Automotive Tools & Equipment: What To Consider When Opening A Car Repair Shop
In this article, you’ll find five topics you should carefully think through before acquiring specialty car service tools and equipment for your new-found shop
Congratulations! You’ve decided to go after your mechanic’s dream and become your own boss. Going down this road is exciting but before you do it at full throttle look at your budget plan from multiple angles. Pay your attention especially at equipping your shop with specialty tools as it is a huge part of the costs involved in getting started. As an entrepreneur, you want to get the most out of your investment so let’s look at what is important to consider before buying new cool equipment.
How to Сhoose Machinery and Equipment For an Auto Repair Shop?
Properly selected equipment will allow you to provide a quality set of services for the diagnosis, repair, and maintenance of vehicles. However, it is not recommended to buy a lot of everything at the start because it may not meet the current market demand. You have to remain reasonable and purchase just enough to handle the workload. Therefore, think through the following aspects thoroughly when working on your auto repair shop plan:
Specialization. What will it be: a general mechanic’s shop or a specialty enterprise? For example, if you decide to go after auto body repairs, your set of equipment will include paint tools, an air compressor, a slide hammer, a dual-action sander, etc. If you plan to do different things, this collection won’t be among your basic tools unless you’ll offer a really wide range of services right from the beginning.
Future goals. Are you dreaming of building a network or just want to keep it as a small family business? A limited set of equipment that you’ll slowly extend with the time would be enough for a one-man shop. If you plan to become a niche leader in your area and beyond, schedule regular purchasing and start reinvesting the money you’ll earn with the first shop in equipment for your future locations.
Target audience. What car brands are popular on the market? Are you going to service luxury or high-tech cars? To meet the needs of each type of potential customer you will need different equipment.
Budget. The cost of tools depends on many criteria, in particular the manufacturer, technical characteristics, and service life. For example, if you’d like to support local businesses, you will probably have to plan another budget size compared to purchasing from international companies.
Must-have digital tools. To run a successful car repair business nowadays you’ll need software to keep accurate records of everything in your workshop including equipment. Cloud services like Orderry are the best choice as they don’t require special hardware, installation or updates, and can be accessed from any device. Want to have a look? Schedule a 30-minute demo.
How to Find Reliable Automotive Tool Manufacturers?
This is no one-answer question and there are hundreds of opinions out there. Just keep in mind these major selection criteria:
- company’s reputation
- how long it has been in the market
- terms and conditions of delivery
- range of products offered
- warranty and post-warranty service;
- terms of payment
- return and exchange of low-quality products
- after-sales service
- on-site training
- manuals and service directives
- customer feedback
Will Your Shop Provide Car Hand Tools For Mechanics?
It’s common practice in repair shops that mechanics bring their own car fixing tools. Of course, this is a good way for owners to avoid theft and shorten expenses and you can implement this in your business as well but... regarding the growing mechanic shortage in the industry wouldn’t it be forward-looking to do the opposite?
For techs just starting out, buying the necessary vehicle tool kit might be tough, especially when paying off educational loans. So, you as an employer will be more likely to attract mechanics to work for you when you provide them with everything they need to do the job. Another option is to offer a tool allowance in your benefits package.
Buy or Lease Equipment Needed For an Auto Repair Shop?
Leasing vehicle maintenance tools and equipment is a good alternative to buying: it does not require a large initial investment, you can get various equipment, thereby greatly expanding your range of services. Among the cons is not the best condition since the equipment has been in use and sometimes long.
From the long-term perspective, acquiring equipment is more reasonable than leasing. In this case, you’ll pay once and won’t worry about losing tools because of missed leasing payments. To save some budget, consider buying used tooling, for example at auto repair shop equipment auctions.
Buying used equipment: pros and cons
|Reasonable price||Not always good quality|
|Quick payback||No warranty|
|Already in stock: prompt delivery||Quality technical inspection required|
How to Keep Your Auto Repair Shop Equipment In a Good Condition?
First of all, you have to be sure your team is well trained to operate all the machinery and tools you have in your shop. Make a quick training session obligatory for all new employees, even those with lots of experience, so everyone properly uses your equipment.
Another tip is to regularly check how often a piece of equipment was in use to assess its wear and tear and plan preventive maintenance. E.g. in Orderry, you can keep tabs on all your company’s assets and plan their load in the Scheduler. When analyzing your work orders, you’ll see how often your techs used equipment to complete repairs and schedule timely PM works.
Screenshot of the Resources Tab in Orderry
Equipping your car repair shop with the necessary tools and machinery requires good planning and research. To inform your decision-making, look at what services are in demand in the market, analyze your target audience’s needs, and set your business goals. Think not only about purchasing equipment but also the ways to keep it as good as new for as long as possible. For this purpose, Orderry offers asset accounting and inventory management features that will help you to prolong your equipment service life.
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