We are here to unite every independent mechanical workshop in Australia under one umbrella to have access to the services and products they never imagined so that our future within the industry does not look like a dark motorway at night. We plan to turn on the lights by committing through membership thus building the brand to take us on this journey of collective bargaining. We will negotiate on behalf of the membership for better deals, through a vast number of relative suppliers for parts, education and training.
Our mission is to strive for excellence, in doing so we would have to protect our independent businesses and staff if we want to participate in our ever-changing industry. Remember when a workshop would just do an oil and filter service, the guy next door doing just brakes, can you do that today? Definitely not. Around 2006 we proposed the idea of a close partnership between panel shops and motor mechanics to reach a common goal. There was a lot of resistance because the panel shops already had the market share with insurance companies which we as mechanics were at the beckon call. Because of their short sight and unscrupulous deals as stated now by insurance companies. They believed these kind of practices would never happen. When you talk to them today they don’t laugh as much when we look around. The question is what are you going to do about this?
The only way as an independent mechanical workshop is to create strong partnerships where we can work together in this fast changing industry. Franchises are expensive, but work well. They have better bargaining power, systemized operations and better exposure through branding where they employ better and retained staff etc. This initiative was first thought of in 2006, the proposed company AUTO XTION will be launched to bring together independent workshops within the industry to a common club. The benefits will provide members with a better discounts through collective bargaining in areas off need eg. Parts, education and training.
Yes, five years later, NRMA and Suncorp took action and was successful with their own panel and mechanical shops, wiping out a number of small business. Our commitment to you is to deliver superior products and services in this partnership with all independent workshops. We have invested a lot of time and resources in recent years to develop a model that will work. We have to find ways to work differently, innovate the way we work to have a point of difference operating within the new constraints and challenges. We need to jointly rise to the challenges and embrace techniques to better the way we do business. The repair industry is no longer seen as an attractive industry, we can no longer maintain expenses with labour cost only. They say money is made in the office, still stands. Buying and managing is crucial to the business success. They are challenges that face the repair industry currently and there are many more to come.
What can we do? We have to create innovative ways to work differently, make a decision and take action to change the way we do business to make a point of difference as a matter of urgency. None of this will be easy. Mechanical workshops must become proactive, they must accept change and consider working as a group to join forces, link expertise and interests so we can have for example, better discounts with purchasing power like larger companies and franchises acquire through collective bargaining. Vehicle technologies are making business expensive. To survive, individual workshops will likely need to consolidate into larger shops or become specialists, but not everybody can. We have to focus for the future, it’s the membership that will steer the ship and open up avenues that we never thought possible.
In the 80’s and 90’s you could just do an oil and filter changes and some minor repairs and business was still good. The odd jobs like tyres, wheel alignment, transmissions brakes etc. used to be outsourced. Dealerships always stuck to their brand only. Over the years, business recession, low margins and too many outsourcing saw workshops and dealers pulling together resources. Now workshops take on almost anything and everything to pay the bills. Take for example carwash and valets used to be around major dealerships, now motor dealers do their own pre-delivery and so on. You may not have thought that such practice would ever happen, but it has. So the question is :
Where to from here?
Every year it gets more challenging. Staff shortages, inablility to retain good staff due to higher costs, lower overall margins have all compounded to make life harder for mechanical repairers. Our industry has shown that profit in small business cannot be made with from labour. Buying parts at discount’s and keeping cost down for related services is the key to survive in business. Large companies eg. Franchises and similar types secure deals with manufacturer’s and so on. They still charge the same to their customers, but their margins are higher. What if you were able to require the same? Would it benefit your company? Independent small workshops struggle to negotiate, miss out of special deals, losing it to the goliath. This is why building the brand by uniting all independent workshops around Australia as one, will be a force to be reckoned with. This is an absolute MUST.Our vision as AUTO XTION is it strive towards excellence by bringing together every independent workshop under one umbrella. As a member, you would benefit from a range of products and services.
ON OUR OWN WE ARE NOT GOOD, BUT TOGETHER WE CAN BE AMAZING !!!