SHOP MANAGEMENT

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What Happens When The Phone Rings?

The phone is your most powerful sales tool. What is your strategy 'When The Phone Rings'? Your peers, who are passionate about the power of the ringing telephone, share the value of using the telephone as one of your most powerful weapons. LISTEN HERE.   or Watch the Webcast Replay HERE.

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How a Pennsylvania Shop Owner Converted a Virginia Customer

Here’s a very easy riddle for you: What’s 12/12, 24/24 or 36/36 and a creative way to convert new customers with later model vehicles?

You know it: Your shop’s warranty.

Offering customers a warranty is one of the best ways two owners say they are able to market their shops and even get those coveted new customers. James Santistevan, owner of Zia Automotive Repair in Albuquerque, N.M., says once they are able to get a new customer in the door and show them their 36-month, 36,000-mile warranty, that they are available on Saturdays and the customer’s schedule, there many times is simply surprise, not pushback.

For Keith Katz, owner of Quality Service Center in York, Pa., he pushes his shop’s 24-month, 24,000-mile warranty on the shop’s website, Facebook page and other social media platforms.

“All of our marketing material that gets sent out, whether it’s reminders or trying to attract a new customer, that’s one of the things we try to push,” he notes. “We use that a lot in our marketing.”

And when a new customer does call on the shop, he stresses the real benefit of the warranty: that’s 24 months, 24,000 miles parts AND labor.

“We’re not going to jump through any holes, we’re going to support your parts and labor,” Katz says. “It’s one of those wow factors, because for a lot of people it means a lot because car repair isn’t cheap any more.”

There are other secrets these owners use to convert net customers, and Santistevan has one trick no one else is using in his area that you too can benefit. Hear that and more in this episode of the NAPA AutoCare Center Podcast.

Hear that and how the warranty landing Katz and his Pennsylvania shop a new customer – from Virginia! – in this episode.

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SC MEDIA

SC MEDIA Dec 15    Article

Community Member

GET TAX DEDUCTION BEFORE YEAR-END TO BUY BEST LASER MEASURING SYSTEM FOR LESS!

DON'T LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE FOR YOUR TAX DEDUCTIONS! CALL YOUR DISTRIBUTOR NOW TO COMPARE YOUR MEASURING SYSTEM TO STATE OF THE ART PROVEN LEADER ECLIPSE™  - THEN GET THE BEST FOR LESS!

ECLIPSE™ provides fast, accurate measurements for estimating, blueprinting and repair on any surface from lifts to benches. Its collision repair console shows a real-time visual display of the structural damage in an easy to understand, full-color, 3D graphic model. The easy to use ECLIPSE™ software reduces cycle time and expense, while supporting profitable estimates and reports.

ECLIPSE™ is reliable, easy to use and streamlines the measurement process. It provides superior readings, supporting repair and system certification with indisputable documentation. 

Features include:

  • Full 360 degree measurement with no dead spots
  • 32 foot overall range (more than twice the length of competitive systems)
  • 12 Intelligent Targets
  • Continuous calibration—the only system to provide automated calibration
  • Dual axis tilt sensor—an industry first compensates for vehicle and laser tilt, making it perfect for use on any lift or frame machine
  • Compact, modular design minimizes any target blockage
  • Smart targets act like miniature GPS sensors for precise position information
  • Quick-change modular stems automatically change height reading
  • Multi-point measuring continuously monitors and updates all dimensional changes
  • Color LEDs on targets show damage at the point of measurement
  • Modular magnetic adapters span a wide variety of sizes in a compact, efficient form
  • Aluminum compatible Uni-fits are a standard adapter in AMS systems
  • Underhood measurement—simultaneously measure multiple points on the upper body
  • 3D Eclipse™ Software
  • Web Based or In Shop Training
  • First Year Data Included with Quarterly updates

Make your measuring process simpler and more effective. Lease or buy our state of the art laser measuring system ECLIPSE™ by AMS! Call for a free demo - 423-781-7163 / WWW.AMS-LASER.COM

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Installing Customer Parts: A Dialogue and Debate

This panel’s perspective is meant to excite a dialogue, to present ideas and concepts to support your decision or to inspire you to take a stand; one way or the other. LISTEN HERE.
 
Tom Ham, Rick White, and Randy Lucyk join Carm Capriotto in this important discussion. Because of the growth rate of e-commerce part availability, transparency in pricing, and ease of self-diagnosis on the internet, this is a trending topic with many different outlooks.
 
Key discussion points include reputation based on the quality of part being installed, owning the cause of their concern, and insurance among others. This panel has not gotten one new great customer from ever installing parts for walk in customers. 
 
Advice from this wise owner panel is: "If you are getting more requests from customer’s to install parts something is wrong with your business."

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Books That Have Made Me a Better Leader and CEO

Harry Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers.”  Our Academy panel will share with you the books that have impacted them. They’ll explain their big take-a-ways that have impacted their lives both personal and business. LISTEN HERE.

Many service professionals, that have shared their story on the podcast, credit books as an important resource for building their knowledge on leadership, business culture and personal growth.

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The Power Center of your Business is in the Back Office

In this Part One Amy Mattinat, Jacquie Walter Hower, Maryann Croce and Kim Auernheimer discuss controls, operations, and accounting/finance.  LISTEN HERE.

Highlights: Cash accountability, bank statements, trust and verify. The three stages of a business and the power of communication. With good systems, you can find where any breakdown occurred.

Also discussed is team buy-in, QuickBooks, keeping good records, budgeting, and cash flow.

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Your First Steps to Finding the Right Size Paint Booth

Ready to work on some new vehicles? It doesn’t matter if you are looking at an additional paint booth or a new area for larger equipment, with just a little bit of math, you are ready to look for the booth that best fits your needs.

First, think about what the largest vehicle is that you would like to service. Now, to determine booth size:

  • Add 5 feet to the width of the largest vehicle or piece of equipment
  • Add 2 feet to the height of the largest vehicle or piece of equipment
  • Add 3 feet to the depth of the largest vehicle or piece of equipment

This is just the first step, but having that number in mind will help you answer additional questions and make other determinations in finding the right paint booth for your needs. GFS and ABRN have all of the questions you need to ask and the information you should gather when considering an additional paint booth. The information is packaged in this free whitepaper available now for download.

Read through the information in the whitepaper, presented in a manner that easily applies to any collision repair business, and start making decisions about how you could expand your business. The whitepaper covers how to find the right size booth to fit your shop’s needs, plus pros and cons for a variety of airflow types you should consider.

And the series of paint booth best practices is not to be missed!

Download the whitepaper today, start doing the math and your shop could start taking on big business!

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Technician Shortage Solution: Grow Your Own. A Real Life Story.

Eric Svedberg from Automotive Specialists in Virginia Beach, VA and millennial technician Rex Cate talk about the growth of Rex in the business over the last four years. LISTEN HERE.
 
The conversation gets deep into the recruitment of Rex (he worked at Panara), his training program, his annual review, and how Eric is integrating Rex into his business.
 
Now four years into the training program there are no regrets on either side. Rex says that there are many millennials like him out there looking for a chance. 

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Two Approaches to Training, One Successful Result

What tool is the most common one you or your technicians use? Is it a tool like we have thought of for decades, or does it fall under a new definition? As Jim Maddox, owner of Jim’s Automotive in Albuquerque, N.M., puts it, it’s probably the latter.

“We used to be mechanics that were twisting wrenches, now we’re technicians holding laptops,” he says.

Because of that shift in what is needed to repair a vehicle, it’s time to stop thinking that anyone in your shop has the luxury of putting off training when it comes to new vehicle technology. The reality is that you don’t. “New vehicle technology” covers more than just models rolling off the line from here on out. Look at vehicles coming into your shop for service. Those that are five to 10 years old have increasingly higher amounts of “new” technology on them than every before.

 “The way a vehicle has advanced the last few years alone, we are seeing more need of course for information, but also good technical training that is going to allow our guys to repair the vehicles, all the sensors, all the computers that are in a vehicle,” says Jon Bockman, owner of Bockman’s Auto Care in Sycamore, Ill.

He should know; he is a second-generation shop owner. “What we see a lot is where everything has become, you are basically an IT professional and you are using your laptop and scopes and you have to make sure you have all the information. And our guys know what that information means. Trying to keep up is the hardest part.”

Keeping up means training, whether it is in the form of videos, classes, books, online resources or other educational assets. As Maddox states, what you thought a few years ago you wouldn’t see much of in terms of new technology, you really are. And that requires more and more training.

Both shop owners agree that training and gathering information is more important than ever, and they share numerous examples in the NAPA AutoCare Center Podcast.

But here’s the difference: One man requires training of his employees and the other just encourages them. How do they compare to your business? Both get the results they want from their techs, but who do you fit more in line with?

Discover the different ways you can maximize what you get from your employees when it comes to training in this podcast, and you just might walk away with a new look at how you should approach training.

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The One Star That Can Change Your Bottom Line

For every star you have on Yelp, you generate about 9 percent more revenue.

With that in mind, are you asking for enough reviews on the right internet sites to market your repair shop? Perhaps it goes beyond asking to reworking parts of your shop’s culture to really achieve the positive reviews you deserve (again, without having to ask).

Joe Sevart, owner of I-70 Auto Service in Kansas City, explains that his shops have built a culture around “love, serve and care,” and that instilling that into every aspect of the business is reiterated often, including at weekly meetings. This culture truly works for the shop, which no longer has to ask for customer reviews like they once did.

“By everybody doing their job and giving amazing customer service and going above and beyond, our customers are choosing to write those reviews on their own,” he says during an episode of the NAPA AutoCare Center Podcast.

Speaking on the podcast along with Sevart is Sharon Anderberg, owner of Aero Auto Repair in San Diego. The two are pillars to look up to when it comes to successful digital marketing plans. They have the solid reviews, Google search results and social media clout to prove it. But as Anderberg explains, these digital rewards start within the physical shop.

“The level of service is key,” she says. “Letting your customer know you’re going to take care of them and do that no matter what, that’s what generates the affinity with the customer and they have the willingness to leave the review.”

When you are there for your clients, proving your dedication to them, or building a culture like I-70 has, customers will be more apt to leave you positive reviews in the right places, like Yelp, Google and Facebook. These last two are key, as Anderberg notes; having great reviews on those platforms is important to your Google ranking.

Learn the secret to getting online and getting noticed with this episode of the NAPA AutoCare Center Podcast. Because, as Sevart puts it, “We found out many years ago you definitely need to be online and you need to be on the first page of Google.”

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