Recognized Supplier Guide ‘18

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8 THE SHOP AUGUST 2018 "We try to politely explain that our shop was built to take care of our customers," Zook says. "(There's a) good chance if that customer is thinking of a purchase that they are wanting to have installed, we will come to mind." Overall, he believes the policy has been good for business. "We've definitely avoided some sketchy installs over the years on no-name products or universal items the customer is insisting will be fine. Also, being able to get our (regular) customers taken care of in a time- lier fashion is definitely a plus." He advises other shop owners to spend some time considering their own stance on the topic. "Stand firm on your policy either way and know ahead of time which scenarios could possibly be an exception." YES, BUT YOU'LL PAY MORE In the Midwest, Auto Trim Design's mul- tiple outlets will serve customers who bring in their own parts—but they'll pay more to do so. "We have two shop labor rates," says Roger Dale, president/owner. "Rate #1 is for labor to install parts we are selling, or even to re-install parts we've sold in the past to a customer that has traded vehicles and simply wants to transfer it over to a new truck. Rate #2 is a higher rate we charge for parts purchased elsewhere." The point isn't to offend customers, he explains, but simply to make it worthwhile for the business to tackle such projects. "They need to realize that we have a fixed amount of overhead to cover, and part of our gross profits are negated when we do not sell and install the parts," he says. "We must realize enough income to cover expenses." Such requests occur maybe one or two times per store per week—and sometimes from an unexpected source. "We've noticed an uptick in our auto dealership customers purchasing spoilers for their cars online and asking us to do the install," he reveals. On the retail side, common inquiries include installation of suspension parts and audio equipment that has been taken out of another vehicle or bought at a pawn shop or garage sale. "We do steer clear of sketchy-looking electronics provided by the customer," Dale adds. "There's no need to waste a tech's time to install a problem." Count him among those who believe that the BYOP phenomenon can open the door to earning new business. "We've grown to realize that if we accom- modate customers carrying in their own parts, they're likely to return for a pur- chase at a later date," he says. "We don't encourage it, but by treating these cus- tomers with customer-supplied materials respectfully, we can gain additional sales either during their initial visit or at a later date." It can also be an upsell opportunity. "We try to keep a sufficient inventory in every department that allows us to turn these situations into an add-on sale," he continues. "If a guy brings his own nerf bars in, treat him nicely and tell him that he should buy some splash guards from you to keep mud and road debris off of them. Then charge him the higher labor rate on his nerf bar install and it's a win-win." Ultimately, Dale predicts, the trend will continue to grow. "As online sales increase, it's inevitable that customer-supplied materials are going to increase. Charge a higher labor rate for these sales and be prepared to tell the cus- B Y O P Regardless of your shop's stance on the issue, the BYOP phenomenon can open the door to new business opportunities by allowing you to explain your shop's offerings to current and potential customers. (Photo courtesy Auto Trim Design) You can bring your own parts to several Auto Trim Design outlets in the Midwest, but you'll pay a higher labor rate for installation. (Photos cour- tesy Auto Trim Design)

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