Great Labor Rates May Not be the Best Rates
Heavy truck and trailer repairs are expensive, not just for parts and labor. What about towing costs, mobile service calls, layover costs for drivers, and lost revenue from downtime?
Are we saying that we should be sympathetic toward truck owners and set our parts and labor rates low? Not at all, because in a truck owner’s mind low cost often equates to low quality.
Sure, you’ll always have some customers who want cheap rates. But ask yourself, do I really want to work for cheapskates who nickel and dime me every time they’re in the shop? And when it comes time to pay do they need extended credit to pay for the quality work you provide?
Cutting rates for customers like that can be a serious risk to your business. And it can become frustrating due to their lack of loyalty when they find a shop with even lower rates. Cutting corners in the interest of squeezing a profit can actually result in cheap repairs costing more in the long run. What kind of referrals will you get from a cheapskate? Birds of a feather…
It’s okay to set special rates for great customers, those who bring you not just repairs but more work like regular preventive maintenance, annual inspections, etc. Those are the kind of customers you want to build lasting relationships with because they bring value to your business. Those are the kind of customers who will refer like-minded friends to your shop.
FleetSquard by BrightOrder Inc. makes it a breeze to set and apply special rates for loyal customers. FleetSquared is a heavy-duty truck and trailer repair shop management program designed for small shops with a manager and up to 3 technicians. With a few clicks you can enter special rates negotiated with your best customers and those rates are applied to RO’s automatically and stored digitally.
Great customers want speed and accuracy and avoiding unnecessary downtime. They’re willing to pay for it. FleetSquared delivers. Technicians don’t lose sleep at night because they cut corners on maintenance and repairs. They spend no time handwriting RO’s and time sheets and more time performing actual repairs and maintenance. Productivity increases, costs decrease.
Know Your Costs
When it comes to negotiating rates you’ve got to go at it from a position of strength. We’re not saying you should strong arm your customers. Rather you must know all your costs and include them in your rate setting calculations. You must earn a reasonable profit for your business or your shop will fail.
Things like technicians’ wages, benefits, shop utilities and taxes, special tool costs, manager’s wages, back office costs, training costs. All these must be accounted for. Turn your back office over to FleetSquared and issue ROs and assign them to techs, track tech time, complete the RO’s, and email the invoice to the customer quickly and easily, eliminating the back office work.
If you want to grow your business you have to earn a reasonable profit on both labor and parts. FleetSquared can help. And best of all, it’s affordable. It comes with a 30 day free trial. Simply sign up via email and start your free trial today. We’re confident you’ll love how it simplifies your life.