Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
If you get the feeling sometimes that your technicians are chopping wood with a dull axe, (or missing the planning and scheduling stage) maybe it’s time to find a way to sharpen your processes.
According to a recent article in Equipment World, mechanics and technicians in the heavy construction equipment industry have about 30 to 35 percent productivity or “wrench time” in performing their tasks. It could be and should be much better.
From Equipment World:
This means for a nine-hour day, the technician or mechanic is spending about three hours doing productive or value-added work. There are numerous possible reasons for this low-efficiency figure:
• Equipment is unavailable because it is being used. Production won’t surrender it because downed equipment affects their numbers and schedules.
• Maintenance trades repeatedly travel back and forth from the job to the storeroom for parts, manuals, tools and assistance. “Windshield time” is not value-added.
• Different skilled trades are required to complete a repair, which keeps the original technician waiting for their arrival.
• An issue reported to maintenance was incorrect, resulting in the wrong tradesman being dispatched to the job.
• The inability to find suitable documentation, such as service manuals for reference to conduct repairs.
• Break time.
• Waiting for instructions from supervisor.
• Completing paperwork.
As shown, many factors interfere with a tech’s ability to perform the job, with most being systemic or systems-oriented – therefore, beyond the control of the technician to improve.
Your hidden workforce
Fortunately, there are many tried-and-true ways to improve wrench time with little expense. One of the most successful processes is planning and scheduling (P&S).
On average, P&S enhances wrench time to as much as 55 percent. The change brought about from implementing a P&S program is sometimes described as discovering your “hidden workforce.” For example:
• Increase wrench time from 35 to 50 percent: 15 technicians become 24
• Increase wrench time from 25 to 50 percent: 15 technicians become 30
In this tight job market for technicians, it would be hard to find that many additional techs. By leveraging the benefits of P&S, you can either do more work or accomplish the same level of work with fewer technicians. The difference occurs when you optimize the systems in which they work.
To improve planning and scheduling, a modern tool such as the Velosio dealer management solution, which combines NetSuite with Advectus, can help. Features include:
- Service Menus
- Service Scheduling /Technician Dispatching
- Online Scheduling
- Service CRM
- Mobile Service Inspection Tool
- Pre-paid Maintenance Capabilities
- Customer Loyalty Program
Additionally, the Job Allocator Dashboard further improves shop efficiency and productivity. Advectus employs drag-and-drop functionality that enables your service team to quickly move jobs to the right technician with minimal time and effort. Increasing efficiency can improve CSI, retention, and productivity.
The Velosio dealer management solution provides you the ability to:
- Automate and streamline business processes across the enterprise, including Sales, Service, Parts, Financial Management, Reporting, CRM, and Distribution.
- Build stronger, more profitable relationships with your clients by improving the customer experience.
- Have access to business-critical information at any time, from any place, on any device.
Would you like to increase wrench time and improve planning and scheduling at your business? Click here to learn more about Velosio’s Advectus and NetSuite dealer management solution.
NetSuite Practice Manager, Velosio
Mike Mahannah began his career 20 years ago in systems administration, and moved on from there to consulting, professional services and sales engineering management, business analysis and operations. In his role as NetSuite Practice Manager for Velosio (formerly Socius), Mike is passionate about the value Saas based platforms like NetSuite can bring to organizations.
Mike is based in Ohio, and received his BA from Arizona State University, and his MBA from Xavier University.