Discussion:
Real flat rate

Does anybody out there work on flat rate? I've had several people from the automotive world tell me we should go to flat rate but I don't think that it would work in our industry.
We don't do a lot of constant repetitive tasks because we don't have the numbers that they do in automotive. Dpending on what type of environment the truck is operated in the same job could take a lot longer to accomplish.
If the possitives outweigh the negatives though, I think that it could be a good thing for techs and owners.
  • Posted 12 Feb 2010 22:34
  • Discussion started by duodeluxe
  • United States
duodeluxe
Showing items 1 - 5 of 5 results.
It all depends on the customer you service. I hated flat rate as an automotive tech. It's like BBforks said, you have to kiss up to the service writer. But with lift trucks, were out there on our own and can still doctor the bill to whatever we want, DEPENDING on the customer. Yes, there are still some "lay me down" customers who sign the bill no matter what the cost. On fixed maintenance, you get only.7 hours for an SM, no travel time. Some smaller places are Flat Rate to ensure the tech tries his best to bill 40 hrs. At my employer, if you consistently bill less than 40 hours, ADIOS Amigo! Again, it depends on your customers. The guy who bills 65 hrs but works only 40 is a HERO in the company's eyes......A crook in my opinion but i don't count! Flat rate is an opportunity for crooks to prosper, and honest techs to suffer. Flat rate gives management less headaches as the they wont have to crack the whip to force tech's to produce.
  • Posted 12 May 2013 16:09
  • Modified 12 May 2013 16:12 by poster
  • Reply by EasiTek
  • Ontario, Canada
notorious- you are absolutely correct. We could never charge 8 hrs for a 4 hr job on the road. Besides- think of all the little problems encountered on the road that chew up time- these would all be on us.

I have read on this site that newer contracts seem to be written in a fashion similar to flat rate- no thank you. The only winners are the customer & dealer- we get screwed.

I know some flat rate techs in the auto industry- there's alot of backstabbing, "rebates" tech's give service writers to get certain jobs & when work gets slow- no pay. Not everything it's cracked up to be.
  • Posted 9 May 2013 00:22
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Here's why it won't work:

Customers.

Flat rate works int he automotive world be cause the vast majority of an auto shops customers are not there when the work is being preformed and do not have a firm grasp on how long the actual work takes. Most times they drop off in the morning and pick the car up in the evening or the next day and are charged how ever many hours the job bills and are unaware of the actual time spent on the repair by the tech.

With the sort of on-site service that most of us have to preform we are out at the customer's facility and they, or their employees, see us there preforming the work and know exactly how long we are there. Try to get 8 book hours when your tech was there for 4 and they know it because they signed him out, or worse yet the visitor log tells them. Never mind the fun times the tech is going to have when he has to try and get a work order for 8 hours, plus travel, signed when he was only working on the truck for 4 hours... No thanks!

Shop work it can be used without issue but if your labor rate is based of of straight time you are just kind of ripping off your customer.

Manufactures pay out book time for warranty work to protect themselves from unscrupulous dealers. I have had a chance to look over warranty submissions that a manufacture we work with gets and some of the times dealers try to charge for simple jobs is completely insane!
  • Posted 14 Feb 2010 07:08
  • Reply by notoriousDUG
  • Illinois, United States
Deeds not words
How about Road Service Techs that cover 8 to 10 counties,
That would be real tough to make a decent living on Flat Fate.
I already told my service manager that I feel like I get paid to drive and work on lifts for free.
I have weeks that I do nothing but repairs and break downs and some weeks I have to dig up all the PM's I can find just to stay busy.
  • Posted 13 Feb 2010 11:54
  • Reply by roadtech
  • Ohio, United States
I know of several major forklift users who pay the dealer through a flat rate system. It is tied into the warranty flat rate system. normally pays a multilpe above the dealer/manufacturer warranty rates. These accounts were always viewed as break even accounts due to the low money and hassle in getting paid. The other challenge, as you stated is that nothing is ever the same for forklifts unless it's simple like change the load wheels.
  • Posted 13 Feb 2010 00:10
  • Reply by JonG
  • United States

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