Information

Information
Properly using the information available to you can add significantly to the bottom line. (Photo: Huw Evans)

It’s the most valuable tool in your shop.

We all now know that information, whether it’s from a trusted media source or social media, can change or attempt to change elections and the basics of democracy. With that in mind, imagine what information can do for your shop if handled well!

How can shops use the vast amount of information that is available to be more profitable immediately? Let’s check.

Vehicle arrives

  • How did the customer hear about us or who referred them? Did we keep their address and e-mail/text info and motivations at the shop in a database?
  • Could we not use this for future ongoing marketing directly to them or target marketing by area in the future?
  • Did we record the VIN and run the VIN through a decoder to access options, info, etc.?
  • Did we get build data on the vehicle, so we know what to look for? Build data is usually available on the OEM web site.
  • Did we get the OEM procedures on repairs for this vehicle so that we can write out an estimate properly?
  • Did we get the repair bulletins for the areas of repair needed from the OEM?
  • Did we check to ensure that the non-included items in the estimate are shown?
  • Did we obtain the position statements for the car in question and the repair area from the OEM?

If something seems missing, did we check with the www.DEGweb.org data site for answers and the needed repair times?

What’s missing?

If we are now satisfied that all items are included (including pre-and post-scans) did we run it through Estimate Scrubber and see if something is missing?

  • Did we remember to charge for bay rental if needed?
  • Did we get permission to include any diagnostic work (i.e., my 2012 vehicle went to the shop for a loose tie rod end. They charged me 0.6 hrs @ $144.95 an hour to diagnose the problem and $106.54 for the tie rod, 1hr at $114.95 to install it and a $13.95 torch supply fee, then $119.95 for an alignment)?
  • Did we talk to the customer about their privacy consideration (normally on the customer authorization form)?

The damage appraisal is the most important element of the repair. Do your skills need upgrading? Have you taken any of the courses offered by car companies, associations or colleges to improve your abilities?

Are you using all the tools available to you? These are questions you need to ask. Currently, most U.S. and Canadian surveys show that many shops aren’t doing these things and still wonder why they can’t make money.

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