Improving technician performance is key for workshop managers to improve efficiency.
But just how can you achieve this? We consider four key areas that can help…
You may think that fuel is your highest single fleet expense, but ask any workshop manager and they’ll probably tell you otherwise. Often technicians and other personnel top their budget costs.
Within fleet workshops, your people may generate the biggest overall cost line, but they are the most valuable resource at a manager’s disposal too. Their performance is an essential element in creating an efficient, productive and cost-effective operation.
So, how can you improve a technician’s performance to improve workshop efficiency?
Here are four ways that workshop managers can achieve this.
1. Having the right people
It sounds obvious doesn’t it? But having experienced and knowledgeable technicians puts your workshop in a much better position to perform efficiently and productively. Whilst recruiting qualified technicians remains an ongoing challenge for businesses, we think that putting extra effort in to attract the right people pays dividends in higher shop throughput, fewer repeat repairs and reduced asset downtime and maintenance costs.
We also believe that on-going training is a worthwhile investment and one that pays off through overall better performance. Take advantage of readily available training programs offered by vehicle, component, tool and equipment suppliers as these can yield significant long-term benefits for any workshop.
Another proven retention approach is to recognise technician performance with advancement opportunities. Industry programs such as the Certificate in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology provide pathways for mechanics to progress their training and skills.
2. Outfitting workshops for success
Don’t overlook the basics – spending time on some basic ‘housekeeping’ activities will pay dividends. Ask yourself the following questions to see if you can make easy wins…
- Are your shops arranged so there is a logical flow from the moment a vehicle arrives until it’s ready for service? Nothing hampers technician performance more than the need to continually move vehicles in and out of bays and around yards rather than having them parked where they will stay for the duration of a service event.
- Are the tools, equipment and supplies for your technicians needs located where they can be easily accessed? Searching for tools because they aren’t in their designated storage places is an obvious waste of time and drain on performance.
- It is surprising how much working conditions such as poor lighting quality and ineffective climate control systems can have on loss of productivity. It’s also a concern for the health and wellness issues for your staff and can have an effect on them wanting to remain in employment with your business.
- Are your parts stored, stocked and organized effectively? Making sure parts that are needed most are available and easily accessible is a sure method for improving technician performance and overall shop productivity. Similarly, having a large store of little-used parts will have a negative impact on your budget which highlights the importance of managing a good stock inventory.
3. Plan and schedule workshop activity effectively
Plan the work and work the plan, as the old saying goes, applies directly to achieving technician performance goals. When your technicians are using their time effectively – by turning wrenches and not wasting time on unproductive chores – assets are back in service as quickly as possible, keeping downtime costs low.
Effective scheduling of equipment and services all play a role in improving technician performance. An obvious and logical place to start is with a solid staffing plan – one that considers technician availability based on projected workloads and maintenance needs.
Regularly revisiting plans and schedules to find new opportunities for productivity improvement is also a great help too.
4. Utilising technology
We believe that workshop management software is an important tool in the ability to continually improve technician performance. With these solutions, you can more effectively manage shops and personnel.
There are new tools for desktop and mobile devices available, such as FleetWave Technician, an app that can have a measurable positive impact on technician performance. This tool simplifies and consolidates tasks and administrative functions for technicians, providing workshop managers with access to a wealth of data that promotes compliance and efficiency.
Serving as a central location for technicians to manage and complete daily tasks, the tool includes time sheets, service and inspection documents and workshop audits. It then turns management information into real-time actionable data relating to performance and productivity of staff and resource utilisation.
This technology also enhances performance for technicians. By providing guided solutions, intuitive prompts and job-specific information, it helps ensure timely and accurate completion of work.