Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 20

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

Focus group findings show that vehicle owners
cannot name the advantages of "genuine" parts.

Strategy #2: Provide express service --- now
When I look at a typical
dealership service department, I see three work clusters:
1. Express service: fluids, filters and wearables such as wiper blades. There is customer
demand for this service as long as it is fast,
cheap, good and requires no appointment.
2. Normal maintenance and light repair:
brakes, shocks, struts, tires and responding to
the service intervals documented in owner
manuals. Appointments are expected and
there is room for decent profits.
3. Heavy repair: the tough stuff. Customers
don't like to bring their vehicles in for heavy
repair because it is bound to be expensive.
Still, this is the work cluster where retailers excel: It is all about quality of repair and the abil-

ity to fix the vehicle right - and quickly - the
first time.
Dealerships that cannot handle the complexity of these three clusters will have traditional shops with unhappy, demoralized
staffs. That creates an opportunity for a competitor to segregate these operations, save
money and attract and retain happier staff.
As the metamorphosis in mobility changes
the character of our industry, the typical retail
service operation looks obsolete. Dealers
need to roll out remote express operations, focusing on cheap space, entry-level labor and
integrated service.
These express clusters will be just what the
doctor ordered for servicing fleet accounts.
They will enable high vehicle use via long
hours and great parts availability at a low cost.

For entry-level labor in express lanes, go after the same people whom Jiffy Lube attracts,
but give them a better career path to the other
service business clusters. These technicians
can tee up normal maintenance and light repair work for the main shop.
Automakers can merchandise the concept,
market the services, package the core processes and specify the core technology, as
Ford has done with Quick Lane. Retailers just
need to operate express service.
Dealers routinely object to the cost of quick
service, the need for a separate facility and
dedicated staff and the lower net profits that
result. But in the mobility future, these issues
will be washed away as express service provides the pathway to fleet accounts.
You can't afford not to do this.

Strategy #3: Fix your work force
Dealership service has
the reputation of being
high-cost because customer-pay labor rates routinely
exceed $100 an hour. Focus group findings
show that vehicle owners cannot name the
advantages of "genuine" parts; they think factory parts are the same as other parts, only
more expensive.
At the same time, service technicians are
desperately unhappy. They feel undervalued
and underappreciated, and generally hate
their jobs: On average, only about 15 percent

of techs say they would recommend their career to others.
Turnover among service advisers is high -
nearly 40 percent a year. Advisers leave in
frustration or are fired. The primary culprits
are poor customer satisfaction scores, inadequate revenue per repair order and bad luck.
None of this bodes well for the future of mobility, in which customers will be increasingly
cost-conscious and hard to please.
Medieval pay plans typically turn service
advisers into salespeople who get most of
their compensation from commissions and

gamed customer satisfaction surveys. Dealership service managers support the status quo
because it works at the moment.
But given the ever-increasing transparency
of service cost and related matters delivered
by the Internet, business as usual won't cut it
in the future.
Honda understands employee satisfaction.
The automaker requires its employees to take
pride, delight and joy in their work. The big
dealership groups should be able to do the
same for their service employees, given the
high caliber of their management.

Strategy #4: Scrap the old service lane
In the mobility age, dealers will need to give their
service customers seamless processes. Fleet owners will want low-touch, high-speed interactions. Car enthusiasts will desire a personalized experience.
To satisfy both sets of customers, we need to
automate - or eliminate - the traditional
service lane. We can end most of the inefficiencies we see in service scheduling, dispatching and handing off vehicles to the shop
by using sophisticated, integrated fixed operations technology.
That means, among other things, accommodating a reasonable and dynamic multipoint
inspection and scripting service advisers' interactions with customers.

PAGE 20

AUGUST 2017

We need to recognize customers' different
needs. We need to recognize different daily
service workload profiles.
We need to take advantage of telematics and
data that are easily accessible from the OBD-II
port. We need a tablet-based inspection that
can be used in express service and in the other
service work clusters.
And we need to sell only what won't get us in
trouble: Pushing flushes at 12,000 miles to
first-time customers will chase them away.
There is no such technology today. All dealers can do is choose among imperfect offerings - or choose not to participate at all.
Instead, retailers should use their dealer
councils to pressure automakers to force an
appropriate technology evolution. All they
need is cash and courage.

Automakers also can encourage the development of a stand-alone, Web-based dealership management system for fixed operations
that seamlessly integrates with independent
fixed ops technologies.
This isn't a priority for most automakers. Instead of helping design an optimal solution
with a single technology partner, most automakers host beauty contests among several
providers who do their best to deliver what
dealers want - not what they need.
An exception is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles'
Mopar, which co-developed the Dealer-FX
product and wrapped it into the wiADVISOR
service portal. Mopar is the benchmark for
leadership in fixed ops technology, but much
work remains to script the service adviser's
approach to customers.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017
Contents
Need a lift
Tire track
Mobility devices
Times to recall
Slick trick
Fatal fire
Players club
Online parts
Lean inventory
Loyalty test
Patent pending
Open minded
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Richard Truett
Feedback
Five Minutes With
Letters
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 9
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Need a lift
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Tire track
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 14
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Mobility devices
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 22
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Times to recall
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Slick trick
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Fatal fire
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Players club
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Online parts
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 35
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Lean inventory
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 37
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Loyalty test
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Patent pending
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 41
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Open minded
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Cover4
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