By Mary Motzko | May 8th, 2020 | | 0 Comments

Is your shop struggling to stay productive during the coronavirus outbreak? Between staff members working remotely, practicing social-distancing and taking extra time to clean and sanitize equipment, your fleet operation might be falling behind schedule 

To help you address these issues and keep your shop running safely and efficiently, we partnered with fleet industry expert Steve Saltzgiver from Mercury Associates to conduct a webinar on “Shop & Tech Productivity” on April 29.  

Want to watch the webinar? Request a link! 

In case you missed it, some of the information we discussed included: 

How to Keep Your Shop Safe During the Coronavirus Outbreak: To decrease the spread of COVID-19 throughout your shop, it’s important to clean all vehicles and tools regularly. This can include door handles and grab bars, interior door handles and surrounding surfaces, instrument panels, gear shifts and control knobs, steering wheels, radio microphones and other frequently toucheareas. All employees should wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. If available, employees should also wear masks and gloves.  

Using COVID-19 to Resolve Your Technician ShortageOne positive aspect of the coronavirus outbreak is it can give fleet operations a chance to hire more technicians. With high unemployment rates across the country, there may be more skilled technicians currently seeking work. The outbreak – and the toll it has taken on retirement accounts – can also delay some technicians’ planned retirements.  

Why You Need a Succession Plan at Your Operation: Losing key employees – especially those with vast experience and knowledge – can slow the productivity at your shop. To avoid these lulls, it’s important to establish a succession plan for key positions and people in your shop.  

How to Use Policies and Procedures to Improve Your Productivity: As your shop reviews ways to implement new guidelines to keep employees safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, it can be a good time to review your operation’s policies and procedures. You should also make sure your policies have clear goals and objectives, and that processes help simplify workflows. 

Why Data Is Important When Assessing Shop Productivity: It’s important to collect and analyze your shop’s data to be able to pinpoint what is working well and what areas need improvement. Having these measurements and establishing a data management process can help you better manage your operation.  

Why You Should Set Benchmarks for Your Shop: Setting benchmarks will establish a performance baseline for your shop and identify its strengths and weaknesses. It will also provide clarity on the following: your ownership, operating and overhead costs; your staffing levels versus others in the industry; and areas where your operation can improve. To make benchmarking effective, it’s important to monitor it on an on-going basis -- it’s not a one-time activity. 

Measure Key Areas to Increase Your Shop’s ProductivityYou can set benchmarks and goals to measure key areas of your operation to determine your productivity. Some areas you might want to measure arelabor; standard repair times; vehicle equivalent use; skills and assessment training; career development plans and succession planning; and employee retention, engagement and morale.  

Set SMART Goals: To achieve your shop’s objectives, it’s important to establish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound) goals. These will help you stay on track and keep your operation productive to achieve these objectives.  

How to Make Sure You’re Rightsizing Your Operation: To avoid extra costsit’s important to make sure you’re rightsizing your operationYou can do this by establishing several guidelines. One option is to set a utilization management policy. To make this successful you should also perform ongoing measurements and reportingYou can also establish new asset acquisition justification guidelines, as well as set under-used asset retention and re-justification processes. Shops can also use an internal cost charge-back system and perform Vehicle Allocation Methodology (VAM) evaluations. 

How to Successfully Implement New Processes at Your Shop: To increase productivity in your shop, you can revise existing processes to make them simpler and less time-consuming. To implement these new processes, it’s important to get buy-in from your staff. This can be done by discussing the benefits of the new process and setting reasonable expectations. It’s also important to have a plan. This can include having a detailed written copy of the policy, laying out the new workflow to all employees, and coordinating with your staff to get input on how the new process is working and what should be changed.  


To get more information or to view the recording of the full webinar, contact us to request a link!