Fixed Operations Core Analysis in a small Japanese franchise in rural Near North Ontario based on two weeks of observation, personnel interviews and experiential learning

My Business Philosophy:Add value before asking for money.

                                             Care more about the client  than you do about the money.

Physical Facility:

  1. Entire fixed operations environment in desperate need of  painting
  1. Service counter has been modified repeatedly with holes in  work space still not repaired.
  1. Perforation of foundation – no repair attempted
  2. Perforation of walls – no repair attempted
  3. Leaking roof in multiple locations – no attempted repair but umbrellas issued to protect time clock!!!
  4. Old water damaged time clock still left on wall?
  1. Water damage around overhead vent in technician’s lunch room with the possibility of mould – no repair attempted
  1. Water damage around shower ceiling in technician’s washroom with possibility of mould – no repair attempted
  1. Technician shower inoperative as it is currently used for storage
  1. Workshop area is filthy and unkempt.
  2. Only two of three space heaters operational with third one operating below specifications.
  1. Garage doors do not seal properly due to lack of maintenance
  1. Tire storage is disorganized mixed in with lawn movers.
  2. Upper storage area is a mess and unkempt.
  3. Lighting throughout the facility is poor
  4. Air circulation in workshop is inadequate.
  5. Far too many used tires stockpiled in outside storage at back of building and not safely stacked
  1. Parts area is disorganized
  2. No public declaration placard as required by Consumer Protection Act

Tools & Equipment:

        Broken chuck on brake lathe – not replaced and no one knows who supplier is.

  1. Broken sand blast parts cleaner – not removed in years
  2. Third vehicle lift is not safe due to corrosion, age and lack of care & maintenance
  3. Computer software support is archaic and not productive for client retention program management.
  4. Brake lathe is not covered and vented
  5. No parts washer

Bench grinder is unsafe as no tool rests and no eye protection as well as no vacuum system to catch metal filings. Material ground off floats around the whole shop.


 Two experienced technicians who can produce

  1. One experienced technician working as parts consultant with no training and no support.
  2. No one properly trained on Dealer Management System or OEM franchise web portal.
  3. Receptionist/Warranty Administrator is untrained and unaware of requirements for warranty administration. Spends 50% of her time on personal and family issues and not on the business. Takes no responsibility for issues and concerns especially related to technician pay.
  4. Technicians not being compensated properly based on service sales and warranty wizard labour times
  5. No apprentice to take care of waiter quick service and non-productive cleaning and inspection duties around the shop
  6. Technician licenses are not compensated nor are safety shoes.
  7. No uniform policy for service and parts personnel
  8. Technicians asked to work on used cars without work orders and written authorization.

Dealer Management System:

Dealer Management System is basic, works well at simple functions but is extremely labour intensive and not user friendly

Very limited number of standard routine labour operations

No parts associated with standard routine labour operations

System desperately under utilized

Parts is poorly setup and maintained

Client Database:

Client database is poorly maintained

Lacking client addresses as someone overwrote them with “do not call” information that could have been placed elsewhere

Customer phone numbers and email addresses missing or in need of updating

License plate numbers have not been collected as required by the Consumer Protection Act

Health & Safety:

No bulletin board in lunch room

No posting of most recent Occupational Health & Safety Act

No WHMIS training

No WHMIS binder found

No Bill 168 abuse & harassment policy posted

No weekly equipment inspections

No record of monthly inspections as evidenced by fire extinguishers and first aid kits

No working shower

No record of meetings

No record of Level I and II certification


Too much verbal communication and not enough in writing so that there is an audit trail. This leads to many sideways issues

  1. Too much verbal instruction from the General Manager and not enough asking intelligent open ended questions
  2. No trust and respect shown to anyone in the fixed operations side of the business
  3. Phone communications are poorly organized leading to far too many unprofessional public paging’s both inside and outside the facility.
  4. Answering phone seems to create crisis at expense of current client experience at counter

 Systems and Processes:     

What ever the General Manager wants!!

No action taken on concerns brought forward no matter what they are

Vehicle detailing is not part of fixed operations and no accountability??? Reports directly to the General Manager for more gross on the vehicle

 Quote from General Manager

 “Trust me! It is never going to happen”

 Needless to say I did not even need to review the financial statements nor were they even offered as part of the analysis process


  1. One fixed operations manager
  2. Two dedicated service and parts consultants
  3. One service appointment coordinator
  4. Compensation based on fixed guaranteed salary plus percentage of gross service and parts
  5. Comprehensive training for all:
    • Dealer Management System Training
    • Health & Safety Training
    • WHMIS training
    • Phone technology and Client Call Handling
    • Service and parts consultation training
    • Warranty administration training
    • OEM Franchise web portal training
  1. Online technical labour and parts guide