Looking For Solutions

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Shop operators are an innovative bunch. They excel at finding solutions to problems, big and small. From inventing a hand tool to improve a specific repair procedure to overhauling shop-wide communications to improve efficiency and workflow, problem solving is in their nature. If you’re nodding your head right now—and I hope you are—I want to hear from you.

You might have noticed that we (quietly) launched a new section earlier this year called Solutions. The purpose is to shine a spotlight on the shop-created tools, equipment and processes helping to run better auto care businesses across the country. The key here is solutions created by shop personnel. Might be a technician, a service advisor, bookkeeper—might be you.

A few examples from previous issues: using traffic lights to alert staff of productivity levels, a digital display board used to educate and market to customers, innovative parts organizing cabinets, and using brake rotors to stabilize oil catchers.

This month, we feature a “car noise identifier” a shop developed to help customers explain what’s wrong with their vehicles.

“Rather than having the customer check a box that says ‘CV Axle is clicking,’ which is too technical, they can select a noise that they are familiar with and have heard before,” says Rick Bilger of Advanced Auto Pro in Greeley, Colo., who came up with the concept.

I’d venture to guess that nearly every shop in America has innovated at one point or another; has come up with a tool or system to improve business. Share yours at ratchetandwrench.com/solutions and we might feature it in a future issue.


Jake Weyer, editor

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