Issue Date: Dealer Business Briefing July 1, 2010, Posted On: 7/1/2010
Dealer Business Briefing Case Study Car dealer needs a computer solution for his Quick Lube operation Here's the situation: One of our DealersEdge members, David Lieberman, has a 55-year-old Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge store currently running on the Reynolds DMS.
He wants to add Chrysler's Express Lane Quick Lube and asked Reynolds for a quote to add on the software. Reynolds quoted him $6,600 for set up plus $881/monthly after that.
That's out of the question for this dealer and he was wondering if we know of any add-on or plug-in options that would provide a simple "repair garage" program that one advisor would use. He also wants a daily activity report plus the ability to add this business to his DMS for reporting purposes.
So we asked several people who are knowledgeable in this part of the business what they would recommend.
Rob Campbell, a Dealership Consultant with Mironov, Sloan, and Parziale LLC (www.mspcpa.net) in Edison, NJ, said, "In R&R it is difficult because the sale type in CP will mean all of the CP work will be credited to the quick lane and there is no way that I know of to un-sync the ROs from the main shop (both will be writing out of the same pool of numbers). Of course, advisor codes will identify to us who generated the RO, but when we set up the Quick Lane pay type and then associate sale/cost accounts to the lane, I believe all CP work will then be credited to the lane even if the vehicle is routed into the regular shop for more involved repairs. Setting up a sale type and associating sale and cost accounts is a manual process but it can be done without the extra costs, I believe.
"That aside, the reports will be the same R&R reports but he would need to break-out by sale or advisor to determine the results of Quick Lane operations. Clearly, the numbers will all flow into the financial statement which may muddle benchmark comparisons. However, Chrysler does have quick lane accounts on the financial statement already. In fact, I would have him look and see what sale/cost accounts are pulling to accounts 558 and 576 now."
Don Tipton, president of Don Tipton Retail Consulting (www.dtcretailconsulting.com) notes that "a complete solution to the Quick Service software issue is one that I have not been able to solve. I am not as familiar with the Reynolds software as I am the ADP but they are usually close in function (and cost). Both are a very expensive way to address the challenge of a "quick" write-up.
"It has been my experience however that the quick write-up is not much better than the conventional repair order software that they are already paying for. I have worked with an Express Care operation that utilized Sage Quick-Touch. This system handles the write-up very efficiently and is exactly what the dealers are looking for. But, it does not interface with the main DMS. Service history and customer information must be recreated in the DMS.
"I have been involved with stores that used the following approaches to this challenge:
Utilize the DMS, try to reduce the number of key strokes by setting up quick-ops and parts kits. Reduce functions by turning off electronic dispatch or other options that require a Service Advisor to perform to open/close a repair order. Have a separate account for the quick service operation with its own setups.
Use a manual repair order at write-up and input data later into the main DMS.
Utilize software like "Sage" and manually input the data into the main DMS. It is most important that the service history is available for "ALL" Service Advisors to see whether in the Quick Service operation or in the main shop.
Another challenge is tracking up-sells related to performing an inspection. Unless the store has an outside software program such as MPi, the tracking of add-on services is difficult.
The first thing to do is set up special op-codes for the most common upsell items discovered during the inspection. For operations outside of these it becomes challenging such as a leaking intake manifold. This job will most likely be turned over to the main shop and may be performed at a later date (scheduled) and on a new repair order.
Manually tracking these upsells is probably the most accurate way and it's the way the Chrysler guys (Blake Price) install the program. A daily "felt tip" repair order review by the Service Manager is another way of documenting these upsells. Training a Cashier or some other person to review and identify upsells on the repair order is also an option. It gets complicated on jobs that are turned over because pay plans of the Service Advisors come into play.
The best way to accurately document these upsells without purchasing a program like MPi is to spiff the quick service Technician."
Ed Kovalchick, president of Net Profit Inc. (www.npinc.com), has a lot of experience with quick service operations and he takes and entirely different approach. Ed says, "I would use the (R & R) system as it is. It will report QS separately by Advisor and by Technician (income, gross, production, sales per, etc.) - the 3611 and 3612 reports do that. I'm not entirely sure why David would need to spend anything on software. I certainly wouldn't - I am sure he is paying plenty now. If he wants to isolate results even more, put it in the body shop accounts for each upsell and have them record that upsell manually.
Chuck Hartlé, president of PartsEdge (www.partsedge.com), certainly knows his way around the DMS and he agrees with Ed Kovalchick. "I understand what David wants, and again there is a "work around" from a Reynolds security standpoint without this. Dealership management can give access to the parts invoicing screen 2525 for this quick lube person to bill out the parts.
"We went through this same scenario with a dealer in Arizona. In fact, they went as far as to create a second inventory by creating what is called a "step make" and a specific source for parts sold through the lube department.
"In short, say you are a Chrysler dealer. The ReyRey make code for Chrysler parts is CH. You can, in program 2322, create a make CX, use the same accounting make as in CH, and now carry a completely separate inventory with the same part numbers, such as oil filters, air filters, spark plugs and such.
"When the main location restocks the lube department, they can sell out of the main location with a "U"nusual sale so as not to create history twice and then receipt it back into the CX make. This really helps when the inventory is short and to see if it came from the lube department or the main location.
"You can then create sale accounts for just the lube department and source account the CX make to track the sales separately, as he is wanting by even having a DOC in 0422. You can override the CX sources in 2571 and 3636 source accounting to accomplish this.
"The only real risk comes with making sure the lube person sells from the CX sources and not the CH sources and that is just a matter of education awareness and training. Oh, and they would have to "77" from service to parts, but 2525 would be simple enough and only two keystrokes to get there. Seems doable to me and certainly doable compared to the Reynolds price quote.
And leave it to Sandi Jerome, president of Sandi Jerome Consulting (www.sandijerome.com), to come up with an innovative low-cost suggestion. As Sandi notes, "There are some low cost solutions like NAPA that he could use, but he'll never be able to import into the R+R DMS. R+R does not allow that (thus the reason why they can charge so much.) The problem with using another program is that the customer service history would not be updated with the Quick Lube invoices and there would be a lot of data entry since none of his existing customers would be in the NAPA database (or parts.) It would be a poor solution.
"What I'd do instead is set up a small laptop with wireless on their network and use ERALink to write the Quick Lube Repair orders. David can use an existing session and shouldn't need to buy anything extra from R+R (similar to accessing from home.) If he doesn't have a body shop, then use department "B." All R+R reports can be run by department, so it will be easy to track the Quick Lube sales and do reporting."