“It really is all about beating the clock.” This quote comes from a smart old service manager, advising me on how to maximize my revenue as a flat-price technician. If you have ever wondered why your vehicle does not get fixed appropriately, or all your issues weren't addressed, you can blame, in portion, the flat-price spend structure.

Flat-price basically implies that your mechanic is paid a flat charge for a certain repair, regardless of how extended the repair really requires. In other words, if your vehicle desires a water pump, which pays two hours of labor, and the mechanic completes the job in one particular hour, he gets paid for two.

In theory, this can operate to your benefit. If the job requires longer, you nonetheless only spend the “predetermined” labor quantity. In THEORY, not reality!

The flat-price spend structure is made to drive productivity. It really is really efficient. The flat-price spend program encourages technicians to operate difficult and quick, but it does not market top quality.

In terms of acquiring your vehicle fixed appropriately, the flat-price spend structure has disastrous effects. Flat-price technicians are frequently seeking for shortcuts to beat the clock in order to maximize the quantity of hours they bill. Skilled flat-price technicians can bill anyplace from 16 to 50 hours in an eight hour day.

It really is these shortcuts and the breakneck speed at which flat price technicians operate that outcome in some of the most idiotic blunders. In the speedy-fire pace of a shop I've witnessed technicians start out engines with no oil. I've observed transmissions dropped, smashing into small pieces onto the shop floor. And I've observed vehicles driven correct by way of bay doors–all in the name of “beating the clock.”

Flat-price technicians can get really elaborate with shortcuts. My favourite was the implementation of an eight-foot-extended two-by-four, which was placed below the engine for assistance whilst a motor mount was removed. It produced a job predetermined to take 1.five hours achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, correct? The technician tends to make added income you get your vehicle back more rapidly. Essentially, in several instances the placement of this two-by-four broken the oil pan. In addition, it triggered the vehicle, your vehicle, to balance precariously six feet in the air, whilst the technician manipulated the vehicle lift to access your engine mount. This tactic was abruptly discontinued when a technician's two-by-four snapped causing the vehicle to crash nose down onto the concrete floor.


At times the shortcuts produce really subtle disturbances, which produce troubles overtime. A fast instance: a car had its transmission serviced with a new filter, gasket, and fluid. Through the process, the technician was in a position to save time by bending the transmission dipstick tube slightly, in order to get the transmission pan out more rapidly. The car was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the tube back into location and off it went–no worries….

Six months later, the car returned with an intermittent misfire. The engine wasn't operating on all cylinders. Soon after substantial diagnostics, it was found that the transmission dipstick tube had chaffed by way of the engine harness, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that is strange. Do not generally see that.

The higher-speed atmosphere and the subsequent shortcuts illustrate the devastating effects of the flat-price, sales-driven spend structure on the top quality of vehicle repairs. No wonder even an oil transform gets screwed up!

The poor top quality of operate encouraged by the flat price spend structure is disconcerting sufficient. Sadly, it does not cease right here. The adverse effects of flat-price get exponentially worse as it opens wide the door to rip you off!