FEATURE BY DUSTIN JONES SHOP EFFICIENCY M y specialty is helping dealers squeeze every ounce of performance from their reconditioning so they get more cars sale-ready faster to save money and meet demand. One costly error occurs when a service or recon manager reactively adds a technician to meet volume requirements and seemingly improve shop labor efficiency. Sometimes this is the right decision, but often not. CONSIDER TIME LEAKS BEFORE ADDING A TECHNICIAN If you are in a position to face this decision, before you go any further, first consider TIME LEAKS that might be in your process. When discovered and remedied, your current techs might deliver a sufficient level of increased productivity and profitability to solve your issues -- without adding headcount and payroll. AN ACTUAL EXAMPLE FROM HISTORY One dealership faced this decision. But before they hired staff, I asked to visit and observe their shop 38 Cure shop inefficiency with a technician's bonus pay plan practices. As part of my analysis, I audited the service department's payroll. As a result, I had my solution. An underperforming line technician had cost the department $6,700 a month in lost production. Although these losses can happen in different scenarios, the primary cause here was slack service manager oversight. This laxity encouraged at least one technician to be less productive than his potential.