What to do when Your Shop has a Lull

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Ever find your shop in a time with little or no business? We all have them from time to time. It could be a downturn in the economy that reduces freight volumes and finds many trucks parked. Conversely, an upturn in the economy may see trucks in high demand, leaving shops empty for a time.

A lull in the action should be used to take care of much needed functions like cleaning and disinfecting. We have all had this hammered home to us in pandemic times. Use off time to update protocols for handling of sensitive and dangerous materials and make your people aware of them.

Organizing tool rooms and inventory storage are also important to the overall efficiency of the shop. Tool rooms in disarray waste technicians’ time when they have to search for a special piece of equipment. And a messy parts room is another big time waster. Get these areas set up in a way that saves time. Time is money.

How to Increase Shop Productivity

If you don’t already have one, it’s time to invest in a shop management system that can automate many outdated shop functions such as hand writing of repair orders and other documents your shop uses daily. The management system turns all these paper items into digital format stored online for convenience and immediate accessibility.

We recommend EMDECS as a tried and proven software system. It has enabled increased productivity in shops across the globe. And it’s based on decades of heavy truck repair experience.

Training for Techs

Take advantage of the time available to update training for technicians. Much training is readily procured online, even with complete courses. Training gives technicians a feeling of self-worth and a positive outlook on their careers. Check with OEMs to see what specialized training they have available and get your techs enrolled in them to expand your shop’s versatility.

And techs who feel good about themselves and confident in their abilities make your shop look good. That brings in customers and makes you money. Make sure they also are trained on the most recent EMDECS updates to ensure efficiency. Customers will be amazed at the power of your system. Reach out to them and invite them to see how it works and how technology rules In your shop.

Remind Fleets About Coming PMs

Take time to remind fleet customers about coming PMs so as not to miss them. If your customers are also in a lull they may want PMs carried out while both trucking and repair shops experience off time, helping themselves and your shop to keep active and offsetting the lack of business.

A Few More Ideas

We can’t think of a better time to consider getting that website you’ve been wanting for your shop. Use it to put your contact info in front of more potential customers. Include testimonials from satisfied clients. Spread the word on what services your shop provides. Think of the investment as a valuable marketing tool that will bring in new business and solidify relationships with existing fleet customers.

Think about using the site to provide a blog with useful content for customers to solidify relationships with clients and keep your shop name top of mind. If you don’t have a writer in your midst, contemplate contracting one to write the blog posts for your site. Before you hire be sure to check writing samples to qualify them.

Maybe you’d like to run a promotion to bring in new and already existing fleet clients. Special price offerings on frequently performed maintenance and repairs can attract business in times when there is little action in the shop.

We realize that most of our suggestions require investments and it may not seem like a lack of business makes a good time for extra spending. But remember, it takes money to make money and those with deep pockets make the most money.

So maybe you can’t bring yourself to implement all our recommendations or even most of them. But do yourself a big favor: get EMDECS for your team. It will simplify their lives and streamline many procedures in your shop. Request a demo and see for yourself how much brighter the future can be.