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  • General Discussion

    • Another source for Expert Mechanic Advice
      Ever have one of those days???   That really odd problem that you don't know how to solve.   There is a site that you can turn to for help....   https://www.reddit.com/r/AskAShittyMechanic/   Check it out and profit!
    • Shop Owners: Book the next appointment!
      If there is one thing that doctors and dentists do very well, it's that they book the next appointment for their clientele. I have heard every excuse possible why many auto repair shops don’t do this.  But the fact remains that everyone in your shop today will need future service and repairs. And the question is, “Are they coming back to you.” Another reason for booking the next appointment is that there are times when not all the recommended services were done today. Some were postponed due to budget and prioritizing what’s most important.  So, before that customer leaves, make sure the customer commits to a future date to have the work done. After all, why did you recommend it in the first place? Car delivery is the time to review all the work done today, continue to build the relationship and to inform your customers of upcoming work and services. But don’t leave it to chance that the customer will remember. Be proactive, discuss future dates and put those dates in your calendar.   Lastly, call customers a few days before the appointment as a reminder. If the appointment has to be moved, then move it.
    • New Shop Owner
      Hi everyone.  My name is Jeff.  I'm in Prince Edward Island, Canada.  Just purchased the shop I've been working at since 2006 last week.  Excited to get to work!  Awesome site, I've spent hours reading all the posts and catching up.  Looking forward to contributing and learning from such a great group of shop owners.  Thank you all!
  • Regional Automotive Shop Management Discussions

    • New York Cost of Doing Business
      The cost of doing business in NY is high. It seems as if the expenses are going up faster than our sales income. How do we keep pace with cost of living and still remain competitive? It's hard to decrease fixed expenses.
    • New Jersey Governor Signs Unsafe Used Tire Law
      http://www.moderntiredealer.com/news/724720/new-jersey-governor-signs-unsafe-used-tire-law A new law in New Jersey forbids the sale of unsafe used tires. The legislation, signed by Gov. Chris Christie on Aug. 7, 2017, was supported by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), Tire Industry Association and the New Jersey Gas Station-C-Store Automotive Association. The law fines businesses that sell tires that exhibit any of these unsafe conditions: — tread depth of less than 1/16 inch measurable in any groove;
      — damage exposing the reinforcing plies of the tire, including any cuts, cracks, bulges, punctures, scrapes or wear;
      — improper repairs, including, but not limited to: any repair to the sidewall or bead area of the tire; any repair made in the tread shoulder or belt edge area of the tire; any puncture that has not been sealed or patched on the inside and repaired with a cured rubber stem through the outside of the tire; any puncture repair of damage larger than 1/4 inch; — evidence of prior use of a temporary tire sealant without evidence of a subsequent proper repair;
      defaced or missing tire identification number;
      — inner liner or bead damage; or
      — signs of internal separation, such as bulges or local areas of irregular tread wear. Violators will be subject to a fine up to $500 for a first offense. A second offense will be considered a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act and subject to a penalty up to $10,000. Additional violations will be subject to a penalty of up to $20,000. Anne Forristall Luke, CEO and president of the USTMA, said, “New Jersey has taken a bold step to protect motorists from high-risk used tires that have no business being put back into service on New Jersey roads." The USTMA says its research shows more than 30 million used tires are available for sale nationally. The legislation does not ban all used tire sales. It targets used tires that have specific, well-established, unsafe conditions The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says worn-out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth. NHTSA crash statistics indicate about 200 fatalities and 6,000 injuries are attributed to tire-related causes annually. The law was sponsored by Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Raj Mukherji. Sumter said, "What initially seems like a good deal ultimately can be deadly in the market for tires. Retailers who sell damaged tires to consumers endanger not only their customers but also everyone else on the road. Banning the sale of damaged tires simply is a common-sense matter of public safety." Mukherji said, "Drivers in New Jersey should be able to buy tires and rest assured that the items they've purchased are safe. The lower cost of used tires does not warrant putting lives across the state at risk. Damaged goods that put consumers in danger simply should not be on the market, especially when it comes to tires."
    • ASTE
      As new members of IGONC (independent garage owners association of NC) we have found so many useful benefits and positives of being involved with such a great organizations. One of them being the ASTE event in Cary,NC! The training and expo has been a great resource for us. We learned so much last year, it has literally transformed our business. I just wanted to make sure the members here knew about the event and had the opportunity to research/plan to attend the event!   http://asteshow.com/ https://www.facebook.com/ASTENC/   Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk    
  • Automotive Repair Shop Management

    • Free Simple Shop Management Software
      Hey Everyone, I'm Ricardo from Complete Auto Reports.  You may have heard about the shop management software that we made at a shop in Linden NJ.  We've been really busy over the last year trying to refine the process at a shop through the software.  We have come up with something we think that people can and will benefit from.  We want to start with smaller auto repair facilities who are looking for something to transition out of paper and pen, as well as word documents and/or excel spreadsheets.   We've taken our software and made a free package that allows the following from any device with a updated and functional browser: Take appointments from your customers Digital Vehicle Inspections - Included in every service request and sent to each customer if performed Workflow - Pending, Under Process, Awaiting Approval, Approval Completed, Work In Progress, Completed Ratings - Customers can communicate ratings directly to you Messages - You can communicate with customers through the platform Customer App - All service history available, can schedule appointments with the app, transfer vehicle records to new owners Sales Reports 100% mobile - Works on everything from your 5inch iPhone to your desktop.  You can presently upload all of your customer information: name, address, phone numbers, email. Paid for versions offer parts ordering through PartsTech.com and Employeement modules that track employee time on jobs. Are there members here who are interested in trying the free platform to see if it's a fit for their business? Anyone interested in the paid for versions, can also get 60 days of free use and discounted rates available from our SEMA promotions.
    • Step 1 in increasing shop productivity
      With over 40 years in the auto repair industry, I can write a book on shop production, and I would title it: "The reason why production suffers, and ways to improve it"  But, perhaps the first step in getting production to where you want it is to promote team spirit. Yes, I know about training, workflow processes, making sales, the right tools, quality equipment, shop layout and correct labor billing.  All that counts too. But, none of that means anything if your techs and service advisors work in  an workplace with poor morale.  As a shop owner, recognize the performance of your employees. Set the right tone and encourage them to exceed their limitations, and also say thank you once in a while. Raise team spirit, and you will raise production. I know this is a wide-open field for discussion; so what are your thoughts.   
    • Advance Auto Parts Announces Partnership with The …
      RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 22, 2019-- Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, today announced a supply partnership with the Midwest Auto Care Alliance (MWACA), https://www.mwaca.org, to provide automotive parts and training support to its member facilities. The newly formed MWACA, formerly known as ASA Midwest, is a nonprofit association led by independent shop owners. MWACA focuses on offering its members programs and benefits designed to help them more effectively run their businesses such as online resources and training, a mentor program and an Advance Auto Parts rebate program. “MWACA has been a strong supporter of Advance Professional for many years and is well known for its outstanding advocacy of independent automotive repair facilities,” said Todd Sanders, Sr. Vice President, Professional Sales at Advance. “We look forward to continuing to enhance our already strong and productive partnership with MWACA, its members and its leadership team. We are eager to help its members through excellent service and programs designed to improve shop performance and profitability.” Advance, a Platinum partner of MWACA, also announced a new mentorship and apprenticeship initiative designed to attract and support new technicians in the automotive service industry. The initiative will identify internal shop trainers and provide a structured on-the-job curriculum to improve technician knowledge and focus on productivity enhancements. Advance also is a top-level sponsor of the VISION Hi Tech Training Expo, one of MWACA’s annual events, this year being held in Overland Park, Kan. Feb. 28 – March 3. “The support of Advance Professional and Carquest goes back more than a quarter of a century to the earliest days of the VISION event,” said Sheri Hamilton, Executive Director of MWACA. “They continue to support the association, its events and members as we work together to support shop owners in this ever-changing industry. We are proud and thankful to take our partnership to the next level.” About Advance Auto Parts Advance Auto Parts, Inc. is a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers. As of October 6, 2018, Advance operated 4,981 stores and 139 Worldpac branches in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Company also serves 1,229 independently owned Carquest branded stores across these locations in addition to Mexico, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands and Pacific Islands. Additional information about Advance, including employment opportunities, customer services, and online shopping for parts, accessories and other offerings can be found at www.AdvanceAutoParts.com. About Midwest Auto Care Alliance MWACA is a 501(c)6 non-profit trade association led by independent automotive service professionals and serving the needs of service professionals throughout Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Beginning as a seven-county Kansas City chapter in the late 1980’s, the progressive affiliate grew into ASA Missouri/Kansas, and continued to grow and expand into a six state affiliate known as ASA-Midwest. The affiliate separated from the national organization in September 2018 and became an independent regional association. As one of the premier and most active associations in the country, MWACA has chapters throughout their territory, as well as numerous Shop Owner Support (S.O.S.) Groups, a shop mentor program, and they are also the founder and host of the VISION HiTech Training & Expo event for 27 years. Information about MWACA and VISION can be found at www.mwaca.org and www.visionkc.com. View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190122005571/en/ Source: Advance Auto Parts, Inc.
  • Automotive Repair & Technical Discussions

    • DREW TECH RAP
      How many of you flash computers?  We do and it has been a headache sometimes.  There is a new program, or at least I just heard of it, Drew Technologies RAP.  It is a kit that you pay a monthly fee.  It has everything you need, including the battery tender.  Then you pay $125.00 per flash.  If there is a problem, they take care of it.  My question is, If you have this equipment, how do you like it. and what do you charge the customer.  Of course, it will now be in house.  We have always charged like a fee for the flash and a hour of labor.  Thank you for your information.
    • Best Scanner for General Repair
      Hello,  We're in the market for a new scanner and figured I'd ask fellow shop owners their ideas and experiences. I did search the board archives and didn't see much within the past year or so.  We are a general repair shop servicing most anything, according to customer attitude. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.   Thanks in advance 🙂
    • What tools have made a positive impact in your sho…
      Hi there!

      My name is Kiley and I write for "The Return" in Ratchet+Wrench magazine. (For those unfamiliar, 'The Return' is more of a personalized review that gives readers the chance to learn about how a product works inside a shop that uses it as well as the shop's review of the product.) 

      My question to you all today is this: what tool has made an impact in your shop? If someone was looking for a product to add to their shop, what would you recommend?  (This can range from shop floor tools, security systems, management systems, payroll, etc.)  Thank you so much and have a great day! 
  • Blogs With Recent Activity

    1. Elite Certified Sales & Leadership Trainer Jen Monclus shares a UCLA study that reveals an important key to bringing more first-time callers into your shop:

       For addtional help generating higher sales and happier customers, learn more about Elite's industry acclaimed Masters Service Advisor Training Program

    2. Are you using direct mail to market your auto shop? If you aren’t, it’s time to add this tried and true method to your marketing line-up. Direct mail is great for auto shops, whether you’re trying to increase your car count with new customers or retain existing ones. In this blog, we’ll explain how you can use direct mail to fill your bays and maximize your ROI.

      Be Consistent with Your Direct Mail
      Wondering why direct mail is a smart choice for auto shops? One of the biggest reasons is its effectiveness at driving new and returning business to your garage. However, to make direct mail work, you have to reach your prospects consistently.

      It’s a proven fact that it takes three or more exposures to an advertising message before consumers take action. That means you have to send multiple direct mail campaigns to stay top-of-mind and steadily grow your car count. Your customers might not be ready for a specific service when you mail the first time, but with persistence, they’ll eventually be ready to give you a chance to earn their business.

      Diversify the Automotive Coupons You Send
      Every auto shop should be sending coupons to their prospects. According to an NCH Marketing survey, 84% of consumers say coupons directly impact their store selection. And Vouchercloud found that 57% of shoppers make purchases at businesses they haven’t been to before because they were able to use a coupon. 

      Make sure you diversify your coupon offerings, though. Don’t mail out coupons for similar services, like a serpentine belt replacement and a timing belt replacement. And make sure you’re sending offers that appeal to a broad audience. You should also avoid mailing coupons that are too specific or too technical. If your coupon can’t be used by almost anyone or would confuse someone who doesn’t know much about cars, don’t use it.

      We recommend sending the following three coupons with your direct mail:

      1. Oil Change Special Coupon
        This coupon gets prospects through your doors for a common, inexpensive service. Treat them well, and you can earn their future preventative maintenance and more expensive repairs.
      2. Tiered Dollar-Off Coupon
        Everyone can use this all-purpose coupon, so it’s sure to score you lots of new business. Always use this over a coupon for specific parts or services that aren’t useful to everyone.
      3. Free Warning Light Scan Coupon
        Offer a free warning light scan to bring people in for diagnostic tests. Once you’ve pinpointed their vehicle’s problem, you have the opportunity to earn their business and repair the issue.

      Conclusion
      Want to learn more about how direct mail can benefit your shop? The team of automotive direct mail experts at Mail Shark are available to consult with you on the best strategy for your business. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today by visiting this page or calling 484-738-0814.

    3. Google has been rolling out Mobile-first indexing and many webmasters received an email similar to the one further down informing them that this anticipated change is now here. But what does "Mobile-first indexing enabled" actually mean and what impact can it have on your website? 

      First off, lets start with saying that nowadays, if your website does not render well on a mobile screen, it's time to update. It used to be OK to just design a website that looked great on desktop sized screens. Then, as time moved on with mobile phones gaining traction, there was a race to develop a "mobile-friendly" theme as an addition to a website, where a visitor who was browsing from a mobile device was redirected to a different and condensed version suitable for smaller phone screens. Today, it really is no longer optimal to have a different version for mobile screens and websites need to be fully responsive and adjust accordingly to the screen size they are being viewed on. Screen sizes are now categorized into mainly desktop, tablet, and phone, with variations of minimum and maximum screen sizes where your web designer can adjust elements to show and not show, depending on what type of device is being used to view your website. If you have analytics installed on your website, you have probably noticed a trend over the past few years where mobile screen sizes are picking up traction. In some cases we see it as a 50/50 split between desktop and mobile, some sites are even higher on mobile. So to not design a website with this in mind, is a mistake.

      Google is now indexing and displaying search results differently, depending on how well your site is built for mobile screens. What they are essentially saying is that you may get different results when searching on Google from a smart phone then from a desktop and Google is going to rank websites that render well on smart phone screen sizes higher than those that don't. This is where all those outdated websites will start to lose organic traffic.

      Here's Google's official statement from their email to some website owners and webmasters affected: 

      Mobile-first indexing means that Googlebot will now use the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking, to better help our (primarily mobile) users find what they're looking for. Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have historically used the desktop version of your site's content, which can cause issues for mobile searchers when the desktop version differs from the mobile version. 

      Here's the actual copy of the email that we received for our website:

      Google Mobile-first indexing

      Google is now going to use your mobile site for ranking purposes and time is running out if your website does not have a good mobile version available. Fortunately for us, we are prepared and so is AutoShopOwner because we use responsive technology and coding that adjusts to screen sizes accordingly.

      You can test out your website here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

      If your website isn't mobile ready, contact your webmaster and get it updated ASAP. If you need website services, you can reach out to us for a cost effective solution 🙂

       

      Automotive Webmaster

    4. Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

      I hope your 2018 will be a great one. I have a very special offer for all ASO members that want to get there business profitable in the upcoming year. 

      If interested let me know and I hope you and yours have a great holiday season.

      Dan Stevens 

       

    5. As a member of AutoShopOwner, you can manage the types of notifications that we provide you for when things happen here, either via email or when you login and view your notifications list (the bell icon). For instance, when you start a new topic in a forum or reply to an existing topic, you are automatically subscribed to receive a notification when new content is posted. That can happen by email or not, depends on how you want to receive it. 

      To get to your notifications management section, first go to Account Settings

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      Then go to Notification Settings

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      There you will see some your current preference settings for overall delivery method, follow preference, browser notifications, etc.

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      Scroll down and you'll see individual notification settings where you can pick and choose how you are notified. For email, an email is sent every time that action takes place based on your delivery method above. For Notification List, every time an action takes place, it will be listed in your notifications panel under the little bell icon.

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      One more setting we have is for our weekly newsletter, which includes a list of topics and activity from the week. You can opt in and out from your account settings as well.

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      If you haven't taken a look at your settings yet, we encourage you to check it out. 😃

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