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April 30, 2016

In regards to choosing between changing the oil for individuals driving their personal SUVs and for fleet delivery vehicle managers one has to think about the time, not only the amount of money charged per vehicle. It might be enticing to alter the oil for V-8 SUV owners at $45.00 a pop, as opposed to handle the cutthroat competition of bidding on fleet oil change services, but you have to keep in mind a very important factor; "The Money Is In the Time and Process, Not the Unit Charge Rate," so, let's talk.

You see, shortly ago, I was reminded of the importance of production in the services business, when I was asked by way of a start-up entrepreneur of on-site auto maintenance. He asked point blank; "Exactly how many oil changes could be completed by way of a decent crew (I am assuming 2 individuals to a crew/truck) in an 8 hour day utilizing your trucks and methods? gps vehicle tracking system"

Okay, here is my experience; with full production - Six Sigma style - vehicles in a line (fleets) the clear answer is 100s with a staff of three. Personal cars, many different, you need very competent auto mechanics with experience 5-6 each hour with 2 people maximum. Obviously, there is more to the story, actually his next question was even blunter and I must say right on target too; "Do the trucks you use work with one vehicle at a time or multiple at the same time?"

When doing fleets you use an assembly line methodology, so first, you start the motors on five vehicles, nevertheless, you pop the hoods on 15 in the row. After 8-minutes, you turn off the initial five, start the second five, drain the initial five drain plugs, you get the idea. Or, you use evacuation systems. It's an activity, the money is in the "time" not the job or cost per unit. Travel time is job time in addition, including chasing parts, filters - especially when you're paying automotive technicians to fetch oil filters, fuel filters, and such important tracking software.

Indeed, I've always instructed our crews on the need to honor the idea of JIT - just with time inventory, that's to state have the supplier, NAPA Auto Parts for example, deliver the filters had a need to the job site, why pay to stock the filters, inventory them, transport them, when these auto part companies deliver and can do anything to earn your company? If you are likely to run a car business whether you are dealing with private owners of SUVs or those in control of large fleets of vehicles, you then need to operate it with production in mind. Please contemplate all this and think on it.

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