How Much Can Cutting Costs on Automotive Solutions Really Cost?

Financial times are tough and the costs of maintaining your vehicle just seem to be getting more and more expensive by the day. No wonder so many people are looking for ways to be able to cut these costs by means of using substandard parts, second grade oils, homemade gaskets and any number of other methods they can come up with.

Many people simply think about the financial implications of such decisions, but do they really? What happens when your cost cutting approach to your automotive solutions results in the vehicle blowing the entire engine or the driver to loose control of the vehicle when inferior steering arm bushes fail at high speed?

People need to begin to realize that as convenient as it is to have a vehicle, it is more important to be able to correctly maintain that vehicle by making use of approved automotive solutions. Failure to do this could easily end up being far more costly than you could ever imagine.

Now this does not mean that you should not shop around for the best deal when it comes to looking for automotive solutions, but it does mean taking the responsibility of making sure that the service center which you choose uses good quality parts and technology in order to do the work at hand.

Sometimes we get so lost in our quest to find solutions which are affordable that we forget about the valuable cargo which we so often transport in our vehicle such as our children, loved ones, friends and business equipment. So before you decide that the cheap route is the best one, consider the real value of what you pay for when it comes to solving automotive problems.

Keep Your Employee’s Skills Up-To-Date With Automotive Corporate Training

In order to stay competitive in today’s market, automotive and transportation companies have to ensure that their employee skills sets are kept up to date. This means training workers on improvements to existing techniques as well as training them on brand new technologies. An excellent way for companies to manage this process is to hire a company to implement an Automotive Corporate Training program.

Automotive Corporate Training programs are designed to accomplish two major employee training objectives: ensure that employee skill sets are up to date, and make certain that employees retain any relevant certifications. Most companies offering these programs have all the required industry certifications, to ensure that the training that employees receive is of the highest quality, and is recognized by the important regulatory bodies in the industry.

Training is typically done by industry veterans, and is specifically geared towards the experienced adult worker. This is done to make sure that the pace of training is well matched to the employees’ needs. Automotive Corporate Training programs instructors are very flexible, and ready to answer any questions employees may have. They are also able to quickly move over sections that experienced employees might already be familiar with, and spend more time on areas that require more attention.

Courses offered by Automotive Corporate Training programs vary widely from year to year, and depend on which new technologies and techniques are considered to be a priority at the time. Programs typically offer a range of courses, although the hiring company has the discretion of choosing which courses will be offered to its employees. Currently, a program offering typically includes some or all of the following:

· Ozone depletion certification: understanding the science of ozone depletion and its impact on the environment

· Emissions testing inspector certification: acquiring the skills needed to be certified to inspect emissions systems

· Emissions testing equipment training: becoming familiar with the equipment used to test emissions systems

· Emissions testing repair tech certification: acquiring the skills needed to be certified to inspect emissions systems and repair problems

· Personality dimensions: how to motivate and create a positive environment for employees

· Workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS): learn which policies and procedures must be put into place in order to properly educate staff about hazardous materials

If you feel that your company’s employees need a refresher course in order to bring them up to speed with the latest developments in the industry, consider hiring a company to provide an Automotive Corporate Training program. It could be just want you need to get an edge over the competition.

Automotive Shop Equipment

If you are opening a new automotive care center, or would like to upgrade the existing equipment in your shop, it is smart to find a retailer that deals only in the highest quality of products that are fully backed with a warranty. Automotive shop equipment can often times be very expensive, so this makes it even more important to make sure that each product you buy is backed by a warranty. The range of shop equipment required for automotive care in recent times has exploded because cars on the road today are run by many different types of electronic systems. This means many new diagnostic systems are being sold, and more modern shop equipment is being sold to save on the cost of running and maintaining the equipment.

Automotive lifts are usually a main necessity in any automotive repair or performance shop. There are many different types of lifts to choose from. They range from full hydraulic lifts that are designed to life any full sized vehicles on the road, to smaller lifts that are more price-friendly. Usually lifts that you would find in a shop are rated by the ton. This means the more tons the lift can hold, the larger the lift is, and often times the price will reflect this. There are also completely open lifts; four point lifts, and two point lifts. This all depends on what kind of lift can fit in your shop, and what type of jobs your will be using the lift for.

Other common equipment found in an automotive repair shop are air compressor systems, air driven tools, and air reels. Many shops choose to use air driven tools because they have the strength necessary for unbolting anything, but also can be limited in its power so that it does not cause risk to stripping a nut. Other than air tools, there are also an infinite amount of other tools that are commonly found in an automotive shop. These can range from simple wrenches to custom designed tools that are made specifically for a certain car manufacturer.

Automotive shops today have to be sure they are properly set up to handle any type of car manufacturer or any type of repair service. To be sure that your shop is properly equipped, you should choose to buy all of your equipment and tools from a reputable parts dealer. This will save you money on shipping, overall product costs, and will put you at ease that you are only buying high quality products that are built to last.

Importance of Automotive Internet Marketing

If you are a business in the automotive industry and looking to increase sales and services creating a strong online presence is a must.

SEO is becoming a very competitive arena in a lot of industries, making it harder for companies to compete for top search engine results on Google, Bing, Yahoo. The good news for the automotive industry is that only 5% of automotive repair service companies are actively marketing their website or services. I personally have seen a huge growth in automotive marketing online in California, but other areas of the United States have been a lot slower to adapt. So what does this mean for automotive repair shops across the United States? A huge opportunity for automotive repair shops to beat the competition through actively marketing their website through search engine optimization and making themselves more visible on business directories online where you can rate and review shops. The world has moved away from flipping through the thick Yellowpages Book to find local businesses (more useful as a paperweight) and has moved towards Google.com. Whether on the PC, Smartphone, or tablet.

So whats the next step? Do a simple local test search online to see where your company ranks among the competition. (e.g. search “your town or surrounding towns” auto repair or more specific searches “your town” alignment repair, “your town” engine repair). After doing a few test searches how does your company rank? Top of the first page, second page, bottom of the third page, not visible at all? By doing this test you should be able to get a clear understanding where you rank locally online compared to the competition. If your company is at the top of the search results great, but do not get comfortable. Stay offensive and strengthen that position by reaching out to a SEO company or attending an SEO workshop. If your business is not ranked at the top, start planning. Reach out to a couple SEO consultative companies, compare pricing and packages, attend workshops, get your self listed in online directories, join social media websites, and have customers leave reviews on review websites. SEO Packages typically range anywhere from $300/month – $1500/month depending on the local competition and the amount of heavy lifting needed to be done to get your company to the top.

Key Takeaway: If you are in the automotive repair industry and want to get ahead do your homework and start planning an effective online marketing strategy. You will be ahead of the marketing curve and it will have a direct impact on revenue.

Google Likes Videos Because Their Customers Do and Automotive Advertising Agencies Need to Know It

Automotive advertising agencies are struggling to keep up with new Internet based technologies and applications being developed to maximize the R.O.I. for their auto dealer clients automotive advertising budgets and video has surfaced as the media of choice. Conventional automotive advertising focuses on maximizing the reach and frequency of a consistent message to a qualified consumer while minimizing the cost per impression and the same wisdom apply to the Internet. A challenging economy has resulted in shrinking sales volume and margins in the retail auto industry which dictates that automotive advertising agencies must leverage online resources whenever possible. The most obvious solution is to listen and learn from the search engines whose role in the process is to provide consumers with filters that provide efficiencies in their online shopping experience that promise increased relevancy and transparency in the sites that surface in their initial search results.

Search engine optimization, S.E.O., is a fluid science that is dependent on changing algorithms designed by the search engines to insure that their customers needs are met. Search engines like Google have little concern for the interests of the automotive advertising agencies who are struggling to keep up with the rules to insure that their auto dealer clients show up on page one. The trick for automotive advertising agencies to stay ahead of the search engines is to focus on the one constant that exists in both the real and the virtual world – human nature. People are creatures of habit and recent generations have grown up watching T.V. or more recently following videos on You Tube. People would rather watch an entertaining video than read copy or even listen to an audio track so common sense suggests that video is the delivery method of choice for automotive advertising agencies trying to deliver their messages on the World Wide Web.

Video has earned a weighted value on Google in response to experienced consumer preference and a comprehensive S.E.O. plan must be extended to include vS.E.O. with several new automotive advertising vendors taking advantage of the opportunity. SiSTeR Technologies Video CarLot is an example of a new video production platform that provides a scalable solution for automotive advertising agencies to place an auto dealership’s new and pre-owned inventory on the first page of a local Google search. They are able to access the pictures already posted on an auto dealer’s website and then convert them into a professional looking feature/benefit video with human voice and integrated video footage posted onto the auto dealer’s website. More importantly, the videos are interactive with multiple schema layers offering relevant information on the vehicles and they are fully indexable with dealer selected key words and Meta Tags. In addition, SiSTer uses their dedicated API with You Tube and direct links with all major third party websites to push the vehicles onto the Internet Super Highway with individual URLs. The resulting increase in online exposure form the sourcing auto dealer is obvious and it satisfies the goal of Google to offer their online customers relevant information in the media of their choice.

Several established third party inventory based websites have recognized the leveraged exposure offered by videos on the Internet and they have extended their platforms to include an optional video production application. A new website – ronsmap.com – with an expected launch at the pending 2010 NADA Convention in Orlando Florida is rumored to be planning to offer a video solution as well as a direct link to social networking media through their proprietary vBack application. Social networking has recently been named by Google as having a weighted value in their algorithms similar to video with real time postings drawn from Face Book, Twitter, etc. which suggests that Rons Map is ahead of the curve by integrating both video and social media into their automotive advertising platform.

Another use of video on the Internet that warrants honorable mention is offered by a new customer interaction patform provided by Argistics with their AutoTransaXion application. AutoTransaXion is being used by AutoNation to support their recent push to accommodate online transactions through AutoNation Direct. The solution allows an online shopper to engage in a real time two way video conversation with a personal shopper from AutoNation. The application has complete push/pull capabilities that allow the consultant to provide the same material that a customer would expect in a real world showroom to allow the customer to purchase the vehicle online and have it delivered to their home. The video portion of the application has been found to enhance the ability of the dealer’s personnel to build a relationship with the customer that was not previously possible given the obstacle of the glass wall between the customer and the dealership’s staff.

The value of the Internet has been established with statistics that support the fact that 93% of today’s car shoppers prefer shopping on the Internet Super Highway over driving to their local car row. The growing use of video and the diverse applications on the Internat that have integrated it into the online sales processes suggest that video will have a role and forward thinking automotive advertising agencies must learn to implement it into their online marketing plans.