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Auto Care Association Supports Supreme Court Decision Allowing States to Collect Online Sales Tax POSTED BY AUTO CARE NEWS ON JUNE 21, 2018 The Auto Care Association applauds today’s decision by the Supreme Court to permit states to collect sales tax on purchases of products made over the Internet. The 5-4 decision means that online sellers will now be on a level playing field with brick and mortar retailers regarding charging sales tax. The Auto Care Association had filed an amicus brief with other retail groups urging the Supreme Court to hear the case based on the price advantage that the current system provided on-line sellers. The decision overturns a previous Supreme Court decision that required companies to have a physical presence in the state where the purchaser resided in order to charge sales tax.
“This is an important decision for many of Auto Care’s retail members and we are pleased that the Supreme Court saw the unfairness in the current system and determined to make everyone play by the same rules,” said Aaron Lowe, senior vice president, regulatory and government affairs, Auto Care Association. “We hope that implementation of the sales tax will be done uniformly across state lines to ensure a fair and efficient system of tax collection.
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SCOTUS just ruled that online sellers have to charge sales tax to all online buyers. This is huge. So many times when matching Tire Rack the sales tax puts us at a disadvantage. No more. It's about time!
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Picture This Years ago my younger brother came to work for me. He didn’t know a thing about cars, but was willing to learn all he could. Teaching new techs is an art that most shop owners have to learn to do, but teaching your little brother can be a chore and can test your patience. I muddled thru it all and taught him what I could. I was sure at some point in time the two of us would butt heads like brothers will do, and he would take his new found skills and move up in the rank and files of the automotive technical world, but in the meantime it was his turn to learn from his older brother. When he first started I would walk him through each step of how to diagnose a certain system in a car. A lot of times he would have questions, and I’d do my best to answer them. He learned quickly and was really sharp at picking up some of those little details that are harder to teach. You know things like how you held a certain wrench or used a certain tool, to you and me it’s no big deal. But to a novice, it’s a revelation, then you (I) tend to forget to mention those certain traits while you’re teaching. Mainly because you are trying to get to the solution as efficiently as possible, and you neglect to bring it up. Such as: “always test your test light connection before testing what you’re testing, or don’t forget to check for all your tools before you pull the car out of the shop….” Things like that. One day we had a truck come in with dual fuel tanks on it. The gas gauge wasn’t working and needed some attention. This was a perfect opportunity for Junior to learn a few of my short cuts on these old models. It was an older Ford, in which the tank gauge ran thru the tank switchover button. It was rather easy to pull it out of the dash and connect to the gauge from the back of the switch. Luckily it was the typical problem I’ve seen a hundred times in the past. The switch connections would melt and the tank wouldn’t switch from the front tank to the rear, and of course the gauge wouldn’t move either. After locating the correct leads to the gauge and to the tanks I decided to show him how the gauge worked. I hooked up the one of the tanks to the crossover lead that would supply the signal from the tank to the gauge. “Ya see this, that’s the lead to the fuel gauge in the dash, and this is one of the tank wires. I’ll connect these together and we should get a reading on the dash,” I told him. He was watching intently, taking in all the wiring diagram information, the location of the wires, and how I was bypassing the switch. He was fascinated with the flow of the current and the way the gauge would respond. I even went as far as moving the gauge from full to empty by opening and closing it to a ground signal. While I had his attention I filled him in on the two types of gauges that were used back then (bimetallic and magnetic) and how low resistance on a bimetal type gauge would read near a full tank, while a magnetic gauge would read close to empty. Change the resistance and the gauge would/should read accordingly. “So, if we put gas in the tank the gauge should move right? That way we could check the sending units in the tanks too,” he asked me. “Great idea, grab a gas can and let’s add a few gallons,” I said, excited that he was so interested in the project. He grabbed a can of gas and poured a few gallons in the tank. I was watching the gas guage carefully, but there was no movement. I knew I was on the right wires, but nothing was happening. Now what? Are there more problems? “Crawl under there, and check to be sure the wire color is correct,” I yelled from the cab to him. “Yep, it’s the right wire on the tank.” “Well, we might have to pull the tank; it’s not changing the gauge readings up here.” “Before we do that let’s add some more gas, maybe we didn’t add enough,” Junior tells me. I thought I better go back and help hold the funnel, while he poured the gas in the tank. Unknowing to me, all this time my wife (who was the office manager) was listening in on the whole thing. She likes to keep tabs on me, and make sure I’m not going into one of my usual rants or having a fit because I had to explain something over and over again to little brother. This time she was standing at the corner of the shop just behind the truck with a camera. “CLICK”, I heard the camera shutter go off and she was back there laughing like there was no tomorrow. “What’s so funny?” I asked her. “You two idiots have been putting gas in the wrong tank. You’re on the front tank, and you’re putting gas in the rear tank,” my wife answers, laughing hysterically. About then the camera “clicked” again… this time it was an action shot taken at precisely the exact moment when these two idiots had that dumb struck look on their faces and realized what they just did. The shot had both of us on our knees, one holding a funnel and the other with the half empty gas can, and both of us staring right into the camera lens. Couldn’t have set it up any better if you tried. The picture clearly showed the side of the truck with both fuel tank doors visible and there was no doubt which tank we were putting in the extra gas. I guess it was one of those things I should have mentioned when we were checking the tank senders… make sure we are both on the same tank. For years that picture hung over her desk, and anytime I thought I was so smart she would point at the photo. Usually with that typical smirk, usually shaking her finger at me and of course the laugh… she had to laugh, but it wasn’t all that funny until she had me laughing about it too. Ok, Ok, I’m not perfect... and now my little brother knows it too. These days he’s a top notch tech at a dealership, and I have to call him on occasions for some help on how to solve things once in a while. Oh the photo… uhmmm… what photo?? Somehow it’s missing… haven’t seen the darn thing in years. But I guess I really don’t need to see the photo … the wife has a pretty good memory... she reminds me just how smart I think I am every chance she gets. Click here to view the article
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If you want to build a more profitable, successful auto repair business, you’ll need to make sure that every single employee has a clearly defined, written job description. If you’re a shop owner who has a manager in place, then here’s a list of things you will need to include in their job description. 1. They must know the goals of the company, as well as all of the relative Key Performance indicators. For example, when it comes to the company goals, they’ll need to know the long-term goals, as well as the annual, quarterly, weekly and daily goals. They will also need to know the goals for car count, sales, ARO, customer retention and satisfaction, gross profit, technician productivity and efficiency, and taxable income. 2. All shop managers must embrace the mission and culture of the company. The mission is why you do what you do, and the culture is the glue that holds your team together. For example, the mission may be to be to better your community, and the culture of your company may be defined by your shop’s ethics. 3. Shop managers need to ensure that they have a team of superstars, and they need to know how to keep their employees operating at peak performance. This means they’ll need to know the minimum levels of acceptable performance for each position, and all company policies. They will also need to know how to hold effective team meetings and perform reviews, and how to deal with every type of employee issue. 4. Shop managers need to know how to effectively manage customer concerns, and have a firm grasp of the situations that warrant contacting the shop owner, or their designated superior. 5. Shop managers must know how to properly secure the facility, vehicles, cash, checks, credit card information, all customer information and all employee records they have access to. 6. All shop managers must be able to properly maintain equipment, and process both customers and vehicles in a safe and efficient manner. This includes managing the shop’s labor inventory and expenses, properly assigning and dispatching work, and complying with all governmental requirements. 7. All shop managers need to know how to report to the shop owner, or their designated superior. We understand that every shop owner will have different reporting requirements, but at a minimum the manager should be required to provide a daily report on all relative KPI’s, violations of company policies, and customer concerns. This reporting must also include scheduled meetings with the owner (or their superior) to discuss the performance of the business and their recommendations for improvement. 8. At Elite we realize that there will be limitations on the control and authority assigned to the manager, but regardless, they must be held accountable for the overall success of the business. If the manager feels there is something that is holding the company back, or causing harm to the brand in any way, they have an ethical responsibility to advise the owner or their superior immediately. 9. All shop managers must effectively manage their time and tasks. They need to ensure they have a daily plan in place that allows them to remain focused on their goals, roles and responsibilities. 10. Shop managers must accept the fact that it is their responsibility to provide leadership to all the employees. They can fulfill this requirement by remaining focused on the goals of the company, fulfilling the requirements of their job description, treating all others in a professional way, and behaving in a manner that reflects that they will never compromise their ethics, show preferential treatment, or put money ahead of people. Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite, a company that strives to help shop owners reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry at the same time. The company offers coaching and training from the industry’s top shop owners, service advisor training, peer groups, along with online and in-class sales, marketing and shop management courses. You can learn more about Elite by visiting www.EliteWorldwide.com, or calling 800-204-3548.
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Just wondering if I was the only fool who signed up for Mitchell 1 at $149 per month, only to realize that this was an "introductory" offer for 6 months and the price then jumps to $219 monthly. My sales person didn't make this clear at the time I signed the contract. Just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.
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