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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/15/2020 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    I am not one to get political, and there are people that really need help in these times. Let me be clear about that. With that said, the added $600 in most cases has caused more of an incentive NOT to work. I don't know the answer on how to distinguish who clarifies for extra help, but what I do know is that when people can make more money for sitting at home, it takes away the human spirit to go out and make a difference every day through hard work and community involvement. It also does not sit well with so many of the essential workers that have worked through the virus crisis, and put themselves in harms way to keep American moving. How do feel about this? I know it's controversial. Let's be open, honest and civil.
  2. 3 points
    Yes i believe COVID19 is serious but
  3. 2 points
    Technicians have been working very hard during tough times the past few months. And I am not just referring to maintaining production levels. The emotional strain is also a factor. They have been true heroes and have not let up with their commitment to their jobs, the companies they work for and the people they help each day. We need to recognize what they do and say thank you to our techs and let them know how much we appreciate what they do each and every day.
  4. 2 points
    And I will not consider a system that isn’t in the clouds because it simplifies hardware needs and eliminates backup issues.
  5. 2 points
    I agree 100%! Masks are a pain; they're uncomfortable; they make my sunglasses fog up; and they're a real pain in the heat! Then I stop and think - how uncomfortable would it be to be on a respirator? Hope this helps! Matthew "The Car Count Fixer" P.S.: Join me live on chat as I premiere this video - This TOTALLY NEW and NOT AVAILABLE ANYWHERE ELSE! (No, I'm not selling anything!)
  6. 2 points
    No. Not gonna happen in my place. It's just another surface to clean. Before doing that, I'd set up a service writing kiosk on my sidewalk and conduct my business outside. But I'm in northern Minnesota in an area where we already did social distancing even before it was cool.
  7. 1 point
    We, automotive shop owners of America, must take the opportunity of a lifetime and turn it into a bunch of success stories. What opportunity? Look around you. The world is in turmoil. COVID-19, social unrest, uncertainty about the presidential election, the economy, how are we going to get out kids back to school, on and on and on. While the world is spiraling out of control, we have the power to make big changes to our auto repair shops. And it can all be positive! The Opportunity... First, the average age of a car in the U.S. is about 12 years old, attaining well over 200k on the clock. Second, Uber, taxis and limo companies are suffering. Guess why? Third, the motoring public in the foreseeable future will be traveling by car, taking road trips like they have never did before. Fourth, the roads are packed with motor vehicles, as more and more people prefer their own car as their primary means of transportation. Fifth, as the cars get older and older, more of them will be out of factory warranty. Sixth, independent auto repair shops have a vast amount of training, resources and replacement parts. Seventh, the overwhelming majority of cars being build and sold today are still internal combustion engine powered cars. If you factor in the expected average age of car these days, we can safely bet that those gas engine cars being sold today will still be on the road in 2033 and beyond! Eight, You need more? That's not enough! Get your plan in place. Get your prices in line with making a profit. Don't give anything away anymore (I am mostly referring to checking, testing, diags of any sort!) Offer world class customer service. Be a leader of your employees. Show the world what you are made of!
  8. 1 point
    You're right! It's NOT 1995! Getting the typical customer in the door 3 times a year can be a struggle - never mind 5 or 6! But with that said, it always was and still is about car count. Call it cars - call it customers - you need the "churn". Without actually having customers, you've got nothing to measure. Your entire post was a look at "what's going on" in your shop. Sure, you may be seeing a change in ARO - but because you've got the business, you've got something to compare to. That's why I was a little puzzled (by a recent post you made) about changing all the marketing you were doing - or eliminating some of it. I agree, we're in the middle of a pandemic and nobody has a playbook as to how this is going to work out - or what to do. Maybe this post should have been What are YOUR numbers? My issue always was that recession, depression or new competitors - you've got to keep up the grind. Not saying that you don't make changes - but you've got to stay in touch. Then - the key - which is what you've already proven is- you're got to track it. You're watching your numbers. At least you have the details and information to make good decisions. I can't tell you the shop owners I talk to that can't tell me their ARO, how many "real" customers in their database (no, the 9,000 people are just names and addresses) - or even access their customer list to do mailing or anything. So you can argue cars or customers. It doesn't matter - It's all about MEASURING. Unless you're MEASURING what you're doing - where things are going - and making decisions on the numbers, cars, customers or covid doesn't matter. Running a repair shop isn't a "what I feel like doing" type of business, but I still get surprised! Hope this helps! Matthew "The Car Count Fixer" P.S.: Join the conversation at YouTube at Car Count Hackers
  9. 1 point
    I started using Shop-Ware earlier this year and am very happy with them. They are responsive to suggestions and quick to respond if you have issues or questions. I would recommend them. I wouldn’t consider a management program that wasn’t cloud based. I’m an Apple person and so no worries what I log on with it’s going to work.
  10. 1 point
    The only people who have been applying at my shop are the people that did not qualify for unemployment because they were terminated with justification. Anyone I have spoken to that was laid off and eligible for unemployment is making too much to sit at home. In Colorado you just have to check a box on a computer every week, no need to submit any info proving your trying to get hired.
  11. 1 point
    Any plan to pay a worker more money to stay home than what they normally would earn for working is a plan destined for unintended consequences and grossly unfair to everyone who goes to work every day. The excuse for wanting to stay home is fear of contracting Covid and there are certainly workers who have underlying heath conditions that predispose them to a poorer outcome should they contract it. How can anyone justify rewarding people who decide to stay home? If you fail to go to work for a justified reason you should receive benefits that are based on your current earnings (which the government has access to). Assuming you are afraid but otherwise healthy the benefit should be reduced for the following reasons: Since you are staying home you have no gas, tolls or bridge expenses. If you are staying home you have no child care expenses. Entertainment expenses should be zero since you are afraid to go to work you should also be afraid to expose yourself to what little entertainment we now have. Cell phones, cable tv (in particular all premium channels) are not essential and should be cancelled. Steaks, shrimp and lobster needs to be quickly replaced with rice, hot dogs and beans. The landscaper, window cleaner, painter etc. needs to be cancelled since you are home and have more than enough time to complete those tasks yourself.
  12. 1 point
    One of my employees son was working as a dish washer. When the virus hit he was getting almost $900 on unemployment take home pay per week which is more than any of my employees typical take home. Doesn't make a lot of sense but no one ever said that our Washington politicians have much sense. They have no trouble giving away our money.
  13. 1 point
    Due to COVID-19, many repair shops experienced a severe economic downturn, some with a drop in sales over 50%. Without a strong cash reserve and/or SBA funding help, many shops would have gone under. My 40 years as a shop owner has taught me to always have a cash reserve. However, never would I have ever imagined a downturn like the one with COVID-19. So, how do we plan for the next financial crisis. And, it will happen. Perhaps not as bad as the the virus crisis, but it will happen. Here are a few things to consider: Have a separate, and hard to access, cash reserve bank account that has least two months of expenses. Also, secure a line of credit for at least one to two months of expenses. Also, know your numbers, keep payroll in line, and make sure your prices are fair to you too, not just your customers. Keep in good standing with all your vendors and keep your credit score high! The bottom line here, is truly the bottom line. To weather the next financial downturn, you need a strong balance sheet and net profit to the bottom line. What other strategies are you considering or implementing?
  14. 1 point
    I have no plans to install shields. Since Covid hit our area I changed our normal operating procedures to include writing up most work orders on the phone when our customers call as opposed to their arrival. Writing up before arrival minimizes the need of shields. After the phone write up a “canned” text is sent repeating verbal instructions given earlier for proper drop off procedures and also confirms date and time of appointment. I have found that when I follow the above steps very few appointments are forgotten or cancelled which is a hidden benefit. Upon completion of work a “canned” text is sent indicating cost of total invoice and that payment can be made by calling us with credit card information. Almost everyone calls in credit card payment and many request invoices to be emailed as opposed to hard copies which again reduces the need for shielding. The above steps work great to abide by our new Covid restrictions but I miss the face to face interaction with my customers. For that reason I try to briefly see customers outside during drop off or pick-up to retain a small portion of that personal touch. This adds some time to a busy day but a quick greeting or thank you (from an appropriate social distance) goes a long way. Utilizing my shop management programs ability to send canned text messages and email invoices allowed me to transition into the above “minimal contact” operating procedures quickly and efficiently.
  15. 1 point
    I wear a mask in public but so many people are doing it wrong . If you skip any steps you may infect yourself or others. It drives me crazy to see talking heads, experts, political candidates and others speaking to us about containing the spread while touching their mask, removing their mask with their hands, touching their nose, mouth, face etc. The mask may help the spread but it is a biohazard and many people are becoming infected by handling their own masks!
  16. 1 point
    As part of our debt reduction, I revamped all of our usual marketing and advertising and put those dollars into customer service and social media. For example, we ramped up our shuttle pickup and delivery service, extended our hours of service, made sure we spend a lot of time with each customer and made sure we called as many customers as possible. We also stepped up our meet and greet process and made sure will followed up with customer after the repair. Lastly, we increased our social media posts and increases ads and boosting. This has made a huge impact on our customer and already starting to pay dividends. What changes have you made to your marketing strategy since the Virus Crisis hit?
  17. 1 point
    With the COVID-19 situation, many shop owners of retirement age may be putting thier retirement plans on hold. I get this. It makes sense in many cases. But, please think about you and your family. Many shop owners have a 30, 40, even 50-year plus history in the auto business, with most of those years owning and running a shop. If it's possible, perhaps succession plan with the right person, or hiring a general manager to run your shop is a possibility. Perhaps a family member? The key thing is to have a secure business that, if you do plan on holding on to it, will bring you an income with stress-free time away from the shop, and back to your family. Your plans, thoughts, opinions?
  18. 1 point
    The problem is everyone thinks pulling a code is diagnostics. So we don't use that word. We can pull a code and change whatever part they request with no result guarantees. Or we can do TESTING to find your problem just like your doctor. TESTING starts at $ and depending on how many tests need done it may be more. . Most of the time people choose TESTING over guessing. If they say auto zone or whatever parts store diagnosed it , then I just inform them they just pulled a code pointing to a system. And ask if they check for corrosion or if a mouse ate a wire. 10 years in business and don't have any problem charging for testing. Even a test drive & brake inspection is no problem. Transparency through documentation and proper communication is key. BILL FOR TEST.
  19. 1 point
    I have been using BayMaster shop management software for over six years and I only have good things to say about them. Their support staff is excellent, the program more than meets my needs and it is affordable. They are very receptive to our needs and will listen to suggestions or ideas and implement changes when possible. From my expieriance Mitchell would never take the time to review a suggestion or make a change based on my input. I do use Mitchell Pro Demand information system which for the most part is very good. Over the years I have sent Mitchell numerous messages from within their own program concerning observed mistakes in Pro Demand information or with questions concerning Pro Demand content but they NEVER respond. It is for that reason that I have always been happy that I chose BayMaster over Mitchell for shop management.
  20. 1 point
    I have been using Mitchell for 3 years and no complaints. I call the help desk about once a month to figure stuff out and they are great. The only thing I don't like is they don't train you on how to use the system. The want you to watch videos. For the money I am spending I would think they could come out and train shops.
  21. 1 point
    I would love to hear your feedback on protractor once you get it up and running. I've heard good things about it


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