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About this blog

A Blog by Joe Marconi, co-founder of AutoShopOwner and owner of Osceola Garage.

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Joe Marconi


A shop owner friend called me the other today to complain about one of his technicians. He went on and on about his bad attitude, he comes in late, is always miserable, and brings down the morale of the shop. So I asked him, “Why do you keep him?” He replied, “He’s my best producer”

How many times have we heard this story? How many times have you said those exact words? As a shop owner you need to come to terms with the fact that a toxic employee will bring down the entire shop. Making excuses or giving this employee a pass because he’s a great producer is not a valid argument.

Eventually, the entire shop will spiral downward. Morale will deteriorate to a point where employees will shut down. In addition, the other employees will begin to question your judgment of people and “your” integrity. You will lose your credibility as owner of the company. When that happens, expect good people to leave.

A bad apple will destroy the bunch, and never leave the bushel unless you physically remove it. Once removed, morale will go up and so will production. And don’t be surprised when your other employees come to you and say, “Hey boss, what took you so long?”






Source: Got a bad apple in your Repair Shop? Remove it!
Joe Marconi


Let me give you a prime example of what we are going through as a result of the Advance Marketing strategy:

Last week a customer came to us with a steering pull and requested a wheel alignment. After our routine inspection, we informed the customer that the ball joints were worn and they would need to be replaced before the alignment was done. The customer thanked us and said he would let us know what he decides.

The customer came back yesterday and told us, "I decided to go to Advance, bought the ball joints from them and they even LOANED ME THE TOOLS TO DO THE JOB!"

But, he is the real story: The truck now has clunks and noises and the steering wanders all over the road. His attempt to do his own ball joints, has now left his truck unsafe to drive due to his lack of expertise to perform the job properly.

This is what I have been battling with Advance and no one will listen. Why? They made the sale and that's what's important to Advance. Not the safety of the consumer, and certainly not the shop that lost the sale and is now stuck trying to figure out what went wrong.

The Advance marketing strategy will hurt the independents and send the wrong message to the consumer. Free testing, free battery installation, reading codes in the parking lot,loaner tools sets; will all do more harm than good to the relationship between Advance and the repair shops. How can Advance expect me to buy from them when they want to compete with me? That makes no sense.

And please don't tell me, "That's not your customer." I am so tired of hearing that. It is my customer! The entire motoring public hears and sees the advertising.

This is why I have serious issues with Advance, and cannot support them. And nothing will change as long as Advance listens to Wall Street and not Main Street.




Source: Advance Auto Parts Marketing Continues to Hurt Auto Repair Shops
Joe Marconi

I got a call the other day from a shop owner who happens to own a repair shop in the town I live in. He told me that a new Advance Auto Parts store has opened up down the road and they want him to buy from them. I asked him how he felt about buying from Advance Auto Parts. He told me that he really has an issue due to all the signage in front of the store: Free Wiper Blade installation, Free Battery Testing, Free Battery Installation, Free Alternator Testing and Free Starter Testing. There’s even a sign that says, Loaner Tool Sets Available!

I don’t know how you feel, but as a shop owner I cannot align myself with a company that devalues the work we do. It’s hard enough to generate a profit these days, but to compete with the same business that wants me to buy from them? That’s insane.

Advance Auto Parts claims that they target the DIY, not my customers. But the truth is, everyone sees and hears their advertising. So my customers here the “Free message” over and over. And, let’s not kid ourselves: If Advance Auto Parts can convert a few motorist to try to do auto repairs themselves; that would be just fine for Advance Auto Parts. All at the expense of the auto repair shops.

The bottom line here is truly the Bottom Line. Advance Auto Parts has to answer to Wall Street and its investors. I have to answer to one person…myself. And I will not compromise my beliefs for anyone or any company.

So Advance Auto Parts and Tech Net, say goodbye to someone that has been a life-long friend.



Source: Advance Auto Parts Strategy of FREE undermines auto repair shops
Joe Marconi

With my work as a business coach, I get to speak to other coaches and shop owners around the country. It appears that many shops are slow, others are busy. And while there will always be ups and downs in the auto repair business, the present roller-coaster ride is one for the books.

There are pockets of the country; northeast and mid-west in particular (among other areas) that are going through very tough times. Sales and car counts are down and shop owners are pulling their hair out trying to make sense of all this. There are other areas of the country that are having banner years. Hard to understand, to say the least.

If you are going through a slow period, continue to build for the future. Maximize each week, each day, and each car. Discuss strategies with your employees and look for ways to increase sales and control expenses. Speak with all customers about their automotive needs. Don't get sucked into any negative moods of the customer. Most of all, remain positive. Things will get better with the right positive mental attitude.

By the way, the above strategy applies to all shops, whether you are doing good or bad. Why? As I stated earlier, every shop goes through tough times. The problem? No can tell who will be next. So, plan for the future and keep your eye on your business​.



Source: Some Repair Shops slow, others busy for others. What gives?
Joe Marconi

By now you have a pretty good idea how 2016 will end up. Are you going to achieve your business goals? Your personal Goals? That’s not to say you can make up ground or work hard to do even better. But, as we close the third quarter for 2016, it’s time to review the year, revisit your goals and start planning for 2017.

It all starts with reviewing your financial situation. Set up a meeting with your accountant. Discuss your 2016 projected sales and profits. Don’t wait until 2017 to do this. There are many tax implications that need to be addressed before the end of the year. In addition, you need to review all your expenses and payroll in order to reestablish your breakeven sales number; and to also create your 2017 budget.

This is also the time to review your marketing plan and budget for 2017.. Lastly, you need to perform an audit of your facility. Inspect your facility and equipment. Is it time to upgrade equipment? Are there any building or facilities repairs needed? Needed training?

Planning for the future is planning for success. And while there is no “perfect” plan, not planning is a path to eventual failure.




Source: Shop Owners need a plan for success
Joe Marconi

Lets face it, a week cant go by without a technician comeback or a customer service issue. Mistakes will happen, theres no avoiding it. Obviously, you need to put systems and procedures in place to reduce the chances of mistakes occurring, but the truth is everyone at one time or another we will drop the ball.

 

The key thing to remember when a mistake happens is to keep the lines of communications open. With every mistake there is learning experience that everyone in the shop can benefit from.

 

Discuss the issue with your tech or service advisor. Get all the facts. Dont assign blame; the person who committed the mistake already knows he or she dropped the ball. Draw out of the person ways to improve and ask that person if it would ok to share the findings with the rest of the staff.

 

We all need to adopt the culture of continuous improvement. We can sometime learn more from mistakes then when things go smoothly.

 

One last note; I am not suggesting to ignore habitual mistakes or not recognize when someone refuses to improve or cannot do the job. In some cases you may have to let someone go.

 

Source: Use technician comebacks and customer service issues to learn and improve

Joe Marconi

Got your attention? Good.

 

I often hear shop owners say, "I wouldn't ask any employee to do something that I would not do." While this may appear to be effective leadership, lets dig a little deeper.

 

Lets say you had an illness that required a specialist. You make an appointment to see the doctor and the day you walk into his office you find him scrubbing the toilet bowl? In defense of his actions, he says, "I can't ask my employees to do something I am not willing to do."

 

I use this ridiculous analogy only to prove a point. Effective leadership does not mean performing every required task in your company. Nor does it mean that the only way to get others to perform what's expected of them is to also perform their duties.

 

Effective leaders do go the extra mile and mentor the people they lead, but leaders also know what their true role is. And that is to coach their employees, set the goals, work on the business plan, and to ensure the success of the business.

 

As shop owners, clearly define your role as the leader of your company. Delegate tasks when needed and manage your time by working on the tasks that define you, the leader.

 

Source: Repair Shop Owners; Please dont lead by example!

Joe Marconi

Too often we focus on the things that go wrong, and not on the things that go right. Lets face it; everyday things will go wrong. Have you ever watched a professional ball team play an entire game without mistakes being made. A football game where there were no dropped balls?

 

It's more important to focus on the wins, not the losses. I am not suggesting we ignore the mistakes. But if we never recognize what goes right, and only on what goes wrong, we will end up creating a shop culture of negativity. And that will take its toll on production and lost income.

 

Recognize what goes right, understand that mistakes will happen. Use mistakes as a means to improve, not punish. Do this and watch production improve.

Source: Improve shop productivity with a Focus on what went right, not what went wrong

Joe Marconi

It's no secret that Home Depot changed the Hardware Store business. Are we seeing the same thing occur with the auto parts industry? Will Wall Street dictate the future of the parts business? Main Street, not Wall Street once dominated our business landscape.

 

Part stores were part of the community. Did they cater to the DIY? Of course they did. But the DIYer was someone who could actually work on his car, not the weekend warrior who has no business sticking his head under the hood. And why does he attempt to stick his head under the hood? Because companies like Advance and Auto Zone tells them they belong there. Don't know how to install your alternator, no problem, click on this video and we will show you Mr. DIY.

 

There is no stopping big business and what mass consolidation will do to our industry. But, guys like me don't have to like it. The truth is Home Depot may have shifted their industry, but it also made a select group of business owners only stronger. The same may happen in the parts business.

 

Big Parts Guys, if you truly want OUR business, then stop catering to the DIY market and insulting us by telling us the DIYer is not our customer. The motoring public hears your commercials, they see you ads, they get your discount flyers in the mail. So, stop the insults. I would have more respect if you just come clean.

 

My guess, nothing will happen. The big guys won't change when money gets in the way. When home town and Wall Street collide, Wall Street usually wins. Usually, but not always.

Source: Are we seeing the Home Depot effect in the Auto Parts Industry?
Joe Marconi

 

At a recent local business EXPO, I had the opportunity to meet and speak to a lot of people. One of the questions I asked people is, “Where do you get your car serviced?” This is a question I often ask when doing these events. What surprised me was the increase in consumers going back to the dealer for routine service and repairs.

 

I followed up the first question with a second question, “Why do go to the new car dealer for service and repairs?”

 

Here are some of the answers I got:

· It’s a new car

· I have to go to the dealer, it’s under warranty

· My sales person said I had to

· My dealer uses original parts, I don’t want any problems

· It’s a lease car

· My dealer packaged a service plan for my car

· I got a discount book with services

· The dealer extended the warranty if I do all the services there

· My first year of services were free, after that I got used to going back

 

I have been in business a long time. Years back people bought new cars and maybe went back for a few oil changes, but that was it. Things have changed, and dealers are very aggressive with their marketing tactics. From what I am seeing, the dealers are winning back customers.

 

The fact is dealers want our customers. Between the shrinking margins on new car sales and the fierce competition, the new car dealer needs the income from service and parts.

 

We need to take this seriously. We, the independent aftermarket repair shops, are still the first choice with the motoring public, but for how long? Smart dealers are doing a great job at winning customers back after the sale is made. Dealers are also booking the vehicle’s first service and selling service packages. Many dealers are positioning themselves as “price competitive” too.

 

Thirty years ago dealers charged what they wanted in the service bays, and sold cars in spite of themselves. And we had an endless stream of broken cars lined up in front of our bays. All was good. It’s not that way anymore. Cars are built better, have less routine service items to replace, last longer and don’t breakdown the way cars did years ago. Add to the fact that every sector of the repair industry is a Total Car Care Center.

 

We can remain number one, and we should. But we cannot ignore the new battle field. The competitors you need to pay close attention to are the new car dealers in your market area.

 

 

Source: More consumers going back to the New Car Dealer for Auto Service

Joe Marconi

When a workplace suffers from poor morale, so does productivity. When a company enjoys high morale, productivity improves and profit follows. It all starts with the leader; the shop owner. You set the tone. Your attitude will dictate the direction of every employee.

Too many work places suffer from poor morale. And it doesnt matter that you have the best tools, the best training, top techs and top service advisors. Without a healthy workplace environment, you will never reach your potential. You will also lose key employees. People do not want to work in an environment filled with stress and drama.

 

As a shop owner, set the right tone each day. Look for things to be thankful for. Dismiss negative thoughts and make it a point to thank the people around you. Is this easy? No. But if you want to succeed in this tough economic, competitive market, you have no choice.

 

Source: High shop morale improves productivity

Joe Marconi

I was speaking with a shop owner the other day about an issue he is having with technician comebacks. After a series of questions, the reason for the comebacks became clear.

 

At the start of the year he implemented a very aggressive growth strategy, putting a lot of emphasis on quotas, sales and labor production. The strategy also included increased bonuses for the service advisor and techs for hitting certain goals.

 

Now, at its core, this is not a bad strategy. However, the focus was on quotas,sales, profit and production. What was lacking was a process to ensure that quality was maintained, and basing sale decisions on what is in the best interest of the customer.

 

A focus on quotas instead of service quality, is a recipe for eventual failure. For example: Instead of setting a quota to sell 5 batteries this week and 10 sets of wiper blades, create a process that your technicians will test all batteries and inspect all wiper blades. This strategy will achieve the same results while maintaining a focus on quality and integrity.

 

The bottom line is we all need goals. But we also need to maintain quality. So, when setting your goals, include a quality control process to cut down on mistakes before the customer gets his car back. Put emphasis on customer service and integrity. Celebrate positive customer reviews. And lastly, base all service and repair recommendations on what is in the best interest of the customer.

Source: Why technician pay incentive bonuses may backfire
Joe Marconi

According to a Gallup poll, 99 out of 100 people say they want a more positive environment at work. The study also says that employees are more productive when they are around positive people. If you stop and think about it, this speaks volumes. A positive workplace produces happier employees, which ultimately improves shop production. And one of the best ways to promote a more positive workplace is with praise and recognition.

 

Everyone wants to be recognized for the work they do and want to know that what they do matters to the overall success of the shop. Without enough praise and recognition, employees become disengaged. When this happens, morale will suffer, and so will your business. Poor morale affects every aspect of your business, including customer service.

 

As a shop owner, I know how difficult it is to run a repair shop. You spend so much time handling issues and problems. Sometimes it's hard to put aside the issues and find the good that's around you. But the reality is that if you want a more productive and profitable business, you need to have positive work environment. And that begins with hiring the right people, and then making sure that employees receive adequate praise when warranted and recognition for a job well done.

 

Source: Improve Your Repair Shop Production with the Power of Praise!

Joe Marconi

As a young child, my father would tell that it doesn't matter what you choose to do in life, just work really hard and become the best you can possibly be. That was sound advice 50 years ago, and it's sound advice today.

 

As shop owners, we are on a journey, not a destination. And, your success will always be determined by what you achieve, and not by the achievement of others. It really doesn't matter what the shop across town has achieved, or how many locations you have, or the amount of cash you have in the bank. Comparing yourself to others is not where your focus should be.

 

Now, please don't misunderstand me. We can learn a lot from the success of others. And we should study how others have achieved greatness. What I am saying is that everyone has a different perspective on what that greatness looks like.

 

Here's the bottom line: Commit to personal excellence, commit to continuous improvement, promise that you will help others around you achieve their personal success, maintain your integrity and ethics, don't accept being average, and above all, be the best you can be. If you do these things, you will attain success.

Source: Shop Owners: Has your repair shop reached success?
Joe Marconi

While many shop owners may not enjoy a harsh winter, there's always that feeling that a tough winter is good for business. But is it?

 

Last year was one of the worst winters on record in the northeast. There was a ton of winter-related work. But, when you factor the days closed due to snow and ice storms, sales did not reflect any real increase.

 

I know I may be simplifying this, since there are a number of reasons why business may slow down in the winter months. However, to rely on a tough winter to bring in service and repair work may not be your best sales strategy.

 

The winter will be what it is; tough or mild. We cannot help that. But, what we can do is prepare for either scenario, which is building your customer retention rate by proactively identifying needed future work on each vehicle, discussing all future work with each customer, creating service reminders and creating a follow up call list to contact your customers when those service reminders go out.

 

We cannot predict the future, but we can help create it. Start today with each and every customer to ensure that they come back to you for all their service needs.

 

Remember this: Every car in your shop today will need a future LOF service, future services and future repairs. The question is, will they be coming back to you?

Source: Will the Mild Winter Hurt Business?

Joe Marconi

In order to make any sale,the person you are trying to sell to must see the benefit of what you are recommending. Your customer must see that you are trying to help them, rather than just sell them something.

Each of knows the reasons "why" we recommend a timing belt or a wheel alignment. But, sometimes in the mist of a busy day we don't effectively communicate the "why". When a customer understands that replacing the timing belt is thousands of dollars less than major engine repair, the customer knows the why. The customer sees that you are trying to help.

The other component in selling is clearly identifying your true profile customer, and ones that you have established strong relationships with. You will have an easier time selling to the right customer and those you have created strong relationships with. Focus on these customers and do all you can to continue to identify and build more of these relationships with the right customers.

I am not saying to ignore certain customers, but the truth is we cannot be everything to everyone and attempting to be will eventually hurt sales, morale and profits.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Selling is all about helping the right customer

Joe Marconi

 

I got a call the other from a shop owner friend asking me to help calculate his labor rate. I told him that before you calculate your labor rate, you should check your labor production (also known as effective labor rate). I asked him to total up his total tech paid hours for the month and then divide those hours by his total labor dollars sold for the month.

 

He got back to me and was surprised that although he posted a $90.00 labor rate, his actual labor dollars per hour was only $62.00. I pointed out that this is a production problem, not a labor rate price issue.

 

Raising labor production is equally important as understanding what your labor rate should be. In fact, ensuring your labor production is where it should be will add much needed dollars to the bottom line.

 

'One thing to consider; low labor production is not just the responsibility of the technician. You need to also take into account: Are you billing enough hours? Are you charging properly for diagnostic time? Are the techs waiting too long for parts or for the service advisors to sell jobs? Is there too much down time between jobs?

 

Look at the entire shop operations and workflow process. Each minute increase in labor production will add much needed dollars to your bottom line.

 

 

Source: Before you raise prices, raise production

Joe Marconi

 

If one of your best customers brought his car to you with a brake problem, and you told him the car needed front brakes and brake rotors, would he give you a sales objection? Would he say, “Are your sure it needs the brake rotors too?” or, “Really, that much? I can get those rotors cheaper on the Internet.” Think about it, would you have to go back and forth handling sales objections one by one, until you hopefully make the sale? Your best customers don’t give you a hard time, they simply say yes.

 

The problem? Your top best customers only make up about 20% of your customer base, at best.

 

So, all too often we are stuck with this mentally-exhausting negotiation where we handle objection after objection, until a champion emerges. Either the customer wins or you do.

 

The only way to decrease sales objections is by creating strong relationships with your customers and building value in what you are selling. If you sell parts, labor and price, you better be prepared for sales objections. If you work on the relationship and build a lot of value by promoting your warranty, quality parts, convenience, and by providing world-class service, you will be in much better place. Your objections will go down and your sales will go up.

 

 

 

 

Source: Can Your Service Writers Really Overcome Sales Objections?

Joe Marconi

 

My manager took day off yesterday, so I decided to step into his role and oversee shop production for the day. Boy, the things I uncovered! How does anything ever get done? The schedule is a mess, jobs not checked out early enough, too many wait customers, too much conversation among the techs, and they even took a lunch break!

 

By noon, I was so frustrated that I needed a gin-n-tonic to calm down. (Just kidding, actually drank an Ice tea).

 

I pushed all morning long MY WAY, and everyone pushed back. So, after their “Lunch break”, I decided to do more observing than interfering. And guess what happened? By the end of the day, all the work was done, all the customer problems were solved and everyone ended up on a high not. What? How could this be?

 

I need to take some of my own advice, and let go of control. Not doing things MY WAY is not always a bad thing.

 

 

Source: Letting go of control of the shop is still so hard to do

Joe Marconi

 

As a shop owner, you have both business goals and personal goals. Goals are critical to your success. Setting goals is like planning out a trip. Each step is carefully outlined and mapped out. You know where you want to ultimately end up, and you know how you will get there. But what about your employees? Don’t they have goals?

 

Employees may not have sat down and wrote out a detailed plan, but let me assure you, they have goals too. Employees care about their future, their kid’s future and also have wants and desires.

 

My advice is to find out what those goals are, and here’s why. When employees know that you care about their well-being as a person, they will begin to align their goals with your goals. They see the bigger picture; that in order to achieve what they want out of life, they must help you achieve what you want also.

 

But the key here is to make sure you as the shop owner make the first move. Sit down with employees, ask them about their future desires and dreams. Then begin to build your business around not just what you want, but what everyone wants. This also means that you must become profitable enough to be able to continue to compensate your employees at a level that they feel secure in their position.

 

But, it’s never all about the numbers and the dollars. As shop owner, you are also a mentor. And the most important employee-related job you have is understanding your employees and helping them achieve their wants and desires.

 

Motivational Speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “You can get anything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want”

 

 

Source: You have goals…but what about your employee’s goals?

Joe Marconi

 

There is been a lot of discussion lately across this nation about raising the minimum wage. I am not going to debate that issue today, but I will go on the record that I believe it may affect our industry and how we pay out technicians.

 

With companies such as Wall Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, Chipotles, and many more increasing wages, this will send a message to the workforce that wages need to be more in line with the needs of the worker.

 

Pay scales for techs are all over the map depending on where you are in the country. But, the age old issue is that we need to attract quality entry-level people to our industry. With chatter that entry-level positions in the fast food chains and other big box stores may exceed $10.00 per hour and even reach $15.00, we need to take a look at what we pay our people.

 

The bottom line here is truly the “bottom line”. Shop owners cannot simply raise wages unless the shop’s profits are enough to support the raise. Shop owners need to take a long hard look at their pay plans and ensure that you offer competitive wages, but importantly, offer a work environment and career paths that will attract quality people.

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Source: Will Minimum Wage Hikes Affect Auto Repair Shop’s Technician’s Pay?

Joe Marconi

 

Maybe it’s the 40 years I have spent in this business, but these days I have little tolerance for certain things. One of those things: Catching a once-trusted employee lying to me.

 

To be fair, the years have also taught me to be more patient, more positive and help bring out the best in others. I find myself going the extra mile, spending time helping others and teaching others what I have learned through the years. In order to be successful in your life, you need to help others around you succeed in their lives.

 

So, perhaps it’s the fact that because I do spend so much time mentoring, I felt betrayed when this young tech did not tell me the truth. After all, look at the opportunity I am giving him?

 

The circumstances are not important. His actions are. When confronted, he openly admitted that he lied. The manager sent him home for a day to think about his actions. He is back at work and “appears” to have gone through an epiphany. But, we shall see.

 

Another thing the last 40 years have taught me: Above all maintain your integrity and core values. Oh, and learn to forgive.

 

 

Source: What do you do when a catch an employee in a lie?

Joe Marconi

 

A woman called her dentist the other day and asked how much would a root canal cost. Her dentist replied, “Sure, hold on, let me look that up. Ok, that’ll be around $1400 for that job. Would you like to come in and have that root canal done?” Ridiculous scenario, you’re thinking? I agree! A dentist would never give a price over the phone without first examining the patient.

 

Why do some shops continue to give prices over the phone? Even something as simple as a wheel alignment price can lead the customer and you in the wrong direction. Do you really know the car needs an alignment?

 

Pricing over the phone is the same as giving them a diagnosis. When a customer calls for a price on a water pump and you give a price, you are saying to them, “Yes, it IS the water pump and here’s the price. And then you get the car in the bay and it needs hoses, a thermostat, and the radiator is leaking, not the pump.

 

Giving prices over the phone also tells the caller to please judge you on price alone; a road I refuse to go down.

 

I know this is going to push a lot of buttons today, but my tip today is to resist giving prices over the phone. Get the car into you bay, perform the inspection and/or the proper testing and then when you know what the problem is, sell the job.

 

We are professionals, no different than the Dentist.

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Source: Giving Prices over the phone is the same as a diagnosis

Joe Marconi

 

There’s no denying it, we have technician shortage problem. In fact, we have a shortage in the country in all the skilled trades. And unless we solve this issue, we will find it very difficult to conduct business.

 

We can blame this problem on many things, but the time to assign blame is long gone and serves no useful purpose. The only issue remaining is what to do about it.

 

Here are few thoughts. Please read them and please think about your own shop and your own personal obligation to the industry. And of course, let us engage in an open discussion on this issue.

 

1. Do all you can to become profitable. Yes, profit, that’s one of your responsibilities as a business owner. The other reasons for profit: to be able to pay yourself and your employees the income you and your employees deserve. Also, the more profitable you become, the more you can offer benefits. Let’s limit the discounting and charge accordingly. Also, we need to attract qualified people to our industry. That means, we need to offer a competitive wage with the opportunity to advance.

2. Shop owners, think of yourselves as professionals and conduct yourself in that manner.

3. Create a work environment where people enjoy their work and help to attract quality young people

4. Reach out to your local high schools and give career presentations

5. Reach out to all the trade schools and community colleges that offer automotive programs. Let them know that the independent shops need their graduates. Also, check into returning military veterans and retiring veterans.

6. Create an internship program that allows young people in your community to shadow your seasoned technicians. Mentor these young people

7. Create an apprentice program for entry level techs. Many shops are already doing this. An apprentice spends time in shop for a pre-determined length of time. He or she is then offered a position in your shop or is helped to find employment elsewhere

8. Become active in your community career fairs and career days at high schools

9. Lastly – Please reread bullet point number 1

 

There’s my list, please let me know your thoughts and what would you add to this list.

 

Let’s act today, so we can secure our future!

 

 

Source: Will we ever solve the technician shortage problem?

Joe Marconi

Legendary college basketball coach, John Wooden, would preached that it’s the details of how you play the game that matters most, not the score. He also said that to focus on the win during the game did not matter as much as a focus on execution during the game. Sloppy performance during the game usually means a loss. If the players execute every detail to the best of their ability, the score and the wins will take care of themselves.

 

This concept holds true for the auto repair business. Everyone involved in the workflow process, from write up, to the repair or service, and right up to car delivery must be executed with precision and paying attention to detail.

 

It doesn’t matter that a 3 hour job is completed in 2 hours, if the car is delivered back to customer with grease stains on the steering wheel. It’s the details of the entire process that count the most. When you have a sloppy workflow process, you will produce sloppy jobs. And that will mean lost business.

 

The customer can only judge you on what she sees. The customer cannot see the brake shoes you installed, or the timing belt you replaced. But, they can see the condition of the car when it is given back to them.

 

Paying attention to every detail and executing each step of the process to the best of your ability is crucial. In addition, the work area, the service area and the shop in general must be organized and clean. If your surroundings are sloppy, there will be a tendency to be sloppy with everything else too. And again, the sloppiness is something your customers can see, and they will judge you on that.

 

Pay attention to detail, pay attention to every step in the workflow process. Execute each step with precision and quality. Don’t worry about the end result or when the car will be done. That will take care of itself if you take care of all the steps in between.

 

 

Source: Sloppy Work Bay + Sloppy workflow process = Sloppy auto Repairs and Lost Customers



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