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Optimized Marketing to Capture Fixed Operations Customers

Charging Ahead: Equipping Technicians for an EV Adventure

Navigating Customer Interactions in the Service Drive

Customer Segmentation in Fixed Operations Marketing

Tackling Customer Wait Times in Fixed Ops

Unlocking the Potential of Gen Z in the Automotive Service Industry

In With the Old: The Hidden Gems of Fixed Ops

Unlocking Revenue Potential: Innovative Marketing Tactics for Fixed Ops

Optimizing Parts Inventory in Fixed Ops

Saving in Service Departments: Trim Cost, Not Quality

Saving in Service Departments: Trim Cost, Not Quality

The automotive industry relies on precision and efficiency, and fixed operations directors and service managers are continuously seeking strategies to cut costs without compromising on quality. Finding the delicate balance between cutting costs and maintaining top-notch quality is a challenge faced by all dealership leaders. However, like all other areas of management, 

Saving in Service Departments

Identifying Areas of Waste

Personnel Optimization

The backbone of any service department is its workforce. Some dealerships have robust service teams while others struggle to keep adequate staffing. In either account, it is important to strategically streamline staffing levels and cross-train employees to maximize versatility without compromising the quality of service. It’s a delicate balance, as being understaffed can cause you to lose business, and being overstaffed causes waste.

The first step towards optimizing your workforce is a careful examination of staffing levels. Consider the specific needs of your service department and evaluate whether your current staffing structure aligns with the demands of the business. Are there areas where roles might overlap, creating redundancy? Are certain positions consistently underutilized?

If you find that certain tasks can be efficiently handled by cross-trained employees or shared among team members, restructuring roles can lead to a more efficient and cost-effective workforce. Perhaps a valet can take on additional tasks such as installing wiper inserts, washing cars, answering phones, or pre-booking repair orders. This allows these individuals to provide additional value to clients and the service department during down time.

These strategies have always helped to solve staffing challenges, but absenteeism has increased post COVID requiring approximately 10% more staff than before. The more you prepare your service team to take on tasks across the board, the less impact these absences will have on business.

Inventory Management

An optimized parts inventory is the key to a thriving service department. The key is to strike the right balance between having enough stock to meet customer demands promptly and avoiding the pitfalls of excess inventory. Regularly analyze historical usage data to identify trends and forecast future demand accurately.

Dealerships must optimize the inventory for the high-demand items, ensuring availability without tying up capital in slow-moving parts. Parts managers should also stay on top of obsolete stock, which ties up valuable shelf space and capital, impacting the bottom line.

Implementing just-in-time inventory practices ensures that parts arrive precisely when they are needed, minimizing the need for extensive on-site storage. This approach reduces carrying costs and the risk of parts becoming obsolete before they are used.

Equipment and Technology

Investigate how evaluating the efficiency of current tools and investing in cost-effective, high-quality technology can not only enhance productivity but also contribute to long-term cost savings.

Technicians can actively assess the speed and accuracy of their current tools to determine if there is more efficient equipment on the market, but service managers have the ultimate responsibility to stay abreast of the new tools and technology available. Upgraded technology can significantly reduce diagnostic times, increase technician productivity, and enable proactive identification of potential issues. Benefits can include reduced labor expenses, heightened service capacity, and preventive maintenance opportunities.

Improving Operational Efficiencies

Streamlining Workflow

Efficient service processes are the heartbeat of a successful department. Mapping and optimizing these processes, along with implementing efficient scheduling systems, will help your team reach its full potential.

This commitment to process optimization and strategic scheduling empowers the team to operate cohesively and increases reliability and customer service operation within the dealership’s service department.

Preventative Maintenance

Explore the benefits of regular equipment maintenance and the implementation of predictive maintenance strategies to prevent costly breakdowns, ensuring your service department operates seamlessly. By adhering to a proactive schedule of inspections and upkeep, the department can avoid these predicaments. 

TVI MarketPro3’s Vice President of Sales, Nick Shaffer, recommends service leaders stay on top of the following inspections:

  • calling out annual inspections of vehicle lifts
  • regular calibration of emissions equipment
  • cleaning brake lathes
  • keeping software updated on all PCs
  • confirming proper operation of all safety equipment especially fire extinguishers and eye wash stations.

This practice ensures that every piece of equipment operates at peak efficiency, minimizing downtime, and maximizing overall productivity.

Cost-Effective Training

Continuous employee training is an investment in long-term success. Delve into strategies for leveraging online resources and in-house programs to keep your team skilled and adaptable, contributing to sustained cost savings.

Sustainable Cost Reduction

Negotiating with Suppliers

The relationships you build with suppliers can significantly impact your bottom line. Learn how to secure better deals and establish long-term partnerships, creating a foundation for sustainable cost reduction. Shaffer recommends starting with your aftermarket chemical supplier, detail department supplier, and oil supplier.

Energy Efficiency

By incorporating energy-saving initiatives and embracing eco-friendly practices, your dealership not only cuts operational costs but also aligns with the growing consumer preference for environmentally conscious businesses, showcasing a commitment to sustainability that resonates positively with customers and stakeholders alike.

SlipNGrip.com suggests some ways to help in these efforts such as buying in bulk, using products made from recycled material, using energy efficient lighting and equipment, properly disposing of hazardous materials, and using non-toxic paint, cleaners, and other chemicals.

Proven Marketing Strategies

Customer Retention Programs

Explore the importance of retaining existing customers through loyalty programs and incentives. Strategies that foster long-term profitability by creating a loyal customer base will boost your revenue.

Targeted Marketing

Save marketing dollars with data-driven marketing strategies. In other words, don’t cast a wide marketing net hoping to draw in your ideal customer. TVI MarketPro3 uses the power of data to find the customers in your market that drive your dealership’s make of vehicle, then reaches them with customized offers. This proven strategy ensures dealerships are getting the most out of their marketing investment.

Balancing Cost-Cutting with Revenue Growth

Dealership leaders must understand the importance of strategic decision-making and discover areas where cutting costs can enhance overall service quality. It’s a strategic approach to achieving sustained profitability for your dealership. By embracing these strategies, dealership leaders can confidently steer their service departments toward success.

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