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Showcase: Ken Garff Ford Service Center

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STATS: Ken Garff Ford Service Center  Location: American Fork, Utah  Service Director: Ray Paddock  Bays: 27  Staff Size: 48  Average monthly car count: 1,978  Gross Revenue: $4 million (projected)  Total Sales: $5.5 million

1. The Layout:

Ray Paddock, service director at Ken Garff Ford in American Fork, Utah, says that the service center follows the layout of a typical body shop, meaning that bays are all on the right side. Having bays located on one side instead of throughout the space allows technicians to have enough room for equipment and to work on the vehicle. 

Adjacent to the service department are the quick lane, tire center and car wash. The five-bay quick lane is dedicated to small or fast jobs, like oil changes and tire rotations.

Once the vehicle is serviced, it receives a complimentary car wash.    

Daily, there are 23 technicians on deck to service vehicles.


2. The Equipment:

In the last five years, the dealership was refreshed and the shop also got a few new pieces of equipment. 

The service center has 27 working bays and most of the Rotary Lifts the service department has can handle vehicles that weigh 12,000 pounds or less. 

Paddock notes that the most-used piece of equipment is the Hunter Quick Check alignment machine. Almost every car that passes through the service department gets a courtesy alignment check. 

Since the service center has some fleet accounts, two designated Rotary Lifts that can lifts vehicles that weigh up to 30,000 pounds are used to accommodate larger vehicles. 

Ken Garff Ford’s service department also uses the Reynolds and Reynolds DMS to provide a uniform mode of communication with customers. 

To keep track of vehicles and who is working on what, the service department uses a centralized dispatching system that assigns jobs based on each technician’s skills and certifications. 


3. The Process: 

As the customer rolls through with their vehicle, they are greeted by one of nine service advisors who check for recalls and coordinate the work. And, each service advisors has his or her own desk with a nameplate on the front so they are easily identifiable to customers walking in.

Once the customer checks in, the vehicle is tagged twice—once with a ticket placed on the dashboard and then with a yellow or red cone on the outside of the vehicle. 

When a customer comes into the quick lane with an appointment, a red cone is placed on the vehicle. If it’s a walk-in appointment, a yellow cone is placed on the vehicle signifying that the vehicle will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis. 


4. The Amenities:

Aside from getting a free car wash, alignment check and multi-point inspection, vehicles that roll through the service center can take advantage of services like a round-trip shuttle to get customers where they need to go. 

Ken Garff Ford also advertises tire sales, which accounts for 3–4 percent of daily traffic in the service center. Nine major tire brands are on display near the quick lane area and customers can easily pick and choose from them. 

Customers can opt for night-time drop off of their vehicles or get a rental car while their car is being serviced. 

There is a customer lounge area that offers free Wi-Fi, refreshments and a big television with cable so customers can stay entertained while they wait or catch up on work emails. 

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