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Have you seen repairpal.com?

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I did some comparison shopping on a fuel pump for a Chevy Blazer and they were way off, not sure what fuel pump brand they are quoteing and who's list they are using. They seemed to be in the hunt on labor. Can't see how this would help us as shop owners and I don't think its a real popular site either.


Here's a write up on it:


"Award-winning RepairPal is the only automotive resource delivering free,

"instant" RepairPrice Estimates via the Web and its popular iPhone mobile

application.RepairPal provides the most accurate auto repair and maintenance

information available anytime, anywhere, with knowledge provided by

ASE-certified mechanics. It also has the most comprehensive user-rated directory

of auto repair shops and dealerships. RepairPal`s patent-pending system provides

over 23 billion unique repair price estimates covering 98% of passenger vehicles

and every zip code in the U.S. Founded in 2007, RepairPal is headquartered in

Emeryville, CA. For more information, please visit www.RepairPal.com"

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The few times I checked their "Estimates" I was near the top of their independent shop range but I am one of the lowest $$ shops in town on labor. I also suspect they, or an imitator are behind the price shopper phone calls and emails I've been getting lately. Cell-phones from out of area blocks of numbers, anonymous email addresses, and way too knowledgeable about what their car needs and it HASN'T been to another shop.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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