Rafferty Subaru Spruces Up Service Department, Adds iPad-Based Write-Up System | Edmunds

Rafferty Subaru Spruces Up Service Department, Adds iPad-Based Write-Up System


Just the Facts:
  • Rafferty Subaru in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania is one of more than 100 Subaru dealers in the U.S. taking part in a new service-expansion program.
  • Just last month Rafferty Subaru implemented a new iPad-based service write-up system.
  • "It has only been in place three or four weeks, but it shortens customers' wait time," Vice President Bob Rafferty told Edmunds.

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pennsylvania Rafferty Subaru in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania is one of more than 100 Subaru dealers in the U.S. taking part in a new service-expansion program.

Just last month Rafferty Subaru implemented a new iPad-based service write-up system.
"It has only been in place three or four weeks, but it shortens customers' wait time," Vice President Bob Rafferty told Edmunds.

Subaru of America is helping dealers beef up their service departments with its new Fixed Operations Expansion or FOX program. The goal of the program is to increase service capacity by 70 percent over the next four years.

The program was announced earlier this year, but Edmunds decided it was time to check in with a dealer to see how things are progressing.

"We jumped in with both feet," Rafferty said.

The dealership is getting a new 12-bay service building with a three-lane service drive, along with an expanded write-up area and waiting room.

It should be put to good use, considering Rafferty's sales are up from an average of 85 new-car sales a month last year to 115 this year. Including used cars, the dealership averages 200 sales per month.

Service hours at the dealership are up. Rafferty has high praise for the iPad-based service write-up system.

"I look forward to this helping quite a bit," he said. "We can do a lot off the iPad, such as sending pictures of a part and communicating with customers by e-mail. It will make the whole process much smoother and more transparent."

Rafferty's iPad-toting service staff will have more room to move as he expands the dealership footprint to accommodate sales as high as 300 cars a month in the future.

"Everything has snowballed in the right direction for Subaru," said Rafferty.

"Snowballed" might be the right term.

He acknowledged that the rough winter might have turned customers in his direction who are seeking the Japanese brand's all-wheel drive.

"I had a customer today who's picking up a car on Friday who commented on how hard the winter was," Rafferty said. "It's still staying on people's minds even though it's July!"

Subaru is experiencing a jump in sales, thanks to products like the 2014 Subaru Forester and 2015 Subaru WRX STI. Subaru dealers aim to increase service capacity in response to the sales increase.

Dominick Infante, a Subaru of America spokesman, told Edmunds that more than 100 Subaru dealers have already launched FOX-support expansion programs. Subaru has about 600 U.S. dealers.

Infante described the automaker's investment in the program as "substantial," without giving a specific figure.

"We expect a lot more of our dealers to submit proposals," Infante said.

Edmunds says: Subaru wisely gets behind its dealers to help them spread some of that often-advertised love into the service department.

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