Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F14
FIXED OPS JOURNAL
Juan Hidalgo, a mobile
service technician for
Gus Machado Ford
Hialeah near Miami,
works on a vehicle
and then sanitizes it,
below, after service at
a customer's home.
MARK ELIAS PHOTOS
MAINTENANCE TO GO
Automakers, dealerships see mobile service as investment in customer loyalty
he new High-Roof Transit van that
arrived at Gus Machado Ford Hialeah, near Miami, in early March was
supposed to deliver service to the
dealership's fleet customers.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Big contracts, such as one with Miami-Dade County,
went dormant. Parts and service director Amable Valle turned his attention to taking repairs to individual customers' driveways.
The dealership sent emails to customers,
posted videos on its website and publicized its
mobile service van on social media. General
Manager Victor Benitez appeared on Spanish-language TV to tout the vehicle disinfection that comes with mobile repairs.
And while it's been a challenge luring some
customers, especially older people wary of allowing visitors onto their property, Valle is
convinced he's found a way for his service department to broaden its reach.
"We already do pickup and delivery, too," he
says. "It's just another thing we can provide to
Hundreds of jobs
Fixed ops consultant Jim Roche estimates
there are roughly 300 repair jobs that techs
can perform in a customer's driveway instead
of taking the vehicle back to the store. In addition to oil changes, they include airbag modPAGE 14
work desk, a dedicated Wi-Fi system and an
electric power generator to operate the equipment. It is able to perform routine maintenance and light repair services.
The van cost the dealership $100,000. Gus
Machado Ford pays a $499 monthly fee to the
automaker for services such as training, website instruction and software updates. It staffs
the van with one B-grade tech, paid hourly,
and occasionally a trainee.
Customers aren't charged for the mobile
service, but Valle says that could change with
demand. And once fleet customers return,
Valle says the dealership intends to serve
them along with individual customers.
"This is an ongoing investment for the dealership," he says.
ule replacements, computer reflashes and installation of maintenance items such as filters,
wiper blade and lights.
Meanwhile, mobile repair specialist yourmechanic.com - a competitor to the franchised dealership service model - promises
"over 500 car repair services at your home or
office" on its website.
The Gus Machado Ford van is equipped
with an Integrated Diagnostic System, a complete set of tools ($20,000 worth donated by
Ford), a lube skid, compressor, parts shelves, a
Ford was one of the innovators in the mobile
service field, first piloting a fleet of vans in the
U.K. as early as 2017. It then started a trial program with six dealers in the U.S. and slowly
opened the market to the 200 dealerships offering the service today.
"We are seeing a significant lift in customer
satisfaction scores from people who have utilized this service," says Nick Thomson, customer experience activation manager at Ford.
"We truly believe this is the future of customer
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Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F5
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