thinking that you have to shift because when you’re working on the computer, all these colors and pictures and graphics are there. You’ve got multiple programs running, but you still have a technician standing at your counter, staring at you with that little red dot and you’ve got to be disciplined digitally with this or you’ll create more problems than you solve.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:35:24):
Yeah. And so Bill, would you mind clicking on, for example, the Porsche nine 11 or one of the two maybe? So here you see the full blown potential communication. I hope that’s okay to share. Yeah,
Tom Dorsey (00:35:46):
Too late. No, it’s good. No,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:35:50):
We’re going to edit it up.
Tom Dorsey (00:35:52):
Yeah. Okay.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:35:56):
And so
Tom Dorsey (00:35:57):
He’s even got emojis in there. I’ve never seen that. When did you guys add emojis?
Thomas Richardson (00:36:04):
Oh, I didn’t even know that my service supervisor figured that out.
Tom Dorsey (00:36:13):
I’m telling you, learn something new every day. I got to tell you got emojis in there. That’s awesome.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:36:21):
And there’s more. What you can also do now with the chat is quickly exchange singular documents as PDF or images. You just copy it, either use the attach image at the top or just wherever the image is open in whatever image editor you use outside, you just copy and paste
Thomas Richardson (00:36:45):
It. I’ve used that multiple times. The customer will bring in a document from a dealership and I’ll copy it in and throw it up there and that saves all that. What do we do with this paper? Does it sit on the desk and we lose it and it gets thrown in the trash? And if the tech needs to see that document and look at what the other shop was talking about or what mileage had happened and anything, he’s got that document now. That was really cool. We started using that immediately
Tom Dorsey (00:37:15):
And now you have it forever. It’s always on file,
Thomas Richardson (00:37:18):
Right? And that’s really important to us, that continuity of service and history as you continue to use that system where you document everything and you continuity of service and keep the history when those customers come back in and you have all that information and you can review it, it has saved us from major problems with customers and times. I’ve pulled up documents in the past and said, listen, this is what we did last time. Here’s the picture. And taken a customer at a nine down to a one in about 10 seconds.
Tom Dorsey (00:37:49):
Wow. Yep. CYA,
Thomas Richardson (00:37:53):
It is a lot of this is defensive medicine.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:37:58):
Sure. Bill is pointing at very important feature I believe. And there’s nothing worse than then the message you believe the other person has consumed and they haven’t. Right? So you believe everybody is on the same page but they’re not. And so this little blue check mark is very important to know. Aha. The other person has read it. We are good. Everybody knows we are on the same page. And I’m turning that into a super important feature and everybody who uses Facebook messages said, whatcha talking about if you’re using this for a decade now through, I just want to make this really clear that for people who are not on digital communication so much and don’t have kids who force them to, those are really time savers of extraordinary order. Little check mark makes everybody known everybody’s on the same page
Tom Dorsey (00:39:18):
And it allows you to shift gears. You can put that one down and go to the next one. Because think about it. When you send a message out to somebody, you don’t have that notification. Did they get my, they’re not doing the thing I asked them, did they get my message? Did they get my message? That’s sticking in your head until you finally walk out there and go, Hey, did you get my message? And the guy’s like, yeah, I was going to answer as soon as I’m done with what you see in my hands. And again, there goes interrupt, there goes a chance for a mistake to happen. All of those things are eliminated because you keep ’em right there, he can see that the information’s been received and then just download it out of his mind and move on.
Thomas Richardson (00:39:55):
That’s really important to me too, because I actually won’t allow people at a professional level to talk to me over chat on my phone very much. I hate people talking to me over text because of that loss of continuity or connection. You don’t know if they got it. You don’t know. You don’t know. But well, if this system was built with those answers, it answers those questions, it takes away that mystery because I love digital stuff, but I won’t let my technicians text me and say, Hey, I’m going to be late to work. I text ’em back and say, you better call me. I won’t even text this. Even text
Tom Dorsey (00:40:31):
Me or is this your wife?
Thomas Richardson (00:40:32):
Sometimes I won’t even answer ’em. I will just ignore it, delete it, because it’s not, I’ve told them from the very beginning, do not text me about important stuff. And this is the opposite. This is built well enough that the communication is completed.
Tom Dorsey (00:40:48):
Yes. Yeah. Because like you said earlier, you can upload the resources so you have a record of that, of the context and then it’s been received. Right. And that kind of ends the conversation right there. You saw it and I sent it.
Bill Connor (00:41:04):
So when you want to measure your full adoption to the digital internal communication of your shop, if you challenge your staff to go through a day without the service writers and the techs talking to each other by only using the communication, you’ll know that they’ve arrived and they’ll actually love it because they save so much time. So a challenge with barbecue at the end of it, I’m sure the staff will accept it and then you can prove out to ’em that they’re spot on.
Tom Dorsey (00:41:33):
Yep. It’s play the silence game. Right? Play the quiet game. And that’s a great challenge and that’s a great way to incrementally develop the habits, make it fun. It doesn’t have to be, there’s a sharp switch and it’s like this from now on, start to do it in baby steps, get a taste of it, have fun with it, and then before it becomes that habit and you don’t have to reinforce it anymore.
Bill Connor (00:42:07):
So we’re waiting for this to go and come apart. What I really like about this is that in our shop we’d always talk about the service writer never wanting them to leave their perch. So this is a great way to go and keep them in their chair and save some time and maybe even make it to where they capture enough time they can have lunch.
Tom Dorsey (00:42:25):
Yeah. And then there goes more calories, pack it on those pounds. That’s why that gym membership, so maybe the incentive isn’t that barbecue, maybe it is a gym membership or maybe it’s a treadmill, it’s a shop treadmill or maybe you get your,
Bill Connor (00:42:40):
We’re really working on developing well-rounded employees.
Tom Dorsey (00:42:44):
Yeah, exactly. It’s funny too because I don’t know, I might be wrong and Uwe can correct me or Bill you correct me, but I think that service advisors needed gym membership in the digital shop came about from Bill, wasn’t it? From when you were at Craig’s, you have a
Bill Connor (00:43:02):
Yep, absolutely. We went from each way going to visit the technician with 77 steps. And by eliminating all that, basically you put on the weight real quickly. So that’s why I messaged Uwe and said, you owe me a gym membership we’ve adopted and I’m a well-rounded employee. That’s
Tom Dorsey (00:43:20):
Right. That’s exactly where that came from. Yeah, because you guys had bays across the parking lot or something. And I remember when you first came to us, Bill, that was one of your biggest value props is that you didn’t have to take your cordless phone and walk across the parking lot all day.
Bill Connor (00:43:34):
Yep. Two separate buildings.
Tom Dorsey (00:43:36):
Thomas Richardson (00:43:39):
That’s funny. I always look for cautionary parts on these things. Like what Bill said was he wants to surf writer to stay in his chair and not go out and shop. And I agree, but I also have trained my service advisors that they’re locked into that screen and on that chair, but maybe a couple times in the morning or a couple of times in the day go out and walk through the shop and get a visual inspection because there’s a value to that to say, okay, I can see that the valve covers are off this and get an intuitive sense of what’s going on in the shopping and a customer calls and says, Hey, just check on progress. The technician and the service side advisor are disconnected a little bit. Service advisors can say, Hey, yeah, the valve covers, there’s an intuitiveness and a connection that comes from a little bit of physical activity and physical observation. So I actually trained that. How do you feel about
Tom Dorsey (00:44:34):
Bill Connor (00:44:36):
Can you hear me again? So we actually used cameras in our shops so we could see what was going on. And then we also encourage our technicians to go ahead and update their progress as they went through a repair order. So the service writer could pretty much look at it and say, Hey, they’re 25% into this job and that job and so on. So it actually helped out really well.
Tom Dorsey (00:44:57):
Yeah, that’s a good point and a good point to that too though, it’s a different type of trip that’s a productive visit out into the bays versus I’m running out there with my hair on fire to scream and yell at somebody. Now I’m actually observing things and I’m learning and I’m managing. By the way, Uwe. Yeah, we got you back. And real quick, I want to give Terry s Scaff has a great point in the chat and she’s saying she’s super excited for the changes for the new TVPX. Her motto is, if it’s not in writing, it was never said. And so this is another way to reinforce this and have better, more consistent communication and more importantly, write is accountability to each other, which makes a whole better shop environment and from a morale perspective, when I can trust and everybody’s accountable to each other and we have that mutual trust, we get a lot more stuff done. And shout out also to Mark Lamu, happy Canada Day, enjoy your holiday weekend.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:46:03):
Perfect. Bill, thank you for moving your cursor around. I want to give you a few Easter acts since we talked about emojis. There’s a little bit more I want to show you guys. So I don’t know whether you know this cursor, but when the chat appeared on the screen, he immediately went there and put his cursor there. And so what that does is as follows, we are thinking that you as a service advisor who’s using the systems extremely busy. So you need a short reminder, hey, there’s something new for you. You might not get interrupted because it’s more important that you want to finish it first, but if you think this is the next thing you’re going to do, you just hover over with your cursory quickly and that slows down the way that rich this chat is going to disappear.
So if you ignore those chats in the lower right corner, they will then appear as a red index about how many chats you haven’t read yet on the right hand side in the communications channel. But if you know that’s the next thing I’m going to do just over it and so it slows down its disappearance, nice little feature for service advisors getting onto the next feature. The other thing I want to let you know is when Bill opened this chat window right in front of us, there were the messages highlighted blue, which have not been red yet. And so you have to either click on them to make them red. Just opening in and looking at them is not going to get you anywhere because it’s too easy to miss a chat. So you have to click on it to acknowledge, yes, I have read it.
And if you are behind a few chats, you just use the mark all as read at the far right Bill is hovering over it right now or you start entering a response, then we know you have read it right. That’s actually the fastest way you just entering a response. Then all messages get read by default. So I want to point that out because if you just look at them, your technician will not get read receipt because we don’t know whether you really consume the information. You have to click on it, write your response or mark or messages is right. I hope that makes sense.
Tom Dorsey (00:49:12):
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:49:16):
Cool. How are we doing on time?
Tom Dorsey (00:49:24):
We got a couple minutes, but I’d like to get back if we could to the timeline, to the infographic and just make sure that we’ve gotten kind of everything there. And if anybody’s got any questions, go ahead and chat ’em in. We’ll get in the air, we still got time. And then also you can take ’em into the Facebook forum, I believe Dustin put a link into the chat if you’re not familiar or not already registered. If you’re not, get in there. There’s thousands of shop owners in there that are helping each other out all day every day. And it’s probably one of the most valuable resources you can get because the price of admission is zero. So it’s a private group. We’ll just request to join and we’ll approve you, get you in there. We’re going to ask you some questions, make sure you’re not from the KG B or something in their spine on us, but that’s okay. So you got one minute to do workflow buddy. No pressure.
Thomas Richardson (00:50:20):
We didn’t talk much about the group chat feature in this system.
Tom Dorsey (00:50:25):
Oh, that’s true. Yeah. Let’s do team.
Thomas Richardson (00:50:28):
I’ve set up a team where since I have a production manager, I have a team with my production manager and a technician as a team. So I can do the same thing as we’re doing on the max jock side where I can talk to Carl and the technician about what the technician’s doing. Maybe
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:50:46):
The remaining minutes to go quickly back to sharing the screen because the infogram, the link can be shared easily. Bill, if you wouldn’t mind again and open the team chat.
Thomas Richardson (00:51:01):
So team chat down at the bottom is SW Edwin, and if you look at who’s on it, there’s two of them. I dunno why, but there’s an SW Edwin, that means the service writer, the production manager, and the technician are on that chat.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:51:24):
Oh yeah, it makes sense. Pretty cool.
Thomas Richardson (00:51:28):
Yeah, there you go. Yeah. And we need to use these more. This is about, hey, can you clean up that bay for the next car? It’s not necessarily about a car, but it has to do with that tech. You might’ve left a mess and we need to get it cleaned up and get to the next job that isn’t about a car.
Bill Connor (00:51:50):
I’ve got shops that have actually been pretty creative in defining these already. They’ve went ahead and the shop owners made a group chat that goes to everybody in the building that says, Hey, I want a meeting right now. I’ve had the technicians go in and create one that says, Hey, I need all my big bulky guys to help me push in this vehicle. So they’ve created a channel and then they just use That’s a good one,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:52:11):
That’s a good one.
Thomas Richardson (00:52:13):
Bill Connor (00:52:14):
There’s another one for lunch. Lunch is ready. But again, you can get creative and use it. So mainly it’s all about quick clear communication and defining who’s the member of that group and who owns it and then just take off and go from there. So you can see here that the service team is actual owner of this one and these are members of this group and the owner of that can go ahead and change them as they need to. And of course whether it’s a tech or a service advisor and so on.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:52:49):
So there should be no reason to use an alternate chat system anymore. Everything is built in into the TVP.
Thomas Richardson (00:52:59):
That’s the whole point. Yeah, yeah, totally. That was to me the big reason. Switching over to this new system, this was it.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:53:07):
I see
Thomas Richardson (00:53:09):
This is so nice that this made it worth it. All the other nice stuff you did, this was my big thing and it works
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:53:20):
Great. Everybody’s got the favorites.
Thomas Richardson (00:53:21):
Yeah, this is it.
Bill Connor (00:53:23):
There’s one other thing in the chat that you haven’t talked about and that is if a individual person makes a support ticket, then the communication that’s needed about that support ticket is going to go back to that individual employee,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:53:37):
Right? So we fixed the issue that have the shop got informed about the question from our tech support. It goes directly to the submitter of the ticket, whether pack on the tablet or crossing in front of the screen. I also want to give you a little sneak peek on what’s next. I put it in the Facebook forum. We’re going to have a little discussion tomorrow and if you want to be part of it, please pm me on Facebook. I will invite you where we discuss a new communication channel. We will establish from your website to the TDP, right? So more and more motorists don’t pick up the phone, they go to the website and then one of use chat. And instead of leaving an email in the contact us form, we want to support that service advisor who is watching the TVP can actually start communicating with a motorist on your website.
And it doesn’t need to be an AutoVitals website. You’ll make that available to, but it always helps of course. But you’ll get to everybody and we are in the definition phase of this feature. And if you want to be part of it, and especially if you use chat features by, for example, open Bay or broadly chat features which we have analyzed very carefully and want to do a better job, then please pm me tomorrow at 11 Pacific we’re going to do a webinar about what we will be implementing that we want to be part of it. It’ll be awesome.
Tom Dorsey (00:55:40):
Yeah, that’s exciting stuff. It’s your opportunity to be part of the development of new stuff that’s going to help you and with this communication tool, I mean you can see it’s greatly enhanced from the one that we have in the legacy TVP now. And that was from a lot of feedback over the years is people putting in feature requests and telling us, Hey, I don’t use this thing because it stinks or I would use it if it did this. And really learning from your feedback so that we can get to this point. And now, I mean this is a highly efficient communication tool and now we’re just taking it to the next step to bring the outside in. So now you can chat directly to a digital motorist, whether they’re on their phone, they’re coming through your website and you don’t have to try to manage that in a separate place to Uwe’s point.
And if you’re using chat now, if you’re not monitoring it, it goes into an inbox and if you, you’re going to answer it tomorrow, well they probably got the repair done. You know what I mean? The reason they’re chatting is because they want instant real-time communication. They just don’t want to call you. And so right here in the communication center, everything’s coming together and again, it’s to drive that efficiency and the productivity and just give you the tools to manage people internally and externally in the way that they are going to respond and communicate most effectively with you, whether it’s your tech or whether it’s a potential customer. But it’s all right here for your service advisor to stay on top of it and not falling through the cracks or forgetting or having to write a bunch of notes to try to keep it in my head to remember, I’ve got to make all these callbacks and I’ve got to get all this information managed.
And so yeah, I’d like to give a little plug before we break and that’s tune in next week, right? Same time, same place. Wednesday 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern, and we’re going to be talking about the production manager specialization role. And we’ve got John Long from shirts, automotive coming on with us again. And as you remember, he even did a breakout about it at our conference and he’s been now about a little over a year into this. And so we’re going to get a lot of insights. And so folks out there that are considering that specialization role, make sure you catch this show. Give all of even start asking the questions now in the Facebook forum and help us to prepare and really get some, because I got to tell you, John is just a font of information and just such a great person to come on and give this, help us to get the questions out of ’em that you’re looking for to help you make a decision if you want to implement that type of specialization or role. So next Wednesday, same time, same place, register. If you’re not registered, you can go to and just get registered because that way you get the notifications, you automatically get the recording sent to you, the infographic that you’re going to want to download here that Uwe put together so you kind of have a real clear to do how to make those process changes and implement these digital shop best practices for your operation.
Bill Connor (00:59:06):
We probably also want to ask them to talk to their trainer about the upgrade path to TVPX and have their trainer help them go through the process and get them ready so that way they’re on target and change when they’re ready.
Tom Dorsey (00:59:21):
Yeah, that’s a great point Bill. Appreciate that because I know we’re kind showing more and more sneak peeks of the new TVPX and some of this functionality. I know people are champing at the bid to get ahold of it. And so get ahold of your trainer, you can get ’em right through the BCP, put a task in there and say, switch me to TVPX and then they’ll contact you and they’ll talk to you about the process and getting onto the list and all this stuff that we need to get in place before we can switch you over. But squeaky wheel gets the grease and there’s going to be quite a bit of transition happening so it doesn’t hurt to get in line early. Well thank you very much, Thomas can thank you enough buddy for coming on. It was great. I think you helped a lot of folks out today and really appreciate you sharing some of the insights in which you and Bill and Uwe and all the Turbo Group have been working on to produce Thet VPX and get this new update rolled out. And we can’t thank you enough, buddy.
Thomas Richardson (01:00:23):
Yeah, you guys kind of got the image system, the video system working. I saw it come up and once that was running, I don’t see any reason to stop now. This is a very robust system,
Tom Dorsey (01:00:38):
So get in line. This is coming out for you. Be excited. We are a lot of hard work’s been going into it and this is just another one of the people that have been bringing it to you. Thank Tom’s going Facebook friend him, give him some thumbs up, send him some nice love his way because he’s been doing a lot of hard work to benefit us all, so we really appreciate that. So
Bill Connor (01:01:01):
Where do we sign this petition for the internet to be kind to Tom?
Tom Dorsey (01:01:06):
I’m going to take a hammer to my computer right now. Turn it.
Thomas Richardson (01:01:14):
Yeah, probably Google. You probably said something on Google they didn’t like.
Tom Dorsey (01:01:18):
You know what I did? I came in and it wasn’t connected and I rebooted and I said restart. Not restart and update, but it forced an update into Microsoft Edge, whatever that is. It’s some new browser and now nothing works. I’m in trouble. So I’m going to try to see if I can roll it back and get ready for next week. But thanks for your patience. I appreciate everybody sticking in. We had a great crowd in today. Thank you for all the questions and engagement and chat. Keep it up and take that conversation onto the Facebook forum and continue it there. If you’ve got ideas which you’d like to see, some show episodes, things that are going to help you out and give you some better insight and help in your operation, let us know. Put it up in Facebook and we’d be glad to have you on to talk about it.

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