By Andy Fiffick, MACS Chairman and CEO and President Rad Air Complete Car Care
I know the value of a dollar – I couldn’t be in business otherwise – but a recent experience about both the dollar and escalating costs was eye opening. Now that I’m a grandparent, I’m in the market for a larger SUV, something for family trips, so I contacted a friend who operates a huge, used-car business in the area and to be on the lookout for me.
He got back to me with a quote on a 2016 low-mileage, “previously enjoyed” piece of American iron that he thought might fill the bill. “For you, the price is $72 large.” Ouch! Perhaps to soften the blow, he noted that the vehicle, when new, ran to six figures. I had no clue over-sized luxury SUV costs could run so high. Since I was not in the market beforehand, it caught me off guard.
As costs continue to climb, it puts pressure on all of us to run hard enough to at least keep up. That’s true for me and all of my team members who strive to keep the business on a paying basis.
But those price pressures, coupled with the national shortage of good, experienced automotive service technicians, can set the stage for employee poaching by competitors and bidding wars for talent. I understand that my team members have to look out for themselves and do the best they can to support their families, but when the issue comes up, I counsel my staff to base their decision to stay or go on many other factors in addition to the siren call of a couple more dollars an hour.
We pay a very competitive salary, and we foster an atmosphere that promotes cooperation in our service bays. The result, we believe, is client satisfaction and the building of trust that keeps people coming back. The last thing we want to promote in our shop is a dog-eat-dog competition to slap on parts, churn out repairs and beat the clock. The latter approach seems to me a sure-fire way to promote internal discord, burn people out and alienate the client base.
We also believe that our work environment promotes learning and the seasoning of our people to become better service professionals, enhancing their value and ultimately their ability to earn. You can’t do that in an environment of churn and burn.
An article I read in Forbes listed some of the other factors that contribute to a worker’s decision to stay or go. The article conceded that salary was top of the list for most employees, but other factors cited were good health insurance, work-life balance, opportunities for advancement and professional development, and a sense of purpose.
So yes, of course, the Benjamin is important to all of us, but it is only part of the total value proposition.
See you in Orlando.