SANTA CLARA, Calif.Tough market conditions in 2009 had a negative impact on service department volume at Frontier Infiniti, a Northern California dealership that writes 700-800 customer pay repair orders per month and services more vehicles than any other Infiniti dealership north of Los Angeles.

Looking to reverse the trend, Parts and Service Director Jim Cirimele signed up for MPi’s World Class Inspection program and installed MPi’s customized EDGE solution in January 2010. The effect was immediate. Within two months, Frontier Infiniti achieved a 96 percent vehicle inspection completion rate, up from 73 percent in 2010, with an average up-sell of $66 per inspection, and service revenue increased more than $33,000 per month.

Prior to installing EDGE, Frontier Infiniti didn’t have a program in place to inspect every vehicle. “Our other Infiniti store uses a paper program for vehicle inspections but I found the system to be inadequate for our needs,” said Cirimele.

“When the EDGE system was presented to me, it was like getting a two-by-four between the eyes. I realized there were so many things we weren’t tracking, and couldn’t track, because of the huge amounts of time it would take,” he said.

Cirimele liked EDGE’s ability to incorporate consistency into all the service department processes, from the vehicle inspection process to the estimating and the presentation process to the client.

Another immediate result of installing MPi’s EDGE solution was an increase in service revenue. “We installed on January 21 and by the end of the month I could already see an uptick,” said Cirimele. In February, the service department achieved a stellar $63,248 increase in sales, and followed up in March and April with an average $33,000 increase in sales compared to their original baseline sales figure.

The ability to accurately track vehicle inspections and revenue increase are just two of the many reports that the EDGE system provides. Other reports include: the average value of inspections, average mileage of vehicles, closing rate on up-sells and more. In addition, MPi sets World Class Inspection benchmarks in each of these categories for service department employees.

Cirimele never tracked the number before, but since installing EDGE his technicians are averaging 3.3 service recommendations with an average up-sell of $66 per vehicle inspection.

The MPi EDGE solution provides Cirimele’s service department consistency and processes, and he credits the MPi Know Your Vehicle report as another product benefit that has brought added value to his department’s financial goals.

After every vehicle inspection, the service advisor prints out a Know Your Vehicle report, which explains to the customer in simple terms what needs to be serviced and why. Cirimele likes the fact that the report doesn’t just tell what needs to be done today, but also describes what is wearing and may need to be addressed in the near future.

“It helps us educate our customers and raise their awareness factor, which in turn reduces the surprise factor for unexpected vehicle repairs,” he said.

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