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Silver Star

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About Silver Star

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    Occasional Poster

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  • Business Name
    Silver Star Service Center Inc
  • Business Address
    24 Old South River Road, Edgewater, Maryland, 21037
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Manager
  • Automotive Franchise
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  1. Silver Star

    Silver Star

  2. Is anyone out there using Service Shop by Genesis 4? I have been with the company a long time, currently I'm considering upgrading to the new subscription based system but hesitate a bit. I would like to know if anyone has gone from the old buy software version and pay for support compared to the new subscription based system. I also have had years of issue with them about updates they said would be coming but never showed up. If someone has it and can let me know what they think I will appreciate it.
  3. Im with unifirst, have been for about a year, bill is still the same. Drivers do change but they have been good about seeking out where they need to drop uniforms and pick up rags etc. I cant complain. It was amazing how much cintas got there bill up to by the time we ended with them. These are on my review every 2 year list to make sure I get the best deal and can plan ahead for changes when renewals are up or seek the quotes to negotiate the new term. Sales men will give away make up charges and embroidery cost to get you to sign on. I needed new polos for the front counter personel, after alot of review I found my best option was to lease these, it costs $1.65 per week per employee for 5 polos, great material, and get replacements if they become damaged. These end up saving me about $40.00 per person over a 2 year life span with polo shirts and honestly I get a better product from the unifirst shirts than what I would want to pay up front for.
  4. I would like to know if any other shops out there using Autologic have run into programming issues. I was informed last week that they have stopped doing any coding as of January 2017. This was the first I have heard of it. Any other users out there being told the same thing? If so what did you do to solve your problem? (New equipment or buy the pass thru equipment through them?)
  5. Does anyone know a standard thickness for an alloy wheel edge where the bead seats? I have a debate going on over a wheel being to thin to use. A comparable wheel measures at 8mm thick, this one measures at 5.6mm thick. Anybody able to weigh in? I have seen other alloy wheels at 5mm thick.
  6. All good discussion, but i would like to try and redirect this thread. My idea was we share scripts on how to respond to people that bring this up to us. We can all agree that this is not good practice but we all will make adjustments as we see fit. Lucky for us we take the big risks of being in business so we get to make that choice. I think we can all benifit from a collection of how to approach this with the customer but also formulate ways we want to i struct our staff as well. I know its a nice waste of my time when i have a staff member come to me with this issue and its all the same story and its always consuming my time comparing what customer has found to what we can do and discuss the differences and why we wont do it, blah blah blah. The issue i see is it dosent happen enough so the pencil is never sharp at that moment. So again having this info stored in a sticky that we can pull up when the situation arises and help is sharpen the pencil real quick will save is all alot of time! Agreed?
  7. So I had a customer the other day that decided to compare my pricing to a internet website. Well what he found was I was basically making 500.00 in profit off the parts sales and he didn't think he should have to pay for it. After getting over this myself and dealing with him tactfully I'm still waiting to hear if he is going to have us do the work or not after I gave him a 7.5% discount on the whole repair job in an effort to keep him a customer but understand he has to pay for quality work. It had me searching this forum for ideas on how to deal with this guy and I came up with a lot of great ideas and I figured I would share my list I made for myself to refer to the next time I have a customer telling me I should not charge him a fair price. I would like to get input from others on here on ways they have dealt with this too. I hope what we do is form an arsenal of ways to deal with this issue and a easy to access spot so when the battle is brought to us we can open it up and fire back with professional and effective ways of stopping the behavior. *As a note a lot of these are ideas and info I gathered from guys on this forum, so please don't feel like I stole your idea. I did not make notes of who said what if I had I would certainly give you credit. Ways of dealing with customer supplied parts: -We have built a relationship over the past ____years/months, I want to nurture that rather than destroy it. -We have a pricing structure based on MSRP, our cost on the part, and a fair margin we need to meet to stay in business while growing to meet the advances in the industry. -Online parts sales centers are designed for the do it yourself repair person, they do not have the overhead cost for all of the tools and equipment related to doing the repair job. Brake clean, shop rags, vehicle lift, indoor space to do repair, fluids, seals and gaskets, adhesives and liquid gasket materials, cleaning equipment, spare nuts and bolts. -We simply cannot stay in business and meet the needs the vehicle requires if we are to install parts supplied by the vehicle owner. -The liability on the repair is too great to use something I have no control over where it comes from. -We cannot warranty the repair, and we want to guarantee our work. This is a craft we perform and a craft we take very seriously.
  8. "Frank and his team sponsor well known race event throughout Texas and still manage to support local community events." Try this as an edit to the sentence... "Frank and his team sponsor well known race events throughout Texas while still supporting local community events." Reading through the first page I think you really need to have someone go through and proof read and make corrections. I know we are not literary scholars but at least in my market I know I would have people pulling up my website to laugh at me rather than do business with me. Frank, I think over all it's nice. I would like to recommend that you simplify the site as much as possible. People only want to know that you can fix their car. The links for the Electrical, Mechanical, and regular maintenance are a great idea but I'm not sure they serve much of a purpose. Reading it as a customer I have a reaction of "This dosent help me". As a shop owner I understand the message you are trying to get across. Make sure your contact information shows up when the first screen shot of the webpage comes up. MAKE SURE IT IS COMPATIBLE WITH SMART PHONES. Check the website on your phone or friends phones, try multiple different ones, iphone and android. We just simplified our website, basically it served our old business of retailing vehicles as well. I put pictures of staff in a separate section for "meeting our staff" address and hours on front page easy to read. I have a blog to discuss stuff like regular maintenance (the things you try to teach your customers to keep car running well and also things you know they should do the manufacture dosent recommend anymore like transmission service, differential fluid changes, ect. I deal with European vehicles so it may just be my brands that have done this) I have had alot of customers tell me they agree with the information in my blog about regular maintenance and thats why they cant stand the dealership because they feel like they are not trying to take care of the vehicle. I'm blown away by this, but what it results in is a new customer, instant loyalty, and the easy work. My 2-3 cents
  9. I actually have done the opposite. I have scaled back, we used to have a used car division on site. We removed the sales side because it would really hurt the service department on a bad month. We decided that we were going to focus on improving operations of our service dept. With local dealerships really working hard to irritate their customers we saw the economy issues as the best opportunity to grab hold of the people that are now starting to count pennies again. I deal with European cars so lots of owners just want car fixed, not really concerned about price, but now they start to care. This has proven to be one of the best "big" decisions we have made (we also have moved within the last 3 years, also scary). I suggest in any market the small shop or independent shop concentrate on working their reputation and word of mouth advertising, especially this day and age. Invest in ways to promote yourself through reviews online and customer referrals. I mail customers that referred someone a $25.00 gas card, who doesn't like gas????!!!!! and it's directly related to what we do so the connection is there. I tell the new customer I want to thank their friend for the referral and tell them what I'm doing.... gets the chain reaction happening, before I know it I send the new customer a gas card. Now regarding new ways to make money I constantly think about what else I can be doing with what I have. Obviously most of us sublet repairs for customer convience and make a fair profit off the work. What I would like to discuss, maby we should have a new thread for it, is control module repairs. Some of these repairs are so common that anyone can fix them, the time just needs to be spent to look into it. Otherwise we ship them out and wait 1-2 weeks, car is disabled ect. Case is a warranty issue I'm working on for a Jaguar, the ABS module has 2 bad solder connections, well the whole ABS module and pump assembly was replaced with a used unit, then car comes back because of intermittent warning lights. Well the used module has the same failure as the customers original. Now I'm fixing it on my dime so of course I'm not gonna pay for a rental car for 2 weeks, I'll fix the solder connections and re evaluate. Bottom line, what are the areas of our business that we can do things in house and make more money rather than paying someone else to do it. Thoughts???? damn just realized how old the original post was... But I think this is a valuable thing to be thinking about.
  10. Joe, so you know I value your opinions and advise, this just goes to show why I'm on this forum and continue to read, post, and learn from it. I'm going to keep working with my tech but the last few sentences about the nay sayers is halarious because that is the exact argument I get from him about it. CARMandP, I agree going forward I will be making this a requirement.
  11. What suggestions does anyone have regarding techs that have a tough time passing the tests. To sum it up I have a tech that will take ASE tests when I ask him to but tells me that I'm wasting my money because he won't pass. He takes tests and just barely fails. I have offered everything I can think of to get him past that hump. He is very smart and knows his way around vehicles and diagnosing them, and I dont see replacement as a proper solution because I have seen many techs that are laughable compared to this guy over the years. I think he just freezes during the testing or just gets overwhelmed. I have not put pressure on him to do them, only that I pay for the tests and that when he passes we give him a raise for each test past. Any thoughts or things that have worked for other shop owners out there?
  12. Well Joe I'll sum up what I do, you reminded me of yet another task I need to complete !!!!! I am the service manager, I work at the counter with my only other service advisor so I am real close and do the task myself as well. What we do is make sure we test drive each car after the repairs are done and cleaning is done. During this we are basically doing the following: - Making sure the engine runs smooth and the vehicle rides smooth (obviously depends on what we know about the vehicle) -Inspect interior and exterior to make sure no signs of hand prints are present, no signs of obvious damage that occured here (compare to sheet recording damage when vehicle was brought in) -Look under hood to make sure no tools have been left behind, and that it is as tiddy as possible. -I also go as far that if the car has some chips or a light scratch I know I can clean up and make it look better I do it and then show to owner to demonstrate to them that we care about their vehicle on all levels, and this usually helps break down the wall between repair shop and car owner. (Obviously I decide who I feel comfortable doing this with vs not) I really need to develop a automatic system here and a list of the key points to check. Curious if anyone else has that set up and would like to share...
  13. Scott, thanks for the reply. I checked the site and have not been able to figure out how to contact someone, it's just a login page.. am I missing something? Also, have you searched for free services? I remember years ago I had found sites you could txt from for free, I think it was carrier websites, or the likes of yahoo or google. If you did, any reason your paying for it? Are the free sites using the phone number for advertising after its sent a txt (obviously customers would not like that). Thanks, Joseph
  14. Memphis Rob---- Have you checked with Worldpac? I have used them for years. We specialize in MB, BMW, Saab, and Jag. They are my #1 supplier. I asked my parts manager about labor reimbursement and he said he has never asked. I wanted to see if you have and what answer you got if you did check with them. I also wouldnt mind if we maby started a new thread discussing tools used for Euro cars. If you want to go into it or have a guy at your shop that would be more knowledgable I would love to discuss because I have bought what I feel is junk lately to save a few bucks and really hate myself right now. Thanks, Joseph
  15. Scott, I would love to see the link as well! Thanks, Joseph Hall

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