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Independents Offer Quality Repairs


Gonzo

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I take anything anyone from AutoMD says with a grain of salt. Of course they don't think OEM is better, they sell aftermarket parts themselves. There are many cases where an OEM part is not only better but essential in a quality repair. Case in point: Go to the AutoMD website and get an "Estimate" for a fuel pump replacement on a 2000 GMC Jimmy. They say parts should cost $90.75 from them or $107.09 at a shop. Labor, if they do it themselves is 3.2 hours or 2 hours at a shop. I just did this repair at my shop. An AC/Delco replacement module was over $320 my cost and the flat rate was 3.0 hours not including draining and refilling the tank (alldata). It actually took about 4 hours with all of the rust issues we have here and the total bill to the customer was just over $600. He was ecstatic, he had called around to several other shops in the area and I was several hundreds less than them and I used the OEM pump. I've compared several of my jobs to automd and found them to be close on some and way off on others.

We have to be careful with regards to telling people OEM is not necessary. There are times when it is the only way to go, this was just one case where OEM is necessary on this vehicle. Sure the pump cost a little more but I won't have to do it all over again in a year. This is where communication and trust between a service writer and customer is key. You have to build that trust first. In my case above, a previous customer of mine recommended me to this person. They spoke highly of me as a trustworthy technician and that I wouldn't steer them wrong. After talking to the customer and explaining why I only will use an OEM pump on these vehicles they understood where I was coming from and allowed me to do the job. It is a tight rope to walk between telling people independent shops are great and you don't need the dealer but on the other hand you do need to use OEM/Dealer parts for some repairs.

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I take anything anyone from AutoMD says with a grain of salt. Of course they don't think OEM is better, they sell aftermarket parts themselves. There are many cases where an OEM part is not only better but essential in a quality repair. Case in point: Go to the AutoMD website and get an "Estimate" for a fuel pump replacement on a 2000 GMC Jimmy. They say parts should cost $90.75 from them or $107.09 at a shop. Labor, if they do it themselves is 3.2 hours or 2 hours at a shop. I just did this repair at my shop. An AC/Delco replacement module was over $320 my cost and the flat rate was 3.0 hours not including draining and refilling the tank (alldata). It actually took about 4 hours with all of the rust issues we have here and the total bill to the customer was just over $600. He was ecstatic, he had called around to several other shops in the area and I was several hundreds less than them and I used the OEM pump. I've compared several of my jobs to automd and found them to be close on some and way off on others.

We have to be careful with regards to telling people OEM is not necessary. There are times when it is the only way to go, this was just one case where OEM is necessary on this vehicle. Sure the pump cost a little more but I won't have to do it all over again in a year. This is where communication and trust between a service writer and customer is key. You have to build that trust first. In my case above, a previous customer of mine recommended me to this person. They spoke highly of me as a trustworthy technician and that I wouldn't steer them wrong. After talking to the customer and explaining why I only will use an OEM pump on these vehicles they understood where I was coming from and allowed me to do the job. It is a tight rope to walk between telling people independent shops are great and you don't need the dealer but on the other hand you do need to use OEM/Dealer parts for some repairs.

 

I couldn't agree more... I prefer OEM to anything... unless there is something special with the aftermarket part that makes it better... seldom does that happen.

 

I thought it was really interesting how the author of the story picked a dimmly lit shop and the grease covered cardboard on the floor... and two guys sticking their heads under a car... not on a lift... and I didn't see any safety jack... does a lot for the image...

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  • 1 year later...

Getting a quality repairs for our vehicles is the only thing we look for when we have some damages and other factors. I would like to share that I always search for auto repair shops on internet to get some basic ideas and cost for repairing the damage car.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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