Running Your Auto Shop Using Dashboards

In order to run a profitable auto shop, you have to understand your business inside and out. That is why RLO Training pushes its members to measure every aspect of the business.

With everything from your marketing to your financials, it is important to measure key data points and make decisions based on that data to push your business forward.

But the reality is that most company owners do not track those ever-important Key Performance Indicator (KPI’s) for their company. There are too many hurdles. You have to jump from one platform to the next just to extract the data.

Depending on the platform, finding the data can be extremely difficult. And then, of course, you have to make sense of all of that data so that you can make good business decisions.

In short, it’s hard.

Why you should use dashboards

Dashboards are dynamic reporting systems that allow you to get a glimpse into every aspect of your business. Instead of constantly jumping from one platform to the next trying to find those key data points, company dashboards allow you to view your KPI’s at anytime and at a glance.

  • Easy to access
  • All KPI’s in one place
  • Data updates regularly so you know it’s current
  • Allows you to easily identify company trends
  • Choosing Good KPI’s

    Not all KPI’s are created equal. Within the marketing department alone, there are hundreds of data points that you could track. So what are the attributes of good KPI’s? Here are some things to look for.

    A good KPI will change the way you behave.

    Every KPI that you choose to track should prompt you to act. Maybe the action is a small adjustment in your social media strategy. Or maybe a KPI will make you want to change your sales process. Regardless, a good KPI causes you to make decisions.

    A good KPI will reveal trends and not just moments in time.

    Often, business owners will look at snapshot KPI’s. Examples of these might be the number of website visits, number of new leads, etc. While these KPI’s are very valuable and often establish baseline KPI’s, these are not the only KPI’s to consider.

    In addition to your snapshot KPI’s you should look at KPI’s that show you “movement” toward your business goals. A KPI such as “our website has a 2% response rate” is important to know, but a better KPI might be “our website increased responses by 12% compared to last month.” When comparing one KPI to another, you are able to determine trends that could be impacting your company.

    A good KPI is not a vanity KPI.

    A vanity KPI is a KPI that may look good on the surface, but does not reveal the true health of your business activities. For example, having thousands of Facebook followers looks good on paper, but the number of engaged Facebook followers are infinitely more valuable for you to know.

    What KPI’s Should You Track?

    There are hundreds of numbers that could be measured and tracked in your business. But just because you can measure something doesn’t mean that you should measure something.

    So what areas of the business should you track on your dashboards? The first place to start is to establish your goals for the company, and most often this starts with financial goals. However, it is important to understand what activities need to be accomplished each month to meet your financial goals. Whether it is tracking KPI’s such as website conversion rate or KPI’s regarding payroll, you should be clear on how each one affects your ultimate company/financial goals.

    For most auto shops, marketing, sales, and financial KPI’s are a few of the most important goals, so they are a good place to start. It is up to you how often you review each one – some will be daily, some weekly, monthly, annually, etc. Use the list below as a jumping-off point, but there are probably many other KPI’s you will want to track as well!

  • Gross Sales
  • Car Count
  • Average RO
  • Average Hours per RO
  • Average Car Count
  • Average Daily Sales
  • Total Revenue
  • Returning Customer Percentage
  • Dashboards Will Not Solve Your Problems, But They Will Guide You to the Answers

    We have talked a lot about how and why Dashboards can help you run your company better. However, we fully realize that this is not a magic solution. Instead, we believe that adding more tools to your tool belt will help you to make better decisions and come up with creative solutions for your company.

    Are you interested in using dashboards to help you understand your auto shop better? Call RLO Training at 800-755-0988 to get them set up today!

    Written by RLO Training