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bstewart

Free Member
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bstewart last won the day on April 3

bstewart had the most liked content!

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About bstewart

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Business Information

  • Business Address
    10750 152 Street Northwest, Edmonton, Alberta, T5P 1Z3, Canada
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Future Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
    None
  • Banner Program
    None
  • Certifications
    Journeyman Parts Technician

Recent Profile Visitors

4,016 profile views
  1. bstewart

    Broken Parts

    That would destroy morale at your shop IMO. Hold the techs responsible with reprimand in private, give them first a verbal write-up and let them know that if it happens a few more times they would be formally written up then possibly terminated. There are consequences to your actions, even if it is a mistake, but hitting your techs with deductions to their pay should not be one of them. Damages like this are a cost of doing business unfortunately. Things will sometimes get damaged. Check with your accountant, there might be a tax loss provision you could claim on something like this as well.
  2. bstewart

    Customer's buying their own parts

    I've talked about this multiple times in the past on this forum. I come from the heavy duty industry at a dealership, and this is the industry standard. Shop rates are in the $130-150 range, and most shops make 0-10% on parts. Dealer shop rates are $160-180. The HD industry is a bit different than automotive, there is less aftermarket available, and OEM parts are generally priced somewhat competitive with the aftermarket anyways (in many cases cheaper), so there is not a huge amount to be gained by shopping around. It's a bit of a running joke among us that so many customers still think the dealer is "too expensive" when in reality the OEM part is much higher quality, but still on par or less money than the aftermarket. Because many HD customers have fleets rather than single trucks, they generally buy a lot from the dealership, and they get volume discounts, while repair shops buy less from dealerships and get weaker discounts and in many cases pay retail prices. This is why many repair shops don't/can't markup their parts. A common markup is 1% on parts to cover administrative costs of ordering the parts. Even bigger shops that get volume discounts still only do a 10% markup in many cases. 20% markup on parts in the HD industry is pretty much unheard of. Yes, part of the situation is that HD parts cost a lot more than automotive parts, but at the same time, HD repair shops have realized that what you are truly charging for is your EXPERTISE to fix problems, not selling parts. This is reflected in the higher labour rates.
  3. Congrats indeed. Care to share with us some numbers? Revenue & profit last year, sale amount, valuation multipliers etc?
  4. Are you affiliated in any way with Soapboxx? This post, while slightly informative, feels like you're plugging your own business.
  5. tyrguy said it correctly, Productivity = Hours billed / Hours worked. Yes it's possible to bill 9 hours for an 8 hour day for 112.5% productivity, if you're billing by the job, not by the hour, and then your techs beat the job time. You are correct, however some shops bill it differently. Instead of 1.5-2 times the shop rate for diagnostics, some shops cut the time instead. Bill 1 hr "normal shop rate" for diagnostics and the tech gets .5-.7 hr to diagnose in that time block, which causes the shop to sell more time than the tech works. But in general, you are 100% correct.
  6. I'm confident that Alfred is referring to productivity, not efficiency. There's lots of posts on here that define the two and how they differ. Industry benchmarks nowadays are over 100% shop productivity and 125-150% efficiency per tech for top tier, well managed shops. How can you have over 100% productivity? It starts with a well laid out shop and proper tooling, billing for things "by the job" not by the hour, having "set-it-and-forget-it" equipment that works in the background while the tech temporarily moves on to another job, and charging a "full and proper" rate for all your diagnostics, which should be 1.5-2.0 times your regular shop rate, not to mention a minimum diagnostic charge at least .5 hr. Difficult? Yes. But impossible to do consistently? Absolutely not, shops around the country are doing it right now on a regular basis. Productivity = profits.
  7. Sounds like you've got a fantastic operation going for you! Your operation is something most shop owners can only dream about, great job! And those are great questions to ask, and those same questions should be revisited on probably a yearly basis. More people = more headaches usually, with conflicting ideas & personalities etc. On the other hand, you always should strive to be better, maybe not bigger but better in general.
  8. Smaller shops are always more efficient. I've read in numerous places that the most efficient shop setup is 2 techs, 1 advisor, 1 shop owner, followed closely by 3 techs, 1-2 advisors, 1 owner. Owning 2 small shops with 3-5 employees each will be more efficient than owning 1 large shop with the same number of people combined (6-10 employees). EDIT: Shoot for 20% net profit based on sales. That should always be your goal to meet and beat. The best shops make up to 35% net profit as a percentage of sales. Most shops make under 10%, and many make 0-3%.
  9. bstewart

    Charge Administrative Fees!

    This is a smart way to do business, negotiate a volume discount with vendor, charge customer the "normal retail" price, pocket the difference, or even give the customer a small discount and pocket most of the difference. Vendors love volume, and it's worth it to them to give discounts to keep you coming back, not to mention they give premium service and other perks to larger accounts. It's also very true about charities and non-profits. Their people still need to get paid just like anyone else, they just don't get the remove profits from the business at the end of the year.
  10. bstewart

    coolant testing methods

    Visual test, voltage, test strip, specific gravity, refractometer are all good coolant tests. Each one will tell different things about the coolant. Used together you can get a whole picture of the coolant's remaining life. http://www.sancarlosradiator.com/VoltageDrop/testing_for_electrolysis.htm Here's a good article on testing coolant voltage, it's super quick & easy, and can be useful. Coolant's pH should be above 7 for sure, but as high as 10 is fine. If the pH drops below 7 and becomes acidic, that's when your coolant turns into an electrolyte, your engine becomes a battery and generates it's own voltage between a random anode and cathode (bad).
  11. This is not a scam, I contacted the owner and it is a legit offer. However, the business owner is not offering the business for a reasonable amount, nor are the numbers listed in this thread correct and up to date. The owner is banking on a large amount of goodwill and future returns in his valuation, not past and current performance of the business, nor a realistic ROI. I won't go into specifics at this time, but if anyone wants my opinion on this, they can contact me.
  12. GM has been doing this forever with the AC Delco line. Just thinking out loud here, but you could use it as a benefit, get "OEM parts" at better prices for your non-Ford customers.
  13. I'd also be interested in this.
  14. I sent you a PM yesterday, hope to hear from you soon.
  15. Do you have a copy of that spreadsheet to share? I'd like a copy please. EDIT: Nevermind, I just found the article where this was posted. I was under the assumption that it was your spreadsheet.


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