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CAR_AutoReports

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CAR_AutoReports last won the day on March 9

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About CAR_AutoReports

  • Rank
    Experienced Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Complete Auto Reports, LLC
  • Business Address
    701 North Stiles Street, Linden, New Jersey, 07036
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
    None
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    None
  • Participate in Training
    Yes
  • Your Mission Statement
    To provide the auto repair facilities with a simple and mobile way to work.

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  1. Jim, I didn't reply to the thread in question, because I have nothing of value to add to the thread in general. I replied to your post within it, because I thought I had value to provide to you. It's become clear that was a mistake.
  2. The ability to calibrate a cruise control module, while performing an alignment surely has nothing to do with one another. I have been performing ADAS calibrations for 18 months now. I have a little bit of experience. Yes, having the alignment machine with the ADAS tools to calibrate, is going to be helpful. But it's not going to allow you to calibrate anything but front facing distance modules and maybe some front facing sensors, at least at this stage in the game. Maybe as technology evolves, this too will evolve, but as for the calibrations I have been doing.. I don't see how you're going to calibrate anything but something required with an alignment. So now, the question becomes... do you invest in other equipment, like the Autel system. Where you get the option to select if the vehicle is on an alignment machine? Which is a question that has been asked in a lot of front facing cruise control calibrations. I would imagine that this makes it easier for you calibrate those items. The Autel system doesn't ask you, is this a Hunter Alignment machine, to my knowledge. Although they may be working on a potential partnership to bridge that gap. So, my comment stands, with one caveat. One really has nothing to do with the other if you're looking to perform a range of ADAS calibrations. Which I would imagine if you're looking to get into ADAS and make the investment... might be a worthwhile to look into the Autel system as is with a Hunter Alignment machine coupled with it. But you're going to have do some real research on who has the Hunter machine with ADAS, who has ADAS without the hunter machine and who has ADAS with another alignment machine. To learn about the range of issues they all may be facing. If you're just worried about front facing calibrations, then Hunter with it's ADAS coverage and expanding line up might be your best bet financially. But if you're looking towards the future, it's a complete waste of your money if you ask me. Doing ADAS calibrations is much more involved than having the tools. You're going to need a serious tech manage these types of repairs. Someone who knows how to dot all their i's and cross all their t's and you're going to have to get used to saying "no" to a customer, who might have to spend $2,000 in suspension work before you're comfortable giving them a $400-$800 alignment and sending them on their way. You're asking the wrong questions and mad at me for giving you the right starting answers. Also, looking at your facility.... you might have other problems. Your quarters might be too tight to comfortably perform ADAS calibrations, opening you up to real liability risk. Your tire racks and tool boxes are standing metal (anything over a certain height and within close proximity) that is a clearly outlined "no-no" in nearly every calibration I've performed. ADAS calibrations require a clear working bay of significant side and front clearance in nearly every front facing calibration. Something you may want to consider and research before you believe in the marketing brochure jargon and sign on any dotted line.
  3. You're going to need multiple pieces of equipment to be able to do alignments and ADAS calibrations. One really has nothing to do with the other, even though you can perform ADAS calibrations on an alignment machine.
  4. Up 25% from our best year and 44% from a down year in between where I had surgery. This isn't a gimmick, it's the only way to run your business in this industry and succeed against the marketing onslaught we all face. We've added 14 new people to our system in about 21 days. 7 of which spent money at our facility doing a lot more than changing their oil and rotating their tires.
  5. Updates for May 2020: We are continuing to work on some industry integrations that will help our members perform their services faster and more efficiently. We will likely have news regarding completed integrations towards the end of this quarter. Additionally we are working on a few things we can talk about. Quickbooks Online Syncing - CAR will sync to Quickbooks Online in the near future. Presently sales files will sync to Quickbooks Desktop version. Texting & Other Customer Communication - We are working on ways to integrate texting into our platform alongside of our native customer communication that is already built into our process. Mobile Payments - We are working on ways to automate deposits on services, as well as payments overall through the platform. Recent changes and updates: Added new categories to our hierarchy based on customer requests. Video uploads have been updated to allow for videos that are 250mb in size. Test driving vehicles with ADAS made this a necessary evil for the time being. Hide Prices from customer view. Some customers have indicated that they share their screen with customers who are in the service facility, so we have added a button to hide cost prices from view by pressing the "H" in the Service Request View Page. Action Menu in a Service Request has been enhanced with payments and tech assignment functions. Service Request List Enhancements You now have the ability to change the headings on our Service Request List. You can make quick changes to help sort while working: Or you can permanently change the headings to suit your workflow style more appropriately, in this print screen the Request ID and Estimated Delivery Date are omitted from view. We have made numerous mobile fixes that enhance the use of our platform from any mobile device available on the market today. A reminder that we are the only platform on the market today that was designed for mobile use and touchless service. This wasn't an afterthought, we have been building towards this goal for over 5 years. Complete Auto Reports allows you to: 👉 Check in a customer 👉 Create a vehicle profile 👉 Look up and order parts (through Partstech for now, other integrations coming.) 👉 Send the estimate to your customer 👉 Get customer approval digitally 👉 Let your customer know the vehicle is ready. All without making a single phone call. You will not find a system that offers more value and better customer integration that what we offer. Our revenue is up 25% from our best year two years ago.
  6. Hello everyone, I am suggesting we have a thread with comments that only relate to information regarding help for businesses or communities affected by recent events. I will start the thread by listing relevant links I have at this time: the U.S. Treasury Department has released a draft application for the Paycheck Protection Program (the new forgivable loan program) created by the CARES Act. The Paycheck Protection Plan application process starts Friday, April 3, 2020 and those eligible and interested in applying should begin that process as soon as possible: - For a top-line overview of the program: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP -- Overview.pdf - If you’re a borrower, more information and links to SBA lenders http://www.sba.gov/ can be found here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP--Fact-Sheet.pdf - The application for borrowers can be found here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf Importantly as well, we have included links to Small Business Administration (SBA) resources that will help navigate the government subsidies, loans and programs available: - The SBA’s Local Assistance Page, https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance which provides local resources and information on offices and other resources around the country; - Lender-Match, https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans the SBA’s tool to find local banks and lenders based on your needs and; - SBA’s Coronavirus Resource Page: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
  7. Hello everyone. First and foremost, we hope that you, your family, your team members and your business are doing as well as one can expect in this new reality that is taking us down an unbelievably difficult time in our history. We have some updates and some news we want to share with you. News: While the world has come to a halt, we have certainly felt the change in direction at our facility in Linden NJ. However, the average RO numbers we are seeing, are nothing short of remarkable for the work we have put into this endeavor. We are the least expensive system that offers the ability to invoice customers (Digitally and Paper) with a full DVI system attached to it. Our plans start at $69.99 and $119.99 for a 5 team member facility. You will not find a better value anywhere in the industry for shop management than what we offer with one system. Updates: Removal of Completed / Completed & Paid From Plain View: When you press the dashboard icon, you may notice that you are missing a bunch of Service Requests. You're not missing them, they have been hidden from plain view and can easily be brought back. Notice anything new, like that red line of text? Note: This list EXCLUDES Completed service requests. Clicking on it will cause it to turn green and read: Note: This list now INCLUDES Completed Service Requests. Hours & Minutes: Jobs that run over 24 hours, no longer display "Days" that correspond to hours. Easy Check - Add New Customer: In an on going effort to improve our process, we have added "Add New Customer" to the "Easy Check In" flow. This will allow you to add anyone not on the platform, and then proceed to add their vehicle and start a service request or make a future appointment. Administrators Can Now Delete & Reopen Service Requests: Based on learning more about how we each function every day in our facilities, we have decided to add the ability to soft delete service requests from appearing in the list that employees see. With that also comes the ability to to correct a mistake on an invoice, without reaching out to us. A snapshot of the service request is taken prior to being reopened. CAR Mobile Display: We've been working really hard on our mobile display as well. There are no pages that should require you to pan right anymore. Everything should be contained within the window you are in on your mobile device. We are continuing to make significant strides in our product, through your crucial feedback. We appreciate every bit of advice you give us on how to make CAR better for you and the community overall. Please don't hesitate to share with us.
  8. Just had one yesterday... Why are you charging me $230 just to look at my car? Well, the technician had your car on the lift for 1.5 hours identifying all types of problems or safety issues. The service advisor then spends at least 1 hour researching and putting together your estimate and communicating everything to you. So we have ~3 hours of work into your vehicle and have provided a comprehensive estimate with labor times, parts and part numbers. You can now take this information and make an educated decision on whether or not your vehicle is worth fixing. Information you didn't have when you dropped the car off for "low brake pedal". You were also charged for 2 hours when we spent much closer to 3. Do you show up at work and work 3 hours for free every day? **Silence falls over the room**
  9. I'm willing to work with you, if you're interested. No games, no gimmicks. Complete and holistic evaluation with a structured action plan. It won't be easy, changes recommended can be relatively cheap all things considered, but there will be work involved. There are a fair amount of shops in your area (2 mile radius) and A LOT more just over the river. I see nothing but potential. Just need someone willing to do some work and some improvements. The only money I envision you spending is upgrading your website, the rest of what you will need can be done mostly from a computer with some time, effort and follow through.
  10. We're far from that, I took 0 offense to what you said and just look to provide a medium for discussion. We all do what we need to do to survive, but I think more often than not we all do the same things at different times in our career and how it was executed... depends on the outcome. To your point, we're really upfront with new customers that we do not work for free and there will be a charge to look at their vehicle. We literally give them the keys and state "This is how long it takes us to do X, we need to do X first and then move onto Y, which requires Z time. It is impossible to predict if we will need more time at this stage, but we can only promise to be fair and forthcoming in everything we do. We understand this might not suit your needs, but we're always here should you need it." When you say that because you mean it and not because it's a sell line, people will open their minds to the idea of trusting you. Once you give them a reason to solidify that trust by doing exactly as you said... you change the conversion from 2 in 10 customers to 4 in 10 customer becoming life long customers. I really just want to reiterate to everyone that the basis for my success started when I treated every single customer as I would expect to be treated in that scenario. It doesn't mean I didn't lose my cool or make a mistake or I didn't perform a service for free to make it up to someone... It means I set my goal and I did everything in my power every single day to achieve it. Ultimately, years of free training provided by a local vendor.... made me open my eyes. But I still had to do the leg work. Just remember everyone: A thorough vehicle inspection takes no less than 45 minutes. Full code scan: 10 minutes on a $4000+ piece of equipment, with monthly updating costs. Test drive?:15 mins min, depending on customer concern Lift and wheels off: 15-20 mins Document findings: text, photo 10 mins Build estimate: 5 minutes to 3 hours. The fastest at their craft and process can do that in 45 minutes. It;s likely closer to an hour from start to finish depending on exact needs. Would you call your plumber and electrician, that pays you for your service at your shop, and expect them to do the equivalent for free? Why should you?
  11. I've learned a few things on my own, but this: Not because I think I can't but because I do not have the means, opportunities or privileges to do so. This is probably the most accurate phrase I've read in a while. But you know what I did have when I didn't have means, opportunities or privileges? I had time to pick a discipline and learn it. Then I enacted it. While I let that run it's course, I found the next thing I knew nothing about and couldn't afford an expert, I learned that to the best of my ability and enacted it. I've run this gauntlet for almost 12 years now over 3 locations and on the brink of watching it all vanish at least twice in those 12 years. Through those trials were and sometimes still are a sh*tload of tears, but tomorrow is always a new day and as long as I conducted myself with integrity today... I'll sleep just fine. Not to discount Genuine, location surely is a strong variable in success, but that doesn't mean you can't find a form of success in a sh*tty location. I've done it, with the most laughable budget known to man and in a miserable part of town all by making a plan and enacting it one day at a time. Plan has a fault? Something doesn't work? Adjust. Repeat. Some of the best advice I ever got was exactly this: Your shop is no different than a factory, a factory has to have X level of output to be sustainable. Your shop has to reach X level of output just like the factory does. I'm not going to tell you how to do it, but if you want to survive you have to have to figure out how to do it. I had never thought about shop output as related to factory output. That seed is what lead me to charging for diagnostic and thorough inspections. But I didn't wake up the next day and go full rate. I worked my way there. Finding my footing along the way and over delivering to my customers in every way possible.
  12. We have a fair amount of customers that are very budget conscious. We just treat them like people and help them make the best decisions based on whatever they can afford. Even if they can't afford anything. The ones who understand what you do for them, become your biggest advocates without you ever knowing. The ones who don't, never return and likely aren't a good customer base for you anyway. To make you feel better... I started here "So sometimes it's easier to play their game, agree to "include it in the cost of repair" and not have to deal with the jack legs getting in there first. "... and worked my way up slowly to where I am. We all have to start somewhere. One you built up the trust, where customers aren't wondering if you're taking advantage of them all the time... the pricing part gradually becomes easier. It's just never "easy".
  13. I don't "run the clock". Every circumstance is different. To help customers understand, I document everything I do from start to finish, just like we track our time. That means every test we perform, I attach its result and label what I did to test any given part and why. Since each circumstance is different, we try to make the most of our time. We request up to 2 hours and will work up to 3, assuming the third hour is on us. If we need more than that... we send the customer the information and then call them to review it. Ask them if they want us to keep going or if they will figure things out differently. Strange thing happens. When you treat someone like a friend and respect their hard earned money, they have no problems paying for the service they are receiving. So, we work insanely hard at being accurate, fair, and professional at everything we do. Our customers notice and don't mind paying... because they feel what we provide, is worth paying for. It didn't happen overnight and it was a really long road here, but I'll never run any other service business in this lifetime with any other mindset.
  14. We charge full labor for diagnostics as we have seen full vehicle diagnosis with test drives and other in bay testing surpass the 4 hour mark for accurate assessments. We occasionally get a complaint or a "Can't you remove the charge", we hold the line. "We are sorry but the amount of tools and time it takes to properly inspect vehicles, does not allow us to perform this service free of charge." Our most recent full system diagnosis had 3 hours on the lift, followed by one minor repair to get the vehicle driving, followed by 1.25 hours of driving for all monitors to run. Then a reevaluation of codes that returned, what they are indicating, and another 1+ hour(s) of lift time diagnosing them. Throughout the diagnosis we used the scanner for 2 hours at minimum. We will use the volt meter at minimum and possibly the scope. All tools that cost us a lot of money and some of which require subscriptions to stay up to date. We'll be all into this particular example for 6 hours. If they get all the work done, we can and usually provide a fairer rate for diagnosis considering their support. If they get nothing, They pay full rate and have our entire process documented, and available to them digitally to take anywhere else and bargain on their time. I've had one person really cause a problem over the last 3 years over this practice. He was warned prior that we do not assess vehicles for free and there is no "standard" charge to do so. So I don't lose an ounce of sleep over it. I used to be the guy that allowed diagnostics to leave uncharged, not since I learned how much time we spend diagnosing and inspecting.


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