How to Invest in the Right Automotive Tools and Automotive Equipment

If you own or operate an automotive service center, then you know the importance of keeping costs low. Not only is this important to you, but in a day where fuel costs are rising, and insurance premiums aren’t getting lower, this is even more important to your customer. Car owners that are looking to have their vehicle serviced are doing so in an economy today that is tough. What they want and need from a good service center is low costs, quality parts, and mechanics that can get the job done right the first time. An auto service center is only as good as its reputation, and this is an industry where the stigma of con artists hoping to make a quick buck is high. You don’t want that to be you if you want your service center to be busy. You are in the business of making people’s lives easier, by providing quality service that keeps their vehicles safe, and their wallets in good shape. How you do this is by investing in the right automotive tools and automotive equipment to keep your costs down. When your costs are down, you can pass those savings on to your customers who will not only keep coming back to you, but send you everybody they know as well.

Customer satisfaction starts with having the right automotive tools. Investing well in these tools is the most important start to increasing your customer satisfaction. You will keep a large client base and a busy shop by ensuring your mechanics are superior, and are using superior tools and equipment. The best way today to find superior automotive tools and equipment is by shopping online and comparing prices. You don’t always want to go with the lowest costs, as very often these costs translate into poor quality. You want a parts and equipment provider that has stood the test of time in both of the same things that are important to you, quality AND cost.

There are a number of different automotive tools and equipment you will need in your service center. Investing well will go a long way towards keeping your shop open and busy. When you buy the wrong tools, or order poor quality parts, your business will suffer. Items such as auto lifts, air compressors, lubrication, wheel balancing, tire changers, and service and exhaust equipment just to name a few. The most popular forms of auto lifts are two posts, although you can purchase four posts or mid rise or turf products as well. Safety standards will be ensured by the manufacturer. Air compressors can be run on either electric or gas power, and in some cases diesel. These are just a few of the examples of standards to look for when purchasing automotive equipment.

When you are shopping online for automotive tools, you want a supplier with a wide range of product choices in each of these categories. This will enable you to choose the quality you need and want to run a successful service center. Distributors that offer minimal choices may give you the best deal, but they may not give you the best product. You also need a distributor that has stood the test of time in their business. Businesses that have only been open for a few years may not have the quality standards you seek. At the end of the day, when you buy automotive equipment, you are buying equipment that will keep others safe on the road. It is an investment that will lead to your long term success.

5 Automotive Industry Trends Which Will Put Pedal to Metal

A new technological decade has unfolded, and businesses are gearing up to keep pace with the emerging trends and evolving user requisites of this era. Industry giants are claiming to have their strategies in place, in order to mitigate any risks which the year 2013 may pose. But are all industries indeed ready?

As of March 2013, the US automotive industry has recorded a sale of 3,689,089, but will the pace be maintained throughout? Are mobility firms prepared for the next decade? In order to determine this, automakers will need to keep an eye in the emerging trends of the industry and adopt them into their business models. Here are 5 key trends which every mobility firm must be mindful about as it strategizes for the upcoming financial year.

Governments will regulate the need for safer and cleaner transportation. As far as secure individual mobility is concerned, governments are currently focusing on three core areas- environmental compatibility, preservation of resources and safety. This will prompt original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to render a diversified range of safer and cleaner vehicles, especially zero-emission transportation. While, consumers will weigh their vehicle-buying decisions based on penalties and incentives at their disposal.

New players will set foot in the automotive sector. The evolving consumer needs, introduction of Automotive IT solutions and advancing technology have paved way for new entrants to set foot in the mobility market. Even non-automotive firms are rendering services like mobility integration, car-sharing and ‘black box insurance’ based on usage, which decides the premium limit based on electric vehicle integration, real-time evaluation of driving performance and advanced car entertainment systems. The evolution of these new business models will allow the new players to become an integrated part of the traditional automotive value chain.

Automotive marketing will get an edge with social media initiatives. The marketing trends in the automotive industry have witnessed a major shift. From showcasing a gleaming car in a 30-second slot, the means of marketing have become more social. Lately, consumers have been doing a thorough research before deciding upon which vehicle to invest in. Social media platforms have facilitated the access to a plethora of information, including perceptions and opinions of other consumers. Buyers are resting their decisions on reviews which they acquire from influential blogs and websites, other consumers and news features- sources on which the mobility firms can’t exercise any control. At the same time, OEMs are harnessing social platforms to develop closer bonds with consumers. They are adapting to the paradigm shift and utilizing it to market their products to a wider audience base.

OEMs will look forward to rationalizing their portfolios. Post surviving the recession blues, most OEMs will shift their focus from volume to sustainability and profits. Emerging OEMs will look forward to climbing up the scale as soon as possible, by either acquiring in their home market or eyeing the developed nations, in order to build a global presence.

Globalization of the sector will result into emergence of new risks. Globalization is paving way for new risks and OEMs are continuously devising radical operational strategies in order to mitigate these risks. Whether it’s the volatile prices of raw materials and misalignment of demand and supply, or it’s the shortage of qualified workers and changing regulatory prices, automotive firms are facing a reality check pertaining to their globalization efforts. In the wake of these challenges, industry must gear up to implement mitigation strategies in order to simplify the adaption of the value chain. And implementation of automotive software solutions is being viewed as one of the prime solutions to these challenges.

Planning is the key to success in the times to come. The automotive industry needs to study the evolving trends circumspectly and prepare their business strategies accordingly.

Enjoying a Career in Automotive Customer Service

If you enjoy working with the public, and if you love cars, you may want to take the time to learn more about the Advanced Automotive Service Advisor diploma programs offered by many automotive schools. Designed to prepare students for the front lines of the automotive industry- interacting with customers on a daily basis- the programs contain both theoretical and practical components to ensure that graduates are prepared to excel in the automotive market, either as Service Advisors, or as Parts Consultants. Specific skills taught to students include:

Time management
Automotive systems
Effective communication skills
How to resolve customer conflicts
Management of invoices, inventory, and warranties
Customer service and customer care
Basic operations of a dealership

Diplomas for Advanced Automotive Service Advisor programs always place a strong emphasis on learning software systems in computer labs. Competent software skills are key in any profession, and the ever-changing automotive industry is no exception. Often, a student will spend up to 50% of their time learning the systems which are the backbone of today’s car dealerships. Examples of software systems which are taught to Service Advisor and Parts Consultant students are:

The Reynolds & Reynolds® dealership system
Automotive Business Management Systems (ABMS)
The Snap-On Shop Key estimating tool
The International Parts Corporation (IPC) parts catalogue system

No Advanced Automotive Service Advisor diploma program would be complete without hands on study. Typically, students begin learning the basics of customer service in a simulated parts and service counter with multi-faceted role-playing. Students are exposed to typical customer interaction scenarios in order to develop their skills and increase their comfort level with public interaction. Constant feedback is provided by teachers to ensure that students learn how to adapt to the dynamic service department of a car dealership. Next, students take part in a mutli-week on-site internship where they are placed in an actual dealership. This phase of a student’s learning is critical, as they gain invaluable experience, make contacts, and learn what life as a Service Advisor or Parts Consultant is really like. Many students appreciate this real-world experience, and consider it an integral part of their education.

Throughout their program, students are encouraged to interact with their teachers, all of whom will have solid practical experience as well as sound theoretical knowledge. In the end, an Advanced Automotive Service Advisor diploma student can expect to graduate with the kind of training needed to be successful in today’s automotive market.