Accelerating Forward – How Workshops Can Stay Ahead

Leading battery management specialist Ken Clark, from Rotronics, the UK distributor of Midtronics and CTEK battery technology, shares some easy and swift tests to build into routine and service inspections to provide excellent customer service and revenue opportunities.

This information is based on extensive data gathering in the pre-lockdown to post-lockdown period via the Rotronics online portal, ROBIS, acting as an additional member of the team, gathering battery data 24/7.

Ken Clark says: “1.4 million battery tests from independent workshops and main dealer customers have been analysed via the ROBIS portal, from January 2019 to the present-day.  This has given a real insight into what’s happened to vehicle batteries in that time and what are the clear battery charging opportunities for independent workshops and main dealers.

“From this data, we know that pre-lockdown, around 28% of batteries needed charging, 62% of batteries were in a good condition, with 10% requiring replacement.

The picture changed significantly during and post-lockdown, with the number shifting to 58% and 57% requiring charging, 20% to 34% being of good condition, and 22% to 9% requiring replacement. The latter returning closer to the pre-lockdown “norm” position.

This demonstrates the volume of vehicle batteries needing attention, and this current situation creates a clear customer service and income opening for independent workshops.

Ken Clark continues: “It is obvious that charging opportunities have increased through lockdown and that remains high post-lockdown.

“It is important not to let batteries fail; to be more customer-focused and environmentally friendly is vital for your long-term business success. One in every two vehicle batteries needs to be recharged and if that is included into any service and repair schedule, then routine charging should be profitable.”

If you run an imaginary workshop looking after 100 vehicles per month, to supply replacement batteries based on the Rotronics data, the revenue & estimated profit* each month would be:

 Opportunity Pre-Covid19 During Covid19 Post Covid19
Battery Replacements 10 @ £1,500 22 @ £3,300 9 @ £1,350
Charging Opportunity 28 @ £280 58 @ £580 57 @ £570
Total Revenue £1,780 £3,880 £1,920
Estimated Profits £655 £1,405 £907.50

*Assumptions

  1. Battery revenue @ £150 per battery, generating 25% profit
  2. Charging fee of £10 per battery generating 100% profit

  The charging option is easy, with minimal disruption and, combined with the existing replacement requirements, the current revenue opportunity outstrips your pre-lockdown profit position.

To achieve this, the Rotronics team recommends offering a Battery Test and Charge service, and this should be available to every vehicle being looked after.

  • Every battery should be tested using a diagnostic battery tester. Do a visual inspection, checking for obvious signs of corrosion or damaged clamps and leads
  • Tell the customer if the battery is a) Good – ie it is fully charged and no action is required or b) requires charging or c) is faulty and needs replacing
  • Keep batteries above 12.5V, checking the electrolyte levels. Once the batteries are charged, make sure that the charging system is working as it should

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