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I cannot speak for the northeast, but payment terms in our area are typically between 30 to 60 days. They will want to know your standard pricing on all their PM items (tires, brakes, oil, tune-up, etc), which should not be too difficult to break down for a fleet of similar buses.


If I were you, I would try to find out what their current terms and pricing are before making them an offer. It puts you in a better position to negotiate. I would also figure out why they are looking for a new shop to service their fleet. A typical complaint in our area is shops not being able to provide detailed reporting to the fleet managers (example, a fleet manager might want a list of all the service done on his fleet in 2013, broken down by service type and then by VIN). Many shops cannot / won't do this.


Let us know how it goes!

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NET30 is pretty typical around here. I also service the Department of Transportation in our area. They WILL NOT accept any late fees and will pay when they get to it. So I basically just bill them they usually pay it pretty quickly and have only once or twice taken 2-3 months to get payment for. This is mostly because there is only one lady who does this job and I have seen her desk.....STACKED with invoices to pay.


Agree with Wes but also might want to find out if this is for a school district if THEY have any specific billing requirements. Also don't school systems typically have their own bus mechanics?


P.S. Wes, that is the damn fleet manager's job, but with a lot of invoicing systems you can set it up so they can access all of their information.

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P.S. Wes, that is the damn fleet manager's job, but with a lot of invoicing systems you can set it up so they can access all of their information.


I agree. However, a lot of the small companies have a "fleet manager" that is just a regular manager with the additional added responsibility of handling the fleet. Many have no experience in handling a fleet and need someone to walk them through the best practices. It's easy enough to do with software and helps build a relationship.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
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