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  • Similar Topics

    • By hello5555
      I currently employ a mechanic and friend who has been with me for about 20 years. He was formerly a transmission rebuilder, but we have switched to mostly reman units and have no need for a rebuilder. His pay has remained the same despite his value declining. I am currently paying him roughly $100,000 a year. The problem i'm having is that his skill set is not near that pay level anymore. He does light diagnostic and basic managerial work, but I am not confident enough for him to run the shop for more than an hour. With the current state of the industry our numbers have gone down a bit over the last two years. While still being profitable, I can't help but think about the extra income that would be available by terminating this employee, I just dont know how to do it. Any advice on how to do this? I like him as a person and have known him a very long time, but I feel his is paid about twice as much as he is worth. Any help wouldbe greatly appreciated.
    • By flacvabeach
      Virginia's Governor in his 2020 budget proposal has included elimination of the state's vehicle safety inspection program.  In addition, a state legislator has introduced a bill doing the same.  I serve on the board of the Virginia Automotive Association, a group of over 200 independent shops who have banded together to lobby in the interests of our industry. VAA has ponied up a a $25000 increase in the lobbying budget to fight the move.   As a shop owner, I have mixed emotions on the subject, but if I were gambling I would bet that the program will go away.   On one hand, it's kind of nice that the state's motorists are forced to bring their cars to a shop once a year, giving us an opportunity to make them life-long customers. Also, it has created a cadre of technicians in the state who have been vetted and background checked by the state police.   On the other hand, there are a litany of negatives inluding  customer resentment, anger when their vehicle fails, uneven management by the state police who oversee the program due to limited resources.  Some shops are "by the book" while others are "sticker mills" who will pass anything.  Unfortunately, VAA and others have been unable to produce hard statistics that show that the program .makes a difference in highway safety.  The big studies I have found blame driver error for the majority of accidents.  What is ironic is that just this year VAA won a long battle to get the inspection fee raised from 16 to 20 dollars.   The legislature convenes in January to enact laws that will take effect in June.
      I would like to hear how other Virginia shop owners feel and I would like to hear from other states that have witnessed termination of these programs.
      Mark Anderton
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      Shop owners, you have a little less than two months before the end of the year.  And that means it's time to start thinkning about your Tax Planning for 2019. Don't procrastinate on this. Meet with accountant. Review the year, review profit.  Consider things such as major equipmenet purchases and other major investments you made in 2019.  Look at bottom line profit and determine if you set aside enough cash to pay your taxes come April 15, 2020.  
      One thing, Cash is King, So, before you purhase any major equipment before the end of the year, listen to your accoutant, not the Tool Sales-person.  In many cases, it's better to pay some tax and hold on to cash for a rainy day. 
      A little planning now will save you big time in 2020, and also help you sleep better! 
       
    • By BNC173
      I don't spend a lot of time working in the shop on a day to day basis, but do have to do some after hours services or jump in to help. The shop has a few sets of tools that have been placed around in the shop so you don't need to go looking when you need common tools. Yesterday doing a couple simple tire changes & I needed a pair of pliers they station should have 2 they had none I asked a mechanic he went across the room to go get one pair. I then use the machine to breakdown the tire & it wouldn't bust the bead, so I went to the other machine & it was the same way so I went to do it the manual way. Put it on the rim clamp of the first & it wouldn't close, so I went back to the second & I had to clean & oil so it would clamp. I head to balance & had to move tires that will be installed or had been taken off but had life left so we hung on to.  So a 30 min job took 45 min. I asked come in this morning & before I could ask or say anything I see one of the tire guys doing a car tire by hand, I asked you always do it that way & he said yes neither machine is working. I said I found that out last night & have called the repair guy but how come nobody said anything, I got the I don't know answer.  So my question is how does everyone handle the putting tools back, checking machines & notifying of needed repairs & even sweep the floor. Do you have a person with a checklist go to each station every night, sweep the floors every night. Just seems like we have everyone working right up to quitting time or after hate to push more but our running after tools stepping over tires & machines not working correctly is costing us. Just getting ideas of what has worked for others. Thanks
    • By bantar
      @CAR_AutoReports created an article about ADAS, but I can't reply there.  It was a good article.   Thank you.  Starting a new topic to discuss this in more detail since it won't let me respond there.
      I've started asking around to see if the Mobile Diagnostics guys are adding ADAS to their mobile services and so far, I've found no one, but also haven't looked very hard either.    At a minimum, we all need to be able to recognize when ADAS is impacted and know whether to proceed with a service or not, if we are unequipped to tackle the next step.
      I do have a few questions / observations / :
      With the complexity of these procedures, does anyone have a feel for how the dealers are pricing / handling ADAS reprograms?  In looking at this as a service offering, assuming one has room, I wonder about the following: What prices would the market bear for such services? You mention that you are getting paid for documentation.  Sounds like the ADAS services are time and materials charging.   Your car didn't program in the typical 45 minute drive cycle, so you are charged extra.    I think I remember reading about some complex procedures that were in the 10 hour range?   Any comment on typical job sizes?   Lastly on charging, I can see people throwing fits on such "frivolity" (anything you don't fully understand must not be important).   "If it's that much, time to get rid of the car!!!!" Looks like this could be a single specialty shop offering - B2B only. Are there generic tool kits that work with multiple car lines or is it one tool kit per line? Any idea of the types of such kits and their costs?  You mentioned $20K toolkit.   If access to OE Information is mandatory this may also impact which car lines are selected (as one may not want many subscriptions, even if temporary) Can we perform an ADAS impactful repair, but then sublet to the dealer for the ADAS reprogram (or other local shop)?  Is this a good strategy or not?  As of today, I've seen a number of cars with these systems, but have not performed any services which would impact them.
       


  • By Joe Marconi, in Automotive Management,

    By Joe Marconi, in Selling Automotive Repair,

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