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  1. Yesterday
  2. We sell AC Delco batteries for the most part, and after they stopped having some of there batteries made in Korea the warranty problem went away. Most of our customer like the free replacement period and not the prorate. We had lots of problems with Interstate and warranty but that may have been the driver not the company but they still lost our business. I had to eat several batteries out of our own rental cars because the driver never had a replacement on the truck and I wouldn't wait for him to bring one later in the week.
  3. We too used to have Arrow - good customer service and support - but as we all know they got bought out by Unifirst. Being in business a while I always modify the uniform contracts, with Arrow it was no problem., regarding the term and renewals. Unifirst assumed my Arrow contract. My Outlook is set up to remind me to send a non renewal letter in time to renegotiate the contract. With the AAA program their pricing is very good - but with all the hassles, Unifirst has been a struggle to work with. From a new driver every other week to wrong size uniforms, etc. We have another company that does not have contracts that quoted us that I will be switching to when our term with Unifirst expires. .
  4. JustTheBest

    Auto shop owner new forum topics

    Sorry you feel that way.
  5. Would rather not divulge numbers because the buyer might not approve. Let me just say this. I was told about 8 years ago by another tire dealer that your business customer base and equipment is not near what you think it's worth. The real payday is when you own the real estate and can lease it to the new owner. As I've mentioned in other posts, my business hasn't been the same since the recession hit and 5 car dealerships opened up within a 1/2 mile of my store. Our sales dropped down about 15% from our highs, and net is much worse. Additionally, when my first employee from 1979 quit 2 years ago I elected not to rehire another tech. Frankly, I started coasting. I was tired and just wanted out. The one ace in the hole was an 11 year old building worth about 1.2M that I own free and clear. I ended up getting about 3 times cash flow plus my inventory which was considerable with 1700+ tires. The payday is the 5 year lease with two 5 year options. As for my plans, I've worked a deal out with the new owner to work at least 16 hours a week for the next year. After that...who knows. Hopefully some grand adventures.
  6. Wheelingauto

    Auto shop owner new forum topics

    Another shameless pitch.....lol
  7. rpllib

    Business management training

    Bob Lots of good advice in these reply's. I have attended 3 of their one day work shops and they are always worth while in my opinion, as long as you apply some of the filters outlined in the other reply's. Your store would not be a typical ATI client, yet everything they (as well as most management training organizations) work with you on, will show you benefit to the degree your market and your engagement will allow. Just to be clear, I did not say it wouldn't work in your market, i said it would work to the degree your market and level of engagement with the process, will allow. Having a connection to most management trainers, will make you a better shop. You just may not see the kinda of benefit, others in stronger markets might see. The reply from Smart Automotive demonstrates that to a point. I have seen other cases where shops in low potential markets take a hit when first signing up with a management training organization. That hit, is kind of a right of passage, in my opinion. Attached is an informal market analysis of your market, plus both the old and the new Smart Automotive locations, as well as various other market locations throughout the country. About 100 or so. Your automotive retail market potential score puts you in the very low end of the markets compared there. That does not mean you can't be successful. It may mean that you don't have the luxury of making a lot of mistakes when it comes to how and where you spend your training dollars. Randy misc2.xlsx
  8. Last week
  9. JustTheBest

    Workshop for service writer training?

    Victor! Great article! As far as I'm concerned you hit the nail on the head! A couple of things you said I think are really important. You talked about how the customer "feels" and what most don't realize is that a customer will often forget what you tell them - but will NEVER forget how you made them FEEL! I've been trying to drive this point home (the issue of Trust) because of a recent AAA Report claiming that 2 out of 3 US Drivers DON'T TRUST THEIR AUTO REPAIR SHOP! The good news - a whopping 22% of drivers are totally satisfied! Ha! The other issue you mentioned (and I agree with - but I think you'll take a little heat on") is your last statement about "persuasion". Yup! There's strategies you can use to persuade - NOT MANIPULATE - but just persuade. I'm willing to bet there's 100's - if not 1'000's of guys and gals that will dump on that idea saying that it's being "sneaky". But I'm sure you know that the fact is that, we're all wired the same. In a lot of cases, we all react the same in similar circumstances - and if you can control the situation, you can persuade people. Great article! Thanks for sharing. Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get More Car Count, Income & Profits @ Car Count Hackers on YouTube
  10. We also stock Delco Batteries from Cold Air . Typically we stock the PS series -30 month free replacement . The PG series has a 42 month free replacement and usually the cost is not that much more . In Florida batteries seem to go bad between 24 to 36 months . Which is why I usually do not give the customer an 18 month option . I try to educate the consumer on the benefits of a free replacement versus a pro rated warranty in the same time frame. They may save $10 or $20 up front with a cheaper battery from a big box store but when the battery fails - they get a prorated warranty coverage they just lost money. We have never had a issue getting full coverage on the warranty. Actually, several times when it was the right thing to do for our customer we have gotten replacements even though the battery may be several months out of warranty .
  11. I use the Factory Motor Parts FVP brand. The Platinum batteries have a 30 month free replacement warranty. I am in AZ and even with the extreme heat they do not gas. It is a consignment program with a weekly truck visit plus they are hot shotted as needed. I have no complaints on the program or quality.
  12. JustTheBest

    Auto shop owner new forum topics

    Thought I would "chime-in" on this. I'm not vain enough to believe that the comments are just about my posts - however I have been posting regularly. I've taken a different direction in my business. Not taking on new clients at this time (thank you to each of my current clients) and decided to start a YouTube channel -CarCountHackers - to share the tips, tricks and strategies I use with my private clients. It's also an outlet to share questions I get from email subscribers and repair shop owners who contact me for help. If I've offended anyone - I'm sorry for the inconvenience. But just for the record - the videos are NOT about "Watch This - Buy That". In fact, the channel doesn't sell anything. Just free information about what I've been doing with shop owners over the last 20+ years - and you can get it all free - or not. It's up to you. Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get More Car Count, Income & Profits at Car Count Hackers on YouTube
  13. JustTheBest

    Business management training

    flacvabeach, you said it all when you said "Even the best athletes have coaches to keep them focused and to sharpen their game". Get the training that's right for you! You won't be disappointed - well, unless you don't follow instruction. I'm not trying to be funny or pushy or anything like that - but being the best tech doesn't guarantee success in the business. If you ONLY concentrate on being the best tech, then it's a hobby. Good luck! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get More Car Count, Income and Profits - Join me on YouTube at Car Count Hackers!
  14. Congrats indeed. Care to share with us some numbers? Revenue & profit last year, sale amount, valuation multipliers etc?
  15. if wasn't for the emission quality we have today... I'd have to agree with ya. but, yes, elec. ign. made life a whole lot easier.
  16. speaking of points & condenser I think electronic ignition systems is still one of the best reasons to have electronics in cars. After that more electronics just lead to harder diagnosis and more expense.
  17. Restoration for the Mechanic Electrical issues on today’s cars have certainly taken center stage. Mechanical issues are still there too, but it’s not uncommon to have a mechanical problem be diagnosed, monitored, or calibrated by some electronic means. You just can’t get away from the electrical if you’re in the automotive repair business these days. It’s taken over just about every facet of the automobile. Today’s mechanics have become something entirely different from the stereotypical mechanic from just a few decades ago. It’s not that long ago when the electrical section of the repair manuals were just a chapter or two, today… its volumes and volumes of schematics and diagnostic procedures. I’m old enough to remember when points and condensers were still the norm, and I’ve watched the industry go from electronic ignition to today’s electronic jungle of wires and processors. We’ve definitely come a long way with the technology. Even though I work on all these newfangled electrical wizardry systems on the modern car, deep down I’m still the kid who got a kick out of tearing down an old junker and putting it back together. Now, I’m surrounded by modules, proximity keys, and sensors. Occasionally it’s kind of nice just to step away from the computer and just turn a wrench or two. I look forward to those simpler kinds of jobs, the ones that need a craftsman’s touch and not a box of transistors and capacitors to figure out what to do. Back to a time when a driver was more mechanical involved in the process of operating the vehicle. Heating vents with levers and cables, or a hand choke that needed just the right touch to get it started. No electronics, no service light, just the essentials. (For you younger techs, I’m referring to the days when you actually had to unlock a door with a key.) I still marvel at the ingenuity and engineering of those times. I guess it’s one of the reasons why I like going to old car and steam engine shows so much. It’s all about the mechanics for me. Electronics are great, but to see the early mechanical devices that were commonplace a century ago still amazes me. How they figured it out, and how they made it work is shear brilliance. (If you ever get a chance to study some of those early mechanical systems, you might be surprised how things were accomplished prior to the computer age. It’s quite fascinating… well at least to me it is.) It’s great to be able to step back once in a while and just be a mechanic. Back when things were rebuilt and not just replaced with new. There’s a certain satisfaction in taking a broken mechanical device and making it functional again. It’s those jobs that after you’ve wrestled the components into place, and everything is finished you realize that you’re covered in grease, but for some reason you’ve got this big smile on your face. It’s the look of accomplishment, a smile of pride in a job well done. And while you’re cleaning up the tools, you look over at the finished project still smiling, knowing you’re done and can move onto the next project. It just doesn’t compare to finishing up on a modern car when the last thing to do is watch that blue line steadily move across the computer screen, waiting for it to say “Task completed”. Not that I’m putting down the modern car, no far from it. It’s just nice to take a break once in a while from the technical mumbo-jumbo and just be a mechanic for a change. Even though it’s pretty awesome to solve a difficult electrical issue, it’s hard to beat a good old fashion mechanical repair. For me, when a restoration project shows up at the shop I get a chance to turn off the laptop and open the toolbox. These restoration jobs are just as much for the customer as they are for me. It’s a restoration of some of my old almost forgotten mechanical abilities. (Yea, I still got it…) We put a lot of trust in the modern electronics, something the engineers and designers of those automobiles from a few decades ago never even though of. Their own ingenuity and craftsmanship kept them going. Components were built to be repaired not replaced. I think it’s safe to say that a car from 50 years ago is more likely to start and run in another 50 years but I seriously doubt a car from today would have the same luck. There again, it might be something a technician/mechanic of that era might figure out how to do by then. Me I’ll still stick with being a mechanic/technician … I still like the physical repair aspect of the job. The future of electronics in today’s cars is constantly changing; sometimes we notice the changes while other times you can’t physically see them. Sometimes all it takes is a little R&R on an old jalopy just to make me remember how far we’ve come. In the meantime, the latest restoration job is done so it’s time to go for a test drive. I’ll get back to the laptop and the modern car world just as soon as I get all the tools cleaned up… it might take a bit though … I’m still admiring the restoration job and I’ve got some more smilin’ to do. View full article
  18. I'm selling Interstate right now, on consignment, and I've had no issues with warranty returns. I wonder if the warranty issues noted above are from Distributors instead of Interstate directly. Clearly, some of you have had warranty rejections whereas, I've had none. Our warranty process: We test the batteries and if they fail, the test results are attached, but many times they get destroyed by the acid and are unreadable. The route drivers do not read the test results, nor do they retest the batteries when they pick them up. They are placed on the truck in a compartment with all other battery cores from other retailers, so there's no distinguishing who's core is who's at the factory for later testing. The warranty claim is processed on site by the driver. Maybe they have different warranty solutions in different regions. Can anyone comment on how their Interstate warranties are being processed? My challenge with Interstate has been with stocking levels and their inability to hot-shot batteries in <24 hours. If I don't have it in stock, then we source an AC Delco from a different supplier. I've recently upped my inventory to solve my own shortages problem. Currently, AC Delco is significantly higher, about $20 each, than it's Interstate peer (similar or (mostly) less warranty levels) and NAPA is about $25 each higher. Yesterday, I invited both AC Delco (distributor) and NAPA to pitch their battery programs again.
  19. I'm just about to settle on a software package to run my shop. I've found looking at a number of them that there are a few that don't seem to tick the basic boxes in information gathering that we as registered repair shops are required by law to do. I'm wondering if this is a New York specific issue or if this issue happens everywhere. Would you guys comment on your state requirements. I'd like to pass some more information to the software company I'm working with in hopes that they motivate to make some improvements to satisfy these requirements. Example, in NYS we are required to capture a signature or document approval with the customer complaint to begin work on the vehicle before we touch it. We must record mileage when the vehicle enters the shop and when it is finished. We must state the warranty for each item and the terms and time limit for any guarantee on repair work. We have to collect a non taxable $2.50 waste tire management fee for every new tire sold. We have a state safety and emissions inspection that is varies in fee and is non taxable.
  20. Damn I really did it. After 39 years [this November] I just sold my business. Life is gonna be different.
  21. Earlier
  22. Have used the Delco brand batteries for the last 8 years. Very little problems with them and warranted well by my local vender Dust and Sons and Stonewheel. I have had nothing but problems with Interstate batteries and will NEVER install another one. I even used to stock them. Biggest pieces of crap sold and their warranty is junk. Have never been able to get them to warranty any of them even when they load test at 3 volts. Really suggest you check out the Delco. Several different lines with different warranties so you can tailor the battery to the car and the customer. They do 18, 24, 36 month warranties that are full replacement not pro rated.
  23. We use NAPA Legend batteries (75 month). They did the consignment deal when we started with them. 99% of their batteries are under $100. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  24. newport5

    Opinions on my work hours

    You are getting some great information. Start encouraging online reviews. Even referral customers check your online reviews. In CA it's Yelp, which is free. I say, "Hey, if you liked my service, please go online and leave me a review." I'd heard that the simply satisfied customer doesn't refer you. it's after you do something special for them. Victor
  25. I would like to resurrect this topic as I am wanting to stock batteries. So far interstate has their value line that is 62.50 across the board most batteries and more for the oddball stuff. I don't like the fact that they don't have any roadside assistance. Advance auto parts is too pricey. Worldpac and Cold Air Distributors have ACDelco and are very reasonable in their pricing and have roadside assistance but it is not a consignment program. You buy their batteries that you want to stock. What programs do you have regarding pricing, consignment, etc. What battery tester so you have that's cost effective. I'm thinking a Midtronics MDX-300 or whatever. Also I think sometimes a vendor will include a battery tester with a printer.
  26. Richard Ehler

    Business management training

    I just signed up for ATI after attending 4 seminars in last 9 years. Coach seems very good. They seem to have the most complete program as I did elite, and apm. It is expensive, but I don't see how I can lose. Goal is to make more net profit, AND have better processes, accountability and KEEP it going.
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