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Can something good come out of Washington, D.C.?


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When my granddaughter, Jenna, was about four years old, we were headed to the park playground.
And on the way, we stopped to pick up something from one of my clients.


post-1866-0-40012200-1430510641_thumb.jpg

As soon as we walked into the showroom, she slapped her hand over her nose and loudly said,
"Ewwww... what is that smell?"

 

It took me a couple of seconds to discover she was referring to the smell of the tires.

Because at her height, her little nose was directly aimed at a tire display.
So, I took a big whiff myself and said to her, "Jenna, that's the smell of money."
She and I had a fun conversation in the car afterwards about how an auto repair "store"
makes money by taking care of Mommy's and Daddy's cars.
Which brings me to what took place in D.C. this past week. And how this relates to money.
And you.
All the industry magazines are talking about this event. Here is a link to the official report:
Here are some links that summarize the report:
In essence, the Auto Care Association unveiled the first-ever "State Of The Auto Care
Industry Report" at an inaugural Industry Forum in Washington, D.C.
This forum of people gathered together to discuss the huge impact the auto repair
industry makes on the economy.
I usually don't follow what happens in D.C. However, this information impacts every single
auto repair business, so it obviously caught my attention.
There were a number of things that stood out for me.
  1. Average vehicle is 11.5 years.
  2. 12-plus-year-old vehicles will grow by 15 percent.
  3. These vehicles are primarily serviced at independent repair facilities.
Never in the history of the automotive industry has there been such a high percentage of
older vehicles on the road.
And that number is climbing.
The other good news is: "vehicles in the 'new to 5-year-old' range are expected to grow by 32%."
That's a huge number of cars that will be coming off of warranty.
Anyway, you look at it... that's a lot of opportunity.
What are your thoughts about this report? And how do you see it impacting your business?
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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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