Modern Tire Dealer

Handbook 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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P e r f o r m a n c e H a n d b o o k 2 0 1 9 20 W hen something works, do more of it. At Lloyd's Tire and Auto C are Inc., t hat "something" is alignments, and the Santa Cruz, Calif., store is doing 15 to 20 a day. Alignments are low-risk, high-profit jobs. e secret to doing more of them starts with striving for one alignment out of every four retail tires sold. BENCHMARK AGAINST TIRE COUNT e one-alignment-to-four-tires-sold ratio is a benchmark suggested by Dealer Strategic Planning Inc. (DSP), which manages tire dealer 20 Groups. "at doesn't mean a car getting two tires doesn't get an align- ment, and it doesn't mean every car getting four tires gets an alignment," says George Kingman, DSP's executive director. "But of all the retail tires sold, the ratio should be about one to four." Kingman notes that with the right mix of business, alignments can be "incredibly impactful to a store's bottom line because they are 100% gross profit." In addition, chances for something going wrong when performing an alignment are small, making it a repair with a low comeback rate. "e alignment rack is the most expensive piece of equipment in the entire shop. If the alignment rack is not being utilized, it's a wasted profit center," says Kingman. Lloyd's Tire and Auto Care co-owners Larry Johnson and Dean Schwartz have been members of a DSP 20 Group for the last decade. Johnson's grandfather founded the company in 1940. Schwartz joined as a business partner in 1998. e Santa Cruz store became fully certified in hybrid car repair in 2013. e store generates about 60% of revenue from tires and 40% from auto repair. It employs six dedicated tire technicians and eight mechanical techs, as well as two alignment techs. In addition to the Santa Cruz store, the company has a six-bay store about five miles away in Scotts Valley, which opened a year ago and provides mechanical service and tire sales. ere is also a four-bay store in Capitola, Calif., that only sells tires. ASK EVERY CUSTOMER Johnson and Schwartz expanded the Santa Cruz location in 2015. The expansion involved renovating an adjacent building into an alignment and mechanical shop, adding about 10,000 square feet and three alignment bays. Before the expansion, the store aligned about eight vehicles a day on a single align- ment rack. Today, the Santa Cruz store comprises two buildings and 20 service bays. Four bays are equipped with Hunter Engineering Co. equipment and are dedi- cated to alignments. An average of 80 tires a day are sold at the Santa Cruz store. e high tire volume creates plenty of opportunities for align- ment sales. "We make it a priority to ask every customer, whether they are getting an oil change or a set of tires, if they want an alignment," says Johnson. e request is documented on the work order and invoice, which indicate whether the customer accepted or declined an align- ment for their vehicle. "So we know we are asking, and we know if they decline," says Johnson. DEDICATED ALIGNMENT TECHS A sharper focus on alignment sales was just one step toward the goal of one alignment HOW MANY MORE ALIGNMENTS SHOULD YOU ACTUALLY BE DOING? A l i g n m e n t Ann Neal By PHOTOS COURTESY OF LLOYD'S TIRE AND AUTO CARE 3 tips to get cars on the alignment rack 1. Strive for one alignment out of every four retail tires sold. 2. Use alignment bays only for alignment service. 3. Track alignments daily against tire count. To help meet the benchmark of one alignment for every four tires sold, alignments are the only service performed on the four Hunter Engineering alignment racks at Lloyd's Tire and Auto Care.

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