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!
Icahn Automotive Group LLC today announced the launch of Pep Boys Fleet, a program that puts a renewed focus on automotive service designed to better meet the needs of today’s growing fleets. With a new tagline, “Driving your business forward,” Pep Boys Fleet will continue to serve as a preferred partner to large, national fleet management companies and with this move is now better-positioned to meet the needs of the many small fleets emerging from the explosive growth of transportation network companies and last mile delivery services.
Pep Boys Fleet has the experience to handle any size fleet, providing inspections and warranty-backed repairs, both routine and complex, according to Icahn Automotive. Pep Boys Fleet service, including preventative maintenance such as tires, brakes, batteries and suspension, is done through the Pep Boys national network, which consists of more than 9,000 service bays in more than 1,000 company-owned locations. Pep Boys Mobile Crew, which launched in 2018 with state-of-art trailers, will now expand to include smaller-format fleet vans that are fully equipped with all the necessary supplies and staffed by trained technicians to complete common fleet maintenance and repair needs on-location.
“No matter the size of the fleet, our goal is always to decrease the vehicle’s downtime, ultimately providing a more convenient, flexible and personalized way of addressing repairs and vehicle maintenance,” said Brian Kaner, president of service, Icahn Automotive. “Pep Boys Fleet is the only service provider to be backed by a national network and offer mobile
maintenance and repairs, as well as provide dedicated fleet team support and solutions designed to both streamline the fleet manager’s role and help an owner focus on the running the business and not the fleet.”
Today 20% percent* of vehicles are sold to fleets, a number that’s expected to shift as high as 40% over the next 20 years as ride-sharing, ride-hailing and online retail continues to grow. As one of the largest, most trusted and widely known aftermarket automotive service providers, Pep Boys Fleet and the company’s trained and certified technicians can work on all makes and models. Changes have been made to the service format in Pep Boys locations to establish dedicated Pep Boys Fleet bays reserved exclusively to expedite fleet jobs, and locations are also being updated to include meeting rooms with amenities where fleet customers can conduct business while their vehicle is undergoing maintenance.
Pep Boys Fleet provides customers with national, regional, local and store-level support where customers receive a single point-of-contact that gets to know them and their business. The Pep Boys Fleet Team representative develops a customized service program and pricing plan and remains engaged to help manage a customer’s fleet business. Pep Boys Fleet also provides customers with a universal fleet services credit card that allows fleet managers to track and pay for vehicle repairs and preventive service and earn rewards. All fleet customers can also take advantage of a specialized online invoicing and payment system and a 24/7 towing program to any Pep Boys location.
Pep Boys Fleet is an official tire, brake and preventative maintenance supplier of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners (DSP), which provides negotiated pricing for Amazon DSP maintenance, along with a pro rewards program, and fleet credit which owners can use to cover unforeseen expenses. Later this year, Pep Boys plans to launch a management technology solution to help small and mid-size businesses better manage their fleet maintenance.
The launch of Pep Boys Fleet is a continuation of Icahn Automotive’s investments in its service business and follows the announcement of a comprehensive program to recruit and train automotive service technicians to meet the demands of the industry, which are being driven largely by the fleet customer. In addition to launching new service formats such as Mobile Crew, the company continues expanding its footprint in key markets by acquiring both franchised and owned service centers and remodeling existing Pep Boys locations.
By Joe Marconi
A few years ago, some friends and I were having dinner at a local restaurant. There were six of us enjoying the food and having a great time. A few minutes after our waiter served us our coffee and dessert, the owner of the restaurant walked over to us, introduced himself and said, “I have people waiting for this table; how much longer do you think you’ll be?” Shocked by his comment, I hesitated for a second, looked up at him and said, “No worries, we’re done.” With just a few simple words, the owner of the restaurant wiped out the pleasant experience we were all having.
As we were finishing up, we couldn’t help noticing the stares from our waiter and the owner. Their eyes were laser-focused on us. They made it obvious that they wanted our table. We didn’t say anything to our waiter, or the owner. But we told each other, “We’ll think twice about coming back to this restaurant.” None of us ever did go back to that restaurant. And I heard similar complaints from other friends about that restaurant. About a year later, that restaurant closed its doors for the last time.
As a business owner, I fully understand what each table means in terms of profit. The tables at a restaurant are no different than the service bays in our business. The more people you can process through the restaurant, the more profitable the restaurant is. The more cars we can process through our service bays, the more profitable we are.
While I don’t fault the owner of the restaurant for recognizing the need to be profitable, I do fault the owner for not understanding a basic rule in achieving success in business. And that is: You build a business one customer at a time and by developing strong, long-term relationships with those customers. And to maintain that success, a business must continuously cultivate those relationships.
The owner of this restaurant didn’t get it. All of us had dined at his establishment before. The owner didn’t see us as an opportunity to strengthen the relationships. He saw the opposite. By asking for our table, he put the emphasis on his next sale and eliminated any chance of us returning again. Losing customers, and not understanding why, is the kiss of death for any small business.
What the owner determined important was profit per table, per person. The process to get people fed and done became the primary objective, when it should have been ensuring its customers were enjoying a nice meal and having a great time. It was a mistake that eventually led to his failure. Never think that customer quantity ever outweighs the quality of the customer experience. Making a memorable experience is the essence of great customer service.
If we dig a little deeper, we find another mistake made by the restaurant owner: believing that the customer experience was over when the meal was over. The meal was prepared, it was served and we consumed it. Then, at some point during the end of that process, we became an obstacle to his next sale. He failed to comprehend that the sale is not over when the meal is over, and that everything that occurs right up to the moment when a customer drives away from his parking lot will have an influence on whether that customer will return in the future.
The lesson for us is simple: Never lose sight of the importance of creating a customer. Establish a culture in your company that cultivates long-term relationships. Build a process that always strives for world-class customer service during the entire customer experience—and especially at car delivery.
Never think that when the technician completes the repair, your job is done. The customer experience continues right up until the time the customer is picking up their car. The time you spend with the customer after the repair is done is as important as making the sale.
Value each customer. Work on those relationships. Don’t worry about short term profit gain. Remember: building long-term relationships, builds long-term profit.
By the way, that restaurant has recently opened up again. My friends and I went there for dinner last Friday night. We noticed that the new owner was walking around greeting everyone. He eventually made his way to our table, introduced himself and said, “Can I get anyone anything? It’s great to see you here tonight and hope to see you again soon. Thank you.”
Now, you tell me: Do you think we’ll go back?
This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on February 1st, 2019
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By Ron Ipach
December spells the end of 2018, and hopefully you're wrapping up what was a fantastic year for your auto repair shop and business.
Now… it’s time to start thinking about how to make 2019 an EVEN BETTER year. (Heck, let’s go ahead and plan on making it your best year ever! Right?)
By attending for this special Live Online Webinar, you're going to get the proven 4-step process that will practically GUARANTEE 2019 to be a blow-out success for you.
With these four steps, you’ll be able to…
👉 ==> DOUBLE your take-home pay (Yes, that’s not a misprint. I’ll show you how.)
👉 ==> Magnetically attract more (and even better!) customers to your shop
👉 ==> Easily sell your services at higher prices than your competitors
👉 ==> Find, hire, and keep that elusive tech you’ve been searching for
👉 ==> Put the fun back into running your shop!
If you're interested... there is absolutely ZERO cost to attend this training.
All you'll need is 45 minutes of your day set aside in order to watch this webinar live.
For the dates, times, and registration details, CLICK HERE
By Joe Marconi
If you are going to the Ratchet and Wrench Conference next week, I will be there to kick things off as the Key Note Speaker on the first day. I will also be making a presentation; Charging for Diagnostics on Friday, Sept 21.
If any member is attending the conference, please let me know and hopefully we can meet.
Here is the link to the conference: https://www.ratchetandwrench.com/articles/5651-ratchetwrench-announces-details-of-2018-management-conference