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Virginia Shops - PLEASE HELP!


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The Virginia Automotive Association lobbies the Virginia legislature continuously in defense of our industry. They are the ONLY organization that does so. They are able to do this only through the participation and membership of shops like yours statewide. The group's current initiative is to obtain a long overdue increase in the state inspection fee. Your help is needed on this and other issues that come up before the politicians in Richmond.

 

VAA has been supporting Virginia independent shops behind the scenes for 50 years. Today they need your support in return. You can sit around and grumble about only getting $15 to do a 30 minute inspection or you can work to change it.

 

I urge you to visit the Association website and learn more, then go to the membership page and sign up! The membership benefits alone more than cover the membership fee and think about how an inspection fee increase could impact your bottom line.

 

If you would like to actively participate in this effort, call or e-mail the association's Executive Director, Steve Akridge and volunteer or just join!

 

Thanks,

Mark Anderton

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  • 3 weeks later...
Great Tire Deal

Limited audience here it seems. In order to do a Virginia State Safety Inspection to legal standards, 30 minutes would be a minimum. Generally, a lot of shortcuts are taken. The maximum allowable charge is currently $16. Where I work, the hourly rate is $135, the inspection fee is $15, and the technician gets .4 ($6.40 or more). It WOULD be a major loss for the shop EXCEPT that most customers want to do everything required to pass. We do a multi-point inspection on every car that is pretty much a state inspection - as all of our technicians are state inspectors. Very few rejections are issued (but I love writing ghost buster stickers if you are being a jackass driving an unsafe car). Ultimately, Virginia State Safety Inspections are profitable for the shop, despite the fact that the inspection fee does not come close to the posted labor rate for the shop. That said, it should cost a lot more to the customer for the inspection, and a more through inspection should be the norm. If other states charge upwards of $50 just to plug in to the OBD port and check codes, it would be reasonable for VA to charge at least a half an hour of average labor rate for their Virginia inspection.

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  • 9 months later...

Quite frankly, the lack of response to this year old post is indicative of the lack of awareness and participation in our own industry.

 

I have been in business since 1989 and only days ago found out about this forum and am quite active online and on Social Media... I am aware of the VAA and have been for several years....for Full Disclosure, I am NOT a member. I am sure they work hard and lobby for us, but who is aware of what exactly is happening? What we need is for Government to get out of the way of Small Business owners and allow us a bit of latitude. Maybe we already have enough...maybe not.

 

ASE was a wonderful idea that allowed us to self police...but it could be better.

 

In my area, (Mid-Atlantic region, Richmond, VA) we are a virtual waste land for Automotive Technical Training and especially Automotive Business Training. One of my goals for the past 15 years has been to change that. Now I am positioning myself to do just that.

 

We need to lift this industry up a bit and hopefully a little interaction will help!

 

William Tweedy, CMAT L1

Island Import Service, Inc.

Richmond, VA

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  • 1 year later...

Apart from the VAA's political activism on behalf of our industry, there is also a powerful social aspect to VAA membership.  Every year we hold a convention attended by about 400 folks from independent repair shops and vendors all over Virginia.  In April of 2015 the convention will once again be held at the Homestead, an amazing resort that is one of our state's treasures.  The convention provides an opportunity to obtain training, and inspiration from industry experts and fellow shop owners (and amazing food).  There is also a trade show that, in itself, is an amazing social and informational affair.  If you join now, your membership is covered through 2018.  New members receive two free convention registrations and if, at the end of 2018, you don't feel your membership was of any benefit, VAA will refund your membership fee.  CLICK HERE to join.

Shop not in Virginia?  You  are still welcome to attend the convention, enjoy the beautiful Homestead, and find out how a successful statewide industry alliance functions.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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