Customer Review: Huber’s Garage

It’s so nice when a customer makes time to send you such good feedback on their project! Thanks so much Simon and we all wish you the very best with the new equipment!!

Hi Ashley ,
Thanks again for all your efforts with handling our new mot bays for the car and motorcycle departments.

It’s been a fantastic service from start to finish were extremely impressed with the way you organised all our applications and followed through the process.

It’s been great working with you guys and I’ll be highly recommending G-tech on to other members of the motor trade.

Again cheers for all you’ve done .

Simon Huber

Huber’s garage

Today’s blog article is driven by a visit to one of our customer sites yesterday to conduct a calibration on the equipment in the MOT bay.

Having arrived on site to do the work, our engineer was told that the calibration had already been conducted that morning by a local calibration agent. This for us is not a problem – customers have the right to select who they want to conduct works on their premises – however we always do insist (in-line with the DVSA regulations) that the calibration should be conducted as per the manual issued to the Garage Equipment Association.

It was quickly apparent in this instance that had not been the case.

The reason for being able to so quickly identify the problem is that the use of dynamic response code systems to unlock calibration menus have been present in some products since 2005. Simply by checking with the office it was possible to immediately identify that this brake tester had not been unlocked to allow a calibration to be conducted.

Our engineer then contacted the independent agent direct to ascertain how he had conducted his calibration.

The independents explanation was that he had put a weight had been put onto the torque arm and the display was used to judge if the unit was measuring weight correctly.

This does not constitute a calibration!

The very nature of a display is that the value shown on it must, to a certain extent, be interpreted as each LED signifies 5Kgf making it impossible to see the exact value being represented on the display.

Only by hooking the brake tester up to a laptop and then entering the calibration menu is is possible to firstly assess the accuracy of the measurement to allow adjustments to be made to the brake tester such that it is truly “calibrated”.

The sad thing in this situation concerns the regulations. By unknowingly believing that the unit had been calibrated, and having paid for such a service, the Authorised Examiner has left themselves wide open to non-conformance to the scheme (it remains the AE’s responsibility to ensure that all the equipment is calibrated correctly) – the independent agent has essentially “got away with it” or in this case “nearly got away with it” – as we took the original calibration record with us as evidence!

A positive slant on the opportunities of Brexit for the Independent Vehicle Repair Sector.

It seems that constantly we are being told of the doom and gloom of the UK’s recent Brexit vote so it certainly was a pleasant change to read this blog article by MOTASOFT which gives one highly plausible scenario suggesting silver linings rather than doom and gloom for the independent vehicle repair sector…


Brexit according to the man in the pub…

Well didn’t the Brexit vote catch many in the established order on the hop? Even if the pollsters couldn’t reliably measure and the pundits properly predict it, if the media had simply asked the man in the pub they would have likely have got the right answer 7 times out of 10. Despite this strong popular feeling on the streets outside of the of UK’s cities, the result was actually very close. Indeed statistically the result – 48.1% remain and 52.9% leave – means the outcome could almost have been decided by the toss of a coin.

From the Prime Minister to the 10 Downing Street cat, many in the Westminster bubble seemed to be totally unprepared for a majority of UK voters opting to leave the EU. Many critics of the state of politics today see this as a very visible sign of the disconnection between ordinary citizens and those that are meant to wield power on our behalf. Perhaps this turbulent time will change things for the better and lead to a ‘bloodless revolution’ in the way politicians listen to the concerns of ordinary people.

What does Brexit mean for the independent motor trade?

The inability for many to see the likely outcome of the EU referendum simply indicated the uncertainty attached to it. When we try to predict what will happen to the economy in the wake of the Brexit vote, then uncertainty is again the order of the day. This makes it hard to predict the impact on the real economy and its effects on independent motor businesses; however, here is one highly plausible scenario that suggests silver linings rather than doom and gloom:

    • Uncertainty causes people to defer major purchase decisions. As a result the new motor trade is likely to see a fall in luxury car sales as people keep hold of vehicles for longer
    • For independent garages this is likely to lead to more maintenance work for the upkeep of the vehicles people opt to hold on to
    • For those that need to purchase a vehicle but don’t want to commit to a new purchase used car sales become attractive and this could stimulate sales and P/Ex for independent garages
http://motasoft.co.uk/archive/brexit-the-independent-motor-trade-and-all-that?utm_source=Motasoft+Ltd+Product+Newsletter&utm_campaign=10e9a6781c-Brexit_blog7_26_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f297cebd5b-10e9a6781c-58949229

 

3 Questions to ask

Having been on sales visits and then been presented with a quote from a competitor; which implies that for the same money you can have the same quality equipment and at the same time get something FREE –  I was wondering what was driving this new approach to winning business…

We find this approach to winning business odd. It implies that the original quote doesn’t quite stand up on its own and requires bolstering in some way to make it look more attractive or, put another way, it shows a lack of conviction in the product and services offered.

After all, we all know the old adage “you get nowt for nowt in this life” … because it is true!

senior momentUnfortunately we are all sometimes blessed with those ‘senior moments’ when logic seems to fly out of the window and we can be won over by distraction.

That is a slightly unfortunate situation for GETECH to be in as we have nothing to really offer for FREE simply because the sourcing of good quality, reliable manufacturing comes at a price – a price that then does not facilitate the equipment being given away for free as part of a deal!

At GETECH we take a slightly more pragmatic approach to winning business and supporting our customers. Therefore we include items related to the actual purchase you are looking to make and we always quote for;

  • A complete bay of equipment with its introduction managed by a dedicated employee which allows your bay project realised in the shortest lead time possible.
  • We include free local authority planning assistance,
  • CAD plans – both of the installation but also the preparatory civil & electrical work,
  • Delivery,
  • Installation,
  • Certification
  • A 12 month calibration contract and
  • A 12 month service contract.
  • A 5 year extended parts warranty

So when presented with a quote offering FREE unrelated equipment ask yourself these 3 questions before you put pen to paper…

  1. If the physical equipment I want to buy is so good why am I being offered an unrelated product to get the deal?
  2. Am I making the investment in the equipment for the correct reason i.e it’s the main quote item the actual item I want to buy or am I seeking the FREE equipment on offer?
  3. How is the supplier able to offer the additional equipment for nothing?
    • Is the MOT bay cost over-inflated?
    • Is the quality of the free equipment poor?
    • Are the post-sale servicing and calibration costs where the lost profit of the free equipment is dragged back?

For more information on GETECH call during office hours, visit http://getech.org.uk or mail info@getech.org.uk.

The truth is we’ve all been there… A great headline offer followed up swiftly by the disappointing bottom line close. Its enough to make you mad!

It’s the main reason that we treat our customers in the way that we ourselves would wish to be treated i.e. with honesty even if at times this means hearing news we fear.

That’s why when we scrape through the glossy headlines and get down to the ruthless analysis of the facts we often discover that often the headline figures is either not achievable or, frankly speaking, misleading.

So why is this the case?

In the end I guess that we are all “good news” people – who wants to be a perpetual Mr Grumpy viewing the world with distrust and the sure assumption that at some point we will be let down? In our lives we often use specialists hoping that they will give us honest and impartial information and to act in an ethical fashion. Although many salespeople operate such an ethical stance there will always be those who set out to mislead, so how do we identify the truth from the untruth? You can use these 10 questions to understand not only the headline facts but also the underlying bottom line to any deal…

  1. What is the exact purchase price and (if applicable) what is the exact monthly lease purchase cost?
    • This is important but should be read in conjunction with #2. For lease purchase deals most companies will be able to give a guide price based on a majority of customers but this does not constitute a formal offer! Until the documents are actually in front of you to sign the formal offer is not on the table so great care should be exercised if purchasing by this method as signing for the capital expenditure without the formal offer in place commits you without the actual funding / quoted price being achievable.
  2. Is this everything I need to do the job fully?
    • Obvious but worth asking. Quite often upgrades or additional equipment may be required for all jobs to be completed as it would need to be.
  3. Is all the paperwork required by law / specification included?
    • For some installations legal or other paperwork may be required. Ensure that this is included, or otherwise, ensures that you will be legally compliant and aware of any additional costs.
  4. Is the equipment your own or bought out?
    • It is not necessarily critical that the company both supply and manufacture the equipment they sell as re-selling is fairly common and quite often you might be able to get a good deal from a local supplier compared to a national company although of course questions 5 & 6 become more important for those individuals.
  5. Do you hold spares for the equipment we are purchasing?
    • An absolutely critical question. Whilst you would expect a manufacturer to have parts from stock any kind of “distance” between sources i.e purchasing through a local agent, requires caution as even well maintained mechanical equipment is liable to breakdown in an unplanned fashion.
  6. Do you have servicing / maintenance capability and if so how are breakdowns handled?
    • With the risk of an unplanned breakdown, it makes sense to understand how this eventuality would be handled and the likely timings that will be involved. You can be sure that all unplanned breakdowns will occur at the most inconvenient time!
  7. What are yearly running costs of the equipment?
    • Yearly running costs can vary dramatically and so this is an absolutely vital piece of information to gain before the sale is completed. A great headline deal can still hurt in the future if the yearly running costs are so high that before long the least expensive initial purchase starts to look very expensive indeed.
  8. What warranty comes with the equipment?
    • Again fairly obvious but manufacturer warranties can vary from 12 months to 5 years and a warranty is normally a cast iron guarantee of trouble free service since no sensible company would risk cost on warranty repairs without due cause to trust the product that they sell.
  9. Can you provide existing customers for us to talk to?
    • This probably only has limited usage as you are unlikely to be put in contact with a customer who has a strained relationship with the company at hand – however the information gained can be useful in terms of understanding reliability and response times on the occasions when problems were experienced.
  10. How long does your quote hold for?
    • This is a perfect question to close the meeting on – It gives you opportunity to consider your options outside of the “high pressure” sales meeting environment. The other benefit is that you can understand the drivers of the company – those hell bent on extracting a signature and deposit payment at all costs are more likely driven by target than a service level!

With so many terms used within the MoT scheme it is not a surprise that we come across individuals confused with the terminology.

This blog piece explains the term: Authorised Examiner or AE and Authorised Examiner Principles or AEP’s

The authorised examiner is the entity who is physically approved to conduct the MoT test on behalf of the Department of Transport. Authorised Examiner Principles may be either directors of a limited company, partners or sole traders.

Limited Companies: In instances where the a limited company application is made it is the limited company itself who is the AE rather than the named directors of the company who are known as the AEP’s.

Partnerships: For partnership applications it is the named partners who are both the AE’s and AEP’s.

Sole Traders: A sole trader like a partnership arrangement holds the responsibility of AE & AEP.

In the next article: AEDM & NT

A question raised itself last week over lunch with a customer….

“What do you think about these new brake testers that can connect to the internet for service back-up?”

“You don’t need it. If you build a product that works you don’t need that capability. Also, from experience, if you allow a PC into a garage with an internet connection, before you know where you are the damn things full of all sorts of “items” that weren’t originally installed on the machine”

But was that actually correct?

  • A problem during a calibration is an unlikely reason for this kind of remote usage requirement – engineer training and experience coupled with, if necessary, telephone contact to a colleague/manager should suffice…
  • A problem during an MoT? – This would be a “distraction to testing”. Of course in reality you would probably move to a decelerometer test for the brake analysis rather than “abort the (overall) MoT test” and establish communication remotely with the manufacturer to resolve the issue before re-starting the test on the vehicles brakes.

Is that the purpose? Simply to be able to maintain a roller brake tester throughout an entire day where possible without on-site assistance? 

This is a good reason of course. A roller brake tester is capable of a far more accurate and repeatable analysis than a decelerometer, so it must always be considered the “ultimate measurement device” for a vehicles braking system available to a UK garage. But that reason aside, and with a telephone offering the same immediate contact between site and manufacturer; and with the appropriate individuals involved in the conversation, it should be fairly easy to come to a swift conclusion as to if the problem is “resolved” or if site attendance is actually necessary.

So all in all a fairly straightforward conclusion. The original question was “is there an advantage. The answer is no. An appropriately staffed and trained service department able to attend site promptly where necessary following immediate telephone assistance will suffice.

But to leave you with one thought. Is there actually potentially something more to this. Maybe a Disadvantage? If remote access is possible through a PC connection, are you actually ever “in control” of the unit, or  is there another default setting?

Perhaps then; a non-PC driven brake tester (with industrial processors) coupled with a modern LED display and, if necessary, an auxiliary display for “actual” rather than “trained interpreted” data, backed up with a knowledgeable service department, always on call to support their customers, might be a better solution… Oh, and I forget to mention that these solutions all come with a 5 year warranty…

MoT Test Bay Packages can be viewed here

Roller Brake Testers can be viewed here