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RickM

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Everything posted by RickM

  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 much for me. Like xrac I wouldnt have accepted, I did it for the child not the lady but my poor Kentucky family didnt raise me that way either.
  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. RickM

    Help me with my gameplan here

    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 more professional image. I have a good customer base of customers who are more interested in quality and customer care (just as Joe described) but seem I am being overwelmed by the bottom feeders. I could ramble on and on. Joe, xrac any thoughts, ideas, suggestions? I know I have the opportunity to corner the market in my community by being a more professional shop. Just seems I have trouble running the business instead of letting it run me. Our area has plenty of shade tree shops, but I think the quality customers are looking for quality repairs and honest caring service.
  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) Any ideas, suggestions would be appreciated more than you know. Im gonna have to go spend a day in xrac's store>
  9. 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 could get the part for almost 1/2 of my price and wanted to know what the labor would be. My wife explained to the customer that we had previous problems installing this part aftermarket and only installed OEM with a 1 yr parts and labor warranty. She advised her that sh could bring her own part but their would be no labor warranty. The lady was upset but stated that she wanted the labor warranty and to go ahead with the repair. How do you guys handle this type situation? Customers supplying their own parts (usually wrong) are killing me. Thoughts and comments?
  10. RickM

    Customer supplied parts

    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
  11. RickM

    New Member

    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
  12. 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

  13. RickM

    LABOR GUIDES

    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
  14. 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

  15. Amen brother. I don't feel so alone now


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