Thanks for that. I appreciate the input. I don't want this to sound wrong so bear with me. On occassion, I have let pepole provide their own parts. Something exotic or that I just simply don't have time to source, I don't mind. Having people bring their own parts has three drawbacks though, one is profit, second is where to draw the line and third is what to do when the parts are wrong/missing. If something goes wrong with the part, people still say ____ just did my tb and now my car is busted regardless of why it's busted it impacts our reputation. And you don't bring your own meat to Ruth's Chris for dinner, right? I continously evaluate my margins to check that I'm competitive however, it's retail and there's always some room for variation. We are not a wally world and don't have the buying power to grab bulks and sell on 3-5% margin.
We define ourselves by what we do. My guys are not on commission, so there's no fear of them rushing through a repair to beat the clock or trying to sell you stuff that you don't need. We also do what we can to support the community, whether it's NASA, BMWCCA or whomever decides that we are a partner worth putting their name on the line. I also feel like my techs are knowledgeable and credible enough that when they tell me something needs to be done to repair a car correctly, I don't have to question it.
The internet has changed many retail businesses, except the ones where profit margins are off the charts. Imagine if you could check cell phone cost/plans, the cost of PBR or Marlboros or Ipads. You also see where someone posts that it only takes two hours to do ___ in a forum and that's in the driveway, where in the real world maybe with 100,000 worth of tools and a lift, it takes 4. So you can see the dilema, someone now brings their own parts and questions your labor times based on the net, it's tough to make any sense of it. I try to use the info that my suppliers offer to give me real time and realistic info so that I can try to keep some consistancy.
With that being said, I remember your quotes and would like to revisit when you have a chance.