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Working Efficiently Vs. Cutting Corners

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Technicians Only Working Efficiently Vs. Cutting Corners

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Jason White Jason White 5 years ago.

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    Topic
  • #883444
    Eric
    Eric
    Participant

    I can’t stand people in this business who say things like “you need to hustle more” or “you need to get that job done faster” or any sentiment like that. I strive to work as efficiently as possible, while still doing the same quality job. I think flat rate in particular breeds this attitude of “I just have to get this done as quickly as possible” and the quality of work they put out suffers.

    For example, when I do a brake job, I clean under the rattle clips, put anti-seize under them, brake lube where the pads ride, grease the slide pins, put anti-seize on the wheel hub so the wheels don’t get stuck (No excuse for stuck wheels IMO, if it gets stuck once put anti-seize on it and be done with it). But every flat rate tech I’ve ever seen would just slap new pads and rotors on, not lubricate anything, slam the wheels back on and ship it out the door, and IMO that’s not right. It’s all about quantity over quality with them. I always said working at the dealership that they would rather have something done quickly and half assed than down slower but done right.

    My high school shop teacher always told us “Focus on doing the job RIGHT and the speed will come naturally”, and I’ve taken that to heart in my approach of fixing vehicles. I REFUSE to rush through a job and cut corners just because of an incompetent, ignorant service writer/manager/customer. IMO if they don’t have the time to have their vehicle serviced PROPERLY, I don’t want them as my customer, because that shows that they don’t care about their car or the person working on it. And they have been catered to in this business with the attitude of “everything can be done quickly and still be done right”. IMO you can only be SO efficient and still do the same quality of work before you start cutting corners. A repair has a certain number of steps needed to complete the job right, and I encourage people to streamline that and make it as efficient as possible, but don’t skip steps in the name of “getting the job done faster”.

    Always told service writers who came up to me and said “We got a waiter that needs to be out of here in 45 minutes, can you do x job (which was always more than 45 minutes) that fast? I have the philosophy that “Waiters gonna wait” and I wasn’t about to bust my ass just because a DA customers is in a hurry. It’ll be done when it’s done. I don’t work well under pressure and have found that most people put under pressure will not take the time to do a quality job, they will just do the bare minimum it takes to get it done and get it out the door. How would you feel if your heart surgeon was trying to “beat the clock” while he’s doing a bypass surgery?

    What are your guy’s thoughts on this subject? Where do you draw the line between “working efficiently” and “cutting corners” ?

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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  • #883566
    Jim Schweikhardt
    Jim Schweikhardt
    Participant

    You are 100% correct. Do the job right the first time and yes you get faster with experience. I may not be 100% ‘BY THE BOOK’ guy, but am close. Over time I learned some short cuts to be more efficient, but quality never suffers. When I get frustrated with a repair, I take a break, come back fresh. It helps so much.
    Cut corners and your work will eventually suffer as well as your reputation. Good luck finding work if that happens.

    #883963
    Eric
    Eric
    Participant

    Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t get more of a response on here, especially with all the guys out there that are against flat rate. I’ll say right here that if labor times were fair (which lots of them aren’t, think rust belt cars and warranty work) and the shop either has enough volume so you make enough hours, or they offer some kind of hour guarantee for the slow weeks (30-35 hour a week guarantee), then flat rate would be the best way to pay techs IMO. Labor times are calculated on brand new vehicles in laboratory conditions, with all the tools needed laid out on a bench, it’s a cookie cutter approach that says “x job should take x time, every time, no exceptions” and that just doesn’t reflect the real world. It’s just a way to pay techs the bare minimum while saying “Well, the book time is x, so you just need to hustle more” No, they need to pay me enough time to do it properly, not just slap parts on and ship it out the door as quick as possible.

    I’ve found that most places cannot find a happy medium between speed and quality, and most favor speed over quality to a detriment. I STRIVE for efficiency and want to do every job as fast as possible, while still doing the same quality of work.

    #885734
    Jason White
    Jason White
    Participant

    As long as the finished product is the way it’s suppose to be, you didn’t cut corners. Never compromise quality for speed, that will bite you. If I did everything by the book, I’d be there all day and night. For instance, the SM tells us to remove the whole drivetrain when doing a transmission replacement. With a pole jack and/or engine support bar I leave all that in there, usually don’t even remove the axles. In the end, it’s better, less connectors disconnected, less bolts and nuts threaded and unthreaded, less parts moved.

    I really don’t get these shops with their hustle mentality. Considering how much mistakes can cost them. Just glad I don’t work in all that.

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