Typical days in the shop
Imagine this: a truck comes sputtering into the shop early one morning. The driver is completely distrught, during his morning commute smoke began to billow, there were grinding noises and it barely made it to the garage before coming to a complete halt. He looks at you with pleading eyes as he gets into a cab and rushes off to work, immediately you jump in. You work right through lunch, your arms and hands are coated with grease and oil as a majority of the engine is lying in pieces around the truck. You just know that you are moments from solving the problem. Just then someone comes rushing in, dropping a set of keys in your lap saying "This car needs to be filled up with gas" and with the expectation that it will be done, just walks away.
With a snap of the fingers
You look at the keys, look at the truck you're working on and then at the door shutting behind the person that dropped the keys in your lap. Knowing both need to be done you shrug, besides filling the car will only take a moment and you did skip lunch, so you rush off to the gas station. Eating your sadwich as you walk back to the garage after dropping the keys off, then two customers come up telling you about their vehicles that needed to be serviced, and the truck that needs a road call. AS you try to listen you can feel your blood pressure rising. Your mind is racing with logistics on the hours of the day, how you are going to get everything done, deal with the unexpected surprises and keeping customers happy all at the same time.
So how do you keep your composure and maintain an economical schedule all at the same time? Well you can always fall back on practice making perfect, but the ultimate way of keeping your cool and keeping the garage on track is having good people. Meaning; the car gets filled up by one of the service managers who had a break between calls, the mechanics are working double and sometimes over time to get their current jobs up and running to cover for the mechanic that went out on the road call. Handeling days like that one is how we grow our customer base, with the customer service and dedication to getting the job done and done right with efficiency is how we all grow.
Sometimes more really is better...
Spring has sprung and trucks have been rolling into High Gear! With five bays, four mechanics and more than a few busy days we have been blessed with a busy shop and a need for more mechanics. Personnel changes, shop expansions plans in the makings, and one over achieving CRV and we have a very, very busy shop. So the search for more mechanics has come.
The mechanics of mechanics
Having just lost one great mechanic to a simplier life, High Gear was hustling to keep up with the work load but finding good mechanics has proved harder than it looks. Finding the appropriate amount of experience without sacrifing in another area has been a challenge, forcing High Gear to find new ways to find the right mechanics. There are a lot of things to consider, in selecting a mechanic, the skill is a given, but finding someone with the integrity and work ethic we want, who can also answer customer's questions, be trusted with their vehicles and be personable enough to work with and around the other mechanics in the shop makes it all the more challenging.
Finding the right fit
I wouldn't say that High Gear is picky but...no, actually I would. But when it comes to another individual's vehicle it has to be the right person. So the search continues, we have gained a few new mechanics but as we are still growing, we are still searching.
- Photo Credits: Phil Greatorex Photography