3 Benefits of Tracking Technician Wrench Time

The idea of closely monitoring a technician’s daily work with shop management software probably won’t be the most popular idea in the room, but there are some benefits. When GPS started to become much more accessible and affordable to companies, I’m sure there were some heated debates between veteran drivers and management. But today, it is part of the norm for many fleets.

Technology isn’t going to slow down, and organizations realize how beneficial it is to get better details on how their operation is running. The shop is no exception.

Technicians work hard, no doubt about it. They keep the fleet running and maintained. They help keep drivers safe by inspecting equipment and helping to prevent future problems if possible. The thought of tracking everything they do in the shop can give the impression that they aren’t trusted.

But often that isn’t the case. From a supervisor and upper management level, it’s just not possible to do the job well without having good information. And a lot of the data has to come from where the wrenches are being turned.

Here are 3 benefits of tracking technician wrench time with a shop management system:

 1. Identify what jobs technicians are best at and use it to your benefit.

Some technicians might be better at different things. If you weren’t out there on the floor watching them all closely, how would you know? By analyzing job completion times over a period of time, you will start to see that Bob might be more efficient at repair A than Joe. But Joe might be better at another other type of repair than Bob. With a busy day in the shop you certainly don’t want to assign a task to Joe that Bob could get done more efficiently.

 2. Validate training programs.

Now that you know what each of your technicians are better at, it brings up another issue. Why aren’t they all performing equally? Organizations can use this to analyze their own policies and training programs. Sometimes, what seems like big problems can be solved simply with additional training or communication. Maybe they don’t have time to focus on jobs because they have too many  administrative tasks. Maybe they are wasting too much time searching for equipment history records. A shop management solution can help find out what might be causing some of these inefficiencies and help you validate training initiatives.

3. Know if your workload is balanced.

Software like Collective Data’s Shop Interface Enhancement Option also helps to determine if shops have a balanced workload. For example, a screenshot of the Collective Data shop management system below shows the “Supervisor View”, a screen that allows supervisors to quickly see the status of all work in the shop and who it’s assigned to. For larger shops, this can become increasingly more important and beneficial.

By quickly looking at a list of tasks, you can see what is currently being worked on, what is completed and needs to be closed, as well as what tasks are still waiting for parts or waiting for someone to begin working on it.

Once there’s have a better view of the workload balance, more things can be closer to getting answered with data to back it up:

  1. Do we need to bring in more technicians to handle our workload?
  2. Is our equipment being compromised because we aren’t able to get work done quick enough or it gets missed?
  3. If our technicians are efficient and have more time for work, could we bring in external work to help increase revenue generated from the shop?

Conclusion

These are just some of the ways that fleets can use a shop management software system to improve how they operate, and much of it starts with tracking technician wrench time.