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Joe Marconi

Management
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Everything posted by Joe Marconi

  1. We, automotive shop owners of America, must take the opportunity of a lifetime and turn it into a bunch of success stories. What opportunity? Look around you. The world is in turmoil. COVID-19, social unrest, uncertainty about the presidential election, the economy, how are we going to get out kids back to school, on and on and on. While the world is spiraling out of control, we have the power to make big changes to our auto repair shops. And it can all be positive! The Opportunity... First, the average age of a car in the U.S. is about 12 years old, attaining well over 200k on the clock. Second, Uber, taxis and limo companies are suffering. Guess why? Third, the motoring public in the foreseeable future will be traveling by car, taking road trips like they have never did before. Fourth, the roads are packed with motor vehicles, as more and more people prefer their own car as their primary means of transportation. Fifth, as the cars get older and older, more of them will be out of factory warranty. Sixth, independent auto repair shops have a vast amount of training, resources and replacement parts. Seventh, the overwhelming majority of cars being build and sold today are still internal combustion engine powered cars. If you factor in the expected average age of car these days, we can safely bet that those gas engine cars being sold today will still be on the road in 2033 and beyond! Eight, You need more? That's not enough! Get your plan in place. Get your prices in line with making a profit. Don't give anything away anymore (I am mostly referring to checking, testing, diags of any sort!) Offer world class customer service. Be a leader of your employees. Show the world what you are made of!
  2. Great points Matthew! I a key component in any business is to know your numbers. And it is all about Measuring. We have managed to maintain and grow the business through the years by knowing our numbers, but it's a more than that. It's about leadership, making tough decisions, getting rid of the dead wood and hiring the right people. Also, it's recognizing the value we give to our customers, and not be afraid to charge and make a profit. Yes, I said it...making a profit. Not just a living or paying the bills. Like I said, it's not 1995 anymore, we all must change. It may not be as drastic as the blacksmith times, but those blacksmiths that stop counting "horse and buggy's" and started to count "horseless carriages" made the transition. We too must realize that in order to thrive will mean a different type of thinking.
  3. In my 40 years as a shop owner, I have battled the age old dilemma: Is it my car count, my customer count or some other reason why some weeks I find it hard to hit my sales goal. It always comes down to production. Now that's really simplifying it, I know. But, when you look at the numbers, with the right jobs and a balanced schedule, the ARO goes way up and car counts become not as important as we thought. Another thing to consider, this is not 1995. Cars do not come in 5 to 6 times a year for an Oil Change Service. You are lucky to see some customers every 10,000 miles as they wait for that Oil Change Percentage light on their dashboard to tell them...NOW IT"S OK TO GO TO YOUR REPAIR SHOP. Isn't it funny how so many people will listen to the dash board light, and not you! Anyway, what are your thoughts. How do you reach your weekly sales goals and what KPI's are important to you?
  4. We too are not seeing many techs or service advisors looking for employment. Which is strange since the vast majority of techs that lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis were dealer techs and service advisors.
  5. As of the end of July, we are busy, and hitting the numbers we did last year. In fact, we ended June and July better than last year. I don't think we can make up for the losses we had in Feb, Mar and April for 2020, but all that really matters is realigning our goals and moving forward. From what I hear from on the streets, most repair shops are doing fine, collision shops are doing better and it's mixed with new car dealers. Traffic also seems to be almost back to normal. If we can ahead of this virus, we will be ok. As I stated before, my only fear is that many main street businesses such as restaurants, are still struggling along with some major industries, such as hotels and airlines. I would continue to be cautious, keep building up your reserve cash and be very careful how you spend your money in the near future.
  6. NEWS BREAK: Workers at a Mavis Discount Tire shop falsified records to make it look as if they completed brake work on a limousine before it crashed and killed 20 in Schoharie, New York, last year, when in actuality the work was never performed, according to the shop's former manager. Below is a link to the article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/10/09/new-york-limo-crash-mavis-discount-tire-shop-falsified-brake-records/3920945002/
  7. Technicians have been working very hard during tough times the past few months. And I am not just referring to maintaining production levels. The emotional strain is also a factor. They have been true heroes and have not let up with their commitment to their jobs, the companies they work for and the people they help each day. We need to recognize what they do and say thank you to our techs and let them know how much we appreciate what they do each and every day.
  8. I am not one to get political, and there are people that really need help in these times. Let me be clear about that. With that said, the added $600 in most cases has caused more of an incentive NOT to work. I don't know the answer on how to distinguish who clarifies for extra help, but what I do know is that when people can make more money for sitting at home, it takes away the human spirit to go out and make a difference every day through hard work and community involvement. It also does not sit well with so many of the essential workers that have worked through the virus crisis, and put themselves in harms way to keep American moving. How do feel about this? I know it's controversial. Let's be open, honest and civil.
  9. Due to COVID-19, many repair shops experienced a severe economic downturn, some with a drop in sales over 50%. Without a strong cash reserve and/or SBA funding help, many shops would have gone under. My 40 years as a shop owner has taught me to always have a cash reserve. However, never would I have ever imagined a downturn like the one with COVID-19. So, how do we plan for the next financial crisis. And, it will happen. Perhaps not as bad as the the virus crisis, but it will happen. Here are a few things to consider: Have a separate, and hard to access, cash reserve bank account that has least two months of expenses. Also, secure a line of credit for at least one to two months of expenses. Also, know your numbers, keep payroll in line, and make sure your prices are fair to you too, not just your customers. Keep in good standing with all your vendors and keep your credit score high! The bottom line here, is truly the bottom line. To weather the next financial downturn, you need a strong balance sheet and net profit to the bottom line. What other strategies are you considering or implementing?
  10. Thank you. Sometimes we second guess ourselves.
  11. In New York, face masks are required. And most people are wearing them. It is not an issue for us, since 99% of customer come in with a mask.
  12. Auto repair shops in New York are doing ok, some are busy and many are just about normal. And, hard to believe, but some shops are doing quite well. This is amazing since it was only a few months ago that many auto repair shops experienced a drop of more than 60% on business and many new car dealerships actaully closed down. Traffic in my area (Putnam County NY-about 45 minutes north of NYC) appears to be back to normal too. However, I am concerned that many businesses in the NYC area will not go back to normal for some time, and this may have an impact on the rest of the State.
  13. Auto repair shops in New York are doing ok, some are busy and many are just about normal. And, hard to believe, but some shops are doing quite well. This is amazing since it was only a few months ago that many auto repair shops experienced a drop of more than 60% on business and many new car dealerships actaully closed down. Traffic in my area (Putnam County NY-about 45 minutes north of NYC) appears to be back to normal too. However, I am concerned that many businesses in the NYC area will not go back to normal for some time, and this may have an impact on the rest of the State.
  14. Most of are familiar or use the more popular Automotive Business Management systems, such as MItchell 1 or RO Writer. However, there is a lot of concern among many shop owners that these companies in particular are not meeting the needs for the modern automotive repair shop. What system do you use and/or what systems have you checked into that look promising?


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