By Joe Marconi
In the 4 decades as a shop owner, my number one way to have a smooth running shop is to surround yourself with the right people.
I am interested in hearing from other shop owners. What's your opinion on how to run a smooth running operation?
How to Have a Four Day Work Week with Eric Henley [RR 627]
Eric Henley, owner of H-Teck Auto Care in Gray, TN, is 4th generation of mechanical repair. He received an associate's degree in Auto Service Technology and spent over 15 years at a Honda dealership. Eric started H-Teck Auto Care in 2006 with just him, his dad and his wife. Going on over 15 years in business he now has a 6 bay shop.
4 generations in the automotive industryGrandfather was a blacksmith and father used to bring home cars to be fixed up. Eric grew up fixing bicycles, lawnmowers and cars. Received an associates degree in Auto Service Technology Spent 15 years in dealerships- income can go down as skill level goes up (more skilled jobs often wouldn’t pay as much) Hiring new techniciansUses Indeed and Facebook Marketplace but the best results come from word of mouth and referrals from existing employees Current prospect is 21 year old Skills USA graduate Current tenured technicians - 15 years, 11 years, 3 years Food Friday’sEither grill or go out to eat every Friday- have employee meeting over a meal All employees and Eric discuss any issues, improvements, ideas, areas needed for training, or tools needed. Open dialogue and non-formal Eric gives his employees the opportunity for responsibilities in the business- currently working on updating SOP’s with more DVI usage Shop is open 5 days a week with weekends offEric is in the shop 4 days a week because he trusts his employees- they are good people able to follow the SOP’s in place and make day to day decisions Employees will know if you don’t trust them- creates “neediness” for everything Gives his employees monthly expenditures they can use for customers in need Spends extra time in the community and with his family He is very involved in his employee's lives and is flexible with work schedules based on their family schedules What makes a great service advisor?Excellent people skills and communication skills- enjoy talking to people Can think quickly on their feet, a warm personality, patient and good listener Similar to a good waitress/waiter- there when you need them, listen to what you need, then go on to the next table. Both of Eric’s service advisors are in ongoing training Best service advisor trainers- previous service advisor, or previous technician with good people skills, or having parts experience TrainingRequires minimum 30 hours per year of training Utilized online training a lot last year during COVID shutdowns RRR 588 with Jim Fleischman and Matt Manzone- Dealership tech now works for an independent How to Have a Four Day Work Week with Eric Henley [RR 627]
Thanks to Eric Henley for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP's HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
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NAPA Autotech Training helps your technicians keep their skills sharp and their NAPA Know How up to date. It’s the highest quality technical training that covers almost every vehicle system and every make and model. NAPA Autotech is presented by experienced instructors who are ASE master certified technicians. Even after a class is over, techs can access course information online with ClassPass. So when questions come up later they can get the answers. AutoCare Center owners who have taken advantage of Autotech Training say that well-trained technicians are helping to increase their shop’s repair capability and raise bay productivity. That results in fewer comebacks, more satisfied shop customers, and reduced technician turnover.
Learn more about NAPA AutoCare and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting www.NAPAAutoCare.com.
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Jason Molinar- Newest Industry Apprentice Graduate at McNeil's Auto Care
Pete McNeil is a second-generation family-owned business that started out as a Volkswagen specialist. They quickly recognized their potential for all makes and models and expanded their service offerings. During this time, they joined the NAPA AutoCare program, expanded their footprint in the Salt Lake valley and became a pillar in the automotive repair industry.
In 2018 alone, McNeil’s expanded their Sandy location to 16 bays to help accommodate their growing business, training center and partnership with local schools for the continued growth of their apprenticeship program. During this time McNeil’s also took advantage of the Interior ProImage program and remodeled their entire showroom! This included new counters for their 4 Service Advisors, new epoxy flooring, signage, and upgraded comfortable furniture and fixtures! This is truly a place where their customers can relax while having their vehicle repaired.
In addition, Pete opened a 2nd location in Riverton, Utah in May of 2019. Pete is very involved in the community both locally and abroad He is active in the local Church Youth Conference, Angel Hands, which assists people with disabilities.
Very active in youth soccer with contributions and cars washed to raise money for Sparta-United. He has donated time and resources to “Sandy Pride” which helps residents clean up and beautify the city.
Jake Sorensen- 2019 NAPA ASE Technician of the Year and 2019 Ratchet + Wrench All-Star technician of the year. He is an ASE Master technician with L1,2 and 3 advanced level certifications. He is the shop manager and diagnostic technician at McNeil’s Auto Care in Sandy, UT where he helped develop an apprenticeship program that is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. This program has graduated several high-performing automotive technicians and was used by NAPA Auto Care as a template for their automotive apprenticeship program. Jake also developed the curriculum for an automotive course that he teaches at an adult education high school.
Brad Christianson- NAPA Sales Person
Special Guest Jason Rainey- Vice President, NAPA Auto Care
Key Talking Points
Jason- from pharmacy to an auto technician Spent 10 years as pharmacy technician out of high school Realized he didn’t enjoy his job or looked forward to it anymore Always had a love for cars (especially Jeeps) and started learning about how to fix them Took a maintenance and light repair class at a local college and loved it Saw an advertisement for McNeil’s apprentice program, interviewed for it and received the apprenticeship Larger pool for industryYou don’t need to only focus on hiring out of high school students or someone that has previous experience in the auto industry Hire for attitude not skillset- they will learn skill during the programCommitment and willingness to learn qualities Napa Apprenticeship Program- built in collaboration with Jake and Pete9 stages, 2-year program with 4 ASE certifications National program and approved by Department of Labor Receive apprentice tool kit worth $3500 Register your shop at www.napaautocare.com, resource tab and employee recruitment ROI calculator- customizable with also a gross profit impact chart Currently, 451 total registered apprentices participating in the program Mentor- willing to invest time and effortEveryone learns differently and at different paces- it will be a continual learning curve for both mentor and apprentice Shop owner needs to see the benefit for an apprentice program Previous apprentices turning into mentors Unrealized revenue When Jason was completing stage 7/9 during the program the profit for the shop in that category was 13K 2021 Jason has generated 47K on his own first two months Family sacrificesWorking 2 jobs at the start of the program with a newborn at home Was rewarded with hard work and could quit the second job after a few months AdviceTake advantage of the training (free and paid) “Pizza night” weekly during virtual Vision training There isn’t a technician shortage, there is a shortage of qualified technicians Takes 2 years for apprentice graduate to complete the program so keep the cycle going Learning doesn’t stop after 2 years- continue training, career-pathing and goal forecasts Learning is contagious- other seasoned technicians at the shop realize they need to continue learning as well Grows individuals and families A special thanks to Jason Molinar, Jake Sorensen, Pete McNeil, Jason Rainey and Brad Christianson for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram Youtube Email
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By Joe Marconi
The common buzz in business is to market to new, potential customers. This is a smart strategy given that every business losses customers each year, and we need to replace those lost customers.
However, we also need a marketing plan that takes care of our existing customers. It is cheaper and easier to retain your customers, than to market for new ones.
What strategies do you employ to retain your existing customers?