With the right partner things are running smoothly
Good margins and a certain source of income are definite advantages of the business with lubricants. Still many workshops neglect this subject although the right partner can ease the workload and moneymaking can become easier.
Every workshop customer needs oil. Even though the service intervals are quite long today, there is no getting around the oil change sooner or later or buying some top-up oil at least. For the workshop it is a profitable and reliable business. Offering premium products to one’s customers means both reliable margins and content customers – especially if competent service is provided.
The business with oil is manifold. The times, when 15W-40 oil could be used for everything, are long gone. Modern cars are demanding: oil is still a lubricant of course, but you cannot use any oil for any engine. During the last years lubricants have become a part of the engine: constructional elements which need to do their service from the very first to the very last day at oil drain intervals of up to 50,000 kilometres and without any failures. The latest products are so-called low-ash oils preventing the premature death of particle filters and catalytic converters. This point should be taken up and one should explain to one’s customers the current requirements on lubricants and point out that considering the long oil drain intervals slightly higher prices compared to insufficient products are of no consequence.
With regard to such long oil drain intervals professional pessimists predicted the end of the lucrative oil business over and over again. Actually however, nowadays the private oil change at home is dead. Strict environmental specifications have put an end to it quickly and rightly so. Furthermore, it is very difficult to carry out an oil change without a car hoist: the underride protection covers the oil-drain plug and the oil filter is difficult to access. The oil change which used to be Saturday’s job of fathers between mowing the lawn and polishing the car has become a duty of the workshop.
Oil business has grown more manifold but also more difficult. Faced with the multitude of new models there is some confusion especially in independent workshops: Can my oil brand be applied in all vehicle types requiring service here? Can vehicle X be filled with oil Y? Which types of oil should be on stock and in which quantity? Every workshop operator can answer the first question himself best – after all he knows which vehicles are brought to his workshop for service. The second question can be answered by the help of listings giving the approvals of the single lubricants. The third question requires exact calculation on which stocks are reasonable. In any case it is advisable to consult an expert. All engine oil providers have competent personnel responsible for consulting and calculation. The main question should be: Which oil can cover the vehicles of most of my customers? There might be some three oils on stock – this quantity is manageable and each employee should know the respective characteristics to advise the customers competently.
In the following we introduce the service and priorities of some lubricant suppliers.
Under www.addinol.de the company provides an online oil finder where suitable lubricants can be searched according to vehicle type or key number. Here not only engine oils but also transmission oils as well as lubricants for steering, brakes and wheel bearing are given, including filling quantities and product information. In addition, ADDINOL offers comprehensive technical documentation on all products, data sheets, as well as brochures and flyers for end users. In Leuna trainings, seminars as well as technical advice and service are considered to be an integral part of the company’s scope. Lubrication equipment for workshops and decoration complete the range. [...]
German article published in amz special edition "Der Freie Kfz-ServiceMarkt 2009" (view German article here)