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Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips photoStacey Phillips is a freelance writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has 20 years of experience as an editor including writing in a number of businesses and fields.


She can be reached at sphillips.autobodynews@gmail.com. 

Monday, 06 April 2020 21:13

How and Where to Focus During COVID-19 Restrictions

Written by Sam Valenzuela, president of National AutoBody Research
Sam Valenzuela, president of National AutoBody Research Sam Valenzuela, president of National AutoBody Research


It is now more important than ever to get the most out of every repair and every opportunity. That means charging for every bit of your time, collecting for every billable hour and getting every dollar of labor rate possible. 


The opportunity is now, and if the vehicle volume is down, there may not be as many opportunities coming your way.


Remember a business cannot cut its way to profitability. Focus on maximizing revenue and gross profit on every repair. 


Cutting a minor expense or service to save $100 a month isn't going to make or break the shop. Instead, go in the opposite direction: invest in and really use those tools that enable greater revenue and profitability. Good data makes all the difference now, and there are available tools that provide shops the data they need to justify their work, their charges and their prices. Most importantly, they help drive profits.


Pause a moment to find the lessons this crisis is teaching us. For collision repair, I see two big lessons of quality and profitability. 


Shops that do quality work and run a tight ship are better positioned to survive this downturn and thrive on the upswing. Quality is the name of the game moving forward. 


As these vehicles continue to advance in technology, materials and construction, a quality repair will be the requirement. Exceptions will be fewer and anything less puts customers, shops and other stakeholders at risk.


I hope these times teach us all the repair business cannot keep running on razor-thin profit margins and expect to thrive. Shops cannot be expected to be barely profitable yet keep up with the rapid pace of automotive technology advancements and produce quality repairs.

Many people already know this, but it has really come to light now. We hope shops take these lessons to heart and move swiftly and certainly to address them.


As told to Stacey Phillips.

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