The purpose of this workshop is to help build your fixed operations brand and hence improve its profits. Service departments have for years been called “Fixed-Ops” or “Fixed Operations”. Have you ever taken a moment to find out why? In a great article written by Don Reed in Auto Dealer Today on line magazine titled “The Meaning Behind the Term “Fixed Operations”, he said it was ” because you don’t have as many variable conditions in service and parts as you do in sales.” And that essentially your customer count tends to be the same month after month. Have you wondered why the customer count does not increase with the number of sales? After all the customer has to bring the car back to your dealership for most the services needed. So as your customer count in sales goes up why does it not go up in service department also? After all you have just increased the pool of people who need you to service their car. This very specific and important question is the essence of this workshop. Why is it that a dealership that sells 100 cars a month does not show an ever increasing monthly number of customer pay repairs at their service department. I actually do not like the term “Fixed-Ops” as it is limiting and implies lack of growth. So, from now on and in this workshop we are going to refer to service department just that! Service department or perhaps Parts and service department!
A few days ago, I was listening to the BBC World News station. In one very interesting documentary, they were discussing the eminent emergence of the cars that are self driving. Wow, how cool is that I thought, you could sit in the back seat and work or snooze or whatever else you wanted to do. All those text junkies will feel that they have died and gone to heaven, no more having to go without texting for a few minutes of their lives! Well, this although eminent is still a bit in the future. The physical relation with other vehicles and the mental calculation a driver does in busy major cities makes this a bit more complex. So, maybe not immediately, but we are going to own use and yes have to repair the said vehicles. Wow, can you imagine the complexity of repairs and the extent of knowledge of a technician of the millennium? And the opportunity all of this offers for the service department. Although we don’t have the “self driving” car, we still have cars that stop when facing an obstacle, veer around an obstacle, warn us when we are about to move right or left when there is a car next to us and essentially help us drive far more safely. With blind spot protection, manufacturers are already talking about reduction in sheet metal sales. But all of this safety has a price, higher repairs cost and potentially more repairs. This is a great opportunity for the automotive service world. Now, all we need to do is address the first point in the paragraph, why are our repair numbers not steadily increasing and what can we do about it? And then what next steps we need to take to improve service department absorbency far beyond 100%. That will be discussed in my workshop titled “Service drive technology – Increase Revenue and Improve Customer Satisfaction” presented at Digital Dealer 19 in Vegas this October, I will be honored to see you there so that we may further explore this topic together.