AUTO CRAFTSMEN Innovator: Amy Mattinat Location: Montpelier, Vt. Size: 3,100 square feet Average monthly car count: 242 Annual revenue: $1 million
According to Auto Craftsmen owner Amy Mattinat, 90 percent of the time that something goes wrong in a shop, it is due to miscommunication. Mattinat was first inspired to create the system after she noticed a couple of instances where the back of the shop was not aware of a “waiting” customer job. Mattinat got her staff together to address the lack of communication between the front and the back, and came up with a system that would alert everyone in the shop of important situations: waiters, unsafe vehicles that required a liability disclaimer, core parts, and VIP customers.
What It Is
Stamped repair orders
What It Does
Communicates the needs of specific jobs to both the front and the back of the shop.
How It's Made
Mattinat ordered specialized red stamps from a local stamp vendor, but says the stamps can be specially ordered from a number of different places. The stamps, which have the ink inside and do not require a pad, make labeling as easy as possible for her staff. She custom ordered her stamps to say the following: “Waiting,” “Not Safe—Needs Disclaimer,” “Core,” and “VIP.”
Once the stamps came in, the service advisors and technicians began using them to communicate the needs of the vehicle on the repair order. Mattinat says that the red color stands out from anything else on the repair order.
Each of the stamps that Mattinat ordered cost $35. She’s had the stamps for two years and has not had to replace one yet.
Lack of communication leads to cores being missed and liability forms getting left off necessary vehicles, Mattinat explains. Each time a core is missed, the shop loses out on $20-$50. Taking that into account, Mattinat says that the stamps pay for themselves within one to two jobs. Beyond that, the “Not Safe—Needs Disclaimer” stamp has helped ensure that customers are aware of the state of the vehicle that they are driving off in, which has prevented the shop from being held liable. Without proper communication, it’s easy for a service advisor to forget to put a liability form on a vehicle, explains Mattinat. The repercussions of that could result in costly lawsuit or possibly losing your business, she explains. Mattinat also adds that the “VIP” and “Waiting” stamps improve CSI and help retain customers.