It isn’t easy to operate a transmission repair shop in today’s business climate. With the technology moving forward at breakneck speeds and literally hundreds of different units reaching your doors, it’s a wonder anyone can remain in the business.
And rebuilding the transmission is just half the problem. In a lot of cases, you can’t even test drive your rebuilds without reprogramming the computer.
If that isn’t enough, you need to make sure you’re getting the right parts, and good quality parts at the best prices. And even though it’s no longer feasible to keep most parts in stock, customers don’t want to wait to get their cars fixed: They want them back quickly, often by the next day.
That’s why WIT is here. WIT — Whatever It Takes — is more than just a clever name for a transmission parts company. It’s their motto… their mission… their reason for existing.
Their entire goal is to provide you with the support you need to remain profitable, regardless of today’s business demands. Just ask any of their 400+ owner/employees. For them, supporting your business is a source of personal pride… one they take seriously, each and every day.
And WIT’s services and procedures aren’t carved in stone: They’re constantly changing to meet your particular needs today. Because the only way to keep you profitable is if we’re meeting your current needs… whatever those may be.
“Our most important goal is making sure to serve our customers and what we can do to benefit them,” says John Senger, WIT’s director of advertising and marketing. It’s a message that’s echoed by everyone on the WIT team.
YOUR PURCHASING AND PROCUREMENT
Wouldn’t it be great to have someone working for you who’s dedicated to ordering the best quality parts for your shop, at the best prices possible? Someone who’d make sure that the parts you ordered were the parts you received? And, maybe someone who’d go the extra mile when you needed something a little out of the ordinary?
That’s one of WIT’s most valuable services, and it’s one with which they’ve become eminently successful. One way they’ve been doing that is by keeping more parts stored in the areas they service.
“We’ve come up with seven super stores across the country, which carry a larger inventory than our regular stores,” says VP of Sales and Marketing Rodney Peters. “This makes it easier for us to get parts to our customers quicker; in most cases by the next day in the areas we serve.”
These super stores, along with their recently opened, 35,000 square-foot expansion of the distribution center in Louisville, eliminate the waiting time for parts, because today’s customers want quicker service and less down time when they bring their cars in for repairs.
Of course, having the parts out there is only half the battle; they also need to make sure you’re getting the parts you ordered, each and every time you call. And they’re doing a pretty good job of that, with an accuracy rating of between 97.5% and 98.5%.
“We’re focused on speed-to-market and part availability for our customers and sales team. WIT remains very successful in today’s marketplace by understanding how important our suppliers are to us,” says Purchasing Manager Lee Downey. “When you request our product, WIT is prepared to supply it in a timely manner at a very competitive price.”
“We’ve implemented a double-scan system,” explains Kelly Hammock, VP of branch operations. “We scan a bar code on your order and then double check the parts to make sure the parts we pulled are what you ordered.” Because getting the order out is only half the job: The rest is making sure the parts you receive are the ones you needed.
“And we’re in the process of putting inventory scanners in our branch stores, to make sure the parts we check into our branches are 100% correct by part number and quantity. This eliminates the human error of counting and entering incorrectly, and gives exact accuracy to what our sales personnel see on their sales screens, which equates to better customer service.” says Kelly.
Of course, no one can stock everything for every transmission, not even WIT. But, when you need something that isn’t in their normal inventory, they’re only too happy to go outside to find the specific part you need to get your customer back on the road. It’s just one more way they live up to their name, Whatever It Takes.
CVT TRAINING AND PARTS
Probably one of the biggest changes to face the transmission repair industry in the last 20 years has been the CVT, or Continuously Variable Transmission. It’s an entirely new concept in the automatic transmission world, and one that’s starting to cause a lot of concern among transmission shop owners.
So the folks at WIT decided parts just weren’t enough… remans weren’t enough. WIT partnered with one of their vendors, Seal Aftermarket Products, to create their own, hands-on training program, and have been taking it across the country, teaching rebuilders how to repair CVTs on the bench. It’s a terrific class: One that’s been greeted by marvelous reviews wherever they take it.
“Some customers did voice their concern about making this change, but once they attended the hands-on CVT workshop, they were ready to take on the challenge,” says Rodney.
Of course, even though they’re trying to get out to as many locations as possible, they can’t be everywhere at once. So to help the shops they haven’t reached yet, they created a video that you can watch on line, right on their main web page: www.wittrans.com.
In the video, Chris Combs, WIT plant manager of production and manufacturing, actually takes you through the complete rebuild procedure, showing you how to identify the unit you’re working on, where to look for potential problems, and how to correct them.
“Even some of the guys who’ve been to the class go back and watch the video to refresh their memories before beginning a rebuild,” says Chris. “I think it’s been a really good tool for them.”
“One thing that makes a lot of technicians nervous is that they believe they’ll need to spend a few thousand dollars for tools to rebuild CVTs,” says Rodney. Actually, it turns out that most shops should be able to begin working on CVTs after spending just a few hundred dollars for a couple specialty tools.
Of course, all the training and tools in the world won’t help you repair CVTs unless you have the parts you need to fix them. That’s another place where WIT has come to bat for you. They have nearly every part you could ever need in stock for the most common CVTs, and they’re adding more parts to their inventory almost daily.
In fact, they offer a catalog that provides a complete breakdown of the parts available, along with additional information about the CVT. And WIT doesn’t charge for this catalog; it’s yours for the taking.
Still not comfortable rebuilding a CVT yourself? WIT has a complete line of reman CVTs in stock, to help you get through until you’re ready to take them on. Or you can handle them in pieces: WIT offers rebuild CVT pumps and valve bodies, so you can take them on a piece at a time.
“We’re trying to offer as many options as you’d like; whether you want to handle the full rebuild yourself or just a piece of it. We want to help you get into them the way you’re most comfortable,” says Chris.
REMANS FOR YOU
Sometimes rebuilding isn’t the best answer. Whether it’s a matter of time, cost, or convenience, sometimes your better choice is a reman.
WIT remans are carefully rebuilt, using the highest quality parts and procedures. All updates are included, to bring their units up to the same level of quality you’d demand from your own staff. And then they’re dynamometer tested, so you can be sure that your WIT reman will work the way it’s supposed to.
And not just automatics: WIT also provides a line of rebuilt standard transmissions. Not interested in remans? Have your own rebuilders in house? That’s fine: WIT will be happy to provide all the parts you need, and for most shops in their areas, you can count on those parts showing up by the next day.
But maybe your rebuilder is away on vacation. Or maybe the customer is from out of town, and you’d prefer not to have to deal with warranty issues. Whatever your reason, WIT has the remans you need to get your customer back on the road… fast!
Everyone in the business knows that a large number comebacks or no-goes trace back to a valve body problem. And many of today’s valve bodies are subject to a lot of wear, requiring extensive repairs to get them back to like-new operating condition.
One of the biggest problems is that most shops can’t test their valve bodies. They can check the individual valves and switches, but when it comes to whether the valve body works the way it’s supposed to, well, they won’t know that until they install it and take the vehicle for a drive. Kind of late in the game, by any standards.
That’s one of the main reasons that WIT offers their own rebuilt valve bodies. They rebuild the valve bodies in house, and vacuum test the individual valves. Then, when they get the valve body back together, they’ll bolt them onto a test bench and run it through its paces. Every valve body gets tested before it’s sent to you.
And they’re constantly adding to their line: “We’re now offering the 45RFE and the 68RFE valve bodies,” says Howard Fox, WIT’s valve body manufacturing manager. “These come with an oversized solenoid switch valve already installed, and separator plates with bonded gaskets, because they tend to warp and the factory separator plate doesn’t come with gaskets.”
Then again, maybe you don’t know for sure whether you need a valve body or not. That’s okay: You can send your valve body to WIT to have it tested. For a nominal fee, they’ll connect your valve body to the test bench and check it thoroughly. Then they’ll provide you with a report, detailing what it needs to bring it back to operating condition.
From there, you can decide whether you want to rebuild it yourself, have it repaired by the valve body technicians at WIT, or simply buy a rebuilt valve body from WIT’s stock units. Whichever you choose, you can be sure of the quality of your valve body, and have it back and ready to go in no time.
All too often these days, you could find yourself unable to road test your rebuilds until you’ve had the computer reflashed. For many shops, that means having the car towed to a nearby dealer to handle the reprogramming. To help reduce your time and expense, WIT now offers the RAP (Remote Assist Program).
The program operates through Drew Technologies and it works like this: Contact a WIT sales rep and fill out a restoration form. Drew Technologies then sends you a reprogramming “case” to connect to the vehicle’s diagnostic link connector (DLC). Once it’s connected, the technicians at Drew Technologies take over, and reprogram the computer for you.
The fee to reflash the computer is $125; about the same as you’d pay to have it reflashed at the dealer… but without the towing fee. There are no other equipment fees; you pay a core charge for the reprogramming case, but you get that back when you return the case.
You don’t need to buy cables, you don’t need a dedicated computer. That’s all handled for you through WIT and Drew Technologies.
Just one more way that WIT is supporting your business… and your bottom line!
One thing you can be sure of: the folks at WIT are constantly looking for better ways to serve you, their customers. As Chris pointed out, “Without our customers, there’s no need for us to be here. When they’re successful, we’re successful.”
Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?