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In-Car vs. Waiting Room Quick Lube Service

My first ever visit to a quick lube was in August of 1969 while serving in the United States Air Force. I was traveling from Colorado Springs to Champaign, Illinois in my new Triumph TR-6. While traveling across Nebraska, I needed an oil change. In some now forgotten obscure town I noticed a facility that I would later realize was a quick lube. It was housed in a military surplus Quonset hut. The facility had a dirt floor and a single narrow trench rather than a pit. Little did I know then that this concept would become my life’s career seven years later. If someone reading this recognizes this fast lube facility, please call me. I want to thank them.

The quick lube facility did not include a waiting room. I remained in my car for the service.

Seven years later when I opened my first facility, we had a waiting room and included an interior vacuum with our oil change. Two years later we decided to make a fundamental change to our service. We abandoned the interior vacuuming and modified our facility to become a drive thru, keeping customers in the car. What resulted was enlightening. We found the following benefits as a result of this shift.

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Say Hello In Style

When you greet your customers, are you meeting them at their car? Are you greeting them with the latest technology? Mobile Greeter allows you to greet, consult, and advise customers from the palm of your hand.

As soon as your customer drives onto the lot, Mobile Greeter on your iPad works with either Carfax QuickVIN or bluetooth scanning to instantly acquire vehicle VIN with year, make, and model. Greet your customer by name, review service history, and add services to the work order from anywhere on your property. Welcome your customers from the comfort of their own car.

Let the way you say hello to your customers set the tone for the rest of their experience at your shop.

Questions? Please contact us: isi@ints.com


Make Your Customers Feel Noticed

With the recent introduction of LubeSoft Signature Capture for the Apple iPad, technicians now have the ability to review LubeSoft work orders and capture customer invoice signatures anywhere in the shop.  This convenient and mobile feature provides the ability to send electronic invoices to customers.  Signature capture provides your customer an easy way to keep an electronic record, while simultaneously allowing you to collect a valid e-mail address for future e-mail based marketing purposes.

Building a customer e-mail database with valid e-mail addresses is beneficial in numerous ways.  Specifically, it allows you to create different points of “touch” with your customer base, create opportunities to up-sell services, and send out reminders for services due.

You probably know by now that acquiring new customers is more costly than gaining repeat business.  Put time and effort into customer retention by using software such as Signature Capture, and reap the rewards.  Your customers will notice the difference. 

For questions, please contact us: isi@ints.com.

Inventory Management

Even the slightest adjustment to the increments of merchandise can have major effects on your cost of goods sold, and thereby on your inventory turns.  Management of cost of goods and inventory turns can make the difference in whether your store is profitable or not. Since inventory costs are second only to salaries as a percentage of sales, effective management is crucial to running a profitable business.

Understanding the various increments of merchandise by category and how each will impact the overall cost of goods sold will make all the difference in your business.

Here are a few ways to monitor and manage your inventory.

  1. Evaluate inventory turnover on a monthly basis.
    • Monthly inventory turns should range between .75 to 1 turn/month.
    • To calculate inventory turnover: divide the monthly cost of goods sold by the month end inventory.
  1. Increase inventory turn ratio.

    • Turnover goals should be between 8 and 12 times per year depending on the store volume.  By increasing the turn ratio, cash flow is significantly improved.
  1. Take into consideration the current product inventory quantities on hand.

  1. Monitor bulk oil.

    • The cost consequence of ordering an emergency shipment can severely   affect your cost of goods.


For more information, read the expanded version here: https://www.ints.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Inventory-Management-0213-.pdf

Questions? Contact us at: isi@ints.com

Inventory Management

Back to Basics: Inventory Control and Cost of Goods Sold


A basic rule of business overlooked by the typical lube store manager: Inventory is not product available for sale but a financial investment waiting for a return.

Far too often I talk with store managers who view inventory as an inanimate object. They think of inventory as an oil filter, a quart of oil, an air filter, etc. In reality, the oil filter should be thought of in terms of $1.68, the quart of oil as $2.80 and the air filter as $3.68. Once we begin thinking in these terms, it is much easier to understand the financial consequences of managing inventory. Effectively controlling inventory plays a critical role in the operation of a lube center, impacting earnings and the return on your investment.

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