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  1. 2 points
    Advertising is one of the biggest heartaches for many automotive shops. Their are many questions that swirl around the idea about advertising. How much money do we need to spend? Who is our target? How do we know if the advertising going to work? Their is no right answer to the advertising question, but the answer does lay with your customers. Simply put, there is three generation of customers; past, present and future. The past customers already know you and know the customer service that you provide, in return they send word a mouth to other friends that need repairs. These customers don't go un-noticed, they are your behind the scene advertisers. They are the ones that you send special support to, such as, gift cards, thank you cards, free oil changes and so on. They will continue to feed your business. The present customers are your referral customers. They require a little more attention and communication so they know they can trust you as a reliable automotive shop. Making sure that you spend the time explaining what is wrong with there vehicle and what the recommend repair is and the options they have. With these customers you add a key chain to there rings, you give them a oil change sticker on the windshield, you give them a cool looking decal. Something that they can walk away and say I went to THIS SHOP to have my truck repaired. The future customers, is our future customers. We rely on past and present customer to continue to feed our shops with work. Most important thing that many people forget is that you are AIMING for the FUTURE CUSTOMERS "Gen Z, iGen or Centennials" these are the social media, internet advertising customers. They don't deal with direct mail or hassle with emails, they scroll through social media and look at pop ups, they google business and look at reviews. To answer your question, invest in SEO if you want to continue to build your business. Conclusion, I took over a 40 year old transmission shop 12 years ago. It is still family owned and operated and houses excellent talent and knowledge in the field of transmission. I noticed that we were loosing customers and things needed to change. They were still advertising with phone books and newspapers. But we were in the middle of change in society with social media picking up speed. I saw it coming. I quickly changed direction and started focusing on the "Future customers". We started to focus and research the SEO world. What did it have to deal with me. The more I learned the more I realized that we all do the same thing. You go on vacation and you have a breakdown, where do you turn to? The internet. When you have problems with your car and who do you take it to? You look on the internet. Currently 60% of our new cliental come from the internet and reviews, 30% from word a mouth and 10% all others. There is not a right way or wrong way to advertise, you just have to look into your community and see where your greatest strength are. Hope this post helps someone. Have a great day.
  2. 1 point
  3. 1 point
    I hear a lot of auto repair shop owners say they don't want to offer a cheap oil change coupon on their direct mail marketing. They feel the cheap oil change coupon brings in the wrong clientele, and they don't want to devalue their brand and position themselves as the cheap oil change shop. As a quick note, the concept behind the cheap oil change offer is that it is a loss leader and utilized to entice new customers. The key is getting new customers through the door, which the cheap oil change can be extremely effective at doing. Once you get them in your shop and you do a great job for them, you can build a great rapport with them and win them over as a loyal customer. All that said, you will always know your business better than any marketing company. Therefore, we certainly can't argue with the fact that you would not like to use this strategy if in fact you have already executed a cheap oil change coupon campaign and it did bring in the wrong clientele. However, having an oil change coupon as part of your shop's direct mail marketing strategy is critical. Here are a few reasons why. An oil change is something that every non-electric vehicle owner will need at some point in time. Consequently, I would venture to say that most vehicle owners are familiar with what an oil change is more so than any other maintenance service. Compare that to a timing belt replacement coupon or a serpentine belt replacement, each of which the average consumer may not be familiar. When you have a coupon that is familiar and relevant to everyone that you are targeting, you have a much higher chance of increasing redemption rates. Therefore, for those shop owners that are afraid of attracting the wrong clientele or devaluing their brand with a low-price point oil change, the simple fix is to increase your oil change price point to a number that you are comfortable with and that is still a value from a consumer perspective. An alternate option would be to offer a specific $ off discount that you are comfortable with — for example, $10 off any conventional oil change & 15 off any full synthetic. My next recommendation, if you are a general auto repair shop, which is a non-negotiable one, in my opinion, is to structure your oil change coupon to offer both a conventional and full synthetic oil change offer. All too often, shop owners only offer a conventional oil change coupon. A conventional oil change coupon is fine. However, it will never appeal or be applicable to owners of vehicles that require full synthetic oil. There is no reason to limit your offer to only appeal to a specific set of vehicles. It's crucial you cast a wider net and appeal to as many vehicle owners as possible. The simple and quick solution is to offer both options. PRO TIP: if you are concerned about coupons bringing in the wrong clientele, think again. Even the wealthiest consumers use coupons. Here is a snippet from our blog post entitled "WHY YOU SHOULD BE SENDING DIRECT MAIL COUPONS: It might seem surprising, but wealthy people love saving money with coupons. In fact, households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more are twice as likely to use coupons than households earning less than $35,000 a year. Wealthy customers may be able to afford your most expensive products and services, but that doesn't mean they don't want a good deal. The majority of them are cautious about spending money and rarely make frivolous, unnecessary purchases. Rather than viewing your business as cheap, they'll appreciate your coupons and the opportunity to save money, You can check out the entire blog post here. https://www.themailshark.com/resources/blog/send-direct-mail-coupons/ Josh Davis Mail Shark Executive Vice President of Sales Direct: 484-948-1611 Email: [email protected] www.themailshark.com/AutoDirectMail Oil Change Coupon Example.pdf
  4. 1 point
    Hi David, aka tirengolf! To start, I think you have to adjust your mindset a little on this. You said... I understand - but you have to look at it slightly different. Lets say, for example, you invest $500 in a campaign. That could be direct mail, Facebook ads, or just about anything... and that $500 ad spend gets you about $1,000 in total sales. Is that a waste of time?? A waste of money?? Now, I don't know your shop - but I'm going to use some very general basics. I think I'm safe saying that your GP% is about 50%. I know, most are above that - I see high 50's to 60's in the shops I work with - but 50% GP is safe, right? That means, on a $500 ad spend, the $1,000 in work was about a break even. Is that a loss? No. I agree, it's not a win either, but all the money you sent out came home with it's its friends, right? That's where you HAVE TO START! There's no other way. Nobody... and I mean nobody, no Guru, or Ad pro is going to give you a strategy that is guaranteed to work. You can only use some best practices and give it a shot. I've got two resources for you that will help: #1) A YouTube video that I created that outlines everything you need to know about doing direct mail or postcard mailing. Having said that, understand that the fundamentals really apply to just about any type of advertising. #2) I created a FREE COURSE, "How to Double Your Car Count in 89 Days" - and do it without wasting your hard earned dollars on money sucking advertising. Over 2 hours and 20 minutes of video training, broken up into 16 short videos, delivered in 4 chapters - about 1 chapter every 2 days - and you get UNLIMITED ACCESS. Oh, did I tell you it's FREE? It is! I also agree with what bantar said... he said... It's about creating campaigns that work - as long as they are all returning AT LEAST what they cost. With respect to bantar's comments, The fix for that is to add a single line like "BRING THIS WITH YOU TO GET THESE PRICES - NO EXCEPTIONS!" or something like that. Also, deadlines help No, not 30 days - Make it 3-5 days. I can't tell you how many times I run postcards with clients and they all tell me the same thing - Friday was really busy - it was the last day on the offer! Ha! Go figure. Strong call to action and a deadline! I could go on and on about this topic, but it doesn't matter unless there's more detail. In short, you've got to start somewhere. The easiest is direct mail to your list. Then put a Customer Referral Program in place - and work your customers for more customers. It's all about the reward - and no, 10% off your next service isn't a reward. Hope this helps! Matthew "The Car Count Fixer" P.S.: FREE Course - How to Double Your Car Count in 89 Days! P.P.S.: Car Count Hackers on You Tube P.P.P.S.: Like and Follow Car Count Hackers on Facebook
  5. 1 point
    Hey everyone, sorry for the delay. August was a little crazy for us. We've had several updates come live over the last 45 days so we will combine them here for one round of updates. Customer App V2: We've upgraded our customer facing app. Feel free to check it out here for iOS and here for Android. This is what your customers see when working with your shop if you use our business platform. Status Enhancements: On The Lot - Added a triple filter. Checked shows all "On The Lot", Dash shows all open tickets that are not "On The Lot". Waiting For Parts - Also a triple filter, we think the name is rather obvious in it's function. Accountant Verified - Also a triple filter. This status was a request from a subscriber who has an bookkeeper verify each and every Service Request. They wanted their bookkeeper/accountant to be able to mark off which Service Requests had been completely verified. This feature is available, but it is a special request module that is not included in our standard pricing. Internal Notes: Send notes to your team members, complete with notification reminders. Assign it to the appropriate team members and have everyone on the same page. Desktop Display: Mobile Display: This feature is available, but it is a special request module that is not included in our standard pricing. Service Request Notes: In addition to "Internal Notes", we now have a similar feature that will allow you to write notes for any Service Request. The notes will also function as reminders and can be assigned to anyone on your team. Desktop Display: Mobile Display: This feature is available, but it is a special request module that is not included in our standard pricing. We have enhanced our Dashboard Display overall: Desktop Display: Mobile Display: We are also working on a partnership with a highly sought after vendor. We can not release any more information at this time, but this relationship will truly help us provide a better service to all of our subscribers.
  6. 1 point
    @CAR_AutoReports created an article about ADAS, but I can't reply there. It was a good article. Thank you. Starting a new topic to discuss this in more detail since it won't let me respond there. I've started asking around to see if the Mobile Diagnostics guys are adding ADAS to their mobile services and so far, I've found no one, but also haven't looked very hard either. At a minimum, we all need to be able to recognize when ADAS is impacted and know whether to proceed with a service or not, if we are unequipped to tackle the next step. I do have a few questions / observations / : With the complexity of these procedures, does anyone have a feel for how the dealers are pricing / handling ADAS reprograms? In looking at this as a service offering, assuming one has room, I wonder about the following: What prices would the market bear for such services? You mention that you are getting paid for documentation. Sounds like the ADAS services are time and materials charging. Your car didn't program in the typical 45 minute drive cycle, so you are charged extra. I think I remember reading about some complex procedures that were in the 10 hour range? Any comment on typical job sizes? Lastly on charging, I can see people throwing fits on such "frivolity" (anything you don't fully understand must not be important). "If it's that much, time to get rid of the car!!!!" Looks like this could be a single specialty shop offering - B2B only. Are there generic tool kits that work with multiple car lines or is it one tool kit per line? Any idea of the types of such kits and their costs? You mentioned $20K toolkit. If access to OE Information is mandatory this may also impact which car lines are selected (as one may not want many subscriptions, even if temporary) Can we perform an ADAS impactful repair, but then sublet to the dealer for the ADAS reprogram (or other local shop)? Is this a good strategy or not? As of today, I've seen a number of cars with these systems, but have not performed any services which would impact them.
  7. 1 point
    Sorry for the delay, August was a little crazy. Getting back to normal now. As for mobile calibrations, Autel recently unveiled a mobile calibration frame for windshields. Really curious as to what cars can be done with it, especially considering the ones that I've run into where "You had to in an area with no outside light.". With the complexity of these procedures, does anyone have a feel for how the dealers are pricing / handling ADAS reprograms? - Have not seen dealer prices, but I've heard there are very few techs that can do them at dealers and even fewer dealers with equipment to perform the work. Lastly, the ones that do... keep the vehicle for much longer than a week in the experiences I've been told about. What prices would the market bear for such services? - We are defining the market as we speak. Prices are according to the cost of equipment plus the years of experience it took us to learn how to program a car in several hours, not several days. You mention that you are getting paid for documentation. Sounds like the ADAS services are time and materials charging. Your car didn't program in the typical 45 minute drive cycle, so you are charged extra. I think I remember reading about some complex procedures that were in the 10 hour range? Any comment on typical job sizes? We have not run into many problems with extended programming time, we have run into access problem with specific manufacturers. Which is another problem for the aftermarket and if we're not prepared, it will delay jobs significantly. I think the days of programming cars that took 10 hours, are behind us for the most part. But that doesn't mean a headache wont' come rolling in the door. With new technology, they are all headaches at first. So track your time and bill appropriately. Lastly on charging, I can see people throwing fits on such "frivolity" (anything you don't fully understand must not be important). "If it's that much, time to get rid of the car!!!!" This will be the opportunity creator for vehicles to be sold much cheaper in the short term. Or cause customers to drive vehicles with Christmas Trees on their dashboard. Anyone who tries to pay for accidents out of pocket, is in for a rude awakening when the accident involves and ADAS enabled vehicle. Looks like this could be a single specialty shop offering - B2B only. - Maybe for now. In ten years, everyone who has a shop, will have to have some variation of the hardware and software. Or they won't be in business. This will be the equivalent to having a scan tool in your shop in the next 10 years. Don't have a scan tool, can't work. Can't recalibrate a module or vehicle? Can't work. Are there generic tool kits that work with multiple car lines or is it one tool kit per line? - Autel has the first functional unit for sale that does A LOT. Any idea of the types of such kits and their costs? You mentioned $20K toolkit. I'm over $25,000 already and that doesn't include specialized equipment or programming equipment. If access to OE Information is mandatory this may also impact which car lines are selected (as one may not want many subscriptions, even if temporary). - It's not mandatory, but strongly suggested. Can we perform an ADAS impactful repair, but then sublet to the dealer for the ADAS reprogram (or other local shop)? Is this a good strategy or not? - In my opinion, this is the future of repair. If you don't learn this in the next 5 years... you're either retiring or the market will show you the door to retirement.
  8. 1 point
    I have 4 main campaigns going and some other things. One hits 45K homes every 3 weeks, one hits about 10K homes every 5 weeks (overlaps), one is direct mail to people that have never visited my shop and then other reminder marketing. What I did was to align myself with a small business marketing company that specializes in automotive. I get lower pricing thru him than I would going direct to the mailing companies because of his total volume. Actually, the direct mail and the reminder marketing are done thru two other companies that specialize in those types of marketing. I track all of these very carefully to monitor success rate. In spite of that, frankly, I couldn't tell you for sure that it works versus doing nothing, but I do believe it helps get the word out that we exist, which IMO is my biggest barrier being relatively new. I'm still doing it and have no plans to stop. I'd be happy to share contacts if useful. This is costing me about $2500 monthly. They say that you need to be seen 7 times with advertising to be "known". I had significant heart-burn deciding to do this and didn't want to do what I'm doing. I'm mailing much wider than I want to because of how the postal / advertiser routes are structured. If I want to mail across the street, I have to accept that whole area. Kind of frustrating, but I'm hitting my target areas.
  9. 1 point
    Matthew: Thanks for being willing to reply to my request for assistance and for helping to validate that the area and property I'm considering should have sufficient demand. The reason I mentioned that I have extensive experience as a DIYer is to make the point that auto repair is not foreign to me. I understand the way cars work, how to diagnose them, and fundamentally understand the work of repairing vehicles. I think understanding cars is a help when starting this business, wouldn't you agree? From a business operations standpoint, I know I will have a learning curve for the automotive industry, however I'm already running a real estate business successfully, this will be my second business. I also have 20 years of experience in consumer goods where I have seen how larger businesses operate, I have also held management positions for many years and executive positions for the last 5 years or so. Although it is absolutely true that running one's own business is dramatically different than working for a larger corporation, through my tenure in corporate roles, I have had the opportunity to develop my leadership capability. I know how to recruit, build and lead teams. I know how to motivate people. I am deeply analytical and will not have any issues monitoring KPI's for the business. I also have extensive experience with various types of marketing and sales tactics. I will admit there are some shortcomings with my background, however, I also believe there are some significant benefits. 20 years of hands on experience in the consumer goods industry in the areas of sales and marketing should not be dismissed as a liability, rather, I would argue that it has given me a great foundation to springboard from. A new question for you and the rest of the forum - is there a consensus as to whether I would be better off working to identify a niche or specialty area or better off going broad based in terms of target consumer base? I could easily do either. As an example, my feeling is that I might have better success specializing in premium brands (e.g. BMW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, Lexus, Infinity, Jaguar, etc.) versus a more generalized repair business. The location I have identified would easily support an upscale experience and my perception is that the clientele who own those vehicle brands may be willing to pay a bit more for an enhanced service experience. I have also noticed that, aside from the new car dealerships, none of the local repair shops offer a premium, white glove, service experience. As a side note, I am aware of a 3 bay Import repair shop nearby but not on the main road and another Import repair shop about 20 minutes south on the main road. These two shops were not included in my original list. Thoughts on this concept? Thanks in advance. ABS
  10. 1 point
    Labor rate from $115 to $150 car count down 1/3 revenue up 6%. Going on the third month that we raised our rates. Our best customers have stayed, trouble nickle and dime customers seem to have disappeared. ARO from 380 to 628.
  11. 1 point
    My answer to the what is your rate question: We bill fairly for each job depending on how difficult the issue is to repair. Please stop by and let my ASE certified technician take a free look at the vehicle so we can build you an accurate quote."
  12. 1 point
    There’s a lot of talk these days about the effect Amazon is having on businesses. Even Google has taken a hit. More and more people simply go straight to Amazon, instead of using Google’s search engine when looking for an item or product. Once-dominant brick and mortar stores are now ramping up to compete with Amazon’s online ordering service. Just look what Amazon did to the book industry. There is no doubt that Amazon has changed the way the typical consumer buys and searches for just about anything. But, can Amazon ever really become a major competitor with us; the independent repair shop? My conclusion is no. Let me tell you why. It was the Saturday before Christmas, roughly 12 years ago. A man walked in my shop, visibly upset and holding an old Lionel train transformer. I asked him if I could help him, and he replied, “I was wondering if you could check out this transformer. This transformer has been in my family for over 50 years. Each year the family gets together to decorate the Christmas tree and set up the Lionel Trains. It’s a tradition we started a long time ago.” I stood before him a little confused, not really knowing what to say. Finally I replied, “Sir, I repair cars, not toy train transformers.” Getting more upset, he said, “Toy train transformer? This is a rare, vintage Lionel Duel Transformer, Type ZW!” I replied back, “OK; no promises. Let me take a look” I set the transformer on the back bench and plugged the cord it into an outlet. The man frantically said, “See, there’s no light; it’s not working!” I turned the transformer over, and took the screws out to disassemble it. The man watched me as if I were a surgeon operating on his child. I poked around a bit and inspected the cord leading inside. I could clearly see a break in the wire. I cut the wire, stripped it back, attached the wire back to the terminals and reassembled the transformer. I plugged it in and the power light came on. “It working! It’s working!” the man said. He thanked me over and over and asked me what he owed me, and I told him, “It’s Christmas; just become my customer.” And he did. Another time, a young woman in her early twenties and her father came to me with an unusual problem. I could see that the daughter was crying and the father was trying to console her. The daughter told me that she was recently engaged. As she was driving this morning, her friend reached over and tried to take off the ring. As she pulled her hand back, the ring came off and flew across the top of the dashboard and disappeared. The father said, “Joe, could it have gone down the defroster vents?” I said, “It’s possible, but if you didn’t see where it went, it’s going to be a big job to find it.” The girl began to cry again and said, “Please, can you get the ring back?” I looked at her and said, “Sure, it will take time. It’s almost the end of the day. Let me clear up a few things and I’ll get to it.” About an hour later, I brought the car in and begin taking apart the dash. The father and daughter stood there watching me as I carefully took apart the dash, piece by piece. After 40 minutes I had just about every piece of the dashboard apart, and no ring. I climbed out from under the dash to take a break and asked the daughter, “Are you sure the ring landed on top of the dash and disappeared?” She replied, “Yes, I’m sure. It has to be there. It must!” I went back to work, removing more parts of the dash. I finally got down to the lower center of the dash where the ducts split off and go to the floor vents. As I removed the left side floor vent, I heard a rattling sound. I carefully picked it up, turned it over and out came the ring! The daughter burst into tears and laughter and gave me a big hug. The father told me, “Joe, I will never forget this—never.” These two stories are true. And I’ll bet a year’s pay that you have similar stories. Each day, we put our hearts and souls into helping people. We create a customer experience that sets us apart from most other businesses. We go above and beyond what’s expected of us, and we succeed. Let me ask you; could the “Amazon effect” ever compete with you? The only effect you should focus on is the effect you have on your customers and your community. This will always be your competitive advantage. Use it wisely. This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on July 1st, 2019 View full article
  13. 1 point
    I'm sick of your stupid click bait forum posts
  14. 1 point
    I know this is an old post, but I show my techs news articles of mechanics that went to jail for negligent homicide for missing safety items on inspection that ended up killing someone. I know this was a state inspection mechanic performing a state safety check, but it tends to get the point across, and it makes them think about what could happen to the customer. https://www.mynbc5.com/article/licensed-car-mechanic-charged-with-manslaughter-in-customer-s-death/3324536
  15. 1 point
    THIS would be such a cool thing to have for ALL OF US! I would LOVE to post my Labor Rate and be able to see those all over the country but PREMIUM or PLATINUM only leads me to believe that this site is more interested in my money than raising the boats (a rising tide lifts all boats!). Sorry, guess I am done here...
  16. 1 point
    Here’s a marketing idea I wanted to share with everyone. Auto shop owners and marketers are focused on targeting the local residential community. But what about all of the businesses that employ people who work in the area but don’t live in the area? These employees are all great prospects for auto repair services. The challenge is effectively targeting and reaching them. One idea is to create a flyer that doubles as a break room poster. The poster should have a use case explicitly telling the business owner what you want them to do with your poster. Let them know they simply need to hang it in their break room to share the savings with their colleagues and employees. We recommend clipless coupons or specials, which increase the lifespan of the poster and keep it intact for longer than it would if employees were tearing coupons off. Employees will simply take a picture of the coupon they want to use and show it to you upon redemption.Tear-off coupons destroy posters and ultimately result in them being thrown away as soon as the coupons, offers, or specials are torn off. Using break room posters requires some legwork on the part of shop owners, since you’ll need to visit the businesses you want to target. However, the actual cost of the printed flyers is minimal. Let’s say you want to print 100 of them. At around $1 per piece, your total investment is $100 (give or take) depending on who does your printing. There really is no downside to giving break room posters a shot. Put a call tracking number on your poster to keep track of anyone who comes in to redeem your coupons to track ROI. There are plenty of companies that can print cheap flyers, so call around. Attached is an example of a popular layout that Mail Shark has been supplying shops with. Josh Davis Executive Vice President of Sales Direct: 484-948-1611 Mobile: 484-269-3715 www.themailshark.com Example BreakRoom Poster.pdf
  17. 1 point
    Got your attention? Good! Before I start, let’s get something out of the way. Does technician aptitude or attitude affect the productivity of your shop? Absolutely. But this is the exception, not the rule. If your overall production levels are low, that is the sole responsibility of management. Let’s look at a few reasons for low production levels. The first area I want to address is billing. Many hours of labor go unbilled due to not understanding how to charge. This area is most prevalent with testing and inspecting. If your technicians are handed a work order, with no direction and not a clear process of what to do, or when to stop and ask for labor testing fees, there will be a ton of wasted labor hours, never to be recovered again. Next is training. Service advisor and technical training is a key component to high production levels. But let’s not forget in-house training. All policies and procedures must be reviewed often and refined if needed. Your team must follow a process. With no road map, labor dollars are lost. By the way, if you don’t have procedures in place, you need to make this top priority. Every successful organization has a detailed set of workflow guidelines. Let’s look at shop layout. How organized is your shop? Are shop tools and equipment readily accessible? Or do techs tend to wander around looking for the shop scanner or TPMS reset tool. Are stock items such as wiper blades and oil filters fully stocked and cataloged properly? Do technicians have separate access to technical information? Or are techs waiting to use the same computer station? Again, all these things kill labor production, which kills labor dollars. Next up is scheduling. There should be a structured approach to scheduling where the day is balanced with enough opportunity to make profitable sales. Have a process where vehicle history is reviewed before the customer arrives. Any previous service recommendations or notes is any opportunity to make a sale. But the key ingredient is in preparation. A customer that’s scheduled for an oil change may have forgotten that he or she received a recommendation for tires. Informing the customer at the time of scheduling and preparing for the work ahead of time, greatly improves productivity and overall efficiency. Another problem area is with service advisors and their workload. The service advisor, in many situations, handles the front counter, the phone, scheduling, helps with dispatch, part procurement and sales. All these tasks are critical to the daily operations. However, nothing happens in the shop until a sale is made. You need to look at your service staff. Are estimates getting processed quickly and upsells getting back to the technicians in a timely manner? If not, this is another area where production suffers. Carefully analyze your staff and run the numbers. More estimates processed means more sales and higher profits. Adding a service advisor or an assistant may be the missing link in a shop’s production problem. Knowing your numbers is another key component to attaining high production levels. I will refrain from giving you benchmark numbers, since all businesses models are different. With that said, you need to determine your breakeven and establish your labor goal for the week. Then knowing your labor goal, you need to calculate how many labor hours you need per technician. Then, you need to communicate this number to each technician. Having clear expectations and knowing the goals of one’s position is essential for hitting production goals. With regard to the technician’s responsibility, let’s remember one important fact; the technician has control over his or her efficiency. That’s it. If you dispatch a four-hour ticket to a tech, the ability of the tech to meet or beat that time depends on the technician’s skill, experience and training. There are a lot of other factors that influence production, such as the right pay plan and hiring the right people. But perhaps the most important influence is leadership. The shop owner or manager must study and look at the entire operations of the shop. Productivity goals must be established and then a system of monitoring production must be put into place. This includes sales goals, as well. Service advisors and technicians must get continuous feedback on their progress. Improvements in sales and in production, no matter how small, must be celebrated. The bottom line is this: If you’re not happy with your production level, you need to look at every aspect of your company that influences production. Improvements in key areas put technicians in a position to win. When they win, so do you. This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on March 1st, 2019
  18. 1 point
    I'm selling Interstate right now, on consignment, and I've had no issues with warranty returns. I wonder if the warranty issues noted above are from Distributors instead of Interstate directly. Clearly, some of you have had warranty rejections whereas, I've had none. Our warranty process: We test the batteries and if they fail, the test results are attached, but many times they get destroyed by the acid and are unreadable. The route drivers do not read the test results, nor do they retest the batteries when they pick them up. They are placed on the truck in a compartment with all other battery cores from other retailers, so there's no distinguishing who's core is who's at the factory for later testing. The warranty claim is processed on site by the driver. Maybe they have different warranty solutions in different regions. Can anyone comment on how their Interstate warranties are being processed? My challenge with Interstate has been with stocking levels and their inability to hot-shot batteries in <24 hours. If I don't have it in stock, then we source an AC Delco from a different supplier. I've recently upped my inventory to solve my own shortages problem. Currently, AC Delco is significantly higher, about $20 each, than it's Interstate peer (similar or (mostly) less warranty levels) and NAPA is about $25 each higher. Yesterday, I invited both AC Delco (distributor) and NAPA to pitch their battery programs again.
  19. 1 point
    First let me start by saying I am not a shop owner , I am a mechanic who has worked at the same shop for over 2.5 decades and have been close and very involved with all but one of the 5 owners. I don't think that labor rate and car count are the major things people need to be concerned with. Some of the best weeks we have seen are with a lower car count. I think the most important thing is advertising (now a days probably social media etc is the best way). Getting the best mechanics you can and building a team (family) that work together and want to see the business grow and be successful .. Sure you can raise your labor rate or run some coupon to get more cars in the door, but how long will that last? If you raise your rate higher than your surrounding area you will soon lose even more customers, sure at first you may be making more money but for how long? If you get a bunch of guys in there that aren't so great at diagnostics etc. and rape and pillage for every penny they can , sure you will make more money for a while, but for how long? Once your customer base starts catching on you will start to lose customers. Get the best team you can together and make quality repairs at fair prices, even though there is all that social media etc out there still word of mouth is one of the best free advertising you can get. Treat one person fair and honest they may tell their family and friends now you are getting a bigger base that will stay the course as long as you stay the course. That being said you can live like a king to day and be poor tomorrow or you can live a nice happy life time. The choice is yours.
  20. 1 point
    I use a large white board that I use for daily/weekly goals. I keep track for the week on the white board but also fill out a weekly sheet so that I have a hard copy to look at later. I think it would be a good idea for scheduling as well as long as you keep a hard copy or picture of it. (I like to pull up previous weeks and see how they look, etc.)


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