Posted to Shop Management Forum on 7/11/2009
There have been far too many WWYD posts here recently and
very few serious management issues discussed. Many have
lamented how some of the old regular participants in this
forum have departed and no longer post.
Let's start over with some good management training.
Step one in avoiding the WWYD post is to do a better job at
evaluating what work you take in and what you don't.
Your first measurement is "how many cars do I have around
here with an outstanding bill that haven't been picked up?"
If this is somewhat of a problem for you, you have several
serious issues with your shop operation.
First, people with pieces of crap are attracted to your
The fix is several things--
First, practice the Soap, Paint and Lights thing. Clean the
place up, toss out all the old parts, sell any old equipment
you no longer use. Scrub that floor so it looks like you
could eat off it.
Paint the walls and ceiling white. Put in brilliant
lighting. This will make your techs more efficient, because
now they can see (wow).
Paint any old equipment, including hoists, so it looks like
it just came out of the box yesterday. We paint our hoist
arms every year.
This will repel those who have junk and need a freebie or a
"favor". It's amazing how clean repels scum.
It's equally amazing how clean and bright attracts good
Don't park any cars in front that aren't nice. Some of the
best marketing is a bunch of nice cars out front. Like tends
to attract like--people driving by with nice cars will want
to visit your shop.
Finally, make sure that you're very clear with every
customer "what exactly you're going to do and what it will
cost". When I sell testing and inspection, I'm very clear
that this is a 2-step process. The first step is to
determine what repairs are needed and that has a price to
it. After I've given my recommendations, they can either
elect to have me fix it or they can take it wherever they
want. They just pay the inspection bill and it's 2 separate
transactions. One to inspect and the second to fix.
This is where most WWYD posts start, with a lack of clear
When the car is sitting outside, steaming, with coolant
running towards the curb, the shop is in a clear position of
strength. Once the car is fixed, the car owner has better
control. They can screw you because the car is fixed.
Be sure you have complete agreement on the repair order as
to what will happen and what it will cost.
Finally, make sure all repair estimates are what it takes to
do it right, regardless what that costs. It costs what it
costs and cutting steps that affect the quality of the job
is very risky for you.
Any "do me a favor", "I'm just about to trade it" or "this
is all I've got, what can you do?" jobs will all come back
to bite you.
Remember, if it costs 3 bucks for a burger and all you have
is a buck, you're not eating today. Why should car repair be
90% of a repair shops problems are CREATED at the front
counter. This business is hard enough without being your own
worst enemy and intentionally taking in trouble.
Think before you act, plan ahead and work for continuous
George from Nebraska
29 Replies Received
29 Replies Received