It’s OK To Be Lazy;
Just Be Intelligent About It
It has been said that efficiency is intelligent laziness. Intelligent people know better than to waste time doing what can be automated. This is especially applicable when it comes to running a service drive. It’s why so many fixed ops departments use software to improve the way they do business. The problem with so many service drive software companies is that their main objective is to sell you on the promise of attracting more service customers. But why would you want even more business when you have a hard time keeping up with your current flow of customer traffic?
The majority of service scheduling software doesn’t allow you the flexibility to fully customize your schedule. If you can’t set up your scheduler the same way that you actually schedule your advisors, technicians, and machines, you’re left with some staff overbooked and others without enough work to do. If you’re not scheduling efficiently, you’re placing unnecessary stress on your staff and leaving money on the table.
“I’m a service BDC rep, and I schedule dozens of appointments every day. I’m way too busy to track what teams or technicians are being scheduled while I set appointments. I can’t see what teams are over- or under-booked, and I can’t tell if I’m assigning the right services to the right team.”
“I’m a service advisor and I want to see how many oil changes can be completed in a single day, not just how many one single technician can perform. Our service department is small and our technicians wear multiple hats, so I want to be able to accommodate the demand when our LOF tech is already booked out.”
Resource Scheduling. It enables services to be routed to the right resource upfront when the appointment is created, as opposed to when your customer shows up at the service drive. Simply put, it’s a way to lock down your schedule and allow technology to do the heavy lifting for you. It’s impossible to keep track of everything without something falling through the cracks, so why waste your time trying?
If you’re still with me, I can guess what you’re thinking right now. Having my schedule managed for me with this “advanced technology” sounds cool, but will it really make a difference in day-to-day operations? Will it help increase profit? And if it does, will it make things worse for my already overwhelmed staff? The answers to your questions are yes, yes, and no. Allow me to explain.
- Setting up your schedule to match the way you actually run your drive means you’re not fighting your software. An intelligent scheduler does the work for you.
- If your schedule is set up properly, you won’t have to deal with the stress of overbooking your staff or even your machines. The system will not allow you to schedule overlapping appointments. So, if you schedule your alignment machine from 9–11 a.m., there is no way any other appointment will interfere with that time slot, even if a service BDC rep is the one trying to schedule the appointment.
- By not overbooking your staff or your machines, you avoid pissing off your customers because their vehicles aren’t ready when you said they would be.
- When your service BDC and service advisors can see when teams, technicians, skill sets, and machines are available, they can easily schedule the time slots that would otherwise be left open. This allows you to increase profit AND be a hero to your customers who otherwise would be turned down because you’re booked for the next week. This opens room for new business while helping you retain the customers you’ve already worked so hard for.
If there is one takeaway, it’s that if you’re not happy with the way you’re currently scheduling service, make a change. Don’t settle. If you’re paying for service drive software and it’s set up properly, yet it’s not making your life easier and increasing your profit, then why waste money paying for it?