Bosses should recognize that technicians' preliminary safety steps prevent costly blunders during maintenance and repair tasks.
Contrary to what some tire dealers and service shop operators have told me, precautionary measures are not a waste of the company's valuable time. Instead, several "safety" minutes are a proven investment in completing jobs correctly the first time — not to mention on time.
As I have stressed in previous columns, fixing a vehicle correctly the first time and meeting a repair deadline are essential to meeting customers' expectations.
Over the years, I have heard bosses criticize sensible precautions as a needless waste of time. Because time is money, I understand their concerns about maximizing efficiency and productivity out in the bays.
But based on my shop experience, capable and conscientious techs only spend several minutes on prudent precautions borne of experience. A classic example is covering passages so stray objects cannot fall inside a partially disassembled engine.
Undoubtedly, monitoring techs' time is an important aspect of running a successful automotive service facility. But maintaining a business' hard-earned reputation is an equally important goal.
When techs invest several minutes here and there in proven precautions, the results eventually bolster the business' bottom line. Mistake-free repair jobs create repeat customers and generate word-of-mouth advertising.
Furthermore, techs' preliminary precautions may enhance time management in an unexpected way. After monitoring these steps, for example, a savvy service manager may incorporate them into certain tasks and then update the labor fees for those jobs accordingly.
Here I will discuss two very simplistic but valuable job precautions.