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kbomb

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  1. kbomb

    Parts ordering

    Dan, We are using electronic (nexpart catalog) integration and then calling dealers typically. We will check 7 suppliers (auto plus, advance, autozone, napa, worldpac, parts authority, carquest) then move on to dealerships. We use mitchel for our management software. I understand it's quicker using RO Writer becuase it searches all inventory within 10 seconds but I was wondering if others have found it to really work for them in the real world. I'm curious if there's a need for supplier that checks inventory of all vendors and just orders the part on your behalf? Sometimes I wish my primary supplier would do that homework for me and just mark up the part accordingly so I can use my time more wisely. Thoughts?
  2. Does anyone else get frustrated sourcing parts from multiple vendors because of lack of comprehensive inventory from one supplier? I estimate we spend an extra hour sometimes per day trying to hunt down parts. We always start with our favorite vendor then start going down the list. Just curious how you guys deal with this problem or if it in fact a problem? Thanks in advance, Scott
  3. We don't have direct access or a window between the shop and the office. One has to walk outside the front door to reach the bays. Does anyone use a shop intercom system they can recommend to speed up communications? I have searched all over amazon and google but can't seem to find a good commercial use product. Thank you for any suggestions you might have. Scott
  4. Since I was just in your shoes a few months ago I'll share what we've learned so far that could help you out. We pay our mechanics hourly and do a quarterly profit share of some of the shop profits. You can pay yourself from profits or a salary or hourly. If you're the sole investor, then it's your investment so I suppose you can pay yourself whatever you want! Insurance: This is something you usually buy locally from a "broker" in your area. I recommend you go visit a few of the best local shops and ask who they are using. Shop Management Software: We use mitchel simply because that's one of the few that were highly recommended here on this forum. We bought the addon's by Bolt on technologies which adds some additional features. We just signed up for mobile manager by bolt on technologies and it supposedely integrates with Mitchel. It's an android tablet system that can be used by techs in the shop. We should have the tablet portion up and going later this week. I've been happy with the mitchel product so far. It's not super user friendly or intuitive in my opinion but it does do everything we need and plus some. It's typical of industry specific software I suppose in terms of user interface. It's not really pretty but it is highly functional. We've really benefited from the local sales rep of the software, John Heffernan. He's spent a ton of time training me on the software and sharing industry specific tips that other shops do that I would have never known without him. I suppose that's an advantage of using a large national product like mitchel. Equipment: I'm always a fan of buying used stuff in general but when it comes to shop equipment I've found that the used equipment on the market is so old and heavily used that it hardly seems worth it. And with the reasonable prices of new equipment and access via the internet to so many different suppliers and products, I've decided to simply buy new. Manufacturing overseas seems to driven the price down on new equipment. I hope all this helps and best of luck to you!!! Scott
  5. kbomb

    BendPak lifts, good or bad?

    We bought the 10k lb two post lift about 18 months ago and have been happy with it. We got a second one when we moved to a larger shop and they now had the lower profile arms for the same cost which was cool. For under $3,000 bucks, I think you can't beat it. We installed our first one by ourselves. It took about a day and a half to complete it. But I think most people should be able to knock it out in one day or less. The only issue we had was the overhead cut off switch failed. They sent us a replacement switch for free. One of the installers I spoke to says that fails all the time on other lifts he installs. Overall, I think the quality appears excellent although I'm by no means an expert on steel quality or capacities. It appears as well built as any lift I've noticed at other shops. By the way, delivery took about 5 days from California to Maryland. We bought it through the workshop depot out of california I believe.
  6. We started a shop about 2 months ago and I'm looking for some wisdom from the experts! How do I find a shop owner willing to share their wisdom? -How would I find the successful shops? -How do I approach them and ask? -Would would be willing to let someone shadow you? -How much time do you think is fair to ask for? A little background on me: I started a same day delivery service with my wife 8 years ago, we sold/merged to a larger outfit, I stayed on and then I started a garage to maintain our own fleet of 30 vehicles (not as a business but at cost), then opened a separate auto repair business to further leverage our resources that we already had in place (tech's, experience, tools, etc). I fully intend for this venture to be very successful. I have dreams of duplicating the system and developing entrepreneurs in house to go start their own shops as a franchise. Any thoughts/advise are much appreciated. Our shop for those interested is called "That Auto Shop". We only have a facebook page so far: http://www.facebook.com/thatautoshop Thank you! Scott Kristiansen


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