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A bad apple, or a rotten barrel?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 07:00
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We have heard the saying many times “A bad apple spoils the barrel.”

That is very true in so many cases and in business that is why management must focus on building the right culture with the right team and partners in place. That is not an easy task to do today, but it must be an on-going process as the shop adapts to the changing realities within the industry.

There is also another aspect to consider that is not talked about in our industry at all. Consider this statement: “Sometimes at some point you have to acknowledge the barrel is spoiling the apple.” 

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What this statement refers to is that the entire process of how business is being conducted within the shop is completely broken, and no matter how talented the staff they hire are, the culture that the shop runs under is not going to work. Consider these points as part of the checklist that the culture is an issue:

  • Finding the right people is a constant effort and nearly a full time job.
  • People that are hired do not stay with the company very long.
  • Attitudes throughout the shop are negative.
  • A team atmosphere of each staff and management member having each other’s back does not exist.
  • Less than 2.5 billed hours per R/O is the average in the automotive service shop.
  • The shop pays more attention to measuring sales each day/week/month instead of productivity.
  • The total shop site efficiency measurement is in the 50 - 59 percent range instead of the minimum of 75 percent that is required today.
  • The shop labor rates are set at a marketplace competitive range instead of a staff competency range.
  • The shop is still a breakdown and repair shop instead of embracing the required client focused service on need business model.
  • Management does not engage the staff in full business discussions and asking their input for solutions.
  • New business from referrals does not happen on a regular basis.
  • The majority of the shop’s customer base is price-focussed.
  • The shop does not pay the top marketplace wages in all positions within the shop.
  • Management wages are below the top technicians’ wages.

Those are just some basic examples that prove it is the barrel that needs to be changed, not just the apple.

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