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  • Similar Topics

    • By autoguy
      What's everyone using and what do you prefer in terms of online parts ordering? Are you using something integrated into your shop software or a standalone website from napa, o'rielly, advance, autozone, or other local or regional parts supplier? What do you like about it?
      Using Napa Prolink and AdvancePro along with worldpac speedial
    • By HarrytheCarGeek
      Labor rate from $115 to $150 car count down 1/3 revenue up 6%.
       
      Going on the third month that we raised our rates. Our best customers have stayed, trouble nickle and dime customers seem to have disappeared. ARO from 380 to 628.
    • By [email protected]
      I am looking to start accepting cards to open the opportunity for more business and I know there have been too many bait and switch stories and hidden or rising fees. 
      I use Mitchell1 for my shop software and online data and they offer their integrated payment system called XCharge and I spoke to a sales rep over the phone who said there were no monthly fees, 1.6% on credit cards, $0.29 across the board for debit and bla bla. Of course I believe that manual entry was more and also amex/discover I think was more. They also have a program called First Mile but didn't ask about that.
      Any thoughts??
    • By Joe Marconi
      I am writing this on my last day of vacation in California, spending time with family. It took me a few days to totally relax, but made it a point to not look at emails or call the office.
      We all need downtime. I know there will be a ton of work to be done when I return, but I also know that the time away has recharged my batteries and I will be more productive.
      Being away from business and spending time with family puts things into proper perspective. You realize that a lot of the things you stress over, are really not as important as you think.
      Take time to enjoy life.  We all know how quickly time passes us by.   And remember, no one on their death bed ever said they wished they spent more time at work.
    • By Gonzo
      Real or Reality TV      Have ya noticed all the reality programs on TV these days?   There’s a reality show for every subject you can think of... and  probably a few you never would have thought of.    From high society in the big city to the suburbs, and even some  from way … way back in the woods.  They can be quite  entertaining, funny, and sometimes pretty strange.           Now, I’m not much on which rich neighbor is doing what with  which rich neighbor or who makes the best moonshine, but what  I do know is a few things about the automotive repair world.  I've been  to check a few of those shows out.  Although, from my side of  the wrench, as a professional mechanic, I take a completely  different view of them. In my opinion, some of these reality  shows are far from 'real' reality, and I’ve certainly watched a few  that I didn’t even make it past the first commercial break before I flipped  the channel to something else.            It’s not so much the cars; it’s how they go about restoring them that gets to me.  They’ll start off with somebody flashing a wad of cash, and then they buy some old relic, tow it to their garage and present it to the crew.  The crew will have this shocked look as to what was just dropped off or they’ll have their own ideas about how nuts their boss is for even thinking about taking on this relic as a project.  That's about the time the boss gives them the lowdown on what his/her vision is of the latest acquisition. Which, usually consists of a full tear down and rebuild, but they only have a few weeks to do it all in.  By the end of the show there's a gleaming fully restored work of art that (for the sake of reality TV)  there is already a buyer or two ready to shell out some ridiculous amount of money for it.             But the shows that really irk me are the ones that use the “all-nighter” approach to car repair.  They’ll completely dismantle a car down to the last nut and bolt and in the length of one long commercial break they'll have all the mechanical, electrical, vacuum systems, interior, instrument panel, brakes, transmission, rear-end, engine, cooling system, heating systems, glass, and a full paint and body mod completed in less than 72 hours. (I can't find a lot of those parts in less than 72 hours) And, the best part, (or biggest guffaw on these shows) is during the final reveal. They drag the new or previous owner into a warehouse and surprise them with their refurbished car.  Off to the side, just out of the primary camera view, is the entire crew that has spent the last three days with no sleep looking as fresh as a daisy.  I'm in awe of the crew to say the least, not one of them is covered in grease, has half of their shirt untucked, no fresh cuts or scraps, not a single bandaid in view, and not one of them showing any effects from sleep deprivation.  Simply amazing… gotta love it... must be some of that TV magic.        I’ve done my share of all night marathon repairs before and quite frankly, by the time the sun comes up I’m not the most coherent guy with a lug wrench in his hand.   Hey, they call it “Reality TV” but, as this arm chair quarterback sees it……. it doesn’t seem all that realistic to me.  I’m sure the entire staff are some of the finest mechanics, bodyman, electrical gurus of the automotive world, but I highly doubt you can turn out a truly professionally restored vehicle in that short amount of time.  There has to be a huge number of short cuts that are taken to meet the TV deadlines.        On the other hand, there are a lot of great automotive reality programs on the television that go to great lengths to show how a modification is installed and go through the process of explaining those mods to the “nth” degree.  Any show that portrays the reality of doing the job I do every day in a professional manner I'll sit down and watch it from beginning to end.  You want to show me how you install some super cool new rear tail light lenses or wild looking front grill... awesome!!!  Or, pulling an engine out of a classic and doing the necessary rebuild on it... super!!!  Love that stuff.  But, when you try to convince me that you're going to take some car that has been sitting for ten years in the back of some family garage totally neglected and raise it from the dead overnight... ya lost me.         Come on, I do resto's all the time and the biggest hassle with any of them is and always been the parts availability.   A job comes in the shop, y put it up on the lift and spin the drive shaft only to find out the differential or bearings are shot.  It’s not like you're going to run down to the local parts store and pick up a set of bearings for a thirty year old low production car just like that.  But, somehow, someway, some of these shows pull it off... (That's TV for ya.) Aside from all the mechanical woes, ya have to consider what the original reason was for the car to be parked for so long in the first place.   Nine chances out of ten it's because something was worn out and the replacement part was hard to find, or really expensive to repair.  Not every car in the back of the garage is there because someone was collecting it or saving it for a reality show to come by and restore it.        In some ways it gives the novice car enthusiast the wrong impression of what it takes to restore a car.  Lately I've been doing a lot more restoration projects than I've done in the past and I do believe it's a result of all these reality shows being aired.  For that, I thank you.  But, at the same time... shame on you!  I can't live up to the overnight expectations that seem so possible on the big screen. Even though the customer doesn't mention they have been watching a reality show, you know... they're thinking … “This shouldn’t take that long. It didn't take that long for that guy on TV.”  The idea that you're going to resurrect a dilapidated hunk of iron into a show stopper in a short span of time just ain't real reality.         And, let's not forget the real big issue.... cost.  Now there's some reality for ya!  When the customer starts to see the costs, WOW!!! Then the reality of doing a restoration project starts to set in. Makes ya wonder if putting that old rust bucket back in the corner of the garage might be a far better idea than fixing it up.  I'm certainly grateful for the few shows that have that “sit-down-with-the-customer” session explaining the cost of the restoration.  It does add to the realism and makes it more believable.            I’ve got a big “Thank You” to the guys and gals on these shows that portray the automotive world in its true form.  It's a pleasure for me as a professional mechanic to see the artistry and talent of another professional on screen.  Watching them dealing with a stuck bolt, rusty bodywork, or dodging the fumes from the soldering gun is all part of the real reality.  But, I do have to give credit to all the other shows too, they are entertaining, and in some small way add to the resurgence in restorations projects across the country…. The only thing I ask is… keep it real.   
      View full article


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    • By Oova At Autovitals
      The Digital Shop® takes shape in Schools
      Lindsay, our trainer extraordinaire went back to school. Not as a student but being a professor for two days at the Career and Technology Center Fort Osage. Based on the initiative of SmartFlow users in and around Kansas City, MO, Bill Lieb, and Bryan Compton – teachers of the Automotive Classes at CTC – AutoVitals provided equipment and training for the next generation automotive technicians.
      It has been an honor to support this initiative. The technician shortage and hesitance for new technology by older generation techs make it a necessity to have young technicians equipped with the knowledge about the tools available and how to use them. SmartFlow can not only guide these students to the digital frontier, but also learn about productivity and efficiency that is typically missing in everyday curriculum.
      As you can see in the pictures below, the students and Lindsay had a lot of fun with the lab portion of the training. Each group performed digital inspections on their vehicles, and expanded on the importance of documentation and pictures. Four classes in two days showed high school students the opportunity in this industry, both present and future. Professor Lindsay had a blast!
      Are you a School interested in taking your Automotive Program to the next level, or know of one? Please use our contact-us form to reach out!


    • By Joe Marconi
      For Mitchell1 and Shop Key users, there will be a workshop in Atlantic City New Jersey. I have been to this workshop and it is a worthwhile event. Below is a link for more info and to sign up.
       
       
      http://www.buymitchell1.net/form/m1usersinfo.htm
       
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