By Joe Marconi
In my 40 years as a shop owner, I have battled the age old dilemma: Is it my car count, my customer count or some other reason why some weeks I find it hard to hit my sales goal.
It always comes down to production. Now that's really simplifying it, I know. But, when you look at the numbers, with the right jobs and a balanced schedule, the ARO goes way up and car counts become not as important as we thought.
Another thing to consider, this is not 1995. Cars do not come in 5 to 6 times a year for an Oil Change Service. You are lucky to see some customers every 10,000 miles as they wait for that Oil Change Percentage light on their dashboard to tell them...NOW IT"S OK TO GO TO YOUR REPAIR SHOP. Isn't it funny how so many people will listen to the dash board light, and not you!
Anyway, what are your thoughts. How do you reach your weekly sales goals and what KPI's are important to you?
By Joe Marconi
One of the toughest decisions we face with the COVID 19 crisis is how much staff we need. When do we impose layoffs? I have never in 40 years had to lay off an employee due to any economic crisis. But this time it's different. Half my staff is layed off, primarily becuase sales have dropped more than half.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: "It's better to cut a limb to save the body; never sacrifice the body to save a limb."
Believe me, it's tough, but we all need to make the decisions that we save your company.
Have you ever searched various services or products from your PC, tablet and phone trying to figure out what happens when your customers do the same? I'm guessing we all have and came to the same conclusion: it's a moving target. As shop owners we are all thinking "How do people in need of my services find me online"? Once we know the answer to this question we know where to go to get found, but that answer doesn't seem to be clear.
Google search is still the #1 lead generator but the playing field has changed, here is the best article I have ever seen which clearly describes what Google is (and was) doing. If you struggle like me to understand, this will clear up a little confusion. To read it, CLICK HERE.
Scorpion Internet Marketing are the experts my company has recently teamed up with for web development and marketing.
I had a customer claim that we damaged his car in multiple spots on the driver side rocker panel during an oil change. We don't lift vehicles for oil changes, so at best, the closest we come to touching the rocker panels is entering the vehicle. One of our shoes might get caught when entering. This is an elderly gentleman and I do think he's being honest, but also think he is confused. He saw some of our guys milling about near his car (actually working on computer in the bay) and thought they were looking at some damage on his car. So, when he got home, he inspected it thoroughly. This guy waxes / polishes his car daily, but has problems bending over anyway, so I don't think he's paid strict attention to the rocker panel. In fact, he blamed us for some road tar that we were able to scrape off. Not sure that his vision is great either. But he loves his car.
In our observation, it looks like a scuff mark maybe from hitting rubber debris on the road, but at the same time, it appears to be under the clear coat as it won't rub off. See the attached pictures. I'm hoping someone that knows paint might be able shed some light on what I'm seeing. We've only taken pictures and tried to rub it off with fingers and fingernails. We have not tried any solvents or cleaners. I'm sure he would bring the car back for another inspection.
I have recently (about two years ago) gone into business for myself (no longer a dealer tech) and have actually not had to file any labor claims until this past month and it was quite a bit of a hassle.
I was wondering what your experience has been with what auto parts store has been the most user friendly and reasonable reimbursement process?
The places I have access to are:
Action Auto Parts
I don't want to say which of those I am frustrated with after this go round, because I am more interested in hearing your experiences rather than any defenses of a preferred brand. I am told that Advance and Napa supposedly offer full labor rate reimbursement, but I am not sure I believe this, there must be a catch. I don't expect a full labor rate reimbursement, I understand they are paying us for the costs of replacing the part and not to profit a second time, but I also believe it needs to be a fair valuation.
Thanks for any feedback!
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By Joe Marconi
By now we have all heard that different manufacturers and Google are working on the driverless car. That fact does not bother me too much, but the claim that driverless cars will lead to less collisions, does. It’s pointed out that most accidents are caused by human error and cars operated by computers are safer and will be involved in fewer accidents. Well for me the jury is still out on that claim.
I guess the main thing is realize that technology is moving faster and faster and as shop owners we need to cope and embrace not only technology but all the changes we will see in the near future.
What’s next, the flying car?
Here's a link to an article on Google's driverless car: