Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 4

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

AT YOUR SERVICE

 New guy's invitation: Join the crowd talking fixed ops in our pages

E

specially for a first-time visitor,
the Specialty Equipment Market
Association show seems designed
to overwhelm your senses.
SEMA is enormous, crowded, loud, brash,
chaotic - and, once you get the hang of it, a
lot of fun. It probably wouldn't work as well
anywhere else as it does in Las Vegas.
My tour of the trade show last month provided an explicit reminder that the auto
products on display - aftermarket accessoDAVID
ries, parts, tools, components - make up a
huge industry, amounting to tens of billions
KUSHMA
of dollars a year.
dkushma@crain.com
And for franchised new-vehicle dealerFixed Ops Journal
ships, this industry is just one of the eleeditor
ments of their fixed operations, along with
customer-pay maintenance and repair, factory warranty and recall work, collision repair and reconditioning.
It's no secret that service, parts and body shop sales contribute the
largest share of a typical dealership's total gross profit - 48.5 percent
this year, the National Automobile Dealers Association calculates, nearly as much as new-vehicle (26.3 percent) and used-vehicle (25.2 percent) sales combined.
And as industry projections show new-vehicle sales and profits continuing to stall and even decline for the next several years, dealerships
will be relying even more on their service departments to keep them in
the black.

Specialty tool
That's why Automotive News believes that fixed operations deserve a
publication all their own. As this issue of Fixed Ops Journal ends our
second year, I've assumed the role of editor.
My predecessor, Dave Versical - who remains director of editorial
operations at Automotive News - is a formidably tough act to follow. If
I'm to have any hope of following adequately in Dave's footsteps, I'll
need the help of this magazine's expert, influential and articulate (not
to mention good-looking) readers.
I, and your fellow readers, want to hear from everyone at dealerships
who make their service departments work, from dealer principals to
lube techs. You're invited to share your thoughts and experiences on a
broad range of issues.

PAGE 4

DECEMBER 2017

Such as: What are your dealerships doing now to prepare for the notso-distant day when your shops will routinely work on electric and autonomous vehicles?
What are you doing to develop, recruit, train and keep productive service advisers and technicians? Have you rewritten your pay plans for
these employees? Do your hiring practices include tapping nontraditional sources, rather than just raiding the store down the street?
Are you partnering with community colleges or other educational institutions to train tomorrow's technicians? Do you operate your own
formal program of tech education and training? What can your colleagues learn from what you're doing?
Do you run a dedicated quick-service lane? A body shop? What tips
would you offer about making such operations not only manageable
but profitable? Same goes for your reconditioning practices.
Which tools of the trade - shop equipment, diagnostic tools, fixed
ops software - can't you do without? What are your winning strategies
for selling parts - over the counter, online and everywhere in between?

OEMs, vendors, check in
We also want to hear from fixed operations folks at automakers. How
are you and your retail networks working together to improve the quality, contain the cost and enhance customer approval of service at dealerships?
Vendors, please let us know of the new and improved products you're
offering to help dealership service departments do a better job. We
won't publish your press releases, for free or a fee; that's someone else's
business model. But we want to hear what you're doing to help fixed operations evolve at a time of vast and rapid change in the North American
auto industry.
We're gratified to hear so many of our readers tell us that reviewing
Fixed Ops Journal every other month, and consulting our website and
social media pages, make a valuable contribution to the success of your
business.
We plan to offer a number of refinements and innovations next year
aimed at making our coverage even more useful, notably themed issues
and regular webinars on hot fixed ops topics.
If you have answers to the questions I've raised here, ideas for stories
you'd like to see, or thoughts and suggestions to make our coverage
even more essential, please contact me at dkushma@crain.com. Or you
can write a letter to the editor at foj@autonews.com.
One more thing: All of us at Fixed Ops Journal wish you happy holidays and a productive 2018. 



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

Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Big verdict
Ho-ho-ho
Battery charge
Price is right
Tomorrow’s techs
Selling accessories
SEMA dreams
To the rescue
Profit Builder
Richard Truett
On the line
Letters
Real time
Feedback
After hours
Efficiency expert
Longer lasting
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Big verdict
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 11
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Ho-ho-ho
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Battery charge
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 18
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Price is right
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Tomorrow’s techs
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Selling accessories
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - SEMA dreams
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - To the rescue
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Profit Builder
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - On the line
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Real time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - After hours
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Efficiency expert
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Longer lasting
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover4
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