Service Manager’s Monthly Checklist

As originally published by CDKGlobal in the Fall 2019 issue of Lightspeed Newsflash

by Mark Sheffield

Lightspeed NXT and EVO offer an incredible level of reporting. Used to our advantage, reports can help us be more efficient while ensuring that work and money doesn’t slip through the cracks. Reports that are never run and analyzed don’t help anyone. While each dealership has specific areas to focus on, here are some key reports most Service Managers should review each month.

  • Open RO List. Any RO that is open for more than 30 days should be reviewed. While there are some legitimate reasons, this number should be kept to a minimum. The GM and Service Manager should review this list at least once a month. The following are some general guidelines regarding repair orders:
    • Any repair order open 30 days or less, discuss it, and don’t lose sight.
    • Any repair order open 30-60 days should warrant concern and be researched.
    • Any RO open 90-plus days should cause PANIC! It’s a proven fact: the longer a repair order remains open, the less chance we have of collecting any money due.
  • Outstanding/Unpaid Warranty Claims. We did the work and we sent the bill to the manufacturer. Why hasn’t it been paid? Do they need more information, or do we need to return parts? No manufacturer should take more than 30 days to pay their claims. However, depending on the industry, some take 60 to 90 days or more! The point is, we need to stay on top of these warranty claims!
  • Productivity and Efficiency Reports. All we have to sell in Service is time, and any unused time depreciates by 100%. Use the reporting capability in Lightspeed to learn how to keep your techs busy while also generating income. And, never confuse being busy with being productive! Your techs can be VERY “busy,” just ask them! Understand the difference between Collect-able™ Efficiency and Productivity, especially where cash flow is involved!
  • Warranty Claims with Backordered Parts. Have we exhausted all our resources? Have we let the manufacturer know that a customer’s unit is down? Have we checked with other dealers to see if they have the part? (If you haven’t tried out the Lightspeed parts locator then you are missing out!)

Other items that the Service Manager should review each month

  • Customers with A/R Accounts. In most cases, AR accounts in service should be limited to government agencies and other large companies that have a formal PO process. Almost every other customer has a credit card, and you should keep it on file. We’ve already paid for the parts on the RO and we’ve paid the technician for completing the job; why shouldn’t the customer pay us? Eliminate AR accounts in service and you will spend a lot less time tracking down your money while also helping to improve cash flow.
  • Lost Sales. Meet with the Parts Manager and identify key items that the technicians would like on the stocking list.

The service department is one of the hardest areas of the dealership to manage. From the rookie Service Manager to the seasoned veteran, Lightspeed offers an incredible array of tools that can help us manage all aspects of the department. We’ll never improve what we don’t measure.

If you’d like some assistance in improving your service game, Spader can help. We offer regional Service Management and Service Writing workshops during the off-season, and year-round one-on-one consulting for dealers who’d really like to develop a world-class customer-oriented service department. Check out for more information on what we can do for you.

Mark Sheffield is a United States Army Veteran and former dealer principal who currently facilitates multiple 20-groups for Spader Business Management. When he’s not assisting with dealership performance, he can be found at the rifle range or digging holes with his backhoe. Contact him at