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Everything posted by ATSAutomotive

  1. Set a limit for requiring a deposit on jobs. A $3,000 job should MOST certainly have had a deposit on it. Most states require you have clearly posted signage in order to charge storage fees. Make a nice looking notice, frame it and mount it on the wall in your office that is clearly seen when a customer comes in. Check with your state on the rules you may need to follow. Asking your customer to pick their vehicle up within 72 hours is well within reason. Remember you are not being a jerk, you're trying to run a successful business.
  2. We do not price match, I didn't pull a number out of a hat to put on an estimate. My estimate is specifically designed based on my needs. Parts are marked up according to what I need to be profitable, same with my labor rate. If your looking for the best price in town, I am not it. I am a professional and I want you to come to my business because of the service we provide, not because of my prices. Also why are you guys not making any money on tires??? Marked up 43% for 30% profit. I am not a tire store, I am only going to install tires if I am making money. Let the tire stores whip tires in and out. We have a diagnostic and repair work to do. I would like to say I think some owners need to slow down in their day. Being busy is just an illusion of being profitable. Bust in to your books and build your prices based on what you need.
  3. ATSAutomotive


  4. First off, you would need to check with a lawyer to find out if you could even do that. Second, its a cost of doing business. Your technicians should not be breaking parts to the point its seriously costing you money. Stuff happens but when it's consistently happening, there's a training issue at hand. I have to agree with bstewart, your techs need to be reprimanded. If they continue to break things, eventually you will have to let them go. Don't put up with carelessness but also don't jump to conclusions. Handle the situation with a calm and level headed demeanor. Protect your business and yourself.
  5. They have been replaced by Google reviews. I am honestly surprised that BBB is still around. Skip paying them any money. Does not offer any value to your company at all.
  6. If I may ask, why do you offer an econo line part? Reading your two documents sounds like you have had your fair share of warranties. Why not only offer the premium or OE options and skip an Econo line part?
  7. I started my shop with just the money I had in my account and slowly grew over time. I had just the tools in my toolbox and no actual equipment. Start slow, don't try and buy everything at first. See what items you need and take the time to do an ROI report for every one. Shop has been open going on 8 years. Have 9 employees, three tow trucks. Just keep your head on your shoulders and THINK about every decision you make. Good luck!
  8. We can't install customer supplied parts. As the professional, we become liable. There are tons of articles about this subject. Shops have gotten sued after installing customer parts that fail and they lose. We as the professionals are liable for the work we do, parts do not matter. I do not allow in our shop not only for this reason, but because parts & labor are how we profit in order to stay in business. We only use certain brands for certain jobs. We over time have come to find what good brands are and what bad brands to stay away from. Why? Because we are the professional! How many brakes, ball joints, calipers, Mass Air Flow Sensors, etc have we installed in our careers? We know what fails and what doesn't. Stand up, be proud of your profession and let them know exactly why we can't adhere to this practice. We deserve to make a profit and make a living for the work we do. Still haven't even thought about taking my own steak to a restaurant. I feel great to pay others for the services they provide for me that I know nothing about. Home HVAC, not my thing, but I know who to call. Plumber!!! Got a company for that too.
  9. Not great for sales for us either this year but we are up from August 2014 and we are up over 5% for 2015 so far.
  10. Bickering aside, I believe this is a reminder to all of us to make sure we perform our jobs to a "T" We all know we do certain jobs day in and day out. Maybe take an extra second to make sure we finished the job correctly and didn't hustle through it. This also serves as evidence to our customer's of why we HAVE to follow the rules. Not only is it their safety and LIVES but it is our job. The loss of life is unfortunate but let's use it as education not only for the public, for ourselves as well.
  11. Snap On Solus Ultra - Then have started to buy OEM tooling. I would start looking at what you work on most and devise a plan to start buying OEM tooling as it will become the norm. If you are looking at flashing - Drew Tech - either Cardaq-Plus or the Cardaq-M
  12. FYI for Xrac, one of the industry mags, Ratchet Wrench, etc. (I can't think of which one but I will try to find the specific magazine tomorrow.) Had an issue about the different types of coolants out there. One specific section was on Dexcool and the famous "brown sludge" They explained why the sludge forms and also why you should continue to use Dexcool especially on 3.1/3.4/3.8 engines where you replace the intake manifold gaskets (We all know most of us use Fel-Pro kits) These new gaskets are SPECIFICALLY designed to be used with Dexcool. Putting Original in will actually cause the coolant to deteriorate the new gaskets faster since they were not designed for the different additives and ingredients. I'll try and find the magazine and see if I can't find a digital format for you. I realize you may not have had any issues with the universal over the years but that doesn't mean its correct. Also doesn't mean you haven't had failures and either didn't attribute the failure to your use of universal or simply the customer may not have returned to you or broke down away from home. Food for thought.
  13. Zerex Original, Zerex Dexcool, Zerex G05, Zerex Asian, VW/Audi G12+, BMW "blue" Pentosin NF (for the rare MINI) think I even have some Honda "blue" and a diesel coolant from Zerex (can't think of the name off the top of my head) That should be about all of them. Pretty much the same for ATF, P/S fluid, Oil. Stock just about everything I need. All vehicles get the correct fluid type; oil, ATF, Coolant, Brake Fluid, P/S fluid, etc.
  14. I use AC Delco Professional pads and advantage rotors. Don't have any issues in my area.
  15. I will quote menu priced items but what we try to do is get down to why they think they need a water pump or an alignment. Then we talk with them about the need to see the vehicle to find out what is really going on. Does it really need an alignment or are your tires worn out. I'm not 100% against giving prices but I have found that people calling for a quote on a water pump, simply don't come in very often. Hell, when I did give estimates over the phone. I would take the time to write up the estimate, inform the customer on the phone and then they would say "thanks" *click* 30 seconds later the phone is ringing and it's the same customer asking for a quote on their water pump. THEY DON'T EVEN REMEMBER WHO THEY JUST CALLED. Gotta say that I agree with Joe on this. I make exceptions for some things but not very often.
  16. Alldata and Mitchell are both good but require a monthly payment. Some systems you purchase and do not require additional money a month but you can add modules if you wish for a monthly fee. I currently use TABSAutoBiz, check it out and see what you think. Bay master is another, RO Writer.
  17. You have gone above and beyond, you will not be able to earn his business because he expects you to do everything free. Obviously the other shop he goes to just gives it away to him. You will not live up to HIS standards even though your standards are correct. Write him off and continue kicking ass. Honestly, if he ever came back I would simply let him know we will not be servicing your vehicles.
  18. Have you thought about working up the numbers of technician productivity, car count, ARO, etc to show your brother that you are at capacity or not. Also keep in mind you time is split between office and tech so take that in to account. Maybe showing your brother the numbers and saying "hey we can't be any more efficient without more staff, here are the numbers"
  19. I hate debt, started the shop with the money we had and let the businesses growth purchase equipment, tools, etc. Have a credit card that we pay monthly and am debt free. I want an alignment machine SOOO BAD!!!!! BUT, it has to make sense financially and profitability wise in order for me to pull the trigger. If you don't need it, you don't need it. Save up and then buy it. You talked about expansion but are you truly ready for expansion. Maybe time to go back and crunch ALL of the numbers, technician productivity, ARO, etc to see if you truly need more space, techs, etc or if you need to focus on improving some aspects of your business.
  20. Who do you have as a coach? I never had a problem getting a pay plan made up by my coach. ATI teaches 7% goes to your sales team (be it one person, two, three, etc) Offer a base salary plus incentives for holding profit margin (parts margin, etc) This will discourage from discounting.

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