Episode Description

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, Tully Williams, Fixed Operations Director, The Niello Company joins us for an exciting episode. Tully shows his passion for the automotive industry by discussing ways shops can keep their technicians happy. He talks about why flat rate gets a bad name, how shops can care for their technicians, and how to improve the manager and technician relationship.

Watch the Full Episode

Why Flat Rate Gets a Bad Name

  • When you run a successful store, if a technician isn’t efficient, you’re going to make them better. If the technician doesn’t have the skill set, maybe this industry isn’t for them.
  • Provide a special program for senior technicians that have been around for a long time. If they work hard, they get rewarded. Put them on an hourly plan, and if they produce more than eight hours a day, pay them more per hour.
  • The goal is to ensure everybody makes money for themselves and their families, cars are fixed correctly, and we can drive repeat referral business.
  • Flat rate can be a great thing, but shops have to train, coach, mentor, and show the success of a technician.
  • If a shop is truly in the repeat and referral business, they want maintenance. Maintenance drives effective labor rate and drives hours per hour down.

Caring for Your Technicians

  • Everything starts with employee satisfaction. If your employees aren’t happy, your customers won’t be happy.
  • Have a list of core values in the shop. If there is a problem, tie it back to those core values and talk about it.
  • Give technicians a clear career path. Meet with them every three months to see where they are in their path.
  • As a manager, ask yourself, “Is your shop fun?” Everybody works better when they’re happy.
  • Be proactive in communication. Talk with your technicians often and be transparent in the numbers and layout your plans.
  • As a service manager, you need to talk with your technicians and have strong communication skills.

Improving the Manager and Technician Relationship

  • Shops need to ensure they have the correct amount of managers servicing technicians so they can manage them properly.
  • As a shop, ensure your service managers are taken care of. If you have constant turnover within your team, it’s hard to build a stable culture and build relationships.
  • Employees can have stressful days, but it can’t be every day.
  • A manager’s focus needs to be on customer issues, employee issues, and how do I keep our employees happy and efficient?

Show Notes


Learn more about WrenchWay Top Shops

Download the free WrenchWay app in the App Store or on Google Play:

About Our Host:

Jay Goninen
Co-Founder & President, WrenchWay
jayg@wrenchway.com | 608.716.2122

About Our Guest:

Tully Williams
Fixed Operations Director, The Niello Company


Collabtic gives your technicians the confidence and insight they need to service their customers. Collabtic’s A.I.-driven knowledge base builds organization intelligence as the system is used to provide proactive recommendations to technicians. To learn more about if Collabtic would be a solution you would like to add to your shop, check out collabtic.com.

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