Step by step, number by number, Vin Waterhouse covered a lot of ground in his presentation “Financial Management for the Auto Repair Business” at Automechanika Chicago.
Waterhouse, a nationally recognized management consultant who works often with NAPA AutoCare Centers, led a pair of his popular presentations with the Automechanika Chicago attendees. Waterhouse provided a number of key benchmarks for shop owners and managers to take back to their shops and employ.
“If your sales are this, here’s what you should spend on wages, etc.,” he explains.
For example, Waterhouse says the top 25 percent of most profitable shops in the U.S. have a net profit that is 12.7 times higher than other shops with more than $26,000 less in sales. He let the attendees in on how those numbers can be accomplished by just reworking processes and approaches in the shop. Attendees filled in sheets with their own numbers versus targets and numbers of those top shops.
Tips he shared to then better those numbers included seemingly simple ideas like making sure you educate customers on the importance of being reachable after they leave their vehicle with you, so your technicians don’t lose time working on the vehicle. It’s just one example of office efficiency Waterhouse highlighted in the presentation.
On the technicians’ side, he also shared ways to implements a workflow system he has created, which he reports lead to better turnaround and better customer satisfaction.
Attendees at the end left with a unique website Waterhouse provided for additional information on using the key benchmarks.