When it comes to tracking the service department’s performance, Wayne Brozek, consultant and trainer with WB Global Services, lists the following as his top 4 metrics to monitor. 

1. Productivity 

The service manager is the one responsible for productivity. Although some people define productivity differently, for the sake of this article, Brozek considers productivity the number of hours a technician is in the shop working on a revenue-generating repair. 

Productivity can never be over 100%, Brozek says. “Productivity, again, measures how many hours they're in the shop available to work and how many of those hours did you put on a revenue ticket? So, the max you can be is a 100%.” 

Brozek says scheduling and marketing are two big ways to improve productivity. “If you're not keeping your technicians productive the entire day, maybe you need to solicit more work. Maybe you need to look at a scheduling board because they're running out of work. You can put in grid pricing to help you be more competitive on maintenance jobs and hire on specialized jobs,” he says. 

“On productivity, we want you to be at 88% or greater efficiency. We want you at 100% or greater as an entire shop. Service managers, you're responsible for the productivity,” says Brozek.

2. Efficiency 

Technician efficiency, on the other hand, can be over 100%. Efficiency is determined by billed hours divided by revenue hours. Technicians are responsible for their efficiency.  

“Out of 8 hours, we want to keep our technician busy for 8. He’s productive 100%. Now, if we take those 8 hours and we're able to bill 10, his efficiency's 121% or 122%, right? He's over 100%, and that's our goal.”

While efficiency is the technician’s individual responsibility, service managers can help them improve it through training, whether that is on equipment, tools or their work habits. 

“Sometimes we have ‘Social Sam’ who wants to spend 30 minutes talking to everybody in the department twice a day. We’ve got to work on their work habits,” Brozek says. 

He adds that the quickest and best way to improve efficiency is by quoting jobs. He says if you are quoting, you should be able to get above 100% efficiency because the technicians know what is expected of them and how many hours are going to be billed. 

“They know how long it's going to take them. They have a roadmap to get there,” he says. 

3. Proficiency 

Proficiency is the third metric Brozek monitors. It’s determined by adding productivity and efficiency. The ideal proficiency score is 188% (88% productivity + 100% efficiency). 

“When parts managers, service managers and technicians are all working together, you can easily achieve that 188% metric. It sounds like a stretch to some people today, but after a few months of working at it a year, you can get to 188% pretty easily,” Brozek says. 

4. Billing Cycle Times

Billing cycle times how long it takes from the last labor punch for you as a service manager to close that work order, explains Brozek. “We don't want any games played. Some service managers will clock somebody in under the supervisor tab for a couple of seconds, clock them back off, and that changes the report. We call that gaming the system. Do that once or twice, and that's it. Never do it again.”

Ideally, the billing cycle time should be 12-24 hours for any work order that was 8 hours or less. All other work orders, Brozek says, should be closed out in 3 days or less. 

“Remember, time is cash, and cash is king. Close every day and month end as just another day. That'll help you,” he says.