As Fixed Ops Journal starts its second year, there's a particular voice we very much want to include in our discussion of service, parts and collision-repair issues at the dealership and automaker levels:
Because of the favorable response from our readers, we're increasing our publication schedule from four to six issues this year. That means even more coverage of how fixed operations contribute increasingly to dealership profits, of best practices on the service drive and in the bays, in the bump shop and at the parts counter, and of news you can use.
In return, we want to hear your thoughts about what we're doing and to give you an opportunity to share your ideas and advice with your fixed-ops colleagues. And we want to do that with a humble yet powerful device: a letters-to-the-editor page, beginning in our April issue.
You'll still have the opportunity to add comments below the stories on our website, autonews.com/fixedops. Yet even at a time when the president of the United States routinely tweets major policy statements, there's something to be said for communication that is more than 140 characters.
We invite you to respond to articles and features in Fixed Ops Journal as well as to the magazine as a whole. What else should we be reporting and writing about? What do you want to see more of? Less of?
At the same time, we want you to use the letters page as a forum for a broader discussion of hot topics in fixed operations: personnel issues, new technology, relations with customers, automakers and vendors, and whatever else is happening in the service department.
Is your shop doing something that other dealerships should emulate in the interest of advancing the industry? Let us, and them, know. Do you have a question about fixed ops to pose to your industry counterparts? Ask away.
Got a problem you want to place before our readers? We're here for you. Want to start an argument? As long as you keep it civil, speak right up.
We won't impose a lot of rules on our letter writers, so we can keep the discussion freewheeling and flexible. Please limit your letters to no more than 300 words to allow us to accommodate as many voices as we can.
We'll edit letters for space, clarity and accuracy. We welcome constructive criticism that keeps us on our toes. If you cite statistics, please identify their source.
Our policy is not to publish anonymous letters. Include your full name and title and the name of your institution, as well as a work email address and daytime phone number for verification. You can email your letters to [email protected] or look for the "Send us a Letter" box within every story on our website.
The letters column is often among a publication's best-read features because it allows readers to engage each other directly. We'd like to host that sort of conversation in Fixed Ops Journal.
But the process has to start with you. The more fixed-ops folks who join our forum, the better able we'll be to moderate a lively and useful dialogue.
So don't forget to write. We, and our readers, are waiting to hear from you.