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Time Optimization in the Workshop: Before and After

If you are a dealer looking to professionalize and grow your Service Department, then you should start asking yourself what every management expert asks… is it possible to automate daily tasks in order to make room for more important activities?

Advanced dealer management systems focus on the importance of time, with features and tools that automate routine tasks and guarantee their successful completion, freeing up time that the dealership can invest in more important (and profitable) tasks.

Why is it so important to optimize time? Because time is money, and the more time we have, the more we can boost efficiency and sell more.

In this “before and after” article we will see a few examples of where a dealership may be wasting time, and how they can optimize activities.

Example 1: Non-optimized workshop

Appointment management

The dealership did not have an organized appointment schedule. They often rotated employees to pick up the phone, take note of the customer’s information and register the time, date and services required for the appointment, all in a spreadsheet. Even if mistakes were not made, much time was invested in a task that could be automated.

Vehicle reception

When a vehicle arrived at the workshop, a Service Advisor would begin the inspection and reception of the unit and register it on a sheet of paper that would later be turned into a Repair Order within the DMS. This was an obvious duplicate task: first the information was entered on paper, then it was typed into the system. In addition, the Service Advisor did not have any information previously provided by the customer at the moment of booking the appointment, meaning that they had to request and enter that information again.

Jobs performed on the vehicle

The technician in charge of the jobs searched for the Repair Order and requested the necessary parts from the Parts Department. Once they received the parts, work began on the vehicle. When a delay occurred, (lack of parts, poor infrastructure, broken tools, etc.), the technician waited until the issue was solved before they continued work.

Case 2 – Optimized workshop

Integrated and automatized processes

First, the dealer decided to implement an online scheduling tool, which allowed customers to book their own appointments; if they called instead, employees could complete the booking process much faster in a web browser. This eliminated the need for so many employees to be focused on this task; the booking process could be carried out by anyone from their tablet or smartphone.

Service Advisors replaced their paper notebooks with digital checklists that could be completed from a tablet. This simplified their task and, once the reception of the vehicle was complete, the Repair Order would be created automatically in the DMS. Those two features alone saved a significant amount of time in the daily routine of each employee.

The third strategy, and probably the most effective one, was to monitor everything that happened at the workshop in real time. The service manager could easily track how each technician invested their time. This information helped the service manager detect:

  • Whether a job was delayed due to lack of parts, so they could quickly place an order.
  • Whether a job was delayed due to poor infrastructure, so they could take pertinent measures.
  • Delays due to lack of training.

How did the dealer use each minute saved?

Each minute saved was automatically turned into available time to focus on more profitable tasks and processes.

Technicians had more time for training and could dedicate more time to each job, which brought about better results. In addition, mistakes due to overlapping of tasks, forgotten appointments, and bad management of the infrastructure were substantially reduced.

The result: Increased revenue and customer satisfaction. Time was recognized as one of the most important assets of the business.


Do you know exactly how time is invested in your workshop?

Autologica DMS is a leading expert in dealer management systems and counts with software tools that help improve workshop management. Request more info.