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dfrisby

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dfrisby last won the day on October 13

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Business Information

  • Business Name
    All Seasons Services
  • Business Address
    31152 Minnesota 65, Pengilly, Minnesota, 55775
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner

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  1. I switched to one of those providers that promises lower rates a couple years ago. Total cost was almost double for the first three months while I was fighting with them on the phone. Took 2 months to force them down to comparable and I check my total processing cost at least every other month. Usually around 2.2 to 2.4% They had hidden fees and instead of one transaction from my bank it's broke up into 3 every month. They tried to tell me that only one of those fees should be used to calculate my percentage and the other two were just service charges. Took me awhile to explain that I learned math before common core became a thing.
  2. I pay similar. My new tech is at $12.50 for time he is here and $12.50 for billed hours. My tech that's been here almost 4 years is at $15 and $15, and has had 2 raises already this year. Last week it had my new tech at just over $20/hr combined and my more experienced tech was just over $30 an hour.
  3. Just got my accounting caught up and first year ever I've been running at a loss, even though gross sales are up. Just raised shop rate from $90/hr to $100/hr with plan to raise monthly to $120 an hour by October 1st. Cost of labor is up 30% from last year and it's been everything I can do to attract and retain employees. I've known for years that techs were not making what they should, but I'm nervous about pricing myself out of the market around here as other shops in the area are at a much lower hourly rate still. Anyways, I'm going to pay my techs what they deserve and keep afloat or I'm going to go under trying. All their expenses have gone up as well and it's time.
  4. I always want parts coming through my front counter people. If it's direct to the tech, we can't keep track of what's coming and going and get it to the computer. Techs need to be turning wrenches. Not entering parts into the computer or locating parts or ordering parts. If they are waiting on parts for one job, they are figuring out what's needed for another. Each tech has multiple work orders they may be working on at once. As parts come in, they can complete jobs. My service writers or myself are ordering parts, dealing with customers and checking parts in and arranging the schedule based on where the parts are. The service writers job is keeping techs busy and efficient. We have a shelf for parts for customer jobs and once all parts needed are received, we get the vehicle in and the work done. I have 3 techs and limited space. We work on everything from lawn tractors to atvs and utvs and automotive. many of our jobs parts are 3 days to a week out. automotive is usually same day or next day on parts, but sometimes longer. Whatever you do make your deliveries and your process consistent. One parts supplier always drops the parts in the shop and leaves. I've asked many times for them to come to the front end. I'd order from them more often, but not if they can't deliver my way. It almost always throws us off schedule wise as the service writer doesn't know the parts arrived and the tech may or may not know either. I've found the stack of parts sitting there late evening (as I live in the same building and am always working), and come to find out the delivery driver told the tech that wasn't working on that vehicle where the parts were. He forgot to mention it as he was busy on an ATV he was working on.
  5. Summer was great for me in Minnesota, but so so going into winter. We will see what 2021 brings, but I'm trying to be prepared for an almost guaranteed downturn in the economy going forward. I'm probably insane, but I'm adding equipment to my shop for fabrication work vs. repair equipment. Trying to expand into other markets as my repair work seems to be pretty stagnant even with added equipment such as the alignment machine and another lift. We shall see what happens going forward, but it's my boat and I'll either float it or go down with it.
  6. I despise a salary pay plan..... even as a former employee. Just meant they expected 80 hours a week for the same pay. My only advice though is that if you have multiple techs, you have an extremely similar pay plan for them all. I started out just paying flat rate. I had some issues with employees that didn't feel they were getting paid to clean up (after their own work) and therefore adjusted my pay plan. I now have an hourly rate for the hours they are there as well as a flat rate for all booked hours. This has worked best for me and my employees. It has stabilized their paychecks quite a bit, and still gives the motivation to book hours. If you have two techs on two completely different pay plans, they will figure that out eventually and at least one of them will think you are screwing them.... if not both.
  7. What does age have to do with it? Add value to your business and if you decide to sell, it's worth more. Otherwise grow till you can afford the staff to run it for you and send you a monthly check. I'm 48 and 7 years into my shop ownership, and if all goes well, I'll still own it when I'm 102. I just will have been absent for 40 years while somebody sends me a check every month. That is if everything goes well..... but either way, I'm making my own way and even if I'm still turning wrenches at 102, I will go out happy and know I made my own way in this world.
  8. No. I have medical experience from the past as an EMT. Training is required to know properly how to use a mask. What I've seen in mask wearing is counter-productive and only going to further spread covid. I do everything in my power to stay distant, but I believe the masks are causing a greater problem from what I've seen. They are tequila and make people feel invincible, which in turn makes them believe going into walmart 13 times a day is safe. I've had customers pull up in their car with a mask on, walk in my shop door and pull it down to talk to me all while getting closer and closer.... to the point where I question if they are threatening me. Then turn to get back into their car and pull the mask back on and wear it while pulling away. By themselves. In the car. I believe we have a virus that is serious. I also believe that the only science getting broadcast about this virus is political science and I won't be a part of it.
  9. Nissan Frontier has been out since 1997. Info on year and engine would be helpful here. ECM could be culprit, but probably not. It's a communications error and there are wires between the modules that data is transmitted on. With a scan tool, check if there are any modules you can't communicate with. If you have an oscilloscope, data issues can be chased fairly easy. I've found wiring connections to be the problem far more often than an actual ECM or other module.
  10. About 70% of my business is powersports (ATV's and UTV's). I also do automotive work. I have 2 techs and myself as well as part time service writer. I can't even imagine operating this business without some sort of shop management program. I started out with baymaster and was extremely happy with them until they were transitioning to online only. The price was reasonable. When they transitioned I panicked as there were alot of flaws and I ended up switching at that point to AllData. I probably would have been better off to stick it out with baymaster, and if they would have held off their transition until they had all the bugs worked out I would have. In addition to AllData, I have added "myshopmanager" which is a marketing program that automatically texts my customers checking in on them about jobs we have completed. It also has a VERY GOOD vehicle inspection part that allows us to send a text to our customers with pictures and videos of their vehicle inspection. This has sold alot of extra work we wouldn't have had without it. In order to grow in this industry at this time, you have to invest in the technology. I think I'm paying $289 a month for "my shop manager", and I'm ok with that as I can see clearly it's bringing in an extra $2,500 a month in revenue per month as long as we are using it. We've been so busy the last couple month that we have not been using the inspection feature as much as we should be. Our biggest problem there is staff. If anyone has any advice on getting quality mechanics that want to work and can show up on time... please share your secrets. I could be a 3 tech shop instead of a 1 1/2 tech shop if I could just find the right people. The 1/2 is my second and isn't efficient or reliable.... and may not be employed for long.
  11. @RickD Thanks for the very thorough information. I'm in Northern Minnesota. A/C repair isn't of quite as high demand here I'm sure. Probably just as often as repairing A/C problems, we need to recover to perform other work on the vehicles easier.
  12. I use this kit on every system. The one I had that proved to have sealant I asked the customer about it and he was sure he had never put stop leak in the system. They had added canned refrigerant themselves several times, but the leak had gotten bad enough it only lasted a day or two. He wasn't aware that about half those walmart cans have stop leak in them. I don't trust the customer with my equipment investment, and even if they meant no harm, there is no way to know if my customers kid or husband or even another shop had ever added the stuff. I highly recommend this kit. https://rotunda.service-solutions.com/en-US/Pages/ItemDetail.aspx?itemID=122683#:~:text=Neutronics QuickDetect™ A%2FC,before attempting recovery or repair.&text=Sealants can void warranty.
  13. So far, Lawson. They set me up with bins. The hardware is expensive, but still cheaper than running to the nearest hardware store 20 miles away. Their sales guy quit stopping by, I think because of health reasons. But I just replenish online and refill my own bins as needed now.
  14. Well... I thought I had ordered one. Just got notice that they don't have them in stock and have no idea if or when they will be able to get them. Will try to contact the company directly in the morning. Robinair shows a similar product, but it lists as discontinued everywhere I can find.
  15. Thanks for the information. I've ordered one of the Recycle Guards. Can't be to safe with my investment in equipment.

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