Management trainer Bob Greenwood has put out a call for reader questions… and they’re rolling in! He’ll be offering his perspectives in an upcoming series of videos.
If you’ve got an issue or concern, or you’re just curious about how some of the numbers in your business come together, feel free to send in your question– either directly to Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the comment section below.
Here’s a question from Eric Mileham, owner of Green Tree Auto Care in Orangeville, Ont.
What do you think the minimum number of bays will be in five years?
Bob will offer a full answer in the next season of Greenwood’s Garage, but for now, here’s a teaser. Bob writes:
Eric this is a great question. Realistically, we can expect a consolidation within the independent aftermarket over the next few years. The select few who truly “get” the big picture will have a great career and profession. I believe shops will need a eight to 10 bays to be profitable. This will include at least one or two very clean diagnostic bays where programing and vehicle “calibration” will take place.
I don’t see the independent aftermarket working on all makes and models for much longer. In fact the decision of which two or three brands shops choose to specialize in should be answered within the next 12 to 18 months. The reason for this is simple. We are seeing very complex vehicles with hundreds of millions of lines of software code. The amount of training and equipment needed to effect repairs will be extremely high. Technicians will essentially be highly paid software analysts. They will have to understand the software platforms on these high-tech machines. How will any shop realistically be able to look after all makes and models?
This means the owner must learn truly how to be a CEO and run the company and instill a learning culture and accountability.
It also means relationships with other shop owners will change. Independents may have to start looking after each other’s clients. If your client has two vehicles, and you only handle one of the brands, you may end up taking that off-brand vehicle to a peer who specializes in it. In return, that shop owner will send you the off-brand vehicles that he doesn’t handle.
Bigger shops and more cooperation? Yes, the aftermarket is certainly going to change!
Thanks for your question.
Stay tuned to Greenwood’s Garage, here on AutoServiceWorld. And send in your own question for Bob!