Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 30

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

HARVEY
continued from Page 28

Preparing for the storm
Two suburban Houston dealerships, Gay
Buick-GMC and Gay Family Kia, were hit
hard by Hurricane Harvey. But the dealerships' hurricane plan helped limit the
damage and hasten their recovery. Their
plan offers ideas that other dealerships,
including their service departments, can
use to prepare for a natural disaster and
prevent losses. Its key recommendations
 Create/update list of employee phone
numbers and email addresses.
 Ensure that all employees know how to
contact their supervisor after the storm.
 Secure the service department, parts
desk and body shop.
 Work with service technicians to secure
their tools.
 Secure trash cans, banners, loose
materials and equipment.

chest, soaking everything and doing $20,000
worth of damage.
"I cleaned what I could," Hudson told Fixed
Ops Journal. "But I lost my Snap-on electric
drill and voltmeter, as well as a Matco electric
impact wrench. They're ruined."
McRee Ford's free-standing Quick Lane center
and its 14 service bays were inundated by 3 feet
of water. The dealership has moved express-service operations into the main shop while the
Quick Lane is gutted and rebuilt. McRee's collision center was closed for five weeks.
Cindy Bates, a parts counter employee at the
dealership, says McRee's main parts operations and inventory fared
well, adding that the parts department went back to work soon after
the floodwater in the main shop was removed.
The dealership's foresight in moving parts that were stored at or below knee height to higher locations, and putting containers of motor oil
on lifts that then were raised prevented even more losses, Bates says.

Fire and rain
Directly across Interstate 45 from McRee Ford are Gay Buick-GMC
and Gay Family Kia. The damage there largely mirrored the loss inflicted on the Ford dealership.
But Gay Buick-GMC took an additional hit. A short circuit in a customer's service vehicle sparked a fire that gutted a dealership shop
building.
Billy Moore, Gay's fixed operations director, says he is buying equipment to replace what he estimates were $280,000 in destroyed tools at
the Kia dealership and $560,000 for ruined gear at the Buick-GMC store.
Moore says Harvey took its greatest toll on the dealerships' employees and customers. "Some employees lost everything they had," he
says. "Two technicians stayed with me in our home."
Employees continued to be paid even if they were stuck at home, unable to get out because of flooded streets or their need to deal with
storm damage and losses, Moore adds.
He acknowledges that some service customers whose vehicles were
ruined while in the shop were not happy - especially when they were
reminded that in natural disasters, the vehicle owner's auto insurance
covers losses.
Similarly, mechanics are responsible for insuring their own equipment and tools. While some service techs affected by Harvey had such
coverage, and a few put their toolboxes on lifts in advance, others
didn't buy insurance for damage.

Disaster plan
The Gay dealerships had a storm plan (see box, above) to which employees contributed, limiting losses. But in the weeks after the floodwaters receded and power was restored, service business at the BuickGMC dealership was slow, says General Manager Kevin Lardie.
The dealership posted signs announcing that the service department
was open. By early October, Lardie says, the shop was back to full capacity. Service business was about 75 percent of what it was before Harvey
struck, hampered by a temporary shortage of loaner vehicles, he adds. 
PAGE 30

OCTOBER 2017

 Before the storm hits, encourage service

customers to pick up their vehicles and
return loaners. Move remaining vehicles
to safe locations, away from low ground.
 Store in a vault all keys and information
about service and sales customers,
bailments, pending transactions and
dealership phone system.
 Back up servers, computers and dealer
management software. Secure IT
infrastructure. Create list of what steps
must be taken to bring systems back up,
and distribute it to key personnel.
 Unplug, cover and elevate all computers,
phones, copiers/printers and TVs.
 Compile list of important phone numbers
for power, phone and cable/Internet
service and disaster recovery and
contractor services.
Source: Gay Buick-GMC/Gay Family Kia

IRMA

continued from Page 28

better service operation."
Keys Auto Center, part of the Warren Henry Automotive Group, sells Toyota, Ford, Dodge, Jeep,
Chrysler and Ram vehicles in Key West. The dealership endured damage to its parts department, says
Fixed Operations Manager Jose Buergo.
"We had some customers whose cars were left Germain: Store
avoided flooding
behind for service," Buergo says.
"We were waiting for parts, and they were in rental cars for almost a month because we weren't able to do business."
On Florida's Gulf Coast, Germain Lexus of Naples is replacing the
dealership's car wash overhang, damaged by flying palm fronds, says
General Manager Zach Germain. The dealership was closed from Sept.
6 until Sept. 15, he adds.
"We were very fortunate," Germain says. "Things would have been
very different if that storm surge had happened, because we are not
very far from the water."
Farther inland, the ceiling collapsed at Alan Jay Chrysler-DodgeRam-Jeep of Clewiston, but "the service area is fine," says General
Manager David Garcia.
"We are going to rebuild, which should take about a year," Garcia
says. "So this is really a blessing in disguise."
In Tampa, storm damage to dealerships was relatively minor. Power
outages posed a greater threat to service and other operations, according to dealership officials.
In the Miami suburb of Florida City, the service area of Largo Honda
played an unusual role in the aftermath of the hurricane. Rick LeMaire,
the dealership's general manager, says it became "a kitchen at one end
and an animal shelter at the other" for displaced pets.
The dealership temporarily housed as many as 40 evacuees, including employees and their families, LeMaire adds.
Williamson Cadillac-Buick-GMC in Cutler Bay sustained minor
damage and quickly got back to business, says dealer Ed Williamson.
"Our service department is as busy as it ever has been," Williamson
says.
"We are in great shape. We continue to write a couple hundred [repair orders] a day, and everybody is working hard." 



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

Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Dealers vs. OEMs
Parts disposal
Chicago way
Certifi ed repairs
Richard Truett
After the deluge
Labor rates
Off lease, on the lot
Paragon model
Feedback
Net benefi ts
Sometimes on Sunday
Get ready
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 9
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Dealers vs. OEMs
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Parts disposal
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 14
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Chicago way
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 22
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Certifi ed repairs
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - After the deluge
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 30
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Labor rates
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Off lease, on the lot
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 35
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Paragon model
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Net benefi ts
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Sometimes on Sunday
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 41
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Get ready
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 43
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover4
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