Four years ago, Bozard Ford-Lincoln built what it calls the largest Quick Lane building in the country at 11,400 square feet. It was big — and slow. Its customers typically waited two to three hours for an oil change.
To fix the problem, Bozard reinvented the idea of teamwork in its fixed operations.
"Now, if it takes an hour to do an oil change, it's a failure," said Ed Roberts, Bozard's parts and service director. "We need to be able to do it within 45 minutes. With speed, you have to have coordination."
The St. Augustine, Fla., dealership started its Quick Service Teams program in the Quick Lane operation in 2014 and its offshoot, the Service Teams pro-gram, in the main service shop a year later.
Since doing so, service business has skyrocketed, customer satisfaction and loyalty have risen, service tech production has soared and revenues have escalated. In addition, turnover in service jobs is just 3 percent a year compared with 20 percent before the programs' launch.
Most service technicians in the programs work in teams of two, sharing pay and producing better work, faster. Today, the average time to do an oil change and tire rotation, wash the car and cash the customer out is 48 minutes, Roberts said.
"You have twice the brainpower to diagnose the vehicle, so you can do it faster," he said. "One guy can go get the parts while the other starts the work."
Adds Jeff King, Bozard's general manager, "When two people are working together and splitting pay, they're obligated not to lay down because they're not only affecting their pay, but they are affecting someone else's."
It's a win for the techs, too. They make more money sharing pay because their production rises as a team vs. working solo. That means they can work on more vehicles, earning more pay, King said.
Bozard Ford-Lincoln sells about 5,000 new and used vehicles a year, King said. Its service business does about 5,600 repair orders each month. But it wasn't always that way.
"I got here seven years ago and we were selling 50 new and used cars a month," said King. "We're selling 400 now and we'll do $200 million in revenue this year. The issue isn't if our customer satisfaction index has improved, it's whether we can maintain excellent CSI with a huge increase in traffic."
Before Bozard built its giant Quick Lane center in 2013, it handled about 1,500 repair orders a month. Once Quick Lane opened, Bozard's monthly repair orders doubled. To keep up, King and Roberts knew service techs had to work faster without sacrificing quality. Ford Motor Co. had suggested dealers try two-member teams. King and Roberts embraced the idea, and had been testing the team concept with service advisers since late 2012.
"It helped with the flow of the service department there because if someone goes to lunch, the team member knows about Mrs. Smith's car and can go get it," King said. "And one might know more about tires than the other."