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Clean Garage- It could be a matter of Survival for small Independent garages.

Franchise Dealer garages showed us the way to a Clean Garage

As an independent garage and tyre retailer. There is one thing that I admire about franchise and main dealer garages.Of course, that’s that they have always led the way. In the presentation and cleanliness of their premises. I suppose that you could well argue that selling a new or second-hand car. So,is different to selling tyres, or servicing cars. But you have got to admire their presentation and a Clean Garage in the eyes of the public. Admiring them for that.

Many of you who read this article will be from a franchise environment. Of course, it will be interesting to hear some feedback about where the ideas actually come from. Perhaps a lot of the ideas come from the car manufacturers that the garages sell the cars for. It appears that the bigger the manufacturer the better the decor and cleanliness seems to be.

We independents, especially the “one man band” operations.Thus, have always had to cope on our own and the state of the garages.Subsequently,always depended on the cleanliness and training of the owner or manager. In other words a scruffy owner. Would probably have a dirty old-fashioned garage.

Clean Garage

A nice Clean Garage reception is very important for today’s garage customers

I think in the 70’s here in the UK. We were guilty of bad housekeeping. Even the large chains. So, that were owned by the tyre manufacturer. Including, such as National tyres and Tyreservices. Consequently, were trading in the dark ages. Being no better than the one man band garages.

Once a new branch had opened. They were usually painted and decorated in the company’s logo. But after that it was all downhill. With the depot turning into the normal type dirty garage. Of course, it depended on the manager. Indeed some managers even gave the depot a lick of paint.Financing it from the petty cash. In general these large companies did not have a “repair and renewal budget”.Hence, to keep the Clean Garage up to scratch.

Clean Garage-Then came along the Kwikfit chain of garages.

In my opinion, “love them or hate them” Kwikfit came along and raised the standard. Tom Farmer the founder of the company visited the USA. Noticing the high standards that the American garages had climbed to. When he took over some of the old Firestone retail depots. Of course, to form Kwik Fit Exhausts. He brought the American way of tyre retailing to the UK. Everything was to a high standard and clean. His staff were clean and wore corporate clothing. Just like the main dealer franchise garages.

This to me was a great inspiration and to compete with Kwik Fit Tyres, we made sure that we kept our own garages “spic and span” maintaining cleanliness and the decor to the highest standards that we could afford.  The type of image that Kwikfit put out was replicated by many people who were then working in the tyres and garages businesses across the UK. We could see that once a customer had visited Kwikfit, then they weren’t going to go back to dirty old garages down a back street any more, “the Clean Garage standards were raised”, for good.

Garages today should have no excuses for looking shabby. We all have busy days or lousy wet weather when our floors look a mess, but that’s acceptable as long as we have a good old-fashioned “sweep up” at the end of the day. The other month, I had to call into a garage on my travels because I got caught short and needed the toilet, (my age), it was in Lancashire on my way to a Point-S meeting.

Clean Garage

The garage guys were very kind and let me use the toilet. My God? I wished I had not bothered the toilets were disgusting, they were filthy, the sink was cracked and the hot water did not work,”wow”, I thanked them and went on my way. We should all have well decorated clean toilets for our customers to use if nature calls. Our customers deserve high standards, they deserve a nice reception area to sit in, while they wait for their car to be repaired, they deserve a well decorated clean and tidy garage with nice clean well-dressed staff to repair their cars.

They deserve staff that wear protective gloves and use car mats and wing covers to keep their well-loved cars clean while they are in for repair or a service. If they do not get all this then you will be a looser, especially that now we have many female customers calling in to our garages and tyre centres.

Don’t forget that the franchise garages are now offering cheap tyres sold to them by the wholesalers, and cut price servicing, so we must pull our “fingers out” and keep up Clean Garage high standards to compete in the future.

Clean Garage

Clean Garage floor should be painted every year (if possible)

Article written by Eric Roberts...www.mot-halifax.co.uk

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. Members of Unipart Car Care centres. Giving a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. Also selling tyres online from our website www.pellontyres.co.uk.

Using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists. Hence, who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. Also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes. Carrying out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

 

Online Battery Sales-Vintage truck find on “Leisure Batteries” Delivery run

Online Battery Sales

Online Battery Sales; Surprise vintage car and truck photos taken while delivering some leisure batteries in Bordon.

This time, of the year.Hence, is very busy due to the amount of  leisure batteries that we sell in Online Battery Sales. So as soon as the caravan season starts in March. Then, we are inundated with orders for leisure batteries. Thus,  from all over the country.

We also sell many golf batteries and UPS batteries. As a result,  delivered  by couriers. This time of year. We have customers. That will buy more than one battery some buy up to three or four. Last

Online Battery Sales

Second vintage truck in the same garage when delivering some leisure batteries.

the week we sold twenty to thirty batteries in an area of Southern England. So I decided to do the delivery myself. Because these leisure batteries are very heavy weighing 23 kilos each.Sometimes get broken by the couriers if there is more than one.

I loaded the Online Battery Sales. Of course, with my sat-nav. I set off South at 4.30 am the next morning. Hence, the first six deliveries went well. But I got stuck on the seventh. The customer had bought two 100 amp Lucas leisure batteries. I went up and down the road in a town called Bordon, but could not find the address for the delivery of the batteries. I looked up and down the road, asked people in the local, but to no avail. Finally, I noticed a large house at the side of the road and decided to call in and ask. This was going to my final attempt, if I couldn’t find it now I would return back to Yorkshire and send it by courier, but I hate to give in.

 Online Battery Sales

I called in at the house and found that the back garden opened up into a huge parking area, with some tipper trucks parked up. The company were called Williams of Bordon Ltd, I got out of my van and poked my nose into a large garage (looking for a person) where they repaired their trucks and to my surprise saw some wonderful vintage trucks parked up in a line. A gentleman came out of an office building and I explained my position to him,(I also ran out of credits on my antiquated mobile phone). The people were very kind and helpful and the lady in the office rang my customer for the directions and

a very kind guy then showed me where the customer who wanted the Online Battery Sales, leisure batteries lived (I was only 200 yards away). They also allowed me to take a few pictures of their vintage car and trucks, that I have put on this blog.

I would like to thank the very kind people for their help it was most refreshing to see them helping a total stranger.

 Eric Roberts

 

Tyre Care for Lady drivers

Nokian Winter Tyres Winners-Winter Not yet Over? A set of 4 for this Land Rover Freelander GS TD 4

Nokian Winter Tyres Winners


This winter is becoming one of the best years for our customers buying their first set of winter tyres.(Nokian Winter Tyres Winners)

It is probably due to the fact that we have had a run of cold snowy winters. Over the past three or four years and the need for winter tyres are slowly sinking in. We also have a large Polish community in the Halifax area. Of course this is where where my tyre-centre is situated.Polish people are familiar with the need for winter tyres. In fact I think it may now be compulsory in Poland to fit winter tyres from November to march. Hence, the same as some other European countries.

Which winter tyres ?

We have found over the years that as an independent tyre retailer, most customers think in two ways. Either they know exactly what they want, or they will take our recommendations. Of course, as to which brand and at what price to pay for their tyres.

Nokian Winter Tyres

Scenes like this will be common in the UK the first week of March 2018

The majority of our customers come to us on word of mouth recommendations. Because they have received good advice and service in the past. Subsequently, we know this because we do not advertise as such. Perhaps, only through social media sites and internet directories.

In the past when our profit margins were higher we would regularly take out full page ads in the local papers, costing us an arm and a leg, we never really knew if the ads paid off or not.Yokohama Winter Tyres

We have and still do sell many different brands of tyres including winter tyres. In the past two years we have been able to buy our tyres from the major tyre companies because we are a member of a buying group known as Point-S tyres.

Nokian Winter Tyres Winners

We were very happy to open an account with Nokian Winter Tyres . Because we knew from experience that this company made excellent tyres, including winter tyres. This will be our third year selling Nokian Winter Tyres Winners and we are pleased with the very good response we had from the drivers who have experienced these tyres in winter conditions. The Halifax area is very hilly, we are in the foothills of the Pennine mountain range and therefore we have very tricky roads. Especially in winter snowy conditions.

The latest car to arrive for a set of four Nokian Winter Tyres was a Land Rover-Freelander 2-GS-TD4. This nice looking car had a set of four 235/65R17 108H  Winter tyres. It’s great when you love the job that you are doing and can write about it in our company blog.

Nokian Winter Tyres Winners

Car fitted with winter tyres

Article written by Eric Roberts