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About RickM

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    Occasional Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Millikan Automotive
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
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  1. I agree. In my area it is almost impossible to hire an experienced tech. and even harder to find younger people eager to learn the trade
  2. I had a similar experience just a few hours ago. A Ford Expedition with the doors locked and a very small child inside. The lady called the police but when an officer arrived he told her they were not allowed to unlock vehicles and if worse came to worse he would break a window but that he knew I unlocked cars and would call me and see if I could unlock it. Needless to say I dropped what I was doing and went to unlock the vehicle. While I wass unlocking the car I heard the lady thank the officer for trying and for calling me, but when I got the car unlocked the lady never had a thanks or how m
  3. Has anyone used or tried the Automotive Expert Management System? The adverisements look like it has a lot of good featuress. I am using Alldata Service Center now. I havent compared yet but it seems that Alldatas labor times are low on a lot of items.
  4. Thanks for the insight, I believe that is the key to a lot of my problems. Better organized and more positive attitude. I feel like I will see a big difference if I can get my shop back to looking like and acting like a Professional Repair Facilty instead of the good ole boy garage. Even more reason to come and see how you guys operate right?
  5. Joe, how did you set up the commission based on productivity? I have been considering this option to put on another tech. Also, maybe it will help keep me out of the bays. one of my big down falls I'm afraid. but when we get behind I head for the shop to turn out work.
  6. Xrac, I'm sure Jeff is as interested as I am in what you did to turn things around. I'm not to the point of wanting to sell but you sure didnt hear me say I'd turn down an offer.
  7. I am coming up to see you xrac, just havent been able to get away. When I first opened, the Chrysler dealership I was at closed so I opened with a good cusstomer base. I opened running it a lot like I ran the Service Dept at the dealership. I opened as a Tech-Net shop. I used the Customer Survey Cards, Tech-Net Vehicle Inspection forms. I was even a National nominee for the Tech-Net dealer awards. However it seems as I get busier I let these things slide. I have been considering taking a few days to clean, rearrange and more or less reopen almost like a new shop. Maybe this would instill a mor
  8. WOW!!!!!! It seems you have described me and my business to a T. I have owned my business for 5 1/2 years. I have worked for both Ford and Chrysler dealerships both as a tech and as a Service Manager. I have myself and one son working full time and two part time who are mostly lube and tire techs. I feel my biggest issue I can not seem to overcome is trying to work the front desk and the back both. I see daily that I run wide open all day, still do not accomplish much. Our shop stays super busy but we still dont seem to get ahead. I have been on both sides of the fence (shop and management) An
  9. I havent raised my labor rate for used parts but may look into that. The hoist or bay time is a big issue with us if we tear it down and it is stuck in our bay while they take their time looking for the right part. I learned the hard way to never supply a used engine or tranny. I will install them but no warranty and the price quoted is done when the engine is installed. if it doesnt run, has a problem we stop call the customer and advise them additional time is required
  10. RickM

    I'll take you up on the visit. If you dont mind I'd like to see how you operate. Really looking at changing my shop. Maybe closing for a couple of days, doing a few changes and opening like a new shop. Any help is greatly appreciated

  11. I am seeing more and more customers coming into the shop with their own parts or wanting us to estimate labor and they will bring the part. We had a car in the shop today with an overheating complaint. We found the cooling system low and pressure tested the system finding a leaking part. We have had a bad experience replacing this part with aftermarket in the past and now only use OEM. We priced this repair to the customer on the phone and they agreed to the repair. They called back a few minutes later and said they had called a parts supplier (I wont mention the company) 25 miles away and cou
  12. We use alldata as our labor guide also. I've noticed several repairs that seem to be out of line. We looked at both Mitchell and Alldata when we first opened and went with alldata. We will be looking at diferent labor guides in the future
  13. I've been looking for a site like this. I like the fact that a lot of the guys here are smaller shops such as mine. I began my career at a Ford Dealership, moved to a Chrysler store and worked driveability/Electrical, then Service Manager/Warranty admin. I opened my shop 5 years ago when the Chrysler Store closed. I have a 5 bay shop with myself, my wife, son and two part time employees. I hope to figure out how to move from owning my job to being a business man owning a business. Hope to learn a lot from you guys. a site like this has been needed for a long time
  14. xrac

    Rick, I didn't know you were from so close by. I would be very happy to have you stop in sometime. We are across the road from Sam's Club and Krispy Kreme Donuts if you know where that is. What you also may find interesting is that I am originally from Livingston County, KY. I graduated from UK and I bleed Blue.

  15. RickM

    Hi, Just noticed you are in Evansville. I am in Morganfield , KY about 45 miles from you. Glad to see someone on here close to home. Maybe I can stop in and visit you sometime

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