We asked dealership managers: How much does your shop rely on flat-rate pay to compensate your service technicians?
"All of our mainline technicians are flat rate. This helps drive efficiency and productivity in the shop. Although we have started the conversation for moving our master diagnostic technicians to a salary base-type pay, we have not done so yet. With all the advances in technology in the new-model vehicles that warrant more diagnostic time for repairs, we will need to do something different for these master-level technicians in the near future."
JENNIFER LORD, Service manager, Toyota of Seattle
"Our technician compensation is based 100 percent on the flat-rate system, including our quick-service technicians. With the complexity of today's vehicles and the shortage of technicians, we are looking for more creative ways to compensate them. I believe an alternative method of compensation will be necessary in the future, both to attract those interested in the trade and to compensate technicians more fairly."
PAT HOGAN, General manager, Sellers Buick-GMC, Farmington Hills, Mich.
"Flat-rate technicians are very important to getting the job done correctly and in a timely fashion. The compensation is a motivator, as they can get paid for more hours than they are currently working. We also spiff them on tiers of hours; for example, if they produce over 45, over 50 and so on. The compensation is a deterrent to having them look elsewhere."
MIKE KIELY, Service manager, Advantage Hyundai, Hicksville, N.Y.
"All of our technicians are paid on flat rate. The biggest advantage is that technicians only get paid for the time they flag. There is no compensation for time spent socializing, smoking or taking breaks. This motivates our technicians to be productive, because if they aren't flagging hours, they aren't getting paid. There is a greater sense of urgency to get jobs done quickly and to recommend additional work for the service adviser to sell."
CORI KING, Fixed ops director, Findlay Buick-GMC, Prescott, Ariz.
"We run our full-service team on flat-rate pay, but with a graduating scale. Flat rate is just the core portion of our pay plan. By graduating the scale of pay fairly, yet pushing our technicians to be highly productive, the technician and the shop succeed and share a value proposition. It isn't just the pay, flat rate or other, that motivates and rewards our technicians."
FRANK TINNEY, Service manager, Beatrice Ford-Lincoln, Beatrice, Neb.
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