Productivity optimization in the After Sales


Recently, more and more often, the request made by those who own a business in the After Sales is that to increase the productivity.

The common query is: “My incomes are decreased, the only thing I can increase is the productivity per employee, how we can do it?

The productivity of an automotive business is based on several factors both internal and external; we will shortly analyse them.


Photo by Sean MacEntee

We need, however, to make some methodological premises or the case reports will significantly increase.

  1. The productivity is measured in terms of quality of hours sold and not only of quantity. So, even before analysing the number of hours developed by an employee, you must sell those hours at the best price possible.
    If the price for the manpower is 24$/h the productivity could even be high but the only way to go on is sell that manpower at 40, 60 or 80£ per hour;
  2. Let’s consider, for our example, a medium business with an optimal division of work between productive and non-productive, a meticulous and organised statistic of the working hours, of the material used and the collateral business activities.

After this premise, there are two causes, which influence the business productivity.

Exogenous and Endogenous factors


Exogenous factors which affect the business are:

  • how the territory picks up on my business;
  • what kind of vehicle is used inside my area of influence.

In other words the quantity and quality of vehicles, which come in my WorkShop/ BodyShop/Service Centre is directly proportional to the way my business is perceived from outside and WHATÕS outside my business.

If my business is in an area with 70% of low value cars, I can increase as much as I want the flow in the company but the margin of earnings on each car remains low and consequently the productivity (even if high) cannot cover my investments.


The taking action are necessarily of medium and long term and can be summarised in:

  • Greater presence on the area
  • Greater communication of the services offered
  • Partnership with companies which offer complementary services
  • Revisiting customer feedback (business layout, reception, progress, return)


For what concerns the endogenous causes, which affect the business, we can enumerate more than we can and without specific examples, but we can summarise that they are all those factors (excluding the technical ones) which aren’t optimal for the correct, fast and professional carry out the work.

Lack of adequate and personalized tools, lack of administration, flow of supply, a no-optimal workflow or not optimized workload.

I would add that, first of all, the company must wonder, “where do you want to see yourself within the next 3/5 years, and why?


Unlike the exogenous causes, the endogenous ones, having a direct line with what happens in the company, within a short space of time we can act through some targeted interventions:

  • make every work independent
  • list the routine activities
  • switch to digital every possible monitoring activity
  • promoting the team spirit by assigning shared tasks and hierarchies

To conclude, increasing the productivity of your company means stepping into the market that can give us more incomes, considering that we will ALWAYS be evaluated for what we do to show our products outside.

Fattori Endogeni

Photo by Wiertz Sébastien

To be more direct, if our customers perceive us as a B-series, they will be willing to pay us in a different way than the structure perceived as standard A.
But, IMPORTANT STEP, being perceived in one way or another, is an important requirement but the fundamental prerequisite is that we must not ONLY APPEAR but also BE.

We cannot ask  48$/h if the customer doesn’t recognise our value in all our activities … from the telephone/web contact, to the reception, to the estimate, to the progress of the work, to the return of the car to the recall.

So no magic formula, just a 360° ¡ team work that never ends; remembering that TODAY, unfortunately, it is not enough just to be the best in the sector, but it’s necessary to let the customer perceive it.

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