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Repair Shop Advice

Auto Repair Shop Contingency Planning

February 26, 2020

Coronavirus is just beginning to take root outside of China, but its spread is (finally) beginning to slow inside of China. It’s not yet clear how supply chains are going to be impacted by the weeks-long shut down of manufacturing plants across that country.  The odds are good, however, that there will be a shortage of at least some car parts – China is responsible for around $40 billion worth of global auto parts manufacturing.

While this may be a problem for auto repair shops, it’s not as big of a problem as it is in China.  Most of the plants that shut down for weeks probably had no contingency plan for being out of commission for that long.  When it comes to recovery, they’re going to be working hard and hoping it works out.

Coronavirus may not be the thing that shuts down your shop for two weeks, but that doesn’t mean that something won’t.  If it does, do you have a plan?  How long could your shop survive an unexpected shutdown with a strong chance of recovery?  If you don’t like the answer to that question, it’s probably time to build a contingency plan.

The federal government provides a few guides for how to prepare for natural emergencies – they’re available at  There are plenty of other types of emergencies beyond natural ones, however.  What happens if you’re unexpectedly out sick for weeks?  What happens if your shop management system goes down, and your customer data doesn’t return after it is restored?  What happens when a customer makes a threat towards you or an employee?

Unexpected events like these happen to thousands of shops every year – and most shops aren’t prepared to deal with them. Just because the event wasn’t expected doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared!  Much like recoveries at those auto part plants in China, execution at a shop is going to be pretty weak if there was no planning ahead of time; emergencies aren’t the best times for sitting down and making well-thought out plans. 

Take a look at the contingency planning suggestions at Ratchet and Wrench (these were suggestions from a parts department manager) as well as those at The Balance.  If the worst does happen, you’re likely to come out of it much better off if you’ve got a plan in place to address it.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help your auto repair shop gain more customers, call us at 855-394-6397 or email us at