Fix Auto CEO Breaks Down COVID-19 Procedures
April 14, 2020—Fix Auto USA has not closed any of its stores amid the coronavirus outbreak but, depending on the market demand, has implemented some solutions to remain financially stable.
Executives at Fix Auto USA have worked with stores to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program through the CARES Act. Some store hours have been reduced during the week. As an example, some of the stores which had operating hours on Saturdays may have converted into appointment only slots for that day, says Paul Gange, president and chief executive officer for Fix Auto USA.
Gange says the company is following similar procedures as others and is looking to control any indirect expenses, which are expenses not directly attributed to the repair of the vehicle and other services that can be slowed down or suspended for the shop. Traveling for the company was suspended well over a month ago, he says. Right now, the focus is on cash more than earnings.
Items as simple as janitorial services can be controlled or reduced. If customers and staff are not in the shop every day, the services can be reduced to a few times a week. However, he says the company has made the decision to freeze aspects of its consumer advertising plans.
On an individual basis, stores have made the choice whether to furlough employees or not.
Some locations have enacted load-leveling to keep production centralized. If some shops are down to a skeleton, or reduced staff, then they can determine the best time and ways to travel to production facilities to pick up and drop off vehicles for the customer.
Additionally, in order to comply with social distancing practices, Fix Auto USA locations have made their COVID-19 policies available online (websites and social media platforms). The information is readily available to consumers, but the company recognizes that consumers are being overloaded with this type of information and therefore does not just push this messaging to customers that might have been in the shop six years ago with that information unless necessary.
And, shops have embraced services like photo estimating and are working closely with tech providers to offer those services. While the service of curbside concierge might have been in practice before the pandemic at some locations, it is now being rolled out to all of the stores.
Curbside concierge offers a contactless way for customers to drop their car off at a shop, with rental cars ready at the drop off for the customer. Shops are also offering a signature care service that gives customers who don't want to leave their house, the option for someone to retrieve their damaged car and leave a rental car in its place, if necessary.