First I would like to thank every one of our customers. You guys have helped make us great. Most of you have been extremely patient and supportive and I appreciate it very much.
We have been having a hard time getting some projects out in a reasonable amount of time. There have been many causes and I would like to share them with everyone so that it is understood and I would like to share the fixes that we are going to implement.
Currently our scheduling is done as far in advance as people want. This has turned out to be VERY bad. Let me explain:
We have a certain number of slots (hours) every day for work. We take appointments Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday was reserved for cars that are already at the shop, administration, shipments etc. Thursday has proven not to be enough on it's own. When a customer's car shows up with more problems than he/she knew existed and it takes longer than scheduled OR has to stay at the shop for a previously unscheduled amount of time this creates a serious issue. The issue is that every slot for every available work hour has already been scheduled for a month. That type of scheduling snafu gives us no time to work on the car until a spot opens up.
Because of this error we have accumulated a few customer cars. It sucks, it's very stressful and creates a lot of tension at the shop. Sometimes we snap at each other or at a customer on the phone. It isn't right and we are very sorry to anyone who has experienced my wrath. We WANT to get our customers' cars back to them as fast as possible without sacrificing work quality. We want the experience to be a pleasant one and we want all our customers happy with their new found power, drive ability and or reliability.
1.We will not be taking appointments past 2 weeks. On Tuesday of each week we will open the schedule for the week that starts 14 days later. Appointments will be given on a first come/call first serve basis. The 14 day rule only has exceptions to those who have to travel a long way or are doing full builds/projects. Regular tunes and installs will not be granted exception. This guarantees a handful of spots open for "problem cars" two weeks away. Two weeks is still quite long and so that isn't sufficient for us.
At this very moment we are scheduled until Mid December. I will have the hard job of calling people and cancelling their appointments. We currently have 13 cars at the shop. 6 of them should have been completed long ago. If I am going to have these cars finished before December, I have to cancel the appointments on the schedule. This is a VERY hard decision to make. However, if we are going to take care of our current customers, our future customers are going to have to be understanding.
To the people on the schedule currently, I'm sorry! I hope that this post helps you see what we are doing to ensure everyone gets great service and you do not get angry with us. Please be understanding.
To the people who have been waiting for your car: Thank you for being patient. I apologize publicly for the wait.
So back to the two week thing. In order to keep cars from sitting for two weeks for a spot to open up, we have limited the amount of tunes that I perform during the week. Instead of two per day, we will be scheduling one per day. The second tune slot will become available IF we have no project or problem cars sitting waiting for work. This gives us the opportunity to work on those cars much sooner than two weeks.
The next big thing that we are doing is FINALLY bringing on another tech. This will help us in more than just floor work. By bringing on the additional floor tech, WE are giving Dave a promotion. He will be absorbing some of my daily tasks so that I am available more often for customer support, admin and performing work. He will be doing more Estimates, scheduling, billing and tech support in addition to being the floor manager.
These major changes in addition to a handful of minor ones should help get us faster and more efficient. We have only been at the new shop for 19 months and have had our business increase very rapidly. We are having to learn to handle much more than we did three years ago. Taking on more than twice the work without any changes in how we do things just doesn't work.
So to recap:
We've been slow at getting some things done.
We are changing how we schedule appointments
We are hiring more help
I'm looking forward to 2013. By the new year I believe our new system will be running more efficiently and the MPS experience will be much better.
Help us through these growing pains.
Maxwell Power Services