5 Overlooked Ways To Improve Touch Time For Your SMART Business
As soon as a vehicle comes into your SMART repair shop and a technician gets to work, the clock starts ticking. If you know that a more significant job is going to be time-consuming, you must know the ways you can make up for the lost time. No repair is ever the same, which is why touch time is a valuable measure of productivity.
For those of you who don’t know, touch time is “defined by the hours a technician or estimator spends on a vehicle” (Tony Nethery, CCC Client Solutions Advisor).
Unfortunately, this is where a lot of SMART repair shops fall short, as they don’t have a process in place that helps them maintain an efficient workflow. Processes are used to keep a business running smoothly, which is why you want all the ways to save time and earn more money. Improving just how long a tech works on a car is a quick way to do just that, which is why some simple changes can make a world of difference in your SMART business.
Here are 5 overlooked ways you can improve touch time:
- Begin pre-detail sooner: Depending on what needs to be repaired, pre-detailing can begin sooner than later on smaller jobs. If the car is sent for detailing at the end of the day, those staff members will probably already have tons of work. Vehicles with smaller sized repairs should be sent to detailing as soon as possible while waiting for the other area(s) to be repaired.
- Reduce downtime in the beginning: Disassembly of the required areas for repair is a guaranteed way to get the car out faster and will reduce any downtime. Your estimators and technicians will be able to better assess what needs to be done in the repair process, rather than viewing the car still assembled. Save time by already establishing a clear repair plan right from the start.
- Have a designated technician for smaller repairs: One way to improve touch time is to have a designated technician for more minor repairs. Many SMART repair shops will lose valuable time in the repair process when their technicians jump from job to job. If you want to save time, have a specific technician (such as a junior tech) to handle smaller repairs. You’ll be amazed at just how much productivity can improve.
- Incentivize Employees: Your technicians aren’t going to want to move fast if they aren’t benefitting in some way. That’s why incentives are a great way to build teamwork and motivate your technicians. Something as simple as a bonus $100 for each hour of touch time achieved month-over-month is an often overlooked way to improve touch time.
- Technology: For years, technology has been used to improve various business operations. However, many seasoned technicians still use traditional pen and paper over digital systems explicitly created for auto reconditioning. Time is money after all, which is why technology like ReconPro and ReconMonitor is used to make life more manageable in the repair process and improve your KPIs.
Time is precious in the repair process, which is why you want to make the most of any opportunity you have to save any minute in the repair process. Kevin Lockhart of Lake Mac Auto Body made changes to the way he structured repairs and technicians at his now profitable shop. He attributes the change to a focus on teamwork and shared responsibility for repair efficiency. From poor initial results, he achieved 165% efficiency in paint repairs and 190% in body, with an average touch time of 6.5 to 7.5 hours a day.
Who says this same level of success can’t happen for you at your SMART repair business? Whether you try one or all of the above techniques, the results will speak for themselves.