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Transmission Repair only shop - Need Advice suggestions on everything


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I posted a while back when I first ran across this page. My husband runs a transmission shop in Nebraska. I know we are not running everything properly to be making the maximum profit that we should be. He has a great name, and customers love and recommend him to everyone. He doesn't just do your typical bare minimum rebuild. He replaces everything that is and could go bad as well as any known manufacturer parts that typically fail. He doesn't want to see the same car back again.

I don't want to tell him how to work, but I want advice on the business side. Because he does put more parts in his rebuild, he has a hard time pricing accordingly. He is slightly higher then the other shop, which is 15 miles away. He has fixed a lot of problems this other shop has not properly done when they rebuilt it. How does he stay competitive and still make money with the way he's working? He is the only tech, which is losing money there, because he is stopping to talk to customers, run errands, test drives, etc. But we don't have the money to hire. I would love to have someone come into our business and say, this is what you're going to d and this is how you're going to do it, lol!

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I posted a while back when I first ran across this page. My husband runs a transmission shop in Nebraska. I know we are not running everything properly to be making the maximum profit that we should be. He has a great name, and customers love and recommend him to everyone. He doesn't just do your typical bare minimum rebuild. He replaces everything that is and could go bad as well as any known manufacturer parts that typically fail. He doesn't want to see the same car back again.

I don't want to tell him how to work, but I want advice on the business side. Because he does put more parts in his rebuild, he has a hard time pricing accordingly. He is slightly higher then the other shop, which is 15 miles away. He has fixed a lot of problems this other shop has not properly done when they rebuilt it. How does he stay competitive and still make money with the way he's working? He is the only tech, which is losing money there, because he is stopping to talk to customers, run errands, test drives, etc. But we don't have the money to hire. I would love to have someone come into our business and say, this is what you're going to d and this is how you're going to do it, lol!

 

 

Take what i have to say with a grain of salt since I do not and have not been in the transmission shop business. I do believe however the key to charging appropriately is to build value behind your service. It matters not if a customer is spending $50 or $5000 on a repair. The person spending $50 could feel like they've been ripped off whilst the person spending $5000 could feel great about their decision. The value in your service is your workmanship, customer service, after repair follow up, WARRANTY, pick up and drop off, quality of parts used, and anything else you are doing for the customer to go the extra mile. The other component here is that the customer has to know you are doing this for them. Of course you don't want to shove special things you do for them down their throat however subtle ways of making it known. I think this is probably especially important in your husband's field since unlike a general repair shop where you see your customers regularly, once a transmission is fixed you may never see that customer again. Maximizing on the customers that do come through your doors is crucial IMO.

 

As for getting someone to come into your shop to tell you what you are doing wrong that will cost $$$. What you are looking for is a consultant and they don't come cheap. Also you really want to do your research on who you hire for that. There are a lot of companies out there that really don't understand your business and you can quickly run yourself into bankruptcy if you get the wrong advice.

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this is completely my opinion:

if you look on mitchell or alldata there is an assortment of labor time associated with transmission rebuild. i would find an appropriate labor time based on the vehicle and see if it makes sense if you doing a 42re in jeep and the book calls for 16 hours but you know the bolts on the bellhousing break or something along those lines do not be shy to charge the extra hour. remember this is an estimate. ive seen some shop have an up to 10% with in quote policy ie they dont need to call the customer if the price goes up 10%.

mark up parts! use a matrix ive seen the link on here somewhere.

dont forget to tell your customer you do the extra work that you do. build value.

and last IMO you really need to hire a general tech to do oil changes brakes and other maintenances. if your husband puts out a good product why cant he supervise somebody doing the work also. this person could also drive customers home. he can also be taught to remove and install the trans and her husband can continue to rebuild them.

you need to start doing more than just trans rebuilds remember focus on service too! all the chain trans places do brakes and axles and such. sell it while its there, there is nothing wrong with selling work on a car that the car needs.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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