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Investing Profits in New Equipment

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Business this past winter was better than expected, and I am pleased with my year-end profits. I’d like to invest $10,000 or less in tools or equipment for my modernly equipped shop. What should I buy?

I’ll have to make a few assumptions to define “modernly equipped shop.” But I’m certain that you’re looking for some kind of asset, which, as any good business person will tell you, is a thing or a person capable of generating more money than it costs.

In challenging times, we look for equipment or tools that can reduce downtime and increase productivity. Although many pieces of equipment or tools may meet this criteria, we often overlook the people who make the entire process work. We cut training budgets. We forgo updating office equipment or software. We fail to seek professional counsel for process management. We reduce meeting budgets, and so on, depleting the resources that help our personnel deliver their maximum value.

With that in mind, my investment of $10,000 would be split three ways:

• best practices training for office personnel specific to each person’s job;

• technician training; and

• a subscription to an online OEM collision information provider that allows a repairer to go to the same location for information regardless of the vehicle make or model. Access to vehicle collision repair information is a must if you are truly fixing the vehicle properly.

If I had money left after supporting my office personnel and my techs, I would ask the techs what they felt would help them increase productivity.

Ray Fisher is the president of ASA-Michigan. This article represents his opinion and does not reflect the views of ASA-Michigan.

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