Auto Repair Financing
Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Olive oil Change?
"It's all about beating the time." This offer comes from a sensible old service administrator, advising me on how to increase my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you have ever wondered why your vehicle doesn't get fixed correctly, or your entire concerns weren't tackled, you can blame, partly, the flat-rate pay framework.
Flat-rate simply means that your mechanic is paid a flat fee for a specific repair, regardless of how long the repair actually takes. In other words, if your vehicle needs a water pump, which gives two hours of labor, and the auto technician completes the work in one hour, he gets payed for two.
In theory, this may work to your advantage. If the job takes longer, you'll still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay composition was created to drive productivity. It's very effective. The flat-rate pay system motivates technicians to work solid, but it does not promote quality.
In terms of getting your car set correctly, the flat-rate pay framework has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to overcome the clock in order to maximize the number of hours they expenses. Experienced flat-rate technicians can costs anywhere from 16 to 50 time within an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck rate at which chiseled rate technicians work that result in some of the most idiotic mistakes. Within the rapid-fire pace of an shop I've observed technicians start machines with no oil. I've seen transmissions fallen, smashing into little parts onto the shop floor. And I've seen automobiles driven through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time clock."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite intricate with shortcuts. The best was the execution of 6-foot-long 2-by-4, that was placed under the engine unit for support while a motor unit support was removed. It made employment predetermined to have 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The specialist makes extra money; you get your car back faster.
Actually, oftentimes the keeping this 2-by-4 ruined the oil pan. Moreover, it caused the car, your vehicle, to balance precariously 6 toes in the air, as the technician manipulated the car lift to gain access to your engine support.
This tactic was abruptly discontinued whenever a technician's 2-by-4 snapped creating the car to crash nasal area down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very subtle disruptions, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a car had its transmitting serviced with a new filtration, gasket, and liquid. During the procedure, the technician could save time by bending the transmitting dipstick tube marginally, in order to find the transmission pan out faster. The automobile was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the pipe back into place and off it went--no problems....
Six months later, the automobile returned with an intermittent misfire. The engine motor wasn't running on all cylinders. After intensive diagnostics, it was discovered that the transmitting dipstick tube had chaffed through the engine motor funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's odd. Don't usually notice that.
The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts demonstrate the devastating ramifications of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay structure on the grade of car repairs.
No marvel even an olive oil change gets screwed up!
The indegent quality of work encouraged by the level rate pay composition is disconcerting enough. Regrettably, it doesn't stop here. The unwanted effects of flat-rate get exponentially more serious, as it starts "wide" the door to rip you off!