Running a Shop Operations

Less is More—More or Less

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You’ve likely heard some version of it from various people at different points in your career—maybe you’ve even said it yourself a time or two (dozen)—but the famous quote goes something like, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t measure it.” Some people attribute that quote to the renowned consultant and educator Peter Drucker (though it’s not exactly what he said). Others have different sources for it. I like to pretend that Abraham Lincoln said it; who’s more trustworthy than Honest Abe?

Anyway, the point here is that in business, it’s critical to have key metrics that indicate the performance of your operations—key performance indicators (KPIs) that help you make informed and progressive decisions to maximize your business’s potential. For the past several years, we’ve tracked those metrics, amongst other items, through our Ratchet+Wrench Industry Survey. With the assistance of our wonderful readers, who willingly (and anonymously) share their numbers with us, we help to build a snapshot of the independent auto service provider that simply isn’t available anywhere else. 

Through analyzing the data, our team is able to better understand both the pain points and successful strategies that many across the country see on a daily basis. It informs our decisions in creating content to help you further your business, and it allows us to share that data through the report we release each year.

This month’s lead feature, “The $3 Million Shop,” utilizes our survey results and was shaped by some of those findings I mentioned. In the piece, our R+W team looks at how three very different, single-location shops in three very different markets reached a significant business milestone. The piece is packed with different strategies and processes that each business has utilized to get there, and that’s really where the larger takeaway is: Growth and opportunity come through streamlining and maximizing efficiency. Ultimately, the goal is to do more with less … so that you can eventually do more. 

    While it might not be the sexiest topic or everyone’s favorite part of running a business, understanding, tracking and making decisions based on your numbers is critical to long-term success. I’m certain Honest Abe would agree.

Bryce Evans

Vice president, content and events

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2017 Shop Performance Survey: Complete Report

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2015 Ratchet+Wrench Shop Performance Survey: Complete Report

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