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Rolling with the Numbers

Happier Tire Technicians Means Higher Profits

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Your technicians are the lifeblood of your tire business. They keep your business moving and are oftentimes literally the face of the business when interacting with customers, so it’s important to keep them happy and satisfied at work – and it pays to do so. In fact, 95% of the dealers who took our recent survey say that they agree their employees have a positive attitude at work, 93% say they can count on their employees to show initiative in doing their job, and 94% say they believe their technicians stay focused on their jobs.

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In this month’s episode of Rolling with the Numbers, we take a look at how tire dealers are keeping their technicians satisfied at work.

Here’s a transcription of the video:

David: Holy crap, Christian, Tire Review’s new associate editor! What is this? What are you doing? Should I be worried about leaving prints?

Christian: Oh hey David, sorry about this. We just had some tire dealers here in the studio and had a great discussion about how they’re making more money. They wanted to show off a little of their cash I guess.

David: A little?

Christian: Yeah – watch your seat. We gotta give that back!

David: I know! …Alright, you’ve got to give me the 411 on this.

Christian: Of course. Probably the best place to begin is with our Rollin’ With the Numbers Data – the data that gives tire dealers information to keep their tire businesses rollin’ with research conducted with our independent tire dealer audience.

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David: Of course.

Christian: I guess it all started with what tire dealers said is most profitable at their businesses.

Christian: According to our data, at the bottom of the list were battery replacements, belt replacements, and starters & alternators. But the top three? Tires is No. 1, followed by Alignments at No. 2 and Brake Pads at No. 3. Shocks & Struts, Tire Rotations and TPMS sensors also aren’t too shabby. Then, as if to prove himself, he took out a wad of cash and just kind of threw it in the air!

Christian: Then he left and you walked in.

David: Interesting… did he happen to explain HOW tire dealers are making more money and not just WHAT they’re making money selling?

Christian: Well, our data indicates that 75% of tire dealers who took our survey have raised their prices in the past two years, but a big driver for doing that was to keep up with inflation or increase compensation for technicians.

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David: I can see that. Inflation is out there, and great technicians can be hard to come by, so you’d definitely want to hold on to the ones you have and pay them what they deserve. In fact, our surveys also indicate that in the last two years, 52% of tire dealers invested in upgraded machinery to help keep technicians satisfied and more productive.

Christian: You’re right – and tire dealers said that they found improving their techs’ work lives is a priority, with 44% taking another look and revising how they schedule them for work. The goal is to better work with their techs’ lives outside of what they already have and prevent burnout as much as possible. In many cases, tire dealers said this has increased profitability and made their bays more productive.

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David: That makes sense to me. Because here’s a big sticking point: At the end of the day, 59% of tire dealers who took our survey said it’s “extremely difficult” to fill tech vacancies, only 2% said it’s “extremely easy.”

Christian: Do we have any other data on retaining techs? Is it all just about a payday?

David: We do, and salary is obviously a big part of it, but there are other incentives, too. Paid training and certifications is the No. 1 incentive from our tire dealer audience, but bonuses based on tenure, a commission on sales, flexible scheduling and profit-sharing options are all popular, too. One tire dealer told us that they actually bring in lunch for their techs every Wednesday.

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Christian: I could get behind that idea. So it sounds like a key to bringing in more money is taking care of your technician base.

David: Most definitely – and one more thing. All these incentives don’t just add up to technicians not wanting to jump ship and work someplace else, it without question affects the work they do. 95% of the dealers who took our survey say that they agree their employees have a positive attitude at work. 93% say they can count on their employees to show initiative in doing their job. 94% say they believe their technicians stay focused on their jobs.

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Christian: Those numbers are ridiculously high!

David: Yep, you’ve got to take care of your team, and they’ll take care of you – which, actually, inspires me to say that, Christian, you’ve done a really great job here today. Great co-hosting duties.

Christian: Thanks! Have you been inspired to buy lunch on Wednesdays as well?

David: I have not. But I’ll let you do the sign-off.

Christian: For more business intelligence data to help boost tire dealer profitability, be sure to watch out for our next episode of Rolling with the Numbers. If you subscribe to our newsletter, it’s in there, look out for it! Until next time –

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David & Christian: Keep on Rollin’!

MORE: Check out last month’s episode on tire dealer mission statements.

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