Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS)

CARSNov. 5-8, 2008
Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

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Home Preshow Highlights Thursday, Nov. 6 Friday, Nov. 7 Saturday, Nov. 8 Post-show Analysis
What Is a KPI and Why Should I Care?

What is a key performance indicator (KPI)?
A: A KPI is a statistical fact or numerical value generated from transactional event records. For the automotive industry, KPIs represent total repair order (RO) counts, average RO dollars, average RO parts sales, average RO labor sales, and other well-defined metric indicators. A key feature of KPIs is that the KPI result can be filtered by user-defined parameters, such as geography, vehicle year, make or model, and time.

How were the KPIs selected?
A: KPIs underwent a three-stage process to get included in the Mitchell 1 ShopMeter. First, a “top 10” list of desired KPIs was generated focusing on the core automobile characteristics of year, make and model (Y/M/M). Next, the database was scrutinized to identify data constants that would support analysis and selectable query of the desired KPIs. Finally, the revised list was submitted to ASA for review by the ASA Mechanical Operations Committee and key members of the ASA team. The KPIs reported in ShopMeter are the culmination of this selection process. ASA and Mitchell 1 intend to expand the list of available KPIs based on enhanced data processing and suggestions from users like you.

Where does the KPI data come from?
A: The KPI data is generated from thousands of repair shops across the nation just like yours. Shops that use Mitchell 1 Manager systems provide the transactional data for analysis in an aggregated form.

There are three essential components of the source data:

  • Personally identifiable information or individual shop information is never used in analysis.
  • All data is used in an aggregated form to generate averages and total counts. A specific shop’s data is never used alone and KPI subscribers cannot identify an individual shop – ever.
  • All source data is transactionally accurate and data fields are processed to eliminate incorrect or missing information. Subscribers can trust the integrity and security of the data source.

Is there any personally identifiable information in the statistics?
A: No personally identifiable information is ever contained in the data analyzed by ShopMeter users. All personally identifiable information, such as shop name, shop ID, phone numbers, e-mail addresses or customer data is completely stripped out of the database before analysis. All information is then reassembled in aggregated form to deliver database totals or averages. Only ZIP code information is retained solely for the purpose of generating geographic KPI analysis.

How is the source data protected?
A: The source data is warehoused in Mitchell 1’s secure facility in Poway, Calif. These data are then transformed into an analysis database that is completely separate from the original data – but retains the transactional accuracy of the source minus personally identifiable information.

How often is the database updated?
A: Unlike annual or periodic publications that collect and report data months after the events took place, ShopMeter data is updated and refreshed every two weeks. In later releases, premium subscribers will be able to choose weekly or even daily updates of their data.

What kind of shops am I comparing when I use ShopMeter?
A: The ShopMeter database reflects mainstream aftermarket repair facilities located across the nation. Currently, only shops using Mitchell 1 Manager systems contribute to the analytic database. However, many shops using non-Mitchell 1 management systems are very similar to Mitchell 1 shops, and ShopMeter users can feel confident that the KPIs reflect solid averages, totals and trends that are representative of the aftermarket automotive repair segment of the industry.

How much data makes up the KPI analysis?
A: ShopMeter analyzes 1,600 nationally distributed databases containing more than 3 million transactional records. As a member benefit, ASA members are able to search all 2006 and newer transactions for vehicle years 2004 to present.

Are there different levels of KPI analysis available?
A: Not yet, but they are coming. The ShopMeter version available today is the only one presently available. It is provided as a benefit of ASA membership. There is no charge or fee for this service, and you have unlimited use of the different query selections available in the current ShopMeter utility.

Premium services will be released in the near future on a subscription basis. Subscription-based premium services will offer customized KPI reports, targeted automotive data analysis and full access to the entire data repository. Features of this service will include top five to 50 sorting; broader geographic segmentation; full Y/M/M range look-ups; and service date availability from 1994 to present. Additional KPI services are planned for release in 2009, including repair reference look-ups, broader vehicle classes (including trucks), and analysis by major service categories.

How is local data selected?
A: A mathematical algorithm is applied to the data that converts all ZIP codes to latitude/longitude values. When a user enters a ZIP code, a circular geographic buffer is extended from that ZIP code which returns shop data from all shops in the database within a 50-mile diameter.

How do I use ShopMeter?
A: ShopMeter is an Internet-based utility that displays the data you want in a familiar Web-page format. After you log in to the ASA Members Only section, you access ShopMeter through a special link on the Members section home page. From there, you may walk through a tutorial, get more information or view KPI reports.

What query selections are available on the ShopMeter site?
A: ASA members can search all 2006 and newer transactions for vehicle years 2004 to present. Users can select local averages and totals based on ZIP code, and national averages and totals. This information can be analyzed by vehicle year and make, and by when the service or repair was performed. Results are presented as total number of repair orders, or average RO cost, or average labor cost, or average part cost. In addition, ASA members can filter by ASA members only, to see how ASA members stack up to the rest of the nation.

Are KPIs set in percentages?
A: KPIs are presented as real transactional values. That means they are shown as total counts, or average dollars, or total dollars, depending on the user selection. There are no percentages used in the analysis.

How do I make the KPI applicable to my geographic area?
A: By inserting your ZIP code, the KPI analysis will return information from all shops in the database that are within 50 miles of your ZIP code. In this way, you can compare your shop data with the shop down the street, across town and in a neighboring village.

When I set selection criteria and click “submit,” I get “no data found.” Why?
A: There are hundreds of vehicle models and thousands of year/make combinations in the total vehicle inventory. Most likely your selection was for a low frequency year/model and repair time period and the location did not have any records. Try expanding the repair date to include 2006-2008 and increasing the model year range.

How can I provide suggestions for changes, additions or modifications to specific KPIs?
A: ASA and Mitchell 1 welcome suggestions for improvements, changes, modifications, enhancements, and additions to the KPI selection. We want to know what information is most valuable to you and how we can present it to you better. Please e-mail your suggestions and comments to Angie Kilbourne at ASA:


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Visit the ASA family of informational Web sites:
ASAshop.orgAutoInc. OnlineTakingTheHill.comKEYS Education & TrainingAutomotive Management Institute

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