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Wheelingauto

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Wheelingauto last won the day on October 13

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About Wheelingauto

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    2430 East Hintz Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004
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  1. The $19.95 Oil Change Offer

    Complimentary alignment inspection with the purchase of tires... Has so much more value..... Free= Bad word Check=means its free Look= means its free JMHO
  2. Opening on Saturdays

    HA HA...I did.....didn't work for me. I have read about the type of schedule you run Anderson and other than you, I dont know of anyone who made it work. You have to dramatically increase car count when going from standard 5 day work week to 6 day rotating schedule and as you described, there are other challenges. My EX service manager decided to open full day Saturdays several years back in an effort to grow. Immediately I got notice from one tech who did not want to work Saturdays and that was the catalyst to him changing industries and careers. We added several lube techs and rotated our master/senior techs to one Saturday per month. At the time we had 3 advisors so one would work each Saturday with one senior tech, 2 apprentices and a car washer. It wasn't so bad but we had a lot of turnover with the car washers and apprentices. Also had a drop off of standards so in an effort to keep standards up, I found it much easier to manage 5 day a week all full time people and lose Saturdays. The final decision was when my service manager became my ex SM and I had to cover for his Saturdays...did it for a little while but it got old quick. So we closed again on Saturdays and became a 5 day a week shop again (added more loaners). We continue to grow although I suspect Anderson will outgrow us soon. I am becoming fat and happy.....
  3. It's funny. I see that too and I font it quite annoying when some consultant adds their 2 cents and then relentlessly pushes their services. Most consultants were not terribly successful and probably why they are fishing for consulting gigs. Much easier to tell you how to do it than doing it themselves. Again, most of them come out and tell you they are some sort of car count expert. The problem is THEY dont have to deal with the people they showed you how to attract. Nobody in their right mind wants to expend their energy and time trying to cater to someone who does not value it. Then the gurus say stuff lie just inspect it and sell....right to the bank!! HA! Cheap MF's are always going to be cheap MF's. You might get lucky and upsell something once in a while but you are not creating relationships. I am not a consultant, I AM a shop owner who opens and closes the door everyday and like others here, I believe myself to be quite successful but that success came from quite a bit of work and 30 years of effort. There is no one place or one post that will solve your car count issue. There is nothing that will fix it overnight. A consistent effort in both conquest and retention marketing is required. Consistency and continuous improved service is required. If you settle for good enough it will never be good enough. You also need to decide what you are and to who you are that to. You cant be a discounter and a high level service company. You cant put out coupons for everything and then say your the best. My advice. Poll the top 20% of your customers and figure out what draws them to you. Then market to conquest with those attributes. If they love 12.95 oil changes..I see a lot of pain. But I bet they dont come to you for that. advice 2: I have found a 20 group to be the best coaching out there. I would suggest looking into one.
  4. Fleet pricing

    More information would be helpful. How is your pricing the problem? When trying to get into fleets, is your first question to the person in charge is are you unhappy with your current vendor? What would you do differently if you had the chance, what is the biggest pain you have when dealing with fleet maintenance? All these are discussion points to which you should have compelling answers/discussion points. If the only thing that is discussed is price and the value of doing things correctly is not part of that equation I would say move on to another fleet.
  5. The $19.95 Oil Change Offer

    In addition to Stevens points I would add.... Inspect every vehicle, the more consistent you can be the better. Identify all needs. Estimate all needs, present all needs to customer in order of importance, along with estimates to correct. Watch average ticket grow. To improve results add in Stevens points: Dont market to bottom feeders. Market to value. Treat people well, serve them and consistently deliver. Hire the best you can find and help them be as efficient as possible. Also, get sales training. While you need (IMO) to be genuine knowing the tools and how to use them will assist in closing some of the more difficult sales and close more of the easy ones.
  6. New Pay Plan

    I am assuming you are making a change in the payroll because numbers are off. I agree with MSPec that you probably need to go into this with a good plan B. You state your techs are fat and happy. If that's the case all they will feel when you change the plan is that you are somehow ripping them off. It will not motivate them to do better. IF...they are worth saving....educate them. Pull out whatever you feel you need to to show them the current state of affairs. Where their productivity is, efficiency, gross profit numbers. Show them where is should be and can be. Educate them on what that means to THEM, not only with pay but how working conditions will improve if the business is making what it should. Educate them on what it means to the business (health). They could really be fat and happy! Then set expectations of how things will be going forward. Be prepared to make changes because there will be ones who wont want to change, cant change, or are just the wrong people. They will complain the most and you need to carve them out quickly and publicly...the others will take notice and change...... Just changing a pay plan will not accomplish anything (IMO)
  7. New Pay Plan

    I have a lot of questions about your operation and before I can render an opinion on the pay plan I would need some answers. More importantly, your definition of efficiency is different to how I've been taught. I always believed efficiency is time allotted to actual time doing the work. So, if I am given 2 hours to complete a task and it takes me 2 hours I am 100% efficient. If I take a crap for 30 minutes it is not part of the equation. Other measurements must be take to determine the cause of inefficiency. Productivity is the difference of clock hours vs hours working on cars (accounts for above mentioned potty break). So if you guys are slow and there are not enough cars the tech does not get a bad rep for being inefficient. To better explain, 3 times are needed to be measured and calculated. Time on the clock (40 hours, available) time working on cars (actual) and time given per task (billed, booked, flat rate time). Efficiency is billed divided by actual. A journeyman tech should aim for 135% Productivity is actual divided by available, aim should be for 90% If you find your guys are not efficient you need to determine if they are lazy, ill equipped, untrained or unmotivated. Increasing efficiency via pay can only change unmotivated. If you find your guys are unproductive you need to figure out if there are not enough cars, not enough staff or scheduling needs to be looked at. Again, unmotivated is the only factor that might be modified by pay. If your techs need to unload a truck full of tires they cant be working on cars and thats a factor. How you currently measure does not give me enough data to give an opinion on pay.
  8. The $19.95 Oil Change Offer

    Thanks, been doing this 30 years now. Started out as a 2200 sq ft 5 bay shop and moved into the rest of the building 16 years ago. While there are many successful shops represented here I would say for large shops Anderson and I are similar (we've gotten to similar sizes and numbers <mine are better haha>) but got there on completely different roads when it comes to marketing. Anderson has become very successful going the route of the oil change special but his route is offering incredible value (really cheap synthetic oil change and inspection) which will cause some of the real deadbeats to seek service elsewhere (think $12.95 lofs). You can read about his success in many forums here. Me....I was a little more idealistic in my approach. I don't have a menu price for anything. People do not come to me for price and I don't want them to. While we don't charge much (about $35) for a basic oil change we do not advertise price or specials anywhere anytime I dont care how slow it might be. The times I have done it many years ago I regretted every time. People find me because they are tired of being sold something they don't need, incompetence, or just plain poor service. So, we offer value through our service without the special. Different routes. While there were many times in the early years I was fearful because business was slow, I've never managed the business from fear of being broke. I have always taken the route of doing things (IMO) the right way and the money will follow. It have worked out well for me. As a businessman (who is getting older, wiser and less idealistic) I can see the route Anderson has taken could be appealing to gain quicker car count (ouch). Now, all that being said. You need to figure out what sets you apart from all this new (and old)competition. I will bet every time that service, expertise and convenience will win, and price is not part of the picture. Probably some of the best advice I can give from my experience is let the top 20% of you customers dictate who you are and what you do. Focus on that and not what the bottom 20% of your customer base tells you. We have a tendency to focus on the pain and try to minimize it but in reality you cant fix miserable people with miserable cars and wallets. You can increase the pleasure of great customers which will keep work fun.
  9. Any shop owners in the Cleveland,Ohio area?

    Don't know if it's near or not but Olde 8 Automotive in Northfield? Just south of Cleveland. Spent many years with them in RLO. And I would put him on my board of directors (if I had one)
  10. Employees

    Ok, I looked up bowing Rock NC....you cant find techs because you're in the middle of nowhere...BUT You have a 5 week backlog!!!!!! Charge more.....if the shops that charged 45-55 were worth anything you would not have 5 weeks of backlog.
  11. Employees

    4 things I'll respond to. A top tech should be making 80k plus per year easily. If a tech isnt willing fire them. If they aren't capable train them and/or pay them accordingly. If they aren't capable I would question the title "Technician" Raise your billable rate, techs should make 30% of labor billed. The only reason you have parking lot full and people who are willing to wait 5 weeks for service is YOUR TOO CHEAP or you are the ONLY choice. People do not wait 5 weeks for car service where I am from. If I run more than 3-4 days behind we lose opportunities. I am not picking on you or putting you down. I am trying to help. The last line about 5 weeks is your key. You need to charge more period.
  12. Employees

    This is where our industry is so screwed up! FLAT RATE!!! All the industry guru's who want to put techs on flat rate because they cant teach and we cant learn how to properly motivate our technicians. Asking for a guarantee of 46k per year to show up is not out of line (for a journeyman) and if you cant afford to guarantee a quality tech that you need more help than a tech can give you. Offering $30-$40 a hour flat rate is great. IF you have the work, IF a tech gets truly paid for all they do..they will make a great living. I don't know of many who would turn down an actual dollar rate per hour and still give you an honest days effort if properly motivated. Everyone talks about how they offer good money. What isn't really discussed is how many techs are underpaid because their owner/advisor does not charge properly, gives stuff away or just plain expects someone to work for free. Discussions on this board about we pay our techs .2 for an oil change.....there is not a single person here who could pull a car in, give it a decent visual inspection, set air pressure in tires, adjust fluids, change oil and filter and back the car out in 12 minutes. Ain't happening and should not be an expectation. However there are techs getting .2 flat rate to do this with the caveat that what they find they will get to do if sold. OH YEAH...and car count. It should not be a techs concern if you can provide enough quality car count. Somewhere somehow as owners we've been taught if we're not getting paid they shouldn't either......that's a bunch of BS. IMO. We need to learn how to properly charge for our services, charge for all of our services and pay our people better than living wages based on the skills they have. There should be no journeyman plumber who makes more than their tech counterpart. (i'm not picking on plumbers).
  13. Anderson did you a favor by looking on Google Maps. I suspect if you do expand people will be encouraged to park in front of the glass shop, or on the edge of the front parking lot to access the new office. Wont take long before someones bitching because you have too many cars are up front or there's no more parking. Look at my lot, we have like 8 spots up front and we handle like 24 cars per day. We are constantly shuttling cars in front and in back https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1248906,-87.9506014,194m/data=!3m1!1e3
  14. In your vision, how will this move improve the business other than visibility and waiting room? How will the business grow? What are the projected numbers and how will you afford the increase in rent and people? How well is the business doing now? Like Anderson, I once rented 2200 sq ft. I expanded into 12.5k sq feet overnight and was able to survive the growth but it was not easy. It also dramatically changed my role in the business.
  15. 5% was the benchmark used for both RL Oconnor and elites 20 groups. Our rent is less than 5% of sales (currently 110k annually)but we also are triple net and in Crook county Illinois where property taxes support the finest crooks there are (currently 60k per year). Overall we are at 6.8% and paying average rental rates for our area. I own the building as well.


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