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How did May treat you?


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I hope everyone had a great month. April seemed to be off for a lot of shops, so if yours was one of them I hope it turned around for you.

I had a great month!  My guys turned in an all time record month. They beat the snot out of the previous record by $15K, and had a higher GP doing it. Car count is up, ARO is up, and I spent most of the month at the lake working on my boat while my guys took care of business.

Tomorrow is one of my favorite times. I get to go in and write some serious commission checks. I'll probably flip everyone a Benjamin while I'm at it.

Life is good.

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Water Proof And Self Adhesive

We did record numbers! My people are a bit stressed but hanging in there strong. I keep telling them, let's shoot fish in a barrel while we can. We haven't seen the A/C work load I have been expecting due to the rainy weather, but I am sure it is coming soon. Congratulations y'all!

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May was okay.  I monkeyed with my marketing in April so my car count was lower than budget but still up over last May.  I changed it back.  ARO is up 12%.  Would have been a record if I would have left the marketing alone.

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After a record January and March, I suppose it was no surprise that May was also a new record!  February and April were good, but not record-setting.  Expecting the trend to continue this month...  But YTD is up 6.5% so I am happy!!!

 

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And just reading through this thread echoes what I seem to be hearing in conversations with my peers in the area - a lot of us that have been around for awhile and have tried different things are realizing that maybe business is just streaky now and it will be hard to attribute a good month to an advertising program or promotion since business doesn't seem to follow any pattern at all anymore.  Still good to advertise and try new things but I wouldn't necessarily count on the observed results being what you might expect, either way!

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  • 3 weeks later...
18 hours ago, xrac said:

Too bad you ain't closer I would love to see your operation!

It would probably be a big let down. It's a nice shop and all, but I've seen a lot of really nice shops. There's nothing amazing or complicated about it. It's mostly a combination of getting great people, designing a pay plan that encourages them to do what you want them to do, and a 100% commitment to the marketing. There are other aspects of course, but that's the core of it.

My friend Tommy in Texas just creams me on gross sales, and his net profit is crazy. I finally got to see his shop about a year ago. It was underwhelming to say the least. But it showed me without a doubt that if Tommy can get it done in his shop, I should be able to do it blind folded with one hand tied behind my back in mine. So far I'm not, but I'm catching up.

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June was our best month ever by about 20%.  Not seeing any hesitation to repair but the main used car dealership in town went under in May so I'm wondering if people are slowing down their car purchases a bit in this area.

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May was a record breaking month for us in every way. We added another service writer and another tech and needed the month to be good. We over doubled last May, up 110% in gross sales, and nearly tripled GP, up 180%. June was also good compared to last June, gross sales up 50% and GP up 44%. However, with adding a service writer and a tech we need to be up. We are currently booking almost a week out, so I'm very happy we increased staff when we did. We are a relatively new shop, so we've been up every year. I don't expect it will always be this way.

Richard G

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1 hour ago, xrac said:

Congratulations. Hope it continues. Our June was strong but July has opened weak. 

July has opened weak for me as well. But... When I compare to last year, which was a good July, we're ahead and not by a little. Like 45% ahead. You'd think I would remember last year starting out so weak. I need to go back and look at my daily sales from last year to find out when we came on strong.

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On 7/14/2017 at 10:22 PM, xrac said:

Despite some really hot weather AC work is not very strong in these parts.  

I am in Northern Florida, it also seems to be starting slow although my whole year has been a bit strange.  My business is down a little, first time in 15 years. Sure is waking me up. July is starting down a little as well. Good Luck to all.

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On 7/14/2017 at 11:22 PM, xrac said:

Despite some really hot weather AC work is not very strong in these parts.  

Same here, any heat related demand has been very weak. July is running on par with last year's numbers, could change if we get a heat wave but I am not holding by breath.

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11 hours ago, PartsTech said:

From the Merrill report posted above.  

"Vehicle mix could be a long-tailed headwind. While the market has grown increasingly concerned over a potential decline in the older vehicle population (which continues to age, now 11.7 years, see chart 6) from weakening used vehicle prices, a coming “off-lease tsunami” and lower new car sales, we see a bigger issue in the mix of cars sold. More specifically, we believe a shift away from SUV’s which are more costly to maintain and into sedans and CUV’s (cross-utility vehicles, which are based on car chassis) could be a long-tailed drag on aftermarket auto part demand for many years. As an example, the annual maintenance cost of an SUV is 23% higher than a small sedan and 10% higher than a medium sedan. For total operating costs (also including gas, insurance and depreciation) this jumps to 56% and 19% higher.

...

In the charts below, we analyze the number of vehicles by type that turn seven years old in each year. Seven years is the approximate sweet spot for the auto part retailers as this is when cars are typically out of warranty and begin to see higher maintenance and failure parts demand. Starting in 2015, there was a sharp drop off in the number of SUV’s turning seven years old, a function of the great recession when consumers shunned costly SUVs. More specifically, in 2015-2017 there are 3.1/2.1/2.4mn SUVs that turned seven years old in each year compared with an average of 5.7mn in the prior ten years. While there are many factors that have contributed to sluggish auto parts demand, we believe this could be an important and perhaps overlooked contributor."

Does that theory jive with what you're seeing?

PartsTech, I have thought about a bunch of theories from this report, I am located next door to the Oreilly's hub for our area. They built next to me about 7 years ago. I have noticed and spoke to their manager and parts guys about this topic for years. I have noticed the amount of cars coming in their parking lot is down.  I guess it does not surprise me that the retail parts business is slowing, I really think in few short years the walk in hard parts customer will be slowing down even more. These cars are getting very hard to work on and the consumers have no idea where to start. As you can imagine being next door I see horror stories daily. People spending hundreds just guessing. I really felt this would be a good year for my business, we have been at the same location for 55 years although we are down this year, first time in 15 years. I cannot put my finger on it. My customer base is rather extensive, maybe they are waiting for the last 6 months of the year. I sure hope so. We are really starting to look at expenses at this point. I guess sometimes it is like that. You have some good points. I have had a lot more parts salesman in my doors this year than ever before. It is going to be interesting this time next year. Have a good one. David.

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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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