Schaeffler REPXPERT, Alistair Mason, and Schaeffler Brand Ambassador, Andy Savva, have paid Oldfields Garage in Herefordshire a visit to learn more about a typical day in the life of a modern-day workshop, while also lending their expertise and support to a valued brand customer.
Alistair, Andy and Oldfields Director, Tim Benson, discussed a variety of topics, as the REPXPERT and Garage Inspector were treated to a personalised and in-depth tour of the reception area and workshop.
Throughout the next few weeks, Schaeffler REPXPERT will provide insightful snippets from the visit, which will include discussions about workload efficiency, special tooling and budgets, whilst also covering the fitting of original equipment parts and refusing customer-supplied components, as well as the benefits of using REPXPERT.
(L-R) Andy Savva, Alistair Mason and Tim Benson
In the first part of the video series, Tim first greets Alistair and Andy, before inviting them into the reception area, where conversation quickly turns to how the workshop manages its data, from booking in customers to invoicing, and what allows Oldfields to be a well-organised business.
Tim Benson said: “From a managing data point of view, it’s important we have one system to handle the whole process, as, not only does it manage customer information, it enables us to create job cards, technical information and invoices.
“The whole process is timed; from a workshop perspective, it’s important we sell hours, so by having a system that times the job from start-to-finish, we know how long it’s taken and what to invoice.”
A pivotal part of the business model is “efficiency”, according to Tim, who is realistic with his ambitions and expectations of his team.
He added: “I would love to sell 100 per cent of all hours, but it’s simply not possible. It’s not about a ‘bonus culture’ of trying to get my team to do jobs as quickly as possible either; it’s about doing the job right, having the right information, using the right quality of parts and having the right skills in the workshop.”
In the second clip, within the workshop, the trio debate the importance of special tooling and budgeting for them.
Tim said: “Keeping up-to-date (with tooling) isn’t easy for an independent, but we invest in it. If there are jobs on a repeat basis that are a challenge, it is not efficient to keep doing it slowly, so we need to buy the tools to enable us to do it faster and accurately.
“When we’re fitting a self-adjusting clutch kit, for example, we use a Schaeffler tool, and, yes, we could do the job without it – but it makes it so much more difficult and there’s the possibility of doing the job wrong.”
On the topic of budgeting, Andy added: “Tooling and equipment, as well as training, should be an ongoing process.”
He then asked what Oldfields’ budgeting strategy is – Tim replied: “We don’t have a fixed budget, but I’m aware that we need to factor it within our costs. We don’t buy a new diagnostic kit every year, for example, but we subscribe to it and keep it updated.”
From Schaeffler’s point of view, it offers a range of tools to help clutch, bearing and timing belt fitments, to ensure technicians can ‘fit and forget’.
The first two videos are now available to watch on the REPXPERT website (www.repxpert.co.uk).