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About RWI

  • Rank
    Occasional Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    RWI Limousine Repairs, Inc.
  • Business Address
    5 Cardinal Drive, Little Falls, New Jersey, 07424
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
  • Website
  • Banner Program
  • Participate in Training
  1. Just another reason to avoid these parts in my book, thanks for the heads up!
  2. RWI


  3. We use strictly Identifix, it does take a little getting used to. What I do like that is if I cannot find something in a shop manual or the vehicle is brand new and info has not been posted yet you send a quick email from the page and they back to you with the info. I have done this several times and I wanna say they usually respond in 15-20 minutes which I think is pretty good. In the end I think its money well spent and I don't find a need for another service.
  4. Hi all, I have been a member for a while but not really involved. My business has been struggling for a while, I have recently taken a 2 day business success class which while it did give some direction it also left me with a whole lotta questions. I am ready for change and determined to get my numbers up, here's what I have so far Let me start with a little background. I own a specialty shop that caters to the transportation industry (Limousines, bus's). We have a regular mechanical department that handles all of the standard day to day type repairs which I have a pretty good idea on how to manage. We have always done custom work such as interior fabrication and the like but on a very small scale. We hired a new tech to work in this area and want to grow it, here's where I get stuck I have never tracked my numbers and after taking this class I have finally realized that this is a big mistake. I use a business program called Big Business which is really like a very powerful, customizable version of quick books. I use Identafix for mechanical estimates and shop information. 1. how are you tracking tech hours? I idea at this point is to create a labor line item for each tech so that I can do report and monitor productivity. This however does not track actual hours worked just what was billed. 2. how do you track hours worked for a service such as an oil change, I'm thinking that would pay about .3 hours but don't really want to show a labor charge on the invoice but if I don't then I don't see how I can track it, this goes for all services. 3. On the custom work side it only gets worse. Generally I hand calculate materials and labor the best I can but when invoiced it would be very general such as new seat covers installed and a $ amount, I find that the more information on the invoice, the more questions it raises. Having an agreed $ amount for the job seems pretty standard for this type of work but makes it completely untrackable so I have no numbers to run through reports. 4. How do you charge if more then one employee is working on a single task either to speed it a long or in our case often parts are very large and require more then 1 guy. Customers seem to get upset if I try to charge labor on each employee, the other aspect again is how to track and invoice this, would you show labor line items for each employee?
  5. I believe getting it closed is on you but not a full repair, just get it back the way it was and make it policy in your shop that items like sunroofs are not to be played with unless it is in for repair.
  6. I keep getting emails from these people asking me to join, it seems to be free with optional payed services. I really do fine without any of this stuff but I'm intrigued to connect with people from around town, what are your thoughts???
  7. Perhaps I'm wrong but I see this as a red flag right away, someone that wants a price on something so simple is surely not my target customer.
  8. We also have a room, the only time employees are allowed to use it is for lunch & breaks.
  9. I like many of the other posters with rare exception just do not allow this, I have tried in the past and it rarely went smooth, customers would complain about increased labor, wrong parts would come in, and with the vehicle apart a bay now is tied up. Even when explained and written on the invoice if there is a failure you will likely have an argument on your hands as this type of customer does not want to spend to begin with. At least for me this is not my target customer, they are usually looking for the lowest price. If is a specialty type part that I don't want to sell and it looks like I can make money, then I will, other then that thanks, but no thanks!
  10. Let me add some more info, my shop is specialty oriented as we primarily repair limousines & buses. Because much of this work is custom it must be charged hourly. When your wearing as many hats as I do, it seems impossible to keep track of time as I am constantly going from one thing to the next, I simply cannot keep track as I either forget to write it down, forget to stop/start timers, etc. I do use a bluetooth headset, that is one of the best things I ever found. I have my phones through the cable company which have a feature for you cell phone and business phone to ring at the same time, which ever answers gets the call, works really well, but when you get 60 or more calls on a busy day it seems that you cannot really get much else done. Due to the nature of my business it is very hard to find good help as most techs don't want to anything out of the ordinary and with our range of work really varies quite a bit. We can have a string of custom type work and then a string of straight mechanical work so it always seems that you have the wrong type employee. I wish I could afford to have a multitude of employees with different skill sets but that is just not feasible. I know I am far from the ordinary repair shop, but I have done this for a long time and really do enjoy it, I would just like to figure out a way to make it run a little smoother, maybe I need one of those takeover reality shows to come by and fix things up, lol
  11. Hi all, I run a small shop and have a few points of frustration and I would like to see how others in my position handle them. 1. I seem to be getting a high number of intermittent problems lately, many that I simply cannot verify. So I spend a bunch of time writing the car up, road test, inspect in the shop, check symptoms in identifix, etc, and after all this many times I simply can find nothing, the problem does not happen for me at all. How do you charge for this??? 2. Because of the type of work we do much of it is charged hourly. I have tried writing down my hours, time apps on my phone, but due to wearing many hats (answering the phone, paper work, ordering parts, etc. It simply seems to be impossible to keep things straight which I'm sure I wind up loosing lots of money on because I loose track of things and to me it never seems like it took very long but then my day is over and where did all the time go? 3. How are you charging for diagnostics? I charge 1 hour for scan module, research codes and determine the cause. Sometimes this works out well as I can find the problem rather quickly, however other times it can be quite complex, how do you handle the charge when things take longer?
  12. I have a simple philosophy on this, I simply tell the customer that I am going to bill them and they may seek reimbursement from the warranty company if they wish, I have tried to work with a few of these clowns and it was a disaster, my time is simply to valuable to be wasted on this.
  13. We hand torque all wheels, generally the cars we service have center caps so that's a good indicator that they still need to be torqued after its off the lift, another problem I have seen is people torquing them while the car only is park which allows movement that can create an under torque condition, I instruct all techs to leave the lift slightly raised so that there is no movement of the car. I like the chalk idea, I may try that. I do not under the torque stick usage if your hand torquing, We run them up lightly, then hand torque.
  14. I've owned one for about a year, got it between 1200 & 1300. Lack of battery means starting from scratch if unplugged. Does do software updates over wifi and they are pretty frequent. Live data has some of the best coverage I have seen for an aftermarket scan tool. For the money is can't be beat. Can be a little interesting to get used to, seems like they copy the oem tool pretty closely. I have dealer Ford & GM tools and the Autel is an exact clone for the most part. If you do a lot of the same make but the factory scanner, if you want a general shop tool this pretty damn good. Like others have said, no bells and whistles, no scope or trouble shooter, just good basic info. I use this mainly for Chrysler as the factory tool is insanely expensive and I am pretty pleased with it.
  15. I am certainly having trouble finding skilled help here in NJ

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