Sep 25, 2013

Overhead in a Diesel Repair Shop

Overhead in a Diesel Repair Shop

What’s the right mount of overhead in a diesel repair shop?

Businesses Get Bloated

The founders of 37signals wrote an excellent book called Getting Real, which is loaded with useful ideas for running a lean business. You see, businesses have a tendency to get bloated–with people, paperwork, processes that long ago outlived their usefulness, etc. Here’s an excerpt that would apply to any diesel repair shop that’s been around for a while:

Whenever Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, used to fire someone, he didn’t immediately hire a replacement. He wanted to see how long ge could get along without that person and that position. We’re certainly not advocating firing people to test this theory, but we do think Jack is on to something: You don’t need as many people as you think.

Trim Overhead in a Diesel Repair Shop

When you’ve got a Freightliner M2 112 rolling into the bay in need of immediate service, with all the other bays full or backed up, the last thing you want to be is short-staffed. This principle rarely applies to front-line workers who are actually driving revenue for the shop–your technicians. It’s the overhead in a diesel repair shop you should be worried about.

So maybe you’re thinking about making that new overhead hire because business is booming. You think you have a problem, that more business means more overhead needed–that there doesn’t seem to be any options other than throwing more bodies at that problem.

Take a step back and consider whether a shift in some outdated process, or a streamlining of paperwork–or, of course, whether adopting a shop management software for your shop like Fullbay–would solve the problem instead.

Jacob Findlay