Wicked Wrench Co.
Labor Book Hours Explained
This is what it looks like from the shops eyes- for book hours-
You want a hole dug for a pool. I give you an estimate for $5000. I did and it was $5000. Does it make any difference to you if I dig the pool by hand over 20 days, or go rent a backhoe and do it in three days? If I dig it by hand, I get to keep all the money, but if I rent a backhoe, a large part of my money goes to rent something that makes my life and job easier.
If it weren't for "the labor book" what would we do, how would we bid work? The labor book tells everyone how much time an average tech can do a job using "normal tools". Techs buy specialty tools to shortcut the job. They use air guns and hoists, they have info they gained at their expense. They worked on a car for 10 hours to find a fix, a problem they got to bill 2 hours for. They learn at their expense and sell what they learned in the form of labor. If they can do a job in .8 when it bills for 1.5, fine. But what happens when they take 3.3 to do a job that booked at 2.5, they don't get to go back to the customer for more money, so you, the customer get a deal. You got labor you didn't pay for.
next, what about the service writer who took 30 minutes to talk to you, write up your invoice, order the part, organize the tech, bill the ticket and talk to you. Who pays the parts guy who pulled your part and delivered it to the tech? Who pays the cashier to handle the final transaction? You had 4 people involved in the repair of your car (service writer, tech, shop foreman and cashier) not just one for 20 minutes.
I have always believed that we shop owners confuse customers by talking about hours, labor rate and dollars. We and I always just talk dollars. "Mr. Jones, it going to cost you $133.50 to have us do ....." No hours, no labor rate, no confusion. Besides when it all comes out in the wash, none of that EXCEPT the money makes a darn bit of difference. So we should all stop using that to confuse and just start talking dollars.
We use the book. 60% of the time it favors the customer and 40% of the time it favors the shop and that is the best of all the other options available to us today. If they toss the book, watch out -because that will open the door wide open for no parameters, no guidelines and nothing to compare fraudulent practices to. When someone charges you $400 to replace that tensioner because you are under the bus, in a hurry and in a strange town, with no book time, who is to say what he attempted to charge you was way out of line?