PartsTech Shop Highlight: One Shot Auto
We spoke with Damon Hughes, Owner and Operator of One Shot Auto in Enterprise, AL. Damon took time out of his busy schedule to talk about industry trends, COVID-19, and how PartsTech helps cut time and hassle out of his day. Read the full interview below!
Tell us your name, the name of your shop and a little bit about your business.
My Name is Damon Hughes, and I’m the owner of One Shot Auto, in Enterprise, AL. We’re a full-service shop with 5 technicians and 9 bays. We do a little bit of everything from diesel to domestic, European to Asian. We’re kind of a unique setup because we also service fleets and do a lot of bodywork & insurance repairs. We’ve been in business for about 6 years now and we’ve always been a pretty busy little business.
What does it take to be successful in this business?
You have to have great customer service, and you really need to understand who your customers are, what they want from you, and what they need from you. Then you need a good staff that makes you look good and helps you achieve your goals every day.
How has COVID changed the way you do business?
It’s made us make a change to how we do business. We recently upgraded to a new management system and now we can send the reports to the customer and get approval without having to be face-to-face.
The other big change we’ve seen is the supply chain issues. Whether it's rubber gloves, safety equipment, hand sanitizer, and even parts and tires. We’ve been told that a lot of our suppliers and manufacturers are only running at half capacity. Most of the supply chain is just not running at 100% capacity in our experience.
What’s one thing you do better than your competition?
Customer Service. When you come in we ask you “how did the girl's soccer game go?” “Is your kid home from college?” “How's your mom?” Our customers are not just customers, they’re members of our community. We want to check in on them and make sure they are doing good. We try to take care of them because they’re our neighbors.
What does a great day at the shop look like?
A great day at the shop is when everything is well organized, and running smoothly. We’re always busy averaging about 300 vehicles a month so a great day for us is when we’ve got the right parts coming in on time, that's when everything runs smoothly
What was it like ordering parts before you got on PartsTech?
Very slow, our shop management system at the time had parts ordering built-in, but it was a bit of a hassle. You’d have to open up each supplier individually. So you’d open up O’Reilly’s to see if they had it, and when you could get it. Then you’d have to close that catalog and open up AutoZone’s catalog to see what brands they had in stock. From there you’d have to try to compare apples to oranges and make the best choice for the customer. 5,000 clicks later you’d be done with the estimate. There was a lot of room for error.
How has PartsTech changed the way you order parts?
Now if I'm hunting down an ACDelco part I can look at 5 vendors at once and see who can get it to me the fastest, or who has the best price for that part. So now I can make the best choice depending on what the job calls for or what the customer calls for.
It gives me options. I can quickly compare parts and in 3 or 4 mouse clicks I'm done. I can submit the parts back into my management system and move on. Plus, if none of my local vendors have it, I can see who does have it in the country, pay for it with a credit card and get it shipped in.
How long does it take to find parts on PartsTech compared to how you were ordering before.
Probably 30 seconds to a minute. It used to take 7 -10 minutes per RO on average with our old system.
In your opinion what are the biggest challenges facing the industry right now?
One of the biggest challenges we face is gaining access to OE software. That means access to affordable programming for the vehicles we’re working on or access to repair manuals from the OEM. That's one of the issues we run into a lot. We’re unique in that we work on as many 2021 models every year as we do 2015 models. We work on brand new cars every day and it's tough when we can’t access that information.
Favorite and least favorite brand to work on?
My personal favorite to work on is Honda. They're usually pretty economical fixes and a good value for the customer on repairs. My least favorite would probably be Land Rover or Jaguar. We don't always enjoy working on those vehicles.
On Parts, do you look for the best quality available or the best value?
It really depends on the customer and what their needs are. We try to pay attention to that. We know that there are certain parts that need to be OE or better than OE quality. When you’re working with a customer that has a limited budget they may not need a lifetime warranty part. They may just need something to get them down the road a little ways. In those situations, we’re looking for the best value, where we can still give them a warranty for a year, maybe 2 years on the part & the labor.