Jump to content


Free Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


jfuhrmad last won the day on August 8 2017

jfuhrmad had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

30 Excellent

About jfuhrmad

  • Rank
    Occasional Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Integrity Auto Care
  • Business Address
    32003 128th Street Northwest, Princeton, Minnesota, 55371
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
  • Banner Program
  • Participate in Training

Recent Profile Visitors

1,301 profile views
  1. Thanks for the answers. I am an experienced shop owner looking to start another location. Area is 100k+ people with $110k average income. It's a unique circumstance but I need to get to 150 cars at $350 ARO starting from 0. So, I need to know if this is possible, and if anyone has done that....how long did it take them and how did they do it?
  2. Any of you out there care to share your car counts from starting a shop from zero? How many months did it take to get to 150 cars and how did you market to get it there?
  3. jfuhrmad


  4. I have one...are you referring to the air line that attaches to the turn table? I can snap a picture but I'm not sure what you need a picture of.
  5. Here's how I think about it...would you put cheap Chinese parts on a customer's car? No. You install quality parts because they are better for the customer. Same here. Quality equipment doesn't break as frequently, is faster to fix when it does break and often is faster and easier to use due to its superior engineering. You are not just buying equipment. You are buying reliability, service and functionality. How much reliability do you want? Well, it's going to cost more for more reliability. Hope that helps! I know it's served me well thinking about it that way.
  6. Hi Wheeling, I'm trying to shed some light on the lies that some newer shop owners may be buying into. They are thought patterns that are driven by the cheapest customers but they tend to stick. The idea is to demonstrate the absurdity of the lies and expectations that some customers place on our industry through in person interactions and online reviews. We should not give in to these fallacies or make business decisions based on them. I am in 100% agreement with your responses. That's how I run my shop to and the complainers don't get to drive those decisions. But I know there are other guys out there who mistakenly run there businesses based on the lies I outlined above.
  7. I have the hardest time understanding the ethics in this industry. It's like the auto repair industry has it's own set of ethics and expectations that are completely different than any other industry. It's absurd! Look at it: 1) Billing for 100% of Time - Lawyers do, doctors do, accountants do, plumbers do, phone companies do, and employees do...however, shops are supposed to stick to the estimate come hell or high water. Otherwise we are gouging or padding our time, or just adding random time. It's crazy! It's a double-standard that we allow to be placed on us. 2) Selling Only What Customers Need - People don't need 2 TVs, or 10 pairs of shoes, or bottled water, or Apple products, or bubble gum. Yet none of these industries are considered unethical for selling people something they don't need. Why are we unethical for selling people something they "don't need"? How did that happen? Don't go the wrong way with this...I'm not proposing telling people their car is broken when it isn't. I'm saying that right now our industry is in a position to bow to the customer any time they don't feel like the "need" a certain repair because they'll pull the unethical card on us. 3) Marking Up Parts - Why are we the only industry that is unethical for marking up things that we sell? Hardware stores do, restaurants do, plumbers do, Wal-mart does, O'Reilly's does. But for some reason, certain customers expect us to sell parts at our cost. Why not at O'Reilly's cost...or at Moog's cost? What is the ethical price? Is anyone allowed to make a profit selling parts? If so, who is and why only them? It's just crazy when I think about the unbelievable expectations people have for our industry. Here's my theory for how we got into this position. When we are desperate for customers we'll do anything they want. And it's much easier and less risky (so we think) to give into them by knocking the price down than it is to spend time teaching them about what they just bought or are about to buy. There's so much focus on shop efficiency that we don't take the time to develop customer relationships and educate them about the benefits of buying from us. It isn't a waste of time to teach customers about their car, to show them why we are proposing a certain repair, or to explain every item on the invoice. If we don't then people will continue to expect us to sell parts at cost, eat unexpected labor time, and not perform a proper repair all in the name of ethics. We have to put a stop to this. Our industry generally isn't unethical (we have 7 shops in my town of 12,000 and only one is shady) but we accept that moniker. We don't have to. I certainly don't. Does anybody else think the expectations on our industry are just plain stupid?
  8. Explaining is the only way that customers will ever understand. If you just eat it then they'll never understand. Your strategy is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Watch: YOUR SHOP 1) don't tell customers why you charge for shop supplies 2) customers don't understand what's in shop supplies 3) customers complain because they don't understand 4) you can't charge for shop supplies because they complain MY SHOP 1) we tell customers why we charge for shop supplies 2) customers understand what's in shop supplies and why we can't break it down into line items 3) customers don't complain because they know we billed them fairly 4) nobody complains about shop supplies (I've never had a single person complain about it) so we can charge for them Every shop owner is free to make their own decisions, but in my experience people are willing to pay for the things that are required to do the job as long as they know what they are paying for. Any shop owner that isn't charging for shop supplies is leaving money on the table that customers are willing to pay for. I'm up 30% this year in sales and July alone was up 58% in sales over last year! I'm not losing customers due to charging for shop supplies. I'm not losing them because my shop rate went up 2%, I'm gaining them because they feel comfortable with us because we show and tell everything that we can so there are no mysteries. They know they are getting what they pay for and that there is no fluff in the invoice. It's all legitimate charges for what it takes to do the job in a professional manner. And just an FYI I'm not a tech and I've never been a tech. I'm just a business person in this industry trying to make a profitable business that people can trust. It seems to be working.
  9. We don't diagnose leaks unless it is obvious. So, a left front axle seal is obvious but a coolant leak always goes to pressure test to diagnose. We average $4.77 in air filter sales/oil change and about 33% of my oil change customers do a rotation. These are legit air filters and rotations. In fact I could probably do more. We don't check difficult air filters like in Chevy Ventures or some Caravans where there is a lot of work involved (but we check every Silverado and they suck). But we mark them as "did not check." As for brakes, we do our best to look with tires on. If we don't know or can't see, we mark them as "difficult to estimate pad depth" and move on. Then, if we feel like they might be less than 30%, we inform the customer that they should do a rotation so we can see them better. The way I look at it is that a rotation is 100% gross profit and an air filter is over 50% gross profit, so if I can take $10 in gross profit from an oil change and make it $40 then I've 4x my gross profit for that hour. It makes the oil changes more productive. Same for batteries, wiper blades and belts. Anything that I can do in the the allotted time slot is fair game as long as it's good for the customer and not just for sales sake. You want that oil change time slot as profitable as possible because you're paying a guy for time, so any parts that can be sold should be.
  10. Everywhere I look I see that I'm supposed to target 60% gross profit. Am I supposed to include tires in this? I have no problem getting 60% on repairs, but when I include my tire sales then it just tanks it. About 15% of our sales is tires. Is anyone getting 60% GP including tires? If so, I need to make some adjustments.
  11. How do you guys determine your intervals? They seem much much shorter than the manufacturer suggested intervals. Coolant on most Chevy's is 150k and most of the time brake fluid still tests good at 100k. I would like to get to shorter intervals because I think the manufacturers are pushing it, but I haven't found much out there to support shorter intervals other than what appears to be guesses. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  12. June was our best month ever by about 20%. Not seeing any hesitation to repair but the main used car dealership in town went under in May so I'm wondering if people are slowing down their car purchases a bit in this area.

  • Create New...