Keeping a tech at his workspace means he should never be tasked with fetching his own parts. Any kit that cannot be stored in his bay should be provided to him by a dedicated parts runner.
“Our techs are most valuable when they’re in their bay,” says Ernst. “The instant they get up and start moving about the building looking for something — our productivity slows down.”
Ryan says parts runners are typically parts department employees and should work in conjunction with your parts and service counters.
Once trucks are diagnosed in an assessment bay their parts needed are identified and sent to the parts department. There, an employee picks the components for the repair and provides them to the parts runner who places them in the bay where the repair will be completed.
Rubini says this method is in place at his shop.
“Our service writer knows what’s going to be involved in a job and he calls the parts counter and they deliver them to the bay where the truck is coming in.”
In-bay technology also should allow technicians to contact the parts department for additional components previously not acquired but necessary for a repair. These parts will also be delivered to the tech by the parts runner.
“Our tech to support ratio is 3-to-1, where in most shops I’d bet it is 6-to-1 or more,” says Ernst. “I want them supported; I don’t want a tech to be forced to get up and have to wait at the parts counter for a 10-cent item because our other parts guys are tied up.”