4 Things to Know About Work Orders When You Become a Service Advisor

service advisor training in Canada
As a service advisor, you’ll be the bridge between the client and the mechanic, and that means effectively helping clients understand what kind of work needs to be done on their vehicle. A work order—sometimes called an auto repair invoice—is a document that can help keep track of a repair, which will often be broken into a step-by-step account including materials and labour involved.
With today’s rapidly changing technology, work orders are becoming more and more necessary. Read on to learn more about what you need to know concerning work orders when you start your career as a service advisor.

1. What Automotive Work Orders Are For

When a client brings their car into the shop, it’s your responsibility as an auto service advisor to listen to their concerns, assess the issue, and provide an estimate of the costs involved in making the repair. Work orders are an essential part of this process. They include a detailed account of the work needed to be done, as well as the parts and materials necessary to carry out the listed repairs.

2. What You’ll Fill Out on an Automotive Work Order

Companies often use a template when creating a work order, which will contain many pieces of essential information. Usually, you’ll include information such as the client’s personal contact information and driver’s licence, in addition to the car’s VIN number, year, model, and make. You’ll also often list the root cause of the problem, as well as your recommendations.

Automotive work orders can offer a complete rundown of the repair job, including parts and cost
Automotive work orders can offer a complete rundown of the repair job, including parts and cost

You will also need to write down the parts that will be needed, as well an estimate of labour costs. For some repairs, you may even need to include estimates on fuel usage if the car needs to be driven as part of the testing or repair process. However, the information you include in a work order may sometimes vary, depending on the type of form you’re using or on the repairs needed.

3. How to List the Parts Needed for the Repair

Depending on which work order template you’re using once you become a service advisor, you will need to list the parts necessary for the repair. Usually, you will start by writing down the quantity of each part, the part number and description, as well as the part’s price. In some cases, it might be a good idea to include the list price next to the garage’s to show clients that you’re charging less than the manufacturer.

Showing clients lower charges for parts can help them feel valued
Showing clients lower charges for parts can help them feel valued

4. Determining Labour Costs and Totals

Those considering service advisor training might already know that some garages and shops charge labour from a flat-rate book, which includes predetermined charges for several jobs. These flat-rate charges are determined by calculating the average amount of time it takes an expert mechanic to perform the operation. However, when charging for electrical work, like chasing a shorted wire, labour costs might not be calculated by using a flat rate. Instead, these costs may depend on the time the mechanic took to complete the repairs. The totals can be obtained by multiplying the labour time by the shop’s hourly rate, which can vary depending on the vehicle.
Are you excited to start your career in the automotive industry?
Come begin your service advisor training in Canada at CATI!

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