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Don Reed on how to ignite your auto technicians’ productivity

The 2022 NADA Show has come and gone, but we’re still hearing from industry experts and attendees as it was the first time many of us have gathered since the start of the pandemic. Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome Don Reed, CEO of DealerPRO Training, one of the nation’s top fixed-ops training platforms for dealers and host of the CBT show, Service Drive, to share his perspective and takeaways. 

At the 2022 NADA Show earlier this year, Reed says the renewed focus on fixed operations grabbed his attention the most. Today, car dealers don’t have the inventory they are accustomed to, and the interest in fixed ops keeps rising. The most significant area of concern Reed sees is training service advisors on new processes and strategies. 

It’s also tough to find and recruit auto technicians. Instead, Reed recommends that car dealers laser in on the productivity of the auto technicians they already have. The average dealership Reed visits is running about 80% productivity from auto technicians, he says. In a 40-hour workweek, this means technicians are selling 32 hours. It’s now an acceptable norm, but Reed thinks productivity goals should be higher. 

“I have never been in an automobile dealership where we couldn’t increase technician productivity,” says Don. “What that means is that dealers need to measure each individual tech on a daily basis, not just your total shop productivity.”

Compensate your auto technicians correctly, and don’t forget to ask them this simple question:  if there was just one thing I could do for you that would make your job more productive and more enjoyable, what would it be? The answers to this question are often training or equipment, after compensation, of course. Reed recommends communicating with auto technicians at regular shop meetings with general managers and dealers to reevaluate process changes and support technicians. 

Reed adds that car dealers must get control of their phones. Most service customers still schedule by phone, so it is imperative to train your service advisors or BDC representatives to communicate correctly with customers.

“If you can get control of your phones and get control of that technician productivity, you’re going to have a very bright year for the rest of 2022,” says Reed.

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