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Repair Shop Advice

Archive for July, 2021

Keeping Your Shop Running Smoothly in the Midst of Chaos

July 28th, 2021

We recently surveyed our customers to ask them how busy they are compared to 2019:

  • 60% said they are seeing more cars than in 2019
  • 25% said about the same number of cars
  • 15% said they are seeing fewer cars than 2019

When you consider the fact that many shops are down one or more technicians compared to 2019, it’s shocking that 85% of them are handling as many or more vehicles than 2019.  Many shops said they are having their best months ever right now.

It’s a problem that many businesses would love to have.  But when your processes are already running at full speed, small problems can quickly become bigger ones.  Delays can lead to vehicle backups, longer working hours and eventually lower productivity levels and technician burnout. The alternative is to reach out to customers with scheduled repairs and push those repair dates out.  That’s not a great recipe for customer satisfaction, and it can do long-term reputational damage.


Here are three things you can do keep your shop running smoothly and avoid that uncomfortable call.

Organize Your Shop Floor for Efficiency

Things can get messy when your shop is too busy.  Unfortunately, that applies to the shop floor, too.  And while it might seem like there’s “just no time” to organize work areas, the reality is that all of those minutes your technicians are looking for misplaced tools or moving vehicles around the shop can add up to hours of lost time.

That’s why it’s important that each day starts out and ends with an organized workspace.  Ideally, nobody should have to search the shop to find where someone left a tool (or where someone put a previously delivered part) during the day.  Everyone should know where vehicles can and cannot stay parked while they’re awaiting parts or attention.  And if you find that a lack of lifts, laptops or other equipment is slowing you down, there’s no better time to take care of that than when you’re bringing in the extra revenue that comes with a very busy shop.

Have a Backup Plan for Parts

Manufacturers of all types are having trouble acquiring shipping container space, and it’s delaying delivery of critical materials. Auto parts manufacturers are getting hit by these delays.  And because material suppliers often wait until a delivery failure is inevitable before alerting the auto part manufacturer, the delays are unpredictable, with parts suppliers sometimes receiving only a few days of notice that material shipments will be weeks late.

A story published in May showed how a shortage of fishing line slowed down oil filter production, and a shipping delay on a 12-cent part stopped production of a major part assembly.  And the Commercial Carrier Journal is reporting this month that fleet mechanics are spending hours tracking down some parts, and part hoarding is making it even worse.

Of course, it doesn’t make sense for you to buy every part you might need over the coming months.  But there may be cases where it does makes sense to buy several of a frequently used part ahead of time.  It’s also probably a good idea to have a backup plan in case your supplier does end up backordered on a part you need for a major repair.

Invest in Your Culture

Hiring technicians has been a challenge for years.  It’s only gotten harder over time, and it’s not expected to get much better in the near future.  Unless you’ve decided to permanently downsize your workforce (and your car count) going forward, now is as good a time as any to start investing in new talent.

“Investing” doesn’t necessarily mean hiring anyone yet.  Due to the intense competition for technicians, only some opportunities will get filled.  Many shop owners make the mistake of thinking that compensation is all that matters to technicians. But the best and the brightest techs are looking for an opportunity at a shop that has a clean work environment, a positive culture and most or all of the equipment they need to get their job done efficiently.

Working to improve your shop in any of these fronts will help you attract talent.  But you’ll see benefits long before your shop attracts the attention of potential new hires.  These “shop upgrades” will help with employee retention, job efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Want to learn how Repair Shop Websites can bring more of your favorite repairs into your shop?  Call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.

Emery Tow & Repair Will Pick You Up and Get You Back on the Road!

July 26th, 2021

If you’re stuck on the side of the road or your car won’t start in Englewood, Florida call the experts at Emery Tow & Repair who can tow your vehicle when it breaks down and offer the best repair and maintenance services in town. Located at 6436 San Casa Dr, Suite B, in Englewood, they know how to get your vehicle running smoothly again. Their goal is to get you back on the road as soon as possible. They have years of experience and offer a range of car repair service including brake, oil changes, 4×4 repair, fleet repair and more. Call their 941-247-0051 for a tow or to schedule an appointment.

Looking Outside the Auto Repair Industry for New Hires

July 23rd, 2021

The pandemic has shrunk the workforce, and that’s bad news for the auto repair industry.  Jobless claims have dropped significantly since last April, but there are still seven million fewer people with jobs than before the pandemic.

Many businesses are hoping that there will be an influx of job seekers when schools open and unemployment benefits shrink.  Those things will certainly bring some younger workers back into the job market.  But more Baby Boomers retired in 2020 than in any year in history, and they aren’t coming back.

For the auto repair industry, it’s especially unlikely that hiring will suddenly become painless in September.  Technicians were already hard to find before the pandemic, due in large part to a shortage of young workers interested in the job or the industry.

Dealerships, franchises and independent shops are even more desperate for the small stream of newly trained technicians entering the industry than they were before the pandemic. Whatever it took to attract new employees in 2019, it’s likely to take more now.

And that’s why it might be time to look outside of the industry for hires.

Restaurant, Retail and Hospitality Workers

Many employees in restaurant, retail and hospitality jobs weren’t considering different industries before the pandemic. But after those jobs evaporated overnight, many were forced into rethinking whether those high-stress, off-hours jobs were worth the low pay they offered.

Even though these employees aren’t likely to have experience in the automotive industry, they might be a great fit for a service writer or customer service role.  They’re accustomed to providing customer-facing service, staying on their feet and keeping things moving in environments where margins depend on it.

For restaurant, retail and hospitality workers looking to change careers, a job in an auto repair shop offers things their current occupation probably doesn’t.  Independent repair shops, for instance, can offer reliable hours and a low-turnover environment with a positive culture.  Employees coming from these industries tend to be younger than the average US worker, which means they have plenty of time to grow into their roles and continue supporting your shop for years (or decades) to come.

Hiring for Attitude, Motivation and Cultural Fit

Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to fill technician roles with employees from other industries.  To provide value to the shop, technicians need at least enough experience to handle the most basic jobs that come through the doors.  That means technicians with little or no experience are likely to slow your shop down at first, rather than speed things up.

That doesn’t mean hiring a novice can’t work out well for your shop.  If an employee is interested in the work you do and motivated to grow quickly, they can become one of your best performers over time.

Once you’re able to train someone to handle basic jobs like changing oil and replacing tires, you can free up your more experienced technicians for higher-value roles while making money off of your new hire each day they’re training.  And unlike an auto technician program at a community college, they can get paid while they learn the job, instead of going in debt to do it.  That’s a major draw for anyone considering a job in the industry.

It’s true that many franchise oil & lube shops already offer these “no experience necessary” types of roles.  But unlike those shops, technicians who choose to start at an independent repair shop can gain exposure to more advanced work whenever they’re ready to take it on.

Believe it or not, there are still kids in high school who are more excited about jumping right in to the working world than spending four years at college.  And there are also plenty of gig-economy workers who gave up on that career during the pandemic and want something more stable and reliable.  If you’re willing to take on the responsibility of mentoring someone who is new to the industry, it’s a great way to skip the line full of other shops willing to do whatever it takes for another experienced technician.

Another benefit – you won’t have to retrain them to do things the way you do them at your shop.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you bring more vehicles into your shop (and advertise your job openings!) call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.

Auto Doctor Diesel & Repair is South Georgia’s Favorite Repair Shop

July 20th, 2021

At Auto Doctor Diesel & Repair in Thomasville, GA they provide all of the expertise and parts needed to keep your diesel or gas engine running happily and at peak efficiency.  Their certified technicians provide 5-star service on domestic and import vehicles of all makes and models from oil changes to brake jobs to custom exhaust and more. Stop by the shop at 10821 US Hwy 84 East in Thomasville or call 229-226-8100 today to make an appointment.

Finley’s Automotive is Easley’s One-Stop Shop For All Things Automotive!

July 19th, 2021

Finley’s Automotive is the place to go in Easley, SC for affordable, quality auto repair and service. They have the equipment and expertise to complete even the toughest repairs and will get you back on the road in no time. They also offer a variety of services including brakes, diagnostics, a/c repair, performance repair, and maintenance from oil changes to inspections. Stop by the shop today at 3465 Farrs Bridge Road, in Easley or call 864-855-3014 to make an appointment.

Howard’s Automotive is Middle Georgia’s top new auto repair shop

July 15th, 2021

Howard’s Automotive is proud to be a new auto repair shop in Macon, Georgia . Located at 5940 Hawkinsville Rd. They’ve built a team of skilled and experienced team of technicians and are excited to be Middle Georgia’s new one-stop shop for auto maintenance and repair. Howard’s offers a wide variety of services including oil changes, engine repairs, brakes, alignments, auto and ac/ services, electrical, diagnostics and more. Give them a call at 478-259-6555 if you have questions or to schedule an appointment today!

Brighter Day Mobile Auto Repair is Albany, GA’s first call for Mobile Roadside Services and Auto Repair

July 5th, 2021

If you’re in the Albany, Georgia area you know that Brighter Day Mobile is the best place to call when you need repairs. Their expert mechanics can perform major and minor repairs as well as regular maintenance from oil changes to diagnostics. Stop by the shop today at 812 W Broad Ave or call 229-338-0972 to schedule an appointment.

B&T Automotive Repair is Augusta’s Diesel Repair Specialists

July 1st, 2021

B&T Automotive Repair is proud to be a new auto repair shop in Augusta, GA. Formerly Steve’s Auto Service, B&T Automotive Repair is located at 1001 Alexander Drive. They’ve built a team of skilled and experienced technicians and are excited to be Augusta’s new one-stop shop for auto and diesel maintenance and repair. B&T offers a wide variety of services including oil changes and maintenance services, engine repairs, brakes, alignments, auto and ac/ services, fleet maintenance, electrical, diagnostics. They specialize in diesel repairs and maintenance. Stop by the shop or give them a call at 706-731-0988 if you have questions or to schedule an appointment.