I attended a meeting recently held by Jessica Wetherbee-Dahl, the Group Account Manager, Insurance Operations Department for the Virginia Group and three of her Account Managers about ARMS® Reporting. ARMS® is much more now than the website you update repair status on, it also has some very informative reports. In this meeting Jessica asked me how a shop manager could use the different reports they offer and through the discussion I found my favorite had to be the ARMS® Automotive Exchange Forecast Report. B00042%20ARMs%20Exchange%20Forecast%20Report.pdf
This report gives you information like, # of Vehicles Closed, Closed MTD Avg Days, Closed MTD Avg Hours Per Day, # of Vehicles Open, Open MTD Avg Days, Open MTD Avg Hours Per Day, Combined Days Expected Monthly Total and Combined Hours Expected Monthly Total. A lot of headings and to narrow it down I will focus on two, Closed MTD Avg Hours Per Day and Open MTD Avg Hours Per Day. These two give you the real cycle time, not the one you have manipulated in your management system; it is also the cycle time the insurance company looks at when determining your effectiveness.
We all know the national average for cycle time is 4.5 hours per day. Your management system is telling you that you are right on target but the ARMS® Automotive Exchange Forecast Report is showing you are at 2.1 average hours per day. If that is showing on the Closed MTD column there is not much you can do about it, but look at the Open MTD Avg Hours Per Day column, those are ones you can fix. ARMS® Automotive Exchange Forecast Report gives you the capability to drill down and find the problem child so you can make adjustments. Let’s say you ran this report on the 5th of the month and your Closed MTD numbers were a little low, knowing you cannot pull water back under the bridge you would then look at the Open MTD numbers and see which jobs you could pull forward to improve your numbers by the end of the month. Monitoring this report weekly would give you a status report to know which direction you are heading. Having this information when the insurance manager comes by would be real helpful in your negotiations….because these numbers will match theirs.
If you are not using the reports available through ARMS® today, I hope I have given you some reasons to use them tomorrow.