I discovered a well-written, easy to read, instructional paperback written by Gary Vann, the VP of Sales and Marketing for Mighty Auto Parts, a nationwide Aftermarket maintenance parts distribution company located in the Atlanta area. Mr. Vann is obviously a sharp cookie, and the points in his tutorial are excellent.
Mighty developed a unique program for stocking and maintaining commonly used parts, so that parts employees do not have to order, stock, clean, or return these items — a weekly visit from a Mighty rep takes care of those requirements. Besides independent shops and quick service centers, new and used car dealers utilize Mighty’s tier-one parts on the non-franchise “other makes and models” they service from the used car list as well as service customers.
Mighty’s relationship with new car dealers extends to several dealer groups, which signed up to become Mighty distributors as well as users, and the company currently services over 300 new car dealers. I have visited dealers using the program and they were very satisfied with the service and prices (i.e. well less than $2 for an OE equivalent oil filter).
Git ‘er Done
The gist of The Vehicle Inspection Playbook is a study of the what, whys, and hows of creating additional sales through a thorough vehicle inspection process. While this technique is not a ground-breaking strategy, Mr. Vann’s approach makes an appealing case by addressing many myths surrounding this sometimes frustrating procedure.
Most dealer service managers have instituted some type of tech inspection program, but frankly I don’t see many yielding near the results the Aftermarket quick service centers are enjoying.
I had quite a few readers request my recent Quick Service Study (a comparison of your performance versus the Aftermarket), and this succinct instruction identifies what it takes to attain those profitable sales figures.
Fix Me, Fix Me
The booklet points out that the Car Care Council — www.carcare.org — discovered that out of every 100 vehicles, 38 needed an oil service, 54 had low tire pressure, 28 had cooling issues, 16 required an air filter change, 10 needed a brake fluid service, and 15 employed bad wiper blades. This same group inspected over 700 vehicles in 12 states, and 80% failed at least one part of the inspection they stated.
The real meat of this presentation is 15 important “plays,” which outline the planning, installation, and follow-up necessary to create an on-going effective inspection process. Mr. Vann lists a well-written, common sense approach which is right on target. As a professional management consultant for over 30 years, I was impressed with the pertinent suggestions and straightforward arrangement the information presents ??? the boy can explain stuff.
Chapter five features types and styles of inspection formats, as well as suggestions for wording, designed to influence customer thinking. An example is the proposal to consider “Service Alert” and “Courtesy Inspection” versus something like “Vehicle Condition Check,” which neither conveys urgency or level of service. There are some excellent examples of forms used in the Aftermarket, providing some stimulating approaches to mining for money.
Now for the really good news, simply enter www.MightyAutoParts.com into your browser and tell the Mighty folks where to send this little marvel — free, nada, no charge, nothing, gratis. But wait! They won’t even ask for your credit card number.
What else have ya’ gotten free lately?