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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/05/2020 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    A ride to the Mall with my wife today (yes, I went to the Mall, got a problem?) gave me assurance that things are really getting back to normal. The stores were full, the roads were packed and expect for the masks people are wearing, you would think it's just another ordinary summer weekend!
  2. 2 points
    I believe we all WISH there was a system that worked! My suggestions: Schedule Mondays and Fridays light, for the breakage over the weekend and the need for their cars for the weekend. When making appointment, look into recommendations: such as, pads at __ % or __ mm. Check mileage for spark plug replacement. Get tentative approval for the above when they drop off their car to keep your tech busy. Include extra time for check engine lights for diagnosis and parts replacement time. Try to get some cars for 2 days so you can juggle.
  3. 2 points
    AutoZone doesn't!!! LOL (That's the tiresome refrain around here) I've said it before, AZ has done more damage to the automotive repair industry than anything else in the last 30 years. Hatred for this company pales when describing my feelings for them.....
  4. 1 point
    Sounds a lot like our shop. We have weekly management meetings and that item seems to jump on the agenda when it gets crazy busy like it is now. What eased the pain a bit for us is building a fleet of loaner cars so that if you have to keep a car overnight, the client isn't without a vehicle. We have 4 techs and try to limit car count to 16 per day. While that helps, we always have "sleepovers" (cars that don't get finished and sleepover until the next day). Yesterday we had 8 sleepovers to add to our 16 that were coming in today. I feel your pain. Very often that 45 minute oil service turns into a 6 hour $1,500 repair order and we didn't have the 45 minutes to do the oil service!! I like Newport5's suggestion of looking at deferred work when someone makes an appointment. I am going to have our front counter staff start to try to presell that def work so we have a better handle on the hours sold. I hate to push people out a week.
  5. 1 point
    Thanks for all your feedback. I think we're all saying & doing virtually the same things, finding the sweet spot for our specific shops. I was hoping there was a magic recipe that maybe I was missing, but I guess not. Seems we're all in the same boat when it comes to trying to schedule an orderly day but I guess the right combination of all those things works for all of us.
  6. 1 point
    Hi all, I feel like this is a broad question but I'm curious as to how other shops manage "scheduling". This has been the bane of our existence for years, searching for the perfect formula so that we won't overwhelm or underwhelm ourselves on a day-to-day basis, and yet the secret to this still eludes us. Do you use software that manages the daily car capacity for you based on the type of jobs scheduled? Do you manually manage the intake? How do you allot time for inspections when some can take 45 minutes and others could last several hours if much work is required to pass inspection? Or dealing with delivery delays on top of an already tight schedule? We've been in business for many, many years and obviously what we're doing is working - but I guess I'm just looking for feedback as to how we could improve this for increased efficiency. I've been thinking about upgrading our software to include a scheduling component but I'm not sure if this would be worthwhile or further limiting. Thoughts and feedback would be most appreciated!!!
  7. 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?
  8. 1 point
    Good morning Looking forward to retirement at 55 since i was 25, i have discovered that one can only travel so much and see so many things before i get bored. I am at that point in my life were retirement seems like a good option, my son is working in the business and will take over the business and will provide me with a passive income. After years of searching i got all the right people in the right positions and even with my son not there, its business like usual. Covid-19 did its damage but we don't cry over spilt milk, we are fortunate to have survived through the difficult time. Our biggest concern at this time is that one of the employees (or ourselfs) get Covid -19, and still i cant seem to pul the trigger on retirement. Retirement on its own seems to comes with its own challenges for a busy body like me.. I dont think i will retire just yet.
  9. 1 point
    Happy Father's Day!
  10. 1 point
    Let us all take time this weekend and reflect on the things that are priceless...Family and Life itself!
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  14. 1 point
    No, I have not lost my mind. I just wanted your attention. We all know that we have competitors. However, what we have just witnessed the past few months, due to COVID-19, gives me great hope that the independent auto repair shop is not just alive and well, but is sitting on the opportunity of a lifetime! While many dealers and big-box franchise either scaled down or temporarily closed, the majority of auto repair shop across this great nation remained open, adjusted their expenses and payroll, and are now experiencing a surge in business. Proof positive that the reasons we will thrive is because we are still, and will always be, the preferred choice of the motoring public. We are not a transactional, discount-driven business. We don’t hang Corporate logos above our bays. We are successful because we are part of the community. And we build relationships. Want to really thrive past this pandemic? Become even stronger in your community. Get involved in fund raisers, and all other local events. Great days are coming. Be part of it!
  15. 1 point
    Today is the first day of summer, and we are still dealing with the dreaded COVID-19. However, there are positive indicators that business will be better than expected this summer. People will be taking more road trips, will avoid airplanes, trains and Ubers and will take to the roads in record numbers. Gear up for a great summer and look for opportunity with each vehicle visit. Perform those multipoints as if your business depends on it….why?....Because it does! We have a lot to be thankful for. Keep positive, be a leader and thrive!
  16. 1 point
    ( 9 hoists, 9 mechanics, 3 service writers) We do not have an official policy in place for scheduling work. I've tried different techniques but nothing ever really seems to stick. At the moment we use Mitchells software to take down names and numbers, then we place them on the day in which they will be coming in (we do not take specific times and do our best to have people leave there vehicles all day). Mitchel's scheduler is not very user friendly, its also very poorly designed, but its better than nothing. I would not fall into the "tech trap". Software and apps can seem attractive but usually they are a waste of time. I do not think it matters what you "use" the real secret I believe lies in being disciplined, and organized. If you cant make a scheduling process work with just a phone and paper than your not going to make it happen with an app. (Sometimes I wonder if paper is the way to go). Back to our shop, we typically "eye ball" our days. If you called for an appointment I would look at the day in question and if I see that there are not too many scheduled for that day I go ahead with scheduling you in. This bites us in the butt all the time. I'm wondering as well if anyone has a solid method that is tried and true, simple, uncomplicated, and preferably not done using software. What I would like to see is a scheduling process done on paper, that breaks down the shops capacity and abilities. Using a formula that determines how many Diagnostics, Brake jobs, A/c repairs we can do Mon-Friday. To make that work we would need to know what kinds of mechanics we have "A-C" What there current work load is and project it out for the week. As you mentioned, there is always the problem of unexpected delays. How do we handle delays?
  17. 1 point
    Well, I put together a spreadsheet to track my payroll spending. The payroll spending starts after funds have been dispersed. I need to spend a minimum of 75% against payroll After 2 pay periods, I'm in trouble! Not spending enough. I've recalled a furloughed worker and he's balking.... "I have a weakened immune system", "I'm not feeling good right now", etc. Another isn't being recalled. I've immediately boosted everyone's hours, and have hired a new guy, made an offer to another and will likely replace my furloughed worker. The good news is that I'm spending all of this on my employees! They are getting a boost and I'm using the PPP as it was intended.... for them. I was surprised that I was running so far behind. It's but a small 8 week tracking window, so I only have 6 weeks left to make adjustments. All my advisors are stating that we need to track our expenses very closely, so I'm doing this.
  18. 1 point
    YES. We have two shops in southeastern Pennsylvania. We were hit hard during the peak of the Covid pandemic. Although we were considered essential and allowed to remain open, our phones stopped ringing entirely. We didn't have work so we couldn't remain open. We closed for just over a month. We reopened a few weeks ago and we're seeing things bounce back slowly but surely. We struggled quite a bit during this pandemic, we worried quite a bit during this pandemic; we do not want to go back there again. We have signs on our office doors stating that masks must be worn upon entry. We aren't fooling ourselves that masks and gloves will complete prevent us from catching or spreading the virus entirely, but we'd rather play it safe and do our part. We've implemented policy changes, removed waiting room chairs, placed complimentary masks on our counter for customers that forget to bring them, stopped allowing in-office waiting, etc. This isn't just for them, its for us as well. In addition, most of our customers are wearing masks themselves and want to see this from us - they feel safer seeing us practice safe distancing, wearing gloves and masks, etc., It instills a sense of security in our customers, & we're happy to do it!
  19. 1 point
    I think the responses to your post will mainly be predicated on the location of the shop. Areas not hit as hard as others will naturally have more relaxed standards. I am in NJ and the entire state is still shut down except for essential businesses. Every business that is allowed to be open has signs posted indicating face mask required. I have to agree with bantar’s post that most customers wear the masks incorrectly and they will partially or fully remove the masks when talking. Odd how people nationwide feel the need to remove the mask during the time when it is really required. I need to constantly remind people to “mask up” so in most cases I just ask them to step outside. I removed all waiting room chairs back in March and I have no place for customers to wait. Nobody wants to wait, everyone is still scared and on heightened alert. Occasionally during quick jobs some customers take a walk over to a strip mall behind us but every store is closed and they get depressed looking at shuttered stores.
  20. 1 point
    This might not be popular.... No masks required at our shop, nor are we wearing masks. We see about 40% of our customers coming in with masks and very few (1 per week maybe) ask for us to wear gloves. And many of those with masks will take them off or have them on incorrectly or take them off to talk, but wear them when not talking. Most wait in the waiting room, but we have a handful that are waiting outside. Give it a few more weeks and this will go away as the Texas sun pops out. We do have hand sanitizer on the counter and keep our waiting room clean, even before this virus. We wipe down frequently used surfaces, but, IMO, this is largely a feel-good farce. We can't hide from a virus unless we behave like an operating room and are completely fastidious, wiping everything and changing gloves and masks after everything we touch. (My repair business is mostly drop-off. The waiting room is generally filled with waiters for Quick Lube Services). I've changed my marketing to call out our clean facility. We generally get compliments on cleanliness. Many are changing their marketing and some are opting for a higher-level of cleanliness such as seat covers, surface wipe downs, etc. I'm not seeing much of a call for this. Dealers were advertising this heavy on TV, yet they laid off almost all service staff. It didn't seem to bring the nervous folks forward. I know some shops that are selling a $50 sanitization service. We do our best to respect the wishes and needs of those that grace our doors. When people call in that sound worried, I generally recommend that they put the service off until later. In reality, I would not want to disappoint someone that truly needs or expects a higher level of safety than we can provide. I have noticed that those whom are more concerned will sanitize their cars themselves. They have wipes in the car and will wipe it down to be sure that it was done correctly. In truth, this is likely the best model for true personal safety. We assume that everyone wants social distancing and try to respect their space. I shake hands with those that are comfortable and this is more than you would think. To me, it seems that there 3 types of people: 1) Live Free or Die, 2) Cautious and 3) Scared. Personally, I won't go in a place the makes me wear a mask. (Ask me why I still need a haircut). Ever since the restaurants have reopened for dining in, we've started patronizing them. No longer patronizing take-out only. I fall squarely in the Live Free or Die camp. Luckily, I'm under no local rules that mandate social distancing or other behavior.
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  22. 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.
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  24. 1 point
    Like I had to tell my best friend/bookkeeper, her job has VALUE! Our services have tremendous value, we earn it and deserve it. We're providing a valuable service because the customer can't do this. And like the others said, there is equipment, specialty equipment that wasn't cheap to purchase. The ONLY thing I retract is the brake inspection charge, and only if we do the work right then & there. Other than that, everything that needs diagnosing gets charge accordingly.
  25. 1 point
    Do you already have a 4 post alignment lift or a 4 post lift? Like I mentioned I just bought the machine for $26k and thats the Elite with a 32" monitor, tire clamps, vin code scanner, code link etc. It's so fast, I'm actually doing alingments with a 2 post lift and stands right now and it's still fast.

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