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Old 08-12-2003, 10:13 AM
Posts: n/a
I believe you are onto something and I would offer a few thoughts.

Check out MB Autowerks in the Home page of this site. This is exactly what these guys have done. The difference between them and what appears to be where you are coming from is that the person running the service side of MB Autowerks has lots of shop experience and MB experience. It sounds as if you do not.

Any business or company has a personality just like people have personalities. The personality of a shop will come primarily from the owner or proprieter. You are onto the fact that you need good people, but they will typically do the work in the way that is prescribed to them. It will be up to you to provide quality control. From this quality control, these people will learn what is expected of them or what they can get by with.

Quite frankly if you're not really familiar technically with auto service, I believe it will be difficult to set up a culture that will provide what you're customers are looking for. If you could have someone providing such expertise for you it would drastically increase your chance for success IMHO.

There are many elements that you will need to learn, and trial and error with your customers will be a risky way to learn them. It's always your last chance when you're making a first impression and in the business you are proposing, you may very well get only one chance with each customer.

I hope that I'm not too discouraging, I don't mean to be. I do, however, believe that you will need a good facility, but the quality of work and customer satisfaction is above all else. If you can prove to your clientele that they will get good work done at a fair price, most of them would be quite happy to sit on a five gallon bucket eating peanuts while waiting on their car. No amount of Mahogany and leather will make up for incompetent or overpriced work.

As far as how you pay your techs, there are generally two schools of thought: 1) pay them by the hour and price the work according to the flat rate manuals. 2) pay them commission based on the flat rate manuals.

Method 1 will typically provide a happier work force for a longer amount of time, but you will be carrying the risk of comeback work etc.

Method 2 will often lead to decension and often times to shortcut, shoddy work. If you are an experienced tech then you know how to spot the shortcuts and can prevent them. If you're not, the guys could get out of control. In either case sooner or later there will be those who will be upset.

My $0.02,
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