I started working as a mechanic before the start of flat rate billing and as a method of paying wages. Mechanics would work day in and day out with their tools in their toolboxes; the boxes were small and contained only the basic tools. All specialty tools were owned by the shop. Impact wrenches were just coming on the scene, and the shops that thought they had a use for them, had them.
Mechanics then had many of the same problems as now: work would come in slowly, and the guys would go to work. When work did not come in, these same guys would clean the shop, build tools or benches or whatever to keep busy. The bosses pulled their hair out.
Mechanics were then put on flat rate: working only when there was work to do and working only when paid. Shops got dirty. Shops were poorly set up and equipped. Mechanics quit often going from job to job, looking for something better.
The mechanics on flat rate learned that if they had more tools they could work faster, get more done and get paid more. Tools that were traditionally owned by the shop was purchased by the mechanic and put in their own box.
Aha, the owners said, expect the mechanics to have all their own tools; make it a job expectation. So, mechanics bought all their own tools, and made more money on flat rate.
Aha, the owners said, were paying the mechanics too much, Look at all the tools they have. Look at all the toys they have. We're paying them too much money. Let's cut back on the time paid out, and get more return.
So, now mechanics have to have $60,000 in tools to buy into their job. They have to cut corners and take shortcuts. They have to avoid cleaning and scraping. Many "manufacture" other problems. They have to lie about doing two jobs at once. I've heard stories of deliberate sabotage to make more money.
Basically, their job and their situation have turned basically honest people into criminals. When apprentices are on the job, they get paid less, of course, but the tradesman they work under does not have time to properly train them or even give them direction.
Below are some comments that were in other forum comments:
Re:Your Service Manager – Concerned about the bottom line OR your safety?
Service managers get shit on by everybody.You have got to understand where he is coming from.flat rates are a fantasy usually but that is how we get paid.Time is money blah blah blah.If you can communicate with the guy,that is all he is asking for, so he has a good story for the moron who owns the e
old coaster 2010/01/27 19:30
Re:Speed vs. Accuracy!
i've never had to work flat rate but, i think it promotes poor workmanship. from some of the guys i work with the stories they tell are all about shortcuts and how much time you can flag for pay. if there is an isssue that's the next guy's problem under warranty. my motto has always been you can hav
ragnar 2009/08/26 20:34
What is your opinion?