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Implementing non-negotiables can help set standards for your shop

Friday, September 28, 2018 - 07:00
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I’ve read several articles lately debating who is in charge of a shop — the owner or the insurance company. I don’t think it is just between those two entities. There are a lot of moving pieces in shop operations and taking charge of all of them is challenging at best. I hear shop owners say, “I’ve got control of this and this, but then a technician calls out and I’m back to square one.”  While some people would consider this drama, I would like you to start thinking about it as opportunity.

I learned years ago looking at things as opportunities is more beneficial than participating in the drama often found in our industry. One of the people who helped me learn that was Dave Dunn through his book Liquid Amalgam, a quick read that focuses on principles viewed as “unchangeables” or what I like to call non-negotiables. It doesn’t matter which term you choose; what matters is you identify principles, develop them and then don’t waver on them.

A few weeks ago, myself and a shop owner discussed how a certain insurance company wanted their estimates written differently than any others he writes. As we discussed it further, I learned that he had trained his estimators to write all estimates the same way using specific processes. He explained that everyone from the technician, to the painter, parts person and detailer knew what to expect when they received a repair order because they all looked the same. He added, “It upsets me that an insurance company can dictate how we write estimates.”

Let’s look at that for a minute. 

If you have a process you expect your people to always follow, what kind of signal are you sending to them if you sometimes change the process for one insurance company? As we continued to talk, I shared my thoughts on the difference between sometimes and always, which I will share with you.

Sometimes = Sporadic Obedience Makes Efforts Turn Into Mediocre Existence and Stagnation

Always = Accountability and Loyalty Will Accommodate Your Sustainability

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