Auto Repair Shop
Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Petrol Change?
"It's about beating the clock." This quote comes from a sensible old service manager, advising me about how to increase my income as a flat-rate technician. If you have ever wondered why your vehicle doesn't get set correctly, or all your concerns weren't tackled, you can blame, partly, the flat-rate pay structure.
Flat-rate simply means that your mechanic is paid a flat fee for a specific repair, it doesn't matter how long the repair actually requires. In other words, if your car needs a drinking water pump, which gives two hours of labor, and the mechanic completes the job in one hour, he gets paid for two.
In theory, this can work to your advantage. If the job takes longer, you still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay framework was created to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system motivates technicians to work solid, but it generally does not promote quality.
In terms to getting your car set accurately, the flat-rate pay composition has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to overcome the clock to be able to maximize the amount of hours they costs. Experienced flat-rate technicians can costs anywhere from 16 to 50 hours in an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck rate at which level rate technicians work that bring about some of the most idiotic mistakes. Within the rapid-fire pace of the shop I've witnessed technicians start machines with no engine oil. I've seen transmissions fell, smashing into little portions onto the shop floor. And I've seen autos driven through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the clock."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite elaborate with shortcuts. The best was the execution of the 6-foot-long 2-by-4, which was located under the engine unit for support while a electric motor support was removed. It made employment predetermined to use 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The technician makes extra cash; you get your car back faster.
Actually, oftentimes the placement of this 2-by-4 broken the oil skillet. Moreover, it triggered the car, your vehicle, to balance precariously 6 foot in the air, while the technician manipulated the automobile lift to access your engine support.
This tactic was abruptly discontinued whenever a technician's 2-by-4 snapped causing the automobile to crash nasal area down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very understated disturbances, which create problems overtime. An instant example: a vehicle had its transmitting serviced with a fresh filter, gasket, and substance. During the process, the technician could save time by bending the transmission dipstick tube slightly, in order to find the transmission pan out faster. The vehicle was reassembled, and the tech re-bent the pipe back into place and off it went--no concerns....
Half a year later, the vehicle came back with an intermittent misfire. The engine unit wasn't running on all cylinders. After considerable diagnostics, it was learned that the transmitting dipstick tube experienced chaffed through the engine motor funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's strange. Don't usually note that.
The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts demonstrate the devastating ramifications of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay composition on the quality of car repairs.
No question even an petrol change gets screwed up!
The indegent quality of work inspired by the smooth rate pay framework is disconcerting enough. Sadly, it generally does not stop here. The unwanted effects of flat-rate get exponentially more serious, as it starts "wide" the entranceway to rip you off!