How would you deal with this situation?
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By Joe Marconi in Joe's BlogMost shop owners would agree that the independent auto repair industry has been too cheap for too long regarding its pricing and labor rates. However, can we keep raising our labor rates and prices until we achieve the profit we desire and need? Is it that simple?
The first step in achieving your required gross and net profit is understanding your numbers and establishing the correct labor and part margins. The next step is to find your business's inefficiencies that impact high production levels.
Here are a few things to consider. First, do you have the workflow processes in place that is conducive to high production? What about your shop layout? Do you have all the right tools and equipment? Do you have a continuous training program in place? Are technicians waiting to use a particular scanner or waiting to access information from the shop's workstation computer?
And lastly, are all the estimates written correctly? Is the labor correct for each job? Are you allowing extra time for rust, older vehicles, labor jobs with no parts included, and the fact that many published labor times are wrong? Let's not forget that perhaps the most significant labor loss is not charging enough labor time for testing, electrical work, and other complicated repairs.
Once you have determined the correct labor rate and pricing, review your entire operation. Then, tighten up on all those labor leaks and inefficiencies. Improving production and paying close attention to the labor on each job will add much-needed dollars to your bottom line.
By Ruben Van Zenden
Today, we simply cannot ignore social media, everyone is using it whether you are a fan or not. Personally, I think it has its negative and positive sides.
I have been looking at 100+ car repair shops and noticed that only a hand full are using social media marketing, for example, Facebook advertising.
Why are so few car repair shops making use of this, in my opinion, great opportunity to increase car count?
It's time to shift your mindset on comebacks! Consider comebacks as a second opportunity to learn, make it right with the customer, have a training moment with your employees, and document and discover ways to improve your quality control. Aaron Woods, X-tra Mile Auto Care, Stillwater, OK. Listen to Aaron’s previous episodes HERE
Clint White, Service Advisor Coach & Shop Consultant with CWI and currently holds multiple ASE certifications. Clint’s previous episodes HERE
Jim Fleischman, Automotive Alley, Arcade, NY. Listen to Jim’s previous episodes HERE. Deidre Parker, Chloe's Auto Repair, Woodstock, GA.
It's your second opportunity! Address the issue promptly: When a customer returns with a complaint or problem, the repair shop should address the issue promptly and efficiently. This includes communicating clearly with the customer about the problem and what steps will be taken to resolve it. Re-diagnose as a Team: The original technician and another technician/manager/Forman should thoroughly verify and diagnose the issue TOGETHER to determine the cause of the problem and the appropriate solution. Another misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis will damage the repair shop's reputation and further destroy the client’s trust. Prioritize the repair: Comebacks should be prioritized over other work to ensure the customer's vehicle is repaired immediately. This demonstrates the repair shop's commitment to customer satisfaction. Analyze the root cause: When a comeback occurs, the repair shop should analyze the root cause of the problem to identify any areas for improvement. This includes reviewing the repair process, technician training, and parts selection. Implementing changes to address the root cause can help prevent future comebacks. It may not be your fault, but it is your problem- empathy, resolve, and quickness. Evidence will be the evidence, but there is an opportunity to have integrity. Establish a healthy culture of accountability. Assume derived from the individual, but what about your processes? Communication error? What is your definition of a comeback at your shop? Documentation of the initial visit What is the greatest prevention tool? Final QC process “Cherish the Customer” allowance for customers Aaron Woods: We define comebacks as any reason a customer has to return due to an error in communication or workmanship. Each technician is responsible for ensuring their comebacks are at or below 2% of their total car count. We display each technician's scorecard at our weekly Monday morning production meeting and discuss all numbers as a group. This also helps establish peer-to-peer accountability as well. Hunt Demarest- Accounting for Internal and Warranty Work
Test drive the vehicle and verify that the PRIMARY CONCERN has been resolved. Visually check that all other work has been completed according to the repair order. Inspect the vehicle to ensure that there are no new scratches, dents, or other new damage (See Intake Pictures in the DVI for reference) Verify that the vehicle has been cleaned and is free of any debris or grease marks/stains. Verify that all peripheral components that were removed during the repair have been reinstalled and are functioning correctly (i.e. Engine Covers, Air Filter Box, Oil Caps, Lids, etc) Check that all fluids have been topped off to the correct levels whether they were serviced or not. NO FLUID LEAVES LOW Inspect the tires to ensure they have been properly inflated. Manually retorque lug nuts if wheels were removed for any reason. Check that all warning lights and error codes have been cleared and are not displaying unless previously declined by the customer. VERIFY ALL MONITORS HAVE RUN/PASSED Verify the LOF sticker is present and ACCURATE Reset the Oil Life Monitor -or- Maintence/Service Reminder. Vacuum floors, clean windshield inside and out, and refresh wipers if not replaced. Park vehicle in Launch Pad, remove seat cover & floor mat and place “gift” for customer on the dash or in plain sight.
Thanks to our Partners Shop-Ware and Delphi Technologies Shop-Ware: More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management getshopware.com Delphi Technologies: Keeping current on the latest vehicle systems and how to repair them is a must for today’s technicians. DelphiAftermarket.com
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By Joe Marconi
For all the veteran shop owners who have been around the block a few times, and have experienced the roller-coasted rides of being an auto repair shop owner, what advice could you give those shop owners just starting out or planning to go into their own business?
Erich and Lauralee Schmidt went to a 4 day work week during COVID and haven't looked back. They also have an app for their shop with benefits to customers.
Erich and Lauralee Schmidt, Schmidt Auto Care, Springboro, OH Show Notes:
4 day work week- exhaustion during COVID, started cutting Fridays with three day weekends. Prefaced it as summer hours and would go back to 5 days in the fall. They never went back to 5 day work week. Revenue, productivity, and efficiency increased. 8-7 pm work hours. The check-in process includes 4 day work week schedule. 40 hours of training a year minimum- observing efficiency, open communication, partnering with employees with their training. Training is a requirement when hiring employees. “Where are your interests?” Service Advisor=Serice Specialist Free Schmidt Auto Care App- started 6 years, App Fueled is a customizable garage for clients and a bevy of services outside of just communication. Special pricing, birthday specials, loyalty touch points. 30% of the customer base has the app. Had ADAS for 3 years, one of the first in the area to get it. Program and calibration.
Thanks to our Partner, Dorman Products. Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
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By ASOG Podcast
Can A Tech Refuse To Do An Oil Change or Tires?
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