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J.P. GLENN

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About J.P. GLENN

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  1. Got a negative review trying to help out

    Make sure that you respond/reply to all of those negative reviews. It really does minimize their impact to future customers more than you would expect. Our only negative review is FALSE, and just by responding to it and asking them to contact us so that we can make it right has actually helped us attract new customers. New customers comment on seeing that review all the time and how it made them feel MORE comfortable to bring their car in. Keep it short and try not to be negative in the reply. 100% agree. Words to live by for any S/A
  2. Putting a plastic chain with a sign on the closest bay door to the office worked surprisingly well when we were having similar issues. Just put a sign with the word "Office" and an arrow on it pointing to the office. (you could also just do each of the "end" bays for a little more coverage depending on which way the customers are coming from.)
  3. Has anyone used myshopmanager.com?

    We've used My Shop Manager for almost a year. I can tell you that most or our customers LOVE to be texted. Up to this point we have only used their automatic "campaign" for after service Thank-You's and we use it manually for appointment reminders. It has also been good for when you can't reach a customer and some customers are texting for appointments. They do have a lot of other retention campaigns for texting and emailing as well. So far My Shop Manager has been good to deal with and overall a decent experience. However, we had an issue last week with the program sending someincorrect messages and were NOT impressed with the way they handled it. We still have no idea if it is fixed or not or what caused it. To be completely transparent, we us RO Writer and recently upgraded to version 2.0 and it is likely that has something to do with it. No matter what, no one really seemed to be concerned with customers receiving texts about vehicles they don't own. It completely takes the personal touch out of what texting can offer and we are very concerned about the negative impact it could have caused on our customer base. In regards to texting customers, I'd say absolutely do it. My Shop Manager is reasonably priced and at least worth looking at. There are many services out there, so shop around and pick who suits you best.
  4. Dealer sourced parts

    I would like to caution everyone about buying "cheap" brand name parts online. Specifically Amazon and Motorcraft. I have not had any personal experience, but it is known that there are counterfeit car parts for sale online. Motorcraft and NTN bearings both have formal articles showing how good these counterfeits are at fooling even those of us "educated" consumers. I overheard a conversation about Motorcraft doing some kind of audit on their parts on amazon and found a staggering number of "motorcraft" parts were fake. I've also read a few Ford forums were consumers had proof that their "Motorcraft" coils were indeed counterfeit. I'm not saying all (or even most) of the great deals online are fake parts, but it is absolutely a "buyer beware" kind of situation. Just a heads up for anyone who wasn't already aware of how big this issue is.
  5. Worldpac pricing fluctuations?

    This is correct. The last time I checked, they base your pricing off of the previous 3 months of orders. The more you spend, the better the pricing. They do seem to update their pricing very frequently. We are a specialty shop and buy the same items over and over and we have not noticed prices going up for us. Some prices go up, some down, overall the pricing stays reasonably the same. I did notice a somewhat significant change is pricing when I didn't do much with them for a month or so. If you are buying in bulk, they do have special "Stock Order" pricing which may help keep the pricing down on your coolant. That seems in line with what we see with them
  6. Evening Hours/Second Shift

    This is very similar to what we keep talking about doing. We are a much smaller shop as of today, but we are planning to grow quite a bit over the near future. How many employees do you have to make that system work?
  7. For what it's worth, I like the same one as xrac. My only suggestion would be to flip the circle with the wrench to look like a lower case "e".
  8. Headlight Restoration

    We used the Lite Brite system for a couple of years. Some cars did really well, others we had to redo, some more than once. And as already stated, you can't do it on cloudy days without the UV light. We eventually decided that is wasn't something we wanted to offer and we stopped doing them in house. We have technicians in the shop and not painters. We do quote Factory headlight replacement and sell a few here and there. We also have made arrangements with a local body shop and send all of the restorations to them. Every single one they do looks better than any restoration we have ever done. They put a lifetime warranty on the service and we have had zero warranty issues in the 3 years we've been using them. They give us a discount if we bring them the vehicle or charge full retail to the customer if they bring it (that way the price is the same to the customer so we don't look like we are "overcharging"). This has worked out great for us and in this business it is always good to have a relationship with a body shop!
  9. Telephone Systems

    jfabrega: I am sure everyone appreciates you adding to this forum. I do too as well. I learned quite a bit from your Jan. 6th post in this thread, thank you for that. Keeping up with technology can be challenging to say the least and some of us need more guidance than others. I would like to point out that anyone using "an older dial-up credit card machine" potentially has a HUGE LIABILITY. If "most of your shops" do not have modern EMV (chip card) terminals then you could be doing them a disservice in helping them continue to use them. This technology was fully adopted in 2015 and I would assume it is hard to find a terminal that complies and doesn't support an internet connection. I am sure you know more about that than I do, I just wanted to point that out to anyone looking into this. Also anyone using their modern machine as dial-up should check with their processor about switching it to internet. We did this 2-3 years ago for free, all they had to do was reprogram the terminal. When using them through the internet they are considerably faster and don't tie up a phone line (that you may be paying extra for). It is a win win in my opinion. As for faxing, I'm too young for that one anyway! Of course I'm joking and I do know a lot of business that still use them. I did a little research and found that most of the services that offer this want you to scan the document and use their "dashboard" on your computer to send the fax. So you are correct that the analog fax with Voip is probably not a great idea. But just like the terminals, it is going to be more efficient to use the internet. (of course all of this applies to someone that would be interested in Voip and therefore has some faith in their internet provider)
  10. Telephone Systems

    I have been researching VOIP services and most have Fax capability included. Also, an up to date modern credit card machine should run through your internet, so a Voip phone system has no affect. I just wanted to make sure people are getting the correct info here. I 100% agree with this
  11. That was my first thought when I started considering what self driving cars mean for our industry. I think about this subject quite often as I have a young son that is really interested in our industry. I agree there will be parts to replace and repair, but it could be a very different market. Look at all of the changes to our industry over the last 2 or 3 decades and you see that some adapt and others go away. This particular issue may be a little different than what we have seen in the past though. Google and Apple are both interested in the self driving car market. If we have learned anything from watching them change the world, we have learned that they will do it in a way no one else has. I do not feel that self driving or electric cars will ruin our industry, but it could be a very different place. Here is my concern: If the cars can completely drive themselves, then I am willing to bet there are very little reasons to own a car if you live anywhere near a metropolitan area. Why have a payment and one sitting in the driveway when you can use an app on your phone and a car will come pick you up whenever you need it? You will pay for what you use and all of the other hassles of car ownership are no longer a burden to you. The companies doing this (think Apple and Google) will most likely have their own facilities and probably will not need the independent repair facility at all. These cars may not go to the dealer, but they won't come to you either. There will always be those of us who love to drive and own our own vehicles, but the more customers that I run into that have no idea of what year/make/model of the car that THEY PURCHASED, makes me wonder how many people really care to own one.... I'm willing to be that the majority of people only own vehicles 100% out of necessity. That necessity may be a little less necessary in the future. (disclaimer: these are just my thoughts with no real data to back it up!)
  12. Honda/Acura Maintenance Schedule

    We are Honda/Acura specialists and are adding Toyota/Lexus/Scion this year! I completely understand, and have my own concerns about Toyota schedules... You are 100% correct on the idea that if the light is reset at at lube store, then no one will ever see those codes again (until next time they are due). The system is not liked by us at all. We have chosen to use the older schedules as the Maintenance Minder system seems to come fairly close to these anyways. Here is what we do on vehicles with that system: (all others are in identifix/alldata/Honda Service Express,etc with mileage/time reccomendations) For services: We stick to the 30,000 mile interval for almost everything. The services typically include: oil change, brake fluid, trans fluid, engine air filter, cabin air filter, rotate tires, clean and adjust if drums, full inspection etc. We do the differential services at this time as well if the vehicle has it (Honda technically says some need it at 15k, some 30k, and some 60k but with the maint. minder set-up you will never know unless you do all of the service to that vehicle). This is our way of keeping it simple and we do explain our reasons for doing it this way to each customer. Coolant: 5yrs or 60k miles. We like using mileage over years unless the car has really low mileage. Obviously you can test some aspects of coolants as well (during inspections I hope). Timing belts and spark plugs: Due every 105k miles except for older models (usually pre 2000 or 2002 depending on model) For transmissions we only drain and fill once every 30k and have no issues with our regular customers typically going over 200k on the original trans. With that being said, in my opinion you cannot do the trans fluid too much on these vehicles. I am also all for doing the valve adjustment every 60k (see below). THEY ALL CAN USE IT! (not really all, but they do need it at some point). From our experience any Honda engine over 100k can benefit A LOT from it and the driver will see an improvement in fuel economy and/or drivability as a result. We love doing these on higher mileage cars as almost every time we get a call a few days later about how nice the car runs. The newer "K-series" engines have been the ones that benefit the most and we also see high mileage V6's get misfire codes due to lash being out of adjustment. With the right tools they are great jobs for everyone involved and they really are good for the customer and the vehicle. It is very common to find them tight which means the days of listening to them on a cold engine to hear the "ticking" are long gone. I have never understood Honda stating that is the way to find out if it is needed or not. ANY ADVICE ON TOYOTA MAINTENANCE??
  13. Hiring your first person ( One man shop)

    I went through this last week and it was not fun at all. I totally agree that I CAN'T go back to that. Not only do I suffer, but so does the work and the customer. As for when to hire, I agree that you should hire when you can't keep up with the work in an 8 hour day fairly consistently. As for who to hire first, I made the mistake of hiring the lesser experienced techs because I was terrified of the expense of a top level tech. I paid dearly for that mistake. From my experience as the business grows you will find yourself at the counter more and more, and keep in mind that is a good thing! You will need that guy that doesn't need much instruction when this happens. I will also tell you that I waited way too long to do it. As for how to pay, you will most likely be required to pay them W-2 by law. Incentive based plans are the way to go in my opinion, especially when starting out (base pay plus bonuses/incentives). The right person will help you grow with this type of plan, but keep in mind it's not always about the $$ to an employee. As for 1099's, their really is no such thing as a 1099 "employee" because 1099's are for independent contractors. It can be done but you must be very careful and know the rules. Consult with an accountant to be sure if you can or can't do it. And on a side note: we do our own payroll in house and it is not that difficult.
  14. CMillet86 AND Bockauto, Thank you for the input. 1-2 alignments a day would make it worth it for me to go with the alignment lift over the stands in our current situation. If you don't mind sharing, what car count do you guys have? (If you don't want to share exact numbers as I did, feel free to give a % of total car count or something along those lines.) Hunter rep is giving me some numbers of their expectations of what could be done. Obviously the sale is up to us. I'm interested in the "real world" numbers of what others are doing so that I can make an educated plan. Also - Is anyone checking alignments on services or normal inspections for free?
  15. mspecperformance, I really want to look at it from a numbers stand point but I keep feeling like it is more of a "guess" than anything else. We only sublet about 3 a month, it is time consuming, and when looking at the labor cost of 2 trips with 2 people we really don't make anything on them. Due to the fact it isn't profitable, we turn away another 3 a month on average. We typically only sell them when doing steering work or replacing tires on a vehicle that has obvious alignment issues. Since we are only selling them when absolutely necessary, I have no idea of how many to expect to be performing. I do plan to schedule yearly alignments and I love the idea of the different priced services. We also just started doing digital inspections so finding the sales opportunities shouldn't be an issue. And to be completely honest, I personally feel that we are doing our clients a disservice by not selling more than we currently do. Being there are no parts involved (typically) it seems to be less profitable than most repair/maintenance work. This is probably my biggest hesitation to an alignment lift over a 2 post lift. At the same time, we will be doing alignments and we will be doing as many as possible so I want to make them as efficient as possible. As with almost anything else, I guess I can't have it all! Thanks again for the advice


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