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Hi from Ireland


FabVinny

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Hi, I'm a former parts advisor not a shop owner but looking for some advice. My local repair shop is a friends one man setup. I told him I'd ask here for any suggestions on improving things.

 

We have a lot like this in ireland. The local parts shops don't (As a rule) have online ordering.

 

I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on how best to run a one man repair shop. I can see a lot of time spent on parts ordering and general interruptions.

 

Any suggestions on how to organise work flow etc appreciated. Anyone sharing the cost of services etc among a few owners?

 

Hope this rambling makes sense!

 

Thanks

Vinny

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Hi, Vinny!

 

Welcome! Here in the U.S.A. online parts ordering is made much easier by the use of Vehicle Identification Numbers. You plug in the VIN into the program and it list the parts that should fit your particular vehicle. Do you guys have something like that there?

 

I have a good friend that moved to England about two years ago, he is phenomenal with diesel repair, I will see if I can get you in touch with him, I am sure he can share some good ideas with you.

 

-Harry

Edited by HarrytheCarGeek
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Thanks. The motor factors (parts stores) have online catalogues that can use vrm - vehicle registration number - to identify the correct vehicle but it's only used by them at the counter. No customer has remote access as far as I know. I can phone them and they look it up for me. some of the distributors have on line catalogues but they don't supply direct to trade.

Broadband Internet access is bad here in a lot of areas so think that might be why access is low

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Hi Joe, I'm was hoping to get some ideas on how to improve things so my friend would see that there's a more efficient way of working.

 

I'm familiar with the parts business so that's what I see first. I'm sure there's a lot that I don't see. My friend says he's too busy just getting work done to stop and analyse things, and he thinks forums are a waste of time (no offence intended!)

 

I've set up an email address for him and each car now gets a leaflet telling them they can book their car in by sending an email rather than phoning.

 

Early days but it seems to be working. There's been a reduction in interruptions for simple appointments since.

 

Another thing we've done is to schedule maintenance services for specific days. Cars are in, done and out fast with an appointment date set for the next service showing on the invoice.

 

I'm doing all the organising at the moment but hopefully my friend will eventually see the benefits and work with me on this, or pay a consultation fee! ;-)

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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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