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Goal Setting And Performance Monitoring In Auto Repair Shops

March 08, 2024
Shop Tips & Best Practices
4 mins read

The most successful auto repair shop owners understand that continuous improvement is critical to driving their business forward. They are committed to never stopping their quest for growth and are constantly seeking ways to enhance their operations. This drive and commitment involve a deep appreciation for goal setting and a keen interest in leveraging data to achieve those goals.

The Role of Performance Data in Auto Repair Shops

One crucial aspect of managing an auto repair shop’s health and performance is the diligent tracking of metrics known as “key performance indicators” (KPIs). KPIs help you monitor your shop’s performance in critical areas — identifying strengths to build upon and areas needing improvement. If you’re not already tracking a set of KPIs regularly, it’s time to start. 

KPI Examples for Auto Shops

KPIs serve as quantifiable benchmarks for your shop that help you evaluate your success in achieving business goals and objectives. They also play a significant role in helping you keep a pulse on your business — alerting you to areas needing strategic improvement and guiding you in making informed decisions. 

PartsTech surveyed 618 auto repair shop owners and managers. One question we asked them was the top three KPIs their shop tracks. Here’s a look at real examples of what shops are tracking on a regular basis: 

Once you decide what KPIs want to track, you need to monitor them on a monthly basis, at a minimum; however, many high-growth shops monitor their KPI numbers weekly and even daily.

Goal Setting in Auto Repair Businesses

Goal setting goes hand in hand with KPI tracking. Without clearly defined goals, your business lacks direction. Goals act as a north star for your repair shop — helping you secure long-term growth, navigate industry challenges successfully, stay competitive, acquire more customers, and more. 

Setting goals not only helps you take your auto shop to new heights but also helps you to be more precise in the KPIs that you should be tracking in order to measure the achievement of your goal. This not only helps you keep a pulse on the health of your business at all times but also helps you to pivot and make changes as necessary to keep your goals on track.

Establishing Effective Goals 

Using some kind of framework is beneficial for effective goal setting. One of the most popular examples is the SMART goal framework. This method ensures goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For instance, rather than a vague goal to “grow revenue,” a SMART goal example would be “Increase revenue by 20% by the end of 2024 through expanded services and customer loyalty programs.” 

This framework helps set precise goals and facilitates figuring out what KPIs you need to track to understand your progress toward achieving goals and running a thriving auto shop.  

Examples of Real Shop Goals

The list below showcases the top three goals chosen by the same 618 survey participants mentioned above. Use this list as inspiration only and establish goals to propel your business to the next level. For instance, although only 6% of respondents selected “Execute Marketing Plan,” implementing a marketing plan might be the ideal top goal for your shop. Remember to keep your unique shop and your unique business vision and aspirations in mind when setting your goals; it’s possible that the right goals for your shop may not all appear on this list.

Cascading Goals to Your Team

Here is what we have established so far: It’s important to determine what goals are right for your unique shop, turn them into SMART goals with KPIs attached to them, track those KPIs, and make data-based decisions to help you achieve your goals.

The last point we want to drive home is the importance of cascading goals down to your team. Share your shop goals with your entire team — shop manager, service advisors, technicians — and get their buy-in. Make sure they understand the goals and their role in helping the shop achieve those goals. Get them excited about the goals and give them clear direction and the resources they need to do their part. 

To see more benchmark data from the 618 auto repair shops mentioned in this post, download our industry report: The State Of General Auto Repair Shops In The U.S. — A Benchmark Report By PartsTech

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