Tackling Service Delays in Auto Repair

When your vehicle requires repair, it’s only natural to want the process to be swift and hassle-free. However, auto repairs can sometimes get bogged down by delays, leaving customers frustrated and repair businesses struggling to maintain profitability. Let’s dive into some of the primary culprits behind these delays and explore how tackling these issues can not only lead to happier customers but also drive a more profitable repair business.

1. Approval Hassles

The Waiting Game: One of the most common causes of delays in auto repair is the waiting game for approvals. Repair shops often submit estimates to customers and insurers, only to find themselves waiting for the green light to commence work. The longer the wait, the more time your vehicle spends in the shop occupying space, locking up equipment and hindering revenue generation.


  • Follow up promptly with customers and insurers, providing any additional information as needed.
  • In the event of unforeseen damages identified after opening up the vehicle, communicate these immediately and seek approval promptly.
  • Follow up in case you don’t hear back in the designated time. Remember, its your business!

2. Inefficient Job Scheduling

Scheduling Woes: Poor job scheduling can lead to delays. Assigning experienced technicians and planning for vacations, holidays, and outages are essential steps often overlooked. Without a well-structured schedule, the vehicle may linger longer than necessary in the shop.


  • Invest in meticulous job scheduling. It is a key skill and an area to drive efficiency.
  • Assign skilled technicians, knowledgable in the specific repair and the vehicle.
  • Inform technicians of repairs and timelines clearly. Ensure there’s good documentation on the repairs to be performed.
  • Plan for workforce availability during peak seasons and holidays.

3. Spares Procurement Challenges

Part by Part Orders: Ordering parts one by one can extend repair times. Inadequate follow-up with procurement teams and suppliers can also cause delays. Moreover, ensuring the right part is provided is vital for swift repairs.


  • Service team to provide procurement team with a comprehensive parts lists after a thorough inspection.
  • Share pictures or the part or provide part samples to the supplier to ensure that the right part is supplied the first time.
  • Encourage your service team to follow up diligently with procurement to expedite parts procurement.
  • Inspect parts immediately upon arrival for damage / fitment and address mismatches promptly. Initiate return / re-order immediately.
  • Follow up with your Suppliers regularly on orders pending fulfilment, particularly in case of parts on back-order.
  • Reliable procurement processes are vital, focusing on quality and availability over margins.
  • In case a part isn’t available, consider an alternate reputable brand or if the damaged part can be repaired or refurbished
  • As parts are received into the shop from suppliers, ensure to properly store, rack and tag parts to the right vehicle or Repair Order to ensure that they can be found easily. Often, misplaced parts lead to delays, dead inventory and wasted capital.

4. Outsourced Service Providers

Service Provider Hiccups: Collaborating with unreliable service providers can lead to delays. Inconsistent work, delays in repairs, and payment issues can all slow down the process.


  • Partner with reputable service providers and ensure open communication.
  • Test the quality of work (fit, function) immediately upon receiving parts or services.
  • Do not finalize payments until the job is satisfactorily completed.
  • Maintaining a strong relationship with service providers is crucial.

5. Internal Delays

Streamlined Processes: Several internal processes, such as information sharing between teams and invoicing, can cause delays if not managed efficiently.


  • Foster seamless communication between teams.
  • Ensure your spares, service, and accounts teams work in harmony.
  • When parts arrive, prompt notification to the service team expedites repairs.
  • A well-organized accounts team can have the invoice ready for the customer at vehicle pick-up.

In conclusion, addressing these common causes of delays in auto repair is a crucial step toward customer satisfaction and business success. Embracing technology, like a robust shop management system, can be the key to transforming your repair shop into a well-oiled machine, ready to tackle any challenge that comes its way.

A reliable Shop Management System like Autorox is a solution to many of these challenges. It streamlines communication, expedites approvals, and optimizes job scheduling. It facilitates efficient parts procurement, tracks progress, and enhances internal coordination. With Autorox, your repair shop can deliver faster, high-quality service, ensuring happier customers and a more profitable business.


PS: Service Delays is one of the major challenges faced by repair shops, particularly with Major repairs. Read full article on Customer Centric Strategies for Successful, Profitable Major Vehicle Repairs to understand other challenges. Unfortunately, customer dissatisfaction tends to run high with Major Vehicle Repairs, largely due to administrative and technical hurdles that repair garages must overcome. Understanding the roadblocks can tremendously help in building an efficient repair process.


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