Driving Fixed Operations Revenue with Process and Technology

It is clear to every dealership that fixed operations is a much needed profit center as well as the cornerstone for customer retention. Most automotive manufacturers assist their service facilities by offering a multi-point inspection form and supported process. These forms and processes have been in the marketplace for a good number of years and service managers and technicians have been talked with, trained, and provided incentives to perform the inspection on all vehicles in the name of profitability and customer retention.
In these troubled economic times, additional sales are vital. It is not just about selling, however; it is about the customer perceiving value in what they are being sold. The multi-point inspection process and form lend a hand in this endeavor by providing a tool for sales and a value proposition for customer retention. Consistent and accurate use of the multi-point inspection form is a key portion of the solution. At ETAS, we have created a solution that makes using the multi-point inspection form easier, more manageable and more consistent; leading to the profitability and customer retention desired.
Some of the roadblocks that are involved in implementing a paper based inspection process are:
·         The typical multi-point inspection is a manual, paper-based process. Most dealerships, however, operate using a computer system to manage the repair order process. This results in loss of accountability and control of the process, lost forms.
·          Inspections may be completed, but it is very difficult to measure if the advisors are actually selling the repairs effectively. The closing ratio for service advisors is not measurable with a manual process.
·         Report cards that are stapled to the back of the service ticket will move through service departments becoming greasy, damaged, or lost during the process. If the report card is shown to a customer, it looks unprofessional.
·         Technicians may not inspect all required areas. When presented to the customer, the inspection appears haphazard and does not add value.
A ‘State of the Art’ automated multi-point inspection solution has:
·         A web based interface, seamlessly integrated with the dealer management system.
·         Technology allowing a consistent inspection, including tracking of the technicians for compliance and sales consistency.
·         The ability to automatically add codes to the RO, based on selections of the inspection. This ensures that the customer is made aware of repairs needed on their vehicle. It also allows the advisor to work with the customer to plan future service visits and provides the value to an automated service reminder system.
·         Reporting of metrics that enable up-selling of repairs.
·         Automatic alert messages, so that an advisor will be notified of any vehicle conditions that require immediate attention.
Using technology to streamline and simply an effective multi-point inspection process will provide increased fixed ops revenue and satisfied customers.
Alan Tecmire is a senior account manager for ETAS, Inc. His responsibilities include global program manager for the DART system: a web-based Vehicle Multi-Point Inspection system.
Michael Benakovich is the president of t-bis, Inc. His expertise includes DMS process training and integration at dealerships. His company owns technology integrated within the ETAS DART system.




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