JoeAuto(TM) is bringing the benefits of "big box" retailing and information technology efficiencies to an industry -- auto service and repair -- that in many ways has seen little change since the 1950s. The Houston-based company plans to target both the B2C and B2B markets, with a special focus on commercial fleet repair and maintenance of vehicles up to a one-ton chassis. It's been estimated that fleet repairs account for more than 13 percent of the overall automotive market, but with few national competitors, none are providing overnight service. According to Lynn Graham, president and CEO of JoeAuto, that's soon going to change. JoeAuto aims to completely re-engineer the auto service and repair process and provide fleet managers with an entirely new value proposition, according to Graham: the company will meet the demanding schedules of fleets by providing unprecedented overnight service and a professional team addressing the special needs of fleet vehicles. According to Graham, JoeAuto will offer: Fleet repair services for fleets of all sizes. "JoeAuto will service fleet vehicles at night so that they can stay on the road during the day," Graham said. "It keeps their vehicles in service and their drivers productive." Same day or overnight service, 24/7. Vehicles in by 1 p.m. will be returned the same day; vehicles in after 1 p.m. will be returned that evening or the next morning. Automobile pick up and redelivery with hourly-rate loaner vehicles available. "Getting a vehicle to a service facility typically ties up two employees," said Bob Fuller, vice president of commercial services at JoeAuto. "We're providing pickup and return solutions on those vehicles for a very minimal fee." Record keeping and reporting. Fleet owners will be provided with comprehensive reporting, including service history by vehicle, by type of vehicle, and by type of repair, along with other tools to facilitate effective fleet management, according to Fuller. "In a future phase we're also going to have the ability to do some forecasting for fleets in terms of what their maintenance and repair costs will be," Fuller told Business Fleet. "It gives them an opportunity to see what their anticipated costs are going to be, maybe for a coming quarter." Streamlined approach to auto repair. According to Graham, JoeAuto is working with Six Sigma Qualtec Institute of Scottsdale, Ariz., to redesign 35 critical automotive service processes for maximum efficiency. "We took those savings and reinvested them back into the customer value proposition," Graham told Business Fleet. On-site parts. Each service center will have an on-site, completely stocked parts store managed by NAPA Auto Parts. 30 service bays -- a 500 percent greater capacity than traditional auto repair centers. Information technology and Internet efficiencies. These include receiving a diagnosis, obtaining pricing information, making service appointments, choosing a loaner car, selecting a keep-in-touch pager or cell phone number, viewing repairs and making payments -- all of which customers can do online -- and by the end of this year, viewing service records and maintenance history online, according to Fuller. Workplace enhancements including top pay, flexible scheduling, climate control, tools and training program and full benefits, which according to JoeAuto has never before been available to auto service technicians. According to Fuller, the company's eight-bay prototype center in Houston has generated revenues in its first six months of operation that rank in the top five percent of all auto shops nationwide. That facility is currently servicing about 20 fleet accounts of various sizes. "Probably the most compelling piece that the smaller business owner is going to be interested in is, since he doesn't have the means to over-capitalize his vehicles by 20 percent, the fact that we service those vehicles at night while he doesn't need them," Fuller told Business Fleet. According to Fuller, JoeAuto provides these services at rates which small fleets can afford. "We took a look at the dealership rates; we took a look at the aftermarket service rates," Fuller said. "We're right in the middle. We're not charging extra or a premium for working on their vehicles at night." This summer, JoeAuto will launch its first "big box" center in Houston, with a second Houston outlet opening before year-end. In 2002, the company plans to move into Dallas, Austin, Atlanta and Denver. By 2005, JoeAuto expects to have 100 to 150 big box service centers serving the nation's top 50 metropolitan areas, according to Fuller. "We would like to build bridges as we get ready to move into more marketplaces; to create relationships now," Graham said. "I think we clearly have a service that fleet owners have been asking about and hoping someone would create. That's our intention: to be there when they need us." For more information, call Bob Fuller at (281) 367-8844 extension 103; e-mail; or visit