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Service customers are looking for transparency and accountability when they bring their vehicles to you. One way to set your dealership above independent shops is through technology that allows them to know exactly what’s happening with their service, step-by-step.

Tactical Tips Episode #15 Transcript

BRAD: Alright, we’re back here with another Tactical Tip Tuesday! I’m super excited. I have Mr. Mike Hanna on the line. He’s the CEO and founder of TrueSpot and he has something that’s really, really, really cool that I was super excited to find out about. I’ve been talking about this for a long time as far as transparency goes. The first thing I really thought about was Domino’s pizza tracker, and I thought about how in 2008 when they introduced Domino’s pizza tracker, from 2008 – 2017, Domino’s stock went up 5,000%. And it wasn’t because they introduced transparency, it was the perception of transparency. So Mike and I had a conversation at Digital Dealer (we have a mutual client) and we started talking about this. We were right next door, Mike, to each other at Digital Dealer and you never told me about this! So I’m a little upset about that. It took Jonathan Shoemaker to get us together to tell us about what you have on the fixed ops side that is just absolutely fascinating. And I want you to know I don’t normally bring guests on Tactical Tips to talk about the products. I like to bring content stuff like this, but this is so incredibly cool and it’s so incredibly needed, and there’s nobody else to talk about it. So the floor’s yours, my friend.


MIKE: Thanks for having me. Yeah, I definitely appreciate it. Jonathan’s a great guy and this is breaking news so we’ve been working on this for a while. So I apologize we didn’t talk about this specifically at Digital Dealer, but you know the short of it is we’ve actually been pulled into this side of the house on the fixed ops side with a lot of our existing dealer partners. And you know effectively what we do, just to kind of give a quick high-level, is we have a real-time location services system. We track everything on-campus and off-campus; keys, cars, dealer plates, and make all that stuff so you don’t have to look for it, waste time looking for it, and all that kind of stuff. So obviously, fixed ops side, the velocity is just like 10x faster at least than on the variable ops side. So there are some challenges there to implement what we do just administratively, but we solve those and so, effectively at a high level now we’re rolling this out. And we’re announcing it, so this is kind of breaking news from a premiere perspective. We’ll be announcing it formally at NADA this year, so that’ll be kind of our coming-out party with what we’re calling “Fixed Ops 360” and taking that capability to the fixed ops side of the house. But lots of just huge interest and, just to your point, it’s something that’s been a big need for a while, but you had to have the technology to do it, and then the operational implementation to make it really, I would say, administratively conducive to the velocity on the service drive. So we’re super excited about just being there to be able to talk to you about it and catch up. 


BRAD: So this is insane, guys. So the customer will be able to track their status through your fixed ops department and know what’s going on. What we’re up against when we’re looking at auto repair facilities, and we’re looking at Jiffy Lube, no one gets pissed off at Jiffy Lube because they can see people working on their car. No one gets pissed off at Krispy Kreme because they can see the donut going down the little thing and they know it’s going to be hot when they get done. So if you have things in there saying, “Hey, we’re double-checking your brakes to make sure you’re safe,” “Hey, we’re done doing this,” and it not only has transparency, but it also ties into safety for those individuals. And it ties in and it shows you where things are at, and it tells some of the steps that they might not know that these technicians are doing or these people were looking at. There’s a disconnect there because they can’t see it, right? They can’t see it, but now they can! Now they have a perception of transparency that lets them know what’s going on in that process. And I think that’s so huge. I think that’s a big, big problem that we’re up against on the fixed ops side of things is that transparency. And forever and ever and ever you have Speedy putting cameras in bays, you have all these companies doing it. We have dealerships that send videos from the technician, which is great, but what happens after that? Right, and that’s what solves that problem, and I think it’s so incredible. I know when I was in a dealership we used you guys for a long time on the TrueSpot side just to track cars and track stuff. Actually caught a beef that way, which is kind of cool…so that’s a story for another day. I’m sure John Luciano would share it with you. The guy Dukes of Hazards the car over the gate. So it would be a good little story to maybe have me on so I could tell it to you one day.


MIKE: That sounds like a good story! Yeah, absolutely.


BRAD: But I’m super excited to have this. I’m sure they can come see you at NADA. We’ll be out there at NADA too, so if you can’t find Mike, come see me and I’ll take you over to him. Tell us a little bit more about some of the updates you get throughout that process.


MIKE: Yeah so, in short, how does this thing work? With this location campus, real-time location services network that we put in we can get very specific on understanding where assets are at, cars and keys, and so if you want to know that a car’s in a particular service bay, that also is not only location – it becomes what we call Geo-Intelligence. And so that service tech that’s in that bay is assigned. We know that he’s working on these particular ROs, let’s say. And so all of that process can be kind of conjoined together. So you have a lot of intelligence that the location can drive for you. The easiest one is once the car hits the wash bay, and so then you know that thing’s now been through service, gotten everything that it needs to get done, and now it’s going to get washed up. The service advisor can say, “hey this car is in the wash bay,” and we can integrate and take that all the way to the customer or just a service advisor now having the insight to pick up the phone very easily and call a customer, you know Johnny Smith, and say “hey, your car will be ready in 30 minutes.” Or if they’re onsite waiting, then all the better because they’re sitting there working or doing whatever they need to do, and just knowing that that car is now right at the end they can see “do I need to take that other call while I’m waiting in the lobby, or do I have time to get in the car and get going?” So you said it better than I ever could as far as that insight, that ability to understand where the car’s at and the waiting process can be just so much smoother, and the transparency that comes with that. We’re super excited to really bring it out in full force.


BRAD: So here’s the cool thing that you’re going to be able to do throughout this process, which is really valuable information. You know, on the sales side we always have all these stats and we’re able to track everything, we’re able to do stuff. So what this is going to give you the ability to do, which is really kind of cool, if you could see how long each job takes, you could see how long it takes in each process of the thing, and then you can actually see where maybe your bottlenecks are in your service department. There are a couple different ways on this product to really kind of narrow down and get some transparency, not only for your customers but for the store on how things happen when the service manager isn’t there making sure that service advisors are pushing things through the process. It kind of creates this other level of accountability within the store because you know everybody that touches it, you know where it was at this time, you know how those people are scheduled, and I think the more accountability and the more transparency that we can have within the store and with our customers is a win for everybody. So, Mike, if they want to reach out to you, my friend, what’s the best way to do so?


MIKE: One more quick thing, just on the accountability piece. So we’ve seen it in action and so our true recon tool has the same Geo Intelligence. So managing that recon process to the service drive and on the service side of the house and all the way through to the frontline. So that ability to have that location, just to your point, creates a whole new level of accountability and insights from a management perspective. It’s a game-changer from that perspective for me. And to reach me I’m just is the website and I’m happy to talk and just learn more about anybody’s service process, how we could help, and just being a good partner.


BRAD: Mike, I really appreciate you coming on here. It’s always nice to shed light on people who are doing fantastic things to push ahead the service side, in the fixed ops side of things. It’s really, really important and I think we’ll be bringing the dealerships in and trying to take back, you know what those independent repair facilities steal from us. I really appreciate you my brother, have a wonderful day.

MIKE: Thanks, brother, I appreciate it. Love what you’re doing.

Julie Branum

Julie Branum

Julie has a decade of experience in the car business and marketing specifically for manufacturer dealerships in the U.S. Utilizing best practices and her background in design, Julie believes in presenting and converting dealerships online visitors into high RO Service and Parts Department customers.

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