Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 4

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

DISRUPT YOURSELF

 Embrace service department change ---- or you'll get run over by it

Keeping pace
As if running a dealership weren't enough of a challenge already.
This issue of Fixed Ops Journal is filled with the voices of those who are
earnestly striving to keep pace today.
Mike Williams, group general manager of Yark Automotive in Toledo,
Ohio, tells me his group is now training service advisers. Yark had never
done that before.
Service adviser training is also on the agenda at Mazda North American Operations, says Senior Vice President Robert Davis. Mazda has
room to make big gains in selling accessories and boosting service satisfaction scores, too.
Chris Wilson, COO of Friendship Family of Dealerships in Bristol,
Tenn., rattles off a long list of parts and service issues that dealerships
- including his - have failed to master during seven years of rising U.S.
auto sales. With new-vehicle sales falling this year, there's more urgency
to take care of his fixed ops to-do list.
"We have to get the customer coming back constantly," he says. "We're
going to have to have a way more acute focus on fixed ops."

Embrace it
If only today's battles were all that needed to be fought. If you've been
listening to General Motors CEO Mary Barra and countless others, the
auto world is going to look a heck of a lot different a decade from now.
So instead of getting steamrolled by change, why not embrace it?

CORRECTION
A story on Page 44 of the August issue overstated the size of Porsche
North Houston's 60,000-square-foot building.

PAGE 4

OCTOBER 2017

Much is being made about subscription services that allow consumers to swap cars depending on their
whims or day-to-day needs. Flow
says dealers can be part of that.
They already manage service loaner fleets. With some imagination,
they just might find a way to generate
revenue from a transportation service model.
Why bother? Just consider the foundations of automotive retailing that
Flow has seen crumble over the years.
In the past, dealers were the leading
source of information about cars.
And they capitalized on that advan- Flow: Commit to retention.
tage.
They shrouded their showrooms in secrecy until new models made
their official debut. They distributed boxfuls of brochures - the only information consumers could get their hands on.
That's all on the Internet now. So what's the role of the dealership?
Consumers "want us to do all the work for them," Flow says. "They just
want to drive and enjoy their vehicles."
The key will be figuring out today's equivalent of those draped showrooms at the start of every model year. That's something only the dealership can provide.
"How do we engage our customers in such a way that we take care of
their cars and take care of their transportation?" Flow asks.
"That means we must make a radical commitment to customer retention. If we do this, we have a chance to recapture margin." 
JOE WILSSENS

D

on Flow rarely speaks publicly.
But he has a strong reputation
inside dealership circles, so it
was considered a coup when he
agreed to keynote Automotive News' Retail
Forum: Chicago this month.
Flow's words about service retention
should give everyone pause.
"We have some wonderful dealerships,"
the CEO of the 36-franchise Flow Automotive Cos. said. "But I can promise you, we've
DAVE
never had a customer who says: 'You know,
VERSICAL
Don? I bought this car from you so I can
dversical@crain.com
come to your service department.'"
Some of you might dispute this. Yet with
Director of Editorial
threats to the traditional dealership busiOperations
ness on every corner, it would be a mistake
to miss his larger point.
Dealers have a choice, Flow says: They can wait for third-party disruptors to reshape auto retailing, or they can do it themselves.

PERSONNEL
David Kushma, a former retail editor for Automotive News, has been named editor of Fixed Ops Journal.
Kushma, 62, has been a deputy editor of the magazine since June 2016 and led Automotive News' reporting of dealership issues from 2004 to 2009.
He also has served as editor of The Blade in Toledo,
Ohio, editorial page editor of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., and associate editor of the
Kushma
Detroit Free Press.
Kushma's experience at the Free Press also included an assignment as auto writer, covering General Motors. He previously was a staff writer at the Philadelphia Bulletin.
He will continue to report to Dave Versical, founding editor of Fixed
Ops Journal and director of editorial operations for the Automotive
News Group.
Kushma can be reached at dkushma@crain.com. 



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
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201708
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com