Control the quality
While “get the job done right the first time,” is the motto of many boat shops, it’s sometimes easier said than done. But with a few quality control measures in place, comebacks will become a rare occurence rather than a recurring problem.
At Yamaha Marine University’s Competitive Advantage Symposium 2007, quality control was a main focus within the service process. Though quality control is everyone’s job at a boating store, the tech is the first line of defense. The product should be clean, and all shop rags, tools and manuals should be removed. The work order should be QCed to ensure all parts, labor and sublets are billed out properly; the shop is within estimate for time and money; warranty information is in order; and all lines of the work order have been addressed.
Quality control is a top priority at Marine Connection (Ranked 14), based in West Palm Beach, Fla. The dealership has several checks in place to ensure that boats leave the dealership better and cleaner than when they arrived. The quality checks cover both boats that have been rigged for first delivery and boats that come in for service.
The company built a specific quality control step into its service department standard procedures. After all repairs are finished and paperwork is in order, completed boats are inspected for quality of repair by the service or operations manager. Regardless of why it came in for service, each unit gets a full systems check so small problems are caught before they become large ones. Only then can the boat be released to the detailing department for cleaning and customer pick-up.
Ultimately, each unit is inspected three times by separate individuals to ensure the company, not the customer, catches any issues. Quality control is so important, Marine Connection modified its technician compensation structure to penalize workers for do-overs.
“To promote quality over quantity, each boat is quality checked prior to delivery,” the company said. “Any deficiencies to be corrected by the tech are deducted from billable hours at a rate of 1.5 hours per actual hour.”