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Free Auto Repair Management Tips Blog

Auto Repair Management Tips and toolsThe automotive industry is challenging. Both owners and managers often struggle to navigate its complex waters, leading to a major lack of confidence. Does that sound like you? Then you need expert guidance to help you reach the net results you must have in order to survive and thrive. Check out You Net Results’ free video blog, right here. It’s chock full of auto repair management tips, which will start you on your path to success.

Auto repair management tips for automotive shop owners

Whether you’re new to the game, or you are a seasoned pro, everyone could use some good advice. Since auto repair shops are multifaceted businesses, they can be hard to manage. As either an owner or manager, you have to keep your eye on many areas, such as:

  • Budgeting and financial strategies
  • General Management
  • Service Advisor training
  • Daily Operations
  • Hiring and recruiting staff
  • …plus much more

You Net Results guide Brian Gillis has over 25+ years of experience in the automotive repair field. He has owned and operated several multi-unit auto repair shops in Texas, Georgia and Colorado. Today, Brian shares his expertise with hiring, recruiting, systems, processes, and employee training with you.

This free blog features video clips from many of our members only meetings, which are held each and every week. We are confident that when you hear the advice in these clips, you will want to join one of our monthly programs. Get fresh, real time advice and with Brian and your fellow shop owners when you join today!

Auto Repair SOP - Standard Operating Procedures with You Net Results

By Paradee

The Benefits of an Auto Repair SOP

As an auto repair shop owner, you know a streamlined, efficient process is the best way to succeed. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are key to meeting this goal. SOPs help standardize processes, reduce overhead, and improve service. All the while, you establish a more positive, predictable outcome for customers. Let’s look at why SOPs are so important in auto repair shops. 

Reducing Costs & Overhead with SOPs 

Each auto repair SOP reduces costs and overhead. You will streamline your processes, thus saving time and money. SOPs also make it easier to train new employees, since they won’t have to learn everything from scratch. Staff just need to follow the established protocols. This can also help reduce mistakes as everyone follows the same process each time. 

Providing Better Service with SOPs 

Using SOPs in your auto repair shop helps you provide better customer service. Having known protocols makes sure that all repairs are done efficiently. When customers know their cars are being fixed by a pro, it eases their minds. Also, if a repair job goes wrong, clear SOPs help resolve issues quickly.

Establishing Predictability with SOPs 

Finally, SOPs establish predictability. SOPs clear up expectations for both employees and customers. This creates a sense of order and consistency. Thus, everyone feels more at ease.

Using SOPs critically reduces costs and overhead. This provides better service and predictability for both employees and customers alike!

These systems are a must in today’s market! Clear, concise rules make training new employees much easier. All the while, you still provide excellent customer service. In order to stay ahead, invest in comprehensive SOPs for your business!

You Net Results Will Help You Start Your Auto Repair SOP Journey

Contact You Net Results today. We’ll guide you in building critical SOPs! Book a free call. Brian Gillis and team will help build your foundation. Plug into a vast network of auto repair shops who work together to strengthen the industry! Let’s make February the best month of your business life!

Auto repair shop management doesn’t have to be a mystery. Long time automotive business coach Gary Gunn shares his decades of automotive industry experience running multiple shops with you! When you take Gary’s and head coach Brian Gillis’ advice to heart, you will put your business systems in place and see results in no time!

Auto Repair Shop Management - mechanics and technicians run the systemsDefining Auto Repair Shop Management – How Is It Different From Leadership?

Gary opens the clip, polling the group on the difference between auto repair shop management and leadership.

Pam believes that managing is staying on top of details and keeping staff on top of their tasks. Fred believes Leaders hand down goals and processes to Managers. Then the Managers use the SOPs to guide the people.

Joe defines the Leadership role as one who sets the pace and tone for the shop’s business. Management then manipulates the Technicians and Service Advisors to execute the Leader’s vision. Joe clarifies that the staff roles are similar to that of military ranks. As the owner and leader, he recognizes the strengths of each employee in their positions.

Jerry continues by agreeing with all the previous points. He then adds that Auto Repair Shop Management means overseeing the systems and processes, so Mechanics and Service Writers can do their thing.

Gary also reminds us that people do not want to be managed. They can’t! That method of management always reduces people to robots. Effective managers should manage the systems, so the SOPs themselves can manage the people.

Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

Does your independent automotive shop lack a clear vision? Maybe your business plan has stalled out. You need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

Auto Repair Shop Money Management might be an uncomfortable topic, but we need to cover it! Gary Gunn quizzes our YNR panel of automotive shop owners on how they can better manage their finances.

Repair shop maney management - not an easy automotive topicDefining Money – Repair Shop Money Management

Gary starts off with an unusual question for our panel of shop owners. “How do you define money?” It may seem silly to ask a question like this. However, when we get to the root of what money really is, we can take a deeper dive into repair shop money management.

When Pam replies, she defines money as an item we exchange in lieu of barter. We have assigned a value to it, so it drives commodities in our markets.

Fred measures money in time. Customers pay us for our employees’ time when they perform automotive repair services. We then pay those employees for their time. Finally, we pay ourselves for the time we put in guiding our team and steering the ship.

Joe adds that the government assigns money a value based on the gold that backs it. We can then exchange that valuable paper for a good or service. Jerry then uses the analogy of money as a fuel for an engine. That engine exists to move our business or personal life forward. Money management is how we fine tune that engine.

Gary’s Response

Gary makes the point that we can run out of the “gas” that is money and end up stuck on the proverbial freeway. Sometimes our business’s cash on hand can ebb and flow. However, our repair shop money management skills will determine will determine if we reach our long term destination.

Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

Do lack direction on repair shop money management? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out, and you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

Gary Gunn polls our YNR group on Repair Shop Staff Roles. What should we expect from our people? How do we make that clear, and what must we do to help them meet our expectations?

Repair Shop Staff Roles - auto repair mechanicsDefining People – Repair Shop Staff Roles

This clip from our Leadership Process opens up with Gary requesting class members to define “people”. Broad? Maybe. Simple? Definitely not.

Pam believes all people are created by God for specific purposes. She also believes it is impossible to actually “manage people”. Fred adds that people are just “impossible” altogether! A good manager’s role is to identify each staff member’s strengths and weaknesses and help them fit in, if possible. Managers manage the systems, and the systems manage the people. Are you an owner or manager who hates dealing with customers? Then you don’t need to take on the repair shop staff roles of Service Writer or Service Advisor! A good manager can also recognize what their own best role is. Maybe it’s in the back helping train technicians.

Different Viewpoints on Auto Repair Shop Staff Roles

Joe made the point that two people can observe the same object or concept and see completely different things. Mike points out that this is because those two people have different worldviews and agendas. Every repair shop hire may bring their own baggage in. Likewise, an astute leader can recognize said baggage.

Gary reminds us that we as auto repair shop owners and managers are all people ourselves! Like it or not, we are all in the people business. Whether you work with customers at the front counter or technicians in the back of the house, it’s up to you to recognize your systems and how to help staff run them.

Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

Does your auto repair shop lack direction? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out, so you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

Are your auto repair staff members just order takers? Or are they truly difference makers for your customers? Technicians and Service Writers must work together in order to educate customers on their vehicles’ needs. Only then can automotive repair employees make a difference for your shop’s finances, as well as your customers’ safety and vehicle life.

Auto repair staff exist to make a difference in customers' lives.How Can Your Auto Repair Staff Make a Difference?

Brian begins by presenting us with a customer entering the shop. Their vehicle is not riding smoothly enough, so we sell them a new set of sway bars. Big deal! Think of a waitress who only sells a chicken dinner to you. She doesn’t suggest a cocktail, an appetizer, or a dessert. Those items may have just brought our dining experience from good to great!

Just like the waitress in that story, the service advisor hasn’t made much of an impact. That auto repair staff member is just an order taker. They are not doing the most they can to help the customer, and they certainly aren’t making a difference in your shop’s bottom line.

If your auto repair staff want to be difference makers, they educate themselves about the make and model of the customers’ vehicle. They also take notes about the status of the customer’s car or truck. When they do this, they can inform the customer of necessary repairs they might not have even known they needed. Demonstrating the knowledge, then showing concern, is what gains a customer’s confidence. Only then can you rack up those “yes” answers, and earn the trust of a lifelong customer.

Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

Does your auto repair staff lack direction? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out, and you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

 

Auto Repair Shop Owners need help dealing with the silent thieves in their automotive business. Determining how they are losing money.

By Adobe Photo Stock

Lack of employee motivation, poor inventory strategies, and accounting snafus might not seem like they have much in common. However, they can all be silent thieves in your auto repair shop. By that, we mean that they can all lead to big problems when they’re not managed properly.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to recover from these three silent thieves in your auto repair shop so that you can keep your business running smoothly.

Thieves Identified #1: Lack of Employee Motivation

One of the most common silent thieves in auto repair shops is employee motivation. When employees aren’t motivated, it can lead to all sorts of problems. Poor performance, low morale, and high turnover are all examples.

If you want to recover from this silent thief, there are a few things you can do:

First, try to get to the root of the problem. Why aren’t your employees motivated? Perhaps you have not challenged them enough. Is it because they don’t feel like their work is meaningful, or is it something else entirely? Once you know the problem, then you can start addressing it.

Second, try to create a more motivating workplace environment. This might mean providing more employee training and development opportunities, or offering incentives for meeting certain goals. Whatever you do, make sure you’re proactive about addressing employee motivation; otherwise, it will continue to be a silent thief in your shop.

Thief #2: Poor Inventory Strategies

Another common silent thief in auto repair shops is loss due to poor inventory strategies. You may have a bad handle on your inventory. If you’re overstocking certain items, or understocking others, it can eventually lead to big financial losses.

Start your recovery by closely examining your inventory strategies. Are there any areas where you could improve? Are there any changes you could make to reduce losses? Once you’ve identified some potential improvements, implement them as soon as possible.

#3: Simple Accounting Issues

The third and final silent thief we’ll discuss is simple accounting issues. Believe it or not, even a small error in your monthly financial statements can lead to big problems for your business.

To recover from this thief, review your financial statements carefully each month and correct any errors immediately. You should also consider automation tools that can help reduce errors and save time (and money) in the long run. 

These are just a few of the most common silent thieves in auto repair shops, but they’re certainly not the only ones out there. To protect your business from these thieves (and many others), it’s important to be aware of them and take steps to prevent them from causing damage.

You Net Results Can Help!

Contact You Net Results and we will guide you through the process of identifying, itemizing, and neutralizing your silent thieves today! Book a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis & team will help you build your leadership foundation and plug you into a vast network of auto repair shops, working together to strengthen the industry! Let’s make January the best month of your business life!

Let’s talk about auto repair ethics. Picture this: you’re an auto repair service advisor. You present a necessary service to a customer. They tell you that they can’t afford it. Do you let them go without fixing the issue, potentially risking more harm to their vehicle? What about the other issues you haven’t gotten to writing up for them yet?

Automotive Service Writers have a professional obligation to tell customers about needed repairs, just like doctors are obligated to tell patients about illnesses they may not know about. In this video, Brian talks with shop owners in our You Net Results group about that obligation. Don’t let your worries about your client’s money troubles get in the way of your ethics. Word gets around!

Auto repair ethics and professionalism are key for all service writers and service advisors.

What Are Your Auto Repair Ethics?

Brian started this clip by stressing the importance of personal integrity. Professional behavior is important to any auto repair employee, since you want to keep your prospects open with other shops. Nobody wants to hire a Technician or Service Writer with a bad reputation from other shops.

Karen defines auto repair ethics as being 100% honest with customers. When we practice this, we win their loyalty for life.

Bryce adds that all staff members, especially mechanics, should only use polite language. Whether you realize it or not, your customers are listening.

Jared’s bottom line on auto repair ethics? We should always provide our clients with safe, reliable vehicles.

Brian then brought the discussion home. He reminded us of our obligation to share all vehicle problems with customers. Even when clients mention money problems, we still need to let them know what is wrong. A doctor would not withhold their test results from patients, so we must be thorough, too.

Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

Does your auto repair shop lack direction? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out, and you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

Gary Gunn, AAM shares some examples of flexible auto repair hiring processes and how they can benefit automotive repair shops. Would you consider changing to four day work weeks, or even hiring only technicians who hunt or have farms? Gary provides examples of shops who did – and, believe it or not – these hiring practices for employees were huge successes for decades!

How could being more flexible in your hiring practices benefit your mechanics and service writers? What about you? Couldn’t you use less stress in your daily life as an auto repair shop owner? Can you think of any other benefits to attract quality mechanics and front of house staff? Don’t miss this video – it could save your automotive shop!

Is your auto repair shop's hiring process attracting the right technicians, managers, and service advisors for your staff?Hiring Process Discussion Recap

When this Working On It Tuesday clip opens, Gary quizzes Brian Pickens on what he’s learned from the class. Brian listed several areas of his automotive business that needed work. He admits he is currently understaffed and his people are burnt out. His previous hiring process proved ineffective and he needs to become more flexible in order to attract the right people.

When Gary polled the class about whether changing hours to help employees’ work-life balance would help, they agreed. Perhaps they should poll staff to see what would work for them. Brian added that he needed to put his foot down, because the current work environment was leading to squabbles between coworkers and grumpy customers.

Hypothetical Candidate Interview

Gary then paints a picture of an interview with a potential new technician. The candidate required a four day work week before he would accept the position, and that is unprecedented in your shop. Otherwise, he is the perfect candidate, and you need him. The next step is gathering your staff and making that four day work week possible. Gary and the callers all provided examples of how to make that happen, including many nurses’ three day work week working 12-hour days.

Flexible work schedules in auto repair are not a new phenomenon! Gary told a story about a shop he used to sell lifts to in Texas. They implemented a four day work week, and employed staff who only liked to hunt. Hunting was an important part of the culture in that area. Since the staff knew they wouldn’t have to work on certain days, they could all relax and bond over their common interest. Some of you reading may think that’s crazy, and it gives employees too much power. It worked out fine for the owner of that shop, who sold it after 27 successful years in business!

Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

Does your auto repair shop lack direction? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out, so you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

If you’re watching this video, the odds are that you are an automotive shop owner. One of the ten knowledge principles we at You Net Results teach is to know your True Cost of Doing Business. What does that mean? You need to ask yourself how much it takes to build an automotive repair shop that is financially healthy.

There are so many pitfalls and mistakes that repair shop owners can make. It’s up to you to make the effort to understand your profit and losses, as well as regularly review your score sheets. Only then can you stack up cash and set yourself up for success long term.

Calculate the true cost of doing business for your auto repair shop business.True Cost of Doing Business Discussion Recap

Gary Gunn, AAM opens up this clip, in which he is detailing the ten financial knowledge principles. Knowing the true cost of business means knowing what it takes to be financially healthy in the automotive repair industry. Knowing your numbers, as well as how to read them, is essential for any auto repair shop owner.

He went on to tell a story of an owner in his class years ago. This owner declared that he planned to slash repair prices because he had paid off his shop’s building. Gary literally asked him to leave the class. This kind of thinking doesn’t come from a smart business mentality. Rather than subtracting from his monthly income, he should have invested the money he previously put toward his building expense. Stacking up cash today could mean weathering a major storm in your future, or even retiring early!

Educate yourself. Look at your scorecard daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. If you estimate your true cost of doing business too high, then you are putting undue pressure on yourself and your team.

Stack Up Cash In Your Auto Repair Shop!

If this sounds intimidating, fear not! You Net Results is here to guide you to learn the true cost of doing business and stack up cash for your shop. Learn more about our Anchor Financial Reporting group monthly program here!

Brian and YNR Member Andy read a passage from Gary Gunn’s book Turnaround Point – The Recipe for Going Broke. Are poor auto repair systems and processes leading to you ultimately shutting your doors? Read on for some tips to dig your shop out of the hole.

Are you going broke as an auto repair shop owner?Going Broke Discussion – Is It Too Late?

Andy opens the clip reading an account of Larry, a shop owner who was definitely going broke. His shop was not open on Saturdays, and potential customers instead went to a competitor. He also required clients to set appointments for their repairs. The reason? He was worried that too many cars in the queue would cause chaos that his staff couldn’t handle.

Brian tags in to read the hard fact that the automotive industry has changed. You can’t require every customer to set appointments anymore. Limiting your potential business like that makes you a “no” company. If your customers do not get a “yes, today” answer from your service advisor, they will take their money elsewhere. A six day per week 7am-7pm schedule is a great idea to help open yourself up to new business by adding convenience. Besides, if you are worried about handling more customers, then maybe it is time to think about hiring more staff and examining your current systems and processes.

In addition to understaffing and delaying your customers, low parts margins and poor phone skills are factors in going broke. Leave no stone unturned, because your livelihood and your staff’s financial wellbeing, could depend on it.

Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

Does your auto repair shop lack direction? Could you really be going broke? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out. Therefore, you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!