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AutoZone: Threat or does it fit a need?


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Would have to say, not our customers. If it is one of mine and it's Saturday afternoon and he needs a set of wipers or a battery, what could I say? I'm not open, I'd probably do the same thing. When he has a more involved issue though he will come to me. Convenience means a lot today because everyone is so busy.

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I feel autozone is not a threat to me as a repair facility.autozone sells parts only.and Autozone probably makes more money selling parts than anyone of us as independent repair shops could ever make.I love my local Autozone parts store,they read customers engine codes for free,then those customers come to me to repair their check engine light.We should be thanking Autozone for "diagnosing" the problems.The more they diagnose The more I make..Thank you Autozone..And I don't think autozone employees are trying to PRETEND to be mechanics.and if you feel you shouldn't be available 7 days a week that's great.I thank you too, cause I get alot of NEW and good paying customers on Saturdays and Sundays..

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I feel autozone is not a threat to me as a repair facility.autozone sells parts only.and Autozone probably makes more money selling parts than anyone of us as independent repair shops could ever make.I love my local Autozone parts store,they read customers engine codes for free,then those customers come to me to repair their check engine light.We should be thanking Autozone for "diagnosing" the problems.The more they diagnose The more I make..Thank you Autozone..And I don't think autozone employees are trying to PRETEND to be mechanics.and if you feel you shouldn't be available 7 days a week that's great.I thank you too, cause I get alot of NEW and good paying customers on Saturdays and Sundays..

 

I'll go out on a limb and say you work for autozone. No real shop that I know of is "thankful" for them reading the codes. Reading codes is certainly not diagnosing a vehicles problem as 95% of the time the codes thrown is not for the failed component so I'm not sure what your shop does but I'd guess it's not troubleshooting. Now if you mean that you make money because you swap a part that doesn't need replaced because the customer told you to via autozone's code reader then I suppose it's profitable just maybe not so morale. That being said, we sometimes do it. I stress to the customer that a diagnoses from a code reader is almost definitley not going to fix their problem but if they insist then I swap the part and then sell them a real diagnosis.

 

They are "playing" mechanics down at those stores, period. If they were so good they'd be working at a shop making 3-5 times the money they are making their and have a much better work schedule.

 

Don't have to "thank me" for not being open on the weekends, my kids do that enough.

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I think in its purest form, Auto Zone is not a threat as there will always be do it yourselfers who need a place to purchase parts. Where it becomes an issue is where a lot of other shop owners have stated they overstep their technical skill level and try and interpret codes that are being read and telling customers what is wrong with their vehicle when they themselves do not fully know. In a lot of ways the advertising that Auto Zone portrays to the public is to come to their stores and have their code read and they will be able to "figure out" what is wrong with their car which is totally false and misleading.

 

On the other topic, we are a shop that is open 7 days a week as well. I am totally envious of the shop owners who are only open Monday - Fridays! Unfortunately for us, Saturdays are our busiest day of the week. We have talked about closing on Sundays though as it is the slowest day of the week.

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You love your AutoZone? We should be thanking AutoZone for Diagnosing the problems? Thank You AutoZone?

 

I had to read this a few times to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me. I don't fault AutoZone or any other part companies for creating a business plan that targets the DIY and other consumer segments. And I don't consider AutoZone a threat to me or the independents. BUT (and this is a big BUT), I really don't know of many shop owners that Love their local AutoZone. Also, Reading a code and diagnosing a check engine light problem are two different things. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion, that's the reason for the forums.

 

Just curious, you must have a lot of AutoZone stock, don't you?

Hahaha, I did the same thing. I have yet to see autozone ever diagnose anything correctly. I'm sticking with my, "they are wanna-be mechanics."

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Sorry fellas,my meaning behind the words "I love my local autozone store" etc....is due to the fact that those customers who comes in to my shop and says "autozone people diagnosed it for me"and "they have this thingy that plugs into that stuff under the dash"Have you ever noticed those people faces when you bring out the real scanners?their first words are"wow,well that's not what autozone used" this is when the customer really realize that there is more than just a code number..This is when "I love it" cause that's when I can do my own diagnosis and troubleshooting and actually fix the real problems without throwing parts at it and save the customer some money and not to mention doing it honestly.we all have had customers come in to the shop and present us a print out of a DTC and all possible causes.i just had one of those customers Friday show up with a print out.a truck with lean codes and guess what the customer requested,,, O2 Sensor replacement (just because the print out says so)..BUT being professional technician with 28 years experience (18 years as a shop owner).After a few minutes of REAL diagnostic time with a REAL scan tool and a good ear,I could hear a vacuum leak. Yea,I really think the best scan tool for this job was the GOOD EAR,,LOL..So fellas don't get the wrong impression I love autozone cause when I finally fix the customers real problems my guys are automotive Heros to them,and I've gained a new customer and their trust,and we all know customers who trust us is a valuable customer.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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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