Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 40

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

NEVER
SAY
NEVER


Despite stresses, Sunday service hours can be a boon to dealerships

T

JENNY KING

he service department at Olathe Toyota in Olathe, Kan., is open on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's among
only 7 percent of U.S. dealerships that
provide full Sunday service, the National Automobile Dealers Association reports.
It hasn't always been easy to assign 13 shop
employees to work on Sunday, concedes Tom
Blackman, Olathe Toyota's fixed operations
director. Most applicants for jobs in his service department don't want schedules that
include Sunday hours, he says.
But other workers prefer the predictability
of Sunday shifts, Blackman says. And in any
event, he told Fixed Ops Journal, the dealership continues to buck the closed-Sunday
trend for "one reason: customer convenience."
About 80 percent of Olathe Toyota's Sunday
work consists of maintenance jobs, including
quick service, Blackman says. The dealership
averages 55 repair orders each Sunday.
Efficient dispatchers and a system of green,
yellow and red lights that lets service customers know how much of a wait they face help
the department manage its workload, Blackman says.

Shutdown costs
So-called blue laws in several states continue to limit dealership operations on Sunday.
Union contracts at some dealerships rule out
Sunday work for service employees. Religious
resistance to Sunday commerce still prevails
in some communities.
But where such things aren't obstacles, industry analysts say, service departments can
build good will and loyalty among customers
by opening on Sunday. Expanded schedules
also enable dealerships to compete better
with aftermarket quick-lube and auto-repair
stores, they add.
"Dealerships are retail," says Rick Wegley,
an instructor with NCM Associates, a dealership consulting and training firm in Kansas
City Mo. "The need is there. It costs you not to
be open."
Bonnie Knutson, a professor in the School of
Hospitality Business in the Broad College of
Business at Michigan State University, says

PAGE 40

country, the rate of such service was no more
than 2 percent, the study said.
Dealership express-lube lanes were slightly
more likely than service bays to be open on
Sunday in most regions, according to NADA.
Parts departments had similar patterns of
Sunday operations to those of full-service
shops, the report found. The study added that
"almost no body shops were open on Sunday."

foj@autonews.com

OCTOBER 2017

Sunday ticket

Sunday punch
Thinking about providing full Sunday
service? Here are suggestions from
dealerships that have made it work.
 Survey your customers about their
interest in the option of Sunday
service.
 Discourage repair/diagnostic work
for walk-in customers; encourage
Sunday appointments.
 Get service employees to buy in by
explaining advantages of Sunday
service: more efficient use of
facilities, better ability to compete
with aftermarket shops, greater
flexibility in work schedules.
 Make sure you have in hand the
parts you're likely to need on
Sunday; don't assume you can get
them over the weekend.
 Treat Sunday service as a work in
process; expect to spend as much
as a year getting it right.

consumers expect "convenience, customized
service and control of the experience."
Dealerships, including service departments,
"should be asking: How can I give time back to
my customers?" Knutson says.
NADA's 2016 Dealership Workforce Study
reported that 23 percent of dealerships in
South Atlantic states and 10 percent of dealerships in Pacific states offered full Sunday service last year. In other regions across the

Maintaining Sunday hours poses special
challenges, service directors acknowledge.
Michael's Toyota of Bellevue in the Seattle
suburb of Bellevue, Wash., has an intricate
staff schedule to cover the 81 hours a week its
service department is open, says service director Russ McDuffie.
"We have four master diagnostic technicians on Sundays," McDuffie says. Since these
techs choose to work weekends, he adds, they
do not get a pay premium for Sunday shifts,
which run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The work schedules of service advisers, lube
techs and parts desk employees include Sunday rotations, McDuffie says. He estimates
that 60 percent of his shop's Sunday work is
express service and the rest repair jobs.
Pohanka Chevrolet in Chantilly, Va., has offered Sunday service for about 10 years, Service Manager Jeff Dobson says. The shop is
open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
"It's easier for clients to come in on Sunday,"
Dobson says. "Put yourself in their shoes, alter
your hours to meet their needs."

Hiring issues
Blackman of Olathe Toyota says he touts the
advantages of Sunday shifts to service employees. Weekend work allows for schedules
that are less variable and more consistent, he
says.
Consultant Wegley warns service departments not to stretch their staffs too thin to accommodate Sunday hours. Instead, he recommends that dealerships "make weekend
hours a part of your recruitment."
"I had a technician who preferred weekend
work," Wegley recalls. "The guy loved to fish,
and it was no hassle getting his boat in the water on a Monday or Tuesday." 



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Dealers vs. OEMs
Parts disposal
Chicago way
Certifi ed repairs
Richard Truett
After the deluge
Labor rates
Off lease, on the lot
Paragon model
Feedback
Net benefi ts
Sometimes on Sunday
Get ready
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 9
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Dealers vs. OEMs
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Parts disposal
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 14
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Chicago way
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 22
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Certifi ed repairs
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - After the deluge
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 30
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Labor rates
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Off lease, on the lot
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 35
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Paragon model
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Net benefi ts
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Sometimes on Sunday
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 41
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Get ready
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 43
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover4
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