We want to increase productivity and would like to use iPads for the Techs where they could use it to get info and pictures over to the service writer.And to be able to speak into the pad and eliminate typing would be a huge plus. We have Mitchell 1 does anyone know of a system that would work?
Bill Haas, AAM, is the owner of Haas performance consulting LLC, with 40 years of experience in the automotive service and repair industry. Clients have access to Bill’s solution-based focus, expertise, unique perspectives and in-depth knowledge of the industry.
Bill began his career working part-time at a full-service gasoline station in Appleton, Wisconsin. His career includes time as a technician, shop owner, technical trainer and on the staff of the automotive industry’s oldest and largest association representing automotive service and collision repair businesses. While at the association Bill had the opportunity to work with all segments of the industry.
His knowledge of the industry has been shared on many occasions as he has been invited to speak at numerous industry events as well as providing testimony at hearings of the US Congress and several state legislatures on important legislation and regulation affecting the automotive industry.
Bill received the Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) credential from the automotive management institute in 1996 and has been a member of the automotive management institute’s faculty since 2002.
Bill is also the business manager for NACAT, the North American Council of Automotive Teachers. His services include business management seminar development and delivery, keynote presentations, business consulting, performance coaching, and strategic planning facilitation. Listen to Bill’s previous episodes HERE.
Vic Tarasik is currently the Major Accounts Director with RLO Training. Public speaking, business management, finance, and leadership skills are some talents he acquired as a service professional that made this position perfect for him. He was a member of RLO Training’s Bottom-Line Impact Group and was twice awarded the Member Excellence Award for being the top shop in his group.
Vic took an interest in all things mechanical at a young age. He worked on a variety of vehicles for friends and family. His interests grew into racing at local drag strips driving his 55 Chevy, which he still owns.
In 1986, he returned to his roots and launched Vic’s Precision Automotive from his two-car garage. The heart of Vic’s Precision Automotive was galvanized for Vic as a boy; he watched his single mom struggle with service providers over the years. When he opened his shop, he was determined to make it a place where female customers felt comfortable. Listen to Vic’s previous episodes HERE.
Cecil Bullard is President of the Institute for Automotive Business Excellence. He is a trainer and business coach in the automotive aftermarket working closely with service professionals.
Previous episodes featuring or mentioning Cecil, click HERE.
Institute for Automotive Business Excellence website.
Bob Greenwood, AMAM (Accredited Master Automotive Manager) is President and C.E.O. of Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre Ltd. (AAEC). AAEC is a company focused on providing Business Management Resources and Development for the Independent Sector of the aftermarket industry. AAEC content and technology is recognized as part of the curriculum of the Fixed Operations Diploma and the Aftermarket Degree courses taken at the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College located in Barrie Ontario Canada. This school is the leader and only college in Canada that offers an automotive business education. AAEC is also recognized by the Automotive Management Institute (AMI), located in North Richland Hills, Texas USA, allowing 80 credits for successful completion of the AAEC E-Learning portion of the site towards the 120 credits required to obtain the reputable Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation.
Bob has over 40 years of Business Management experience within the Independent sector of the automotive aftermarket industry in North America, consulting Independent retail shops on all facets of their business operations. His 18 years of running his own local consulting and accounting firm in Ottawa, Ontario Canada created some of the most productive and financially successful entrepreneurs within the Independent sector today.
Bob is one of 150 Worldwide AMI approved instructors. He has created Business Management development courses for aftermarket shop employers/managers, Jobbers and Jobber Sales representatives which are recognized as being the most comprehensive, industry-specific courses of their kind in North America. His courses address the creation of measurable bottom-line profitability and not just developing activity to keep busy, by covering the very detailed nuts and bolts issues that are required to be clearly understood by every level of the industry if an independent shop is going to financially prosper and enjoy a professional future. Bob’s previous episodes are HERE.
Link to Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre Ltd. (AAEC) HERE.
Key Talking Points
Professionalism- How do you answer the phone? How do you interact with customers? What is the image of the business? How do your technicians look? What does the shop look like from the front? There needs to be a process for everything. Do we see ourselves as professionals and on the same level as doctors/lawyers? Starts with the owner and leads to the industry as a whole. If you don’t have a professional shop how do you expect someone to want to come to work for you? Why arent the best technicians working in your shop? Why are people leaving the industry? Why is the average technician’s pay still only 50K? 85% of the industry isn’t paying attention, not thriving and not being successful You don’t need to be cheap to be busy and fill shop- a busy shop often isn't a profitable shop 2nd largest investment for customers is their vehicle - duty and responsibility to give them choice for repairs. We provide transportation and safety. Labor rates should reflect your competency and based on profit strategy Culture of business- strive for a career mindset instead of job mindset culture, employees want to be a part of business and move it forward Solution? Professional association to abide by, standards, certification process to open a shop? What can you do right now? Define your target customer. Market to them and learn how to say no to the others Raise your prices now not later- stop having the fear that your customers won’t pay higher prices. Not everyone can afford to be your customer and that’s okay. $10 increase you can afford to lose 25% of clients and still make more. Don’t look at saving money to be profitable Pay increase for employees- staff should know how revenue works, expenses etc. Net profit isn’t a dirty word. Need to be profitable on the bottom line to increase pay. Be successful as a team. Increased pay could be in form of vacation days, 401K, incentives, benefits. A special thanks to Bill Haas, Vic Tarasik, Cecil Bullard and Bob Greenwood 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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Your weekly magazine style show with some wisdom shared by our guest host and a virtual shop tour. There is a trivia challenge and a special fortune cookie wisdom shared.
Guest Host Mitch Schneider from Mitch’s World and Misfire the Book. Mitches previous episodes Here. Virtual Shop Tour by Colleen Yarger, owner of Mark’s Independent in Chatsworth, CA. Colleen’s previous episodes HERE. Trivia Challenge: What did Ford Motor Company introduce as an audio option in 1965? Listen for the fortune cookie wisdom of the week Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. By always innovating, Dorman has led the way in growing the aftermarket. Here you will see a few examples of a Dorman OE Fix. An OE FIX is a Dorman repair solution you can’t get from the original equipment manufacturer. It means they found a situation where they believe the OEM wasn’t giving repair professionals what they wanted, so we fixed it. Everything Dorman does is centered around providing customer value, both in the quality of products, and the creativity of solutions. Our engineers and designers go out of their way to save repair technicians time and save vehicle owners money. Want to really go under the hood? Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
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We are in desperate need of techs. I tried Indeed and was very dissatisfied with the "talent" they sent us. I am considering Find A Wrench they post on Indeed as well as Zip Recruiter and some 90 other companies as well as social media. Has anyone tried them or ACT Auto Staffing?
Hey guys, I haven't posted in a year or two since I sold my 39 year old tire store/repair shop. Life is wonderful [if a bit boring], and I haven't regretted my decision to sell for one second. Every month I go to the shop, say hi to all my old employees and collect the rent. Anyway, today I experienced the other side of the counter and it wasn't pleasant. I still have my vehicles serviced at my old place when back in Ohio and they treat me like part of their team. But when at my condo in Florida I don't have that luxury. I have my 2002 Mini Cooper down here and it was due for an oil change. Additionally, the check engine light had come on last weekend and there was a belt chirp. I called the shop my friend had suggested [they specialize in BMWs] to make an appointment. I asked for a morning appointment and explained that my friend would pick me up and we would find something to do for a few hours. When I dropped the car off I explained that the check engine light had gone off but I still wanted them to pull the codes. So I left thinking oil change, pull codes, change belt ....... figured they'd call me by 10;30? to get authorization for the belt. Well at 1:52 I hadn't heard from them so I called them to see what was up. They said the oil change was done, and the tech was pulling the codes. I asked about the belt chirp and she said she didn't know so she put me on hold and went to check. When she came back on the phone she said they hadn't looked at the belt issue yet. I voiced my displeasure explaining that when I ran my shop if a customer had a 9AM appointment for the services I requested we would be calling them with a report within an hour or two. Her reply was "we don't do things that way here". She said she would call me when they knew more. I finally got a call at 3:48PM. She explained the codes they had pulled and then said they agreed it needed a new belt and they thought they should also have a tensioner on hand in case they needed that as well. She said they could order the parts and I could make another appointment to have them installed. REALLY? I had a 9AM appointment for an oil change, codes pulled, and most likely a new belt installed and they couldn't get that done in 7 hours, 6 if you take an hour out for lunch? The shop is 35 minutes away and they don't have loaners so another appointment is a pain. I don't think I will be going back. I nearly broke my long standing rule of never posting a bad review about a business but I just can't do that. I'm getting rid of some of my frustration by telling you guys about it.
If any of you guys are in my area I'm looking for someone to service my Mini. I am in Fort Myers Beach and would to like to find someone in the Naples area.
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By Joe Marconi
You spend a lot of time and money finding an hiring an employee. Whether it be a technician, service advisor or office worker. However, the real work to ensure that the new employee is up and running begins when you hire that person. Don't make the mistake of thinking that a new-hire can be put to work without an orientation period. No matter how experienced someone may be, take the time to slowly acclimate that person to your shop, your other employees and your systems and procedures. The time you take in the beginning will help to create a long-lasting employee relationship.
By Ron Ipach
Do you want the The HARDCORE TRUTH to Finding, Attracting, Hiring, And Keeping Top Techs?
Sign up (for free) here for access to my brand new mini series: http://bit.ly/find-techs.
Video One Coming Monday, 11/5...
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By Elite Worldwide Inc.
The top shops in America realize that in order to build a successful business they will need to have team players that are self-starters, who can produce, and who will never compromise their ethics. Over the years I’ve not only been fortunate enough to hire many of our industry superstars, but I have seen hiring mistakes made every day by shop owners all across America. In order to help you with your business, I’d like to share what I believe to be the 5 most common hiring mistakes that shop owners make.
1. They are afraid to pay top buck. In business there are a number of rules that are timeless, and one is that you get what you pay for. The reason the superstars can command top buck is pretty simple; it’s because they can produce. The techs and advisors that earn average incomes all have one thing in common; they produce average results, and average employees will never take you to the top. Every top shop owner that I have consulted with will agree that once you hire a superstar, you will quickly see that they are one of the best investments you will ever make.
2. They are afraid to provide a respectable guarantee. Most shop owners are reluctant to give a respectable guarantee because they are afraid the new hire may not produce, and they will be stuck paying a big guarantee. Now here are two important points that they don’t understand. First of all, if they believe they are providing the potential employee with a great opportunity, then providing a respectable guarantee shows the candidate that they have confidence in their business, and in the position they are looking to fill. Secondly, most shop owners are so concerned about how much the guarantee could cost them, they completely forget that if the employee doesn’t produce, there’s a simple solution: You let them go.
3. They use the wrong criteria when making their employment selections. Most shop owners hire techs and advisors based on their level of knowledge and industry experience. Although those are both important considerations, what’s more important is the attitude of the applicant, their aptitude and their ethics. A wise man once told me we hire people for what they know, and we fire them for who they are.
4. They don’t look beyond the candidate. The shop owners who employ the superstars all realize that when they hire Larry they get Mary. What this means is that if the candidate has a significant other in their life, you can rest assured that they will play a role in the candidate’s decision. This is why at Elite we encourage all of our clients to ensure their compensation and incentive package has what we refer to as “go-home” benefits. Examples would be retirement programs, paid holidays and vacations, well-days, etc.
5. They forget that the superstars will be interviewing them. The top shop owners all realize that the superstars they are interviewing will have no trouble at all finding a shop that will hire them. Accordingly, throughout the interview process the superstar will be interviewing the shop owner, and they’ll be asking themselves whether or not they would like to work at the shop. They will be evaluating you by the type of questions you ask, and the interviewing-qualification process you take them through. If at any time they feel you are hiring out of desperation, rather than ensuring it’s a great fit for everyone, one thing is for certain: They’ll walk, because what they are looking for is the opportunity to work at an ethical shop that enjoys a good reputation in the community, has team spirit, and has leadership that allows them to clearly see their future with the company.
Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite, a company that strives to help shop owners reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry at the same time. The company offers one-on-one coaching from the industry’s top shop owners, service advisor training, peer groups, along with sales, marketing and shop management courses. You can learn more about Elite by visiting www.EliteWorldwide.com
By Elite Worldwide Inc.
By Bob Cooper
One of the challenges that shop owners have faced for years is finding and hiring qualified technicians. Here are 5 of the most successful techniques that I used to find the superstars when I was still operating shops.
1. Make an offer that is hard to refuse. Go to your local dealerships, introduce yourself to the service manager, and say something like this: “Larry, the reason I wanted to speak with you is I am looking for a superstar technician with ___ experience. Now for the purpose of clarity, I’m not looking to recruit any of your employees; that’s not my interest. What I’d like to do is speak with any of the superstars who have worked with you in the past, and for whatever reason, are no longer working with you here at your dealership. They may have gone on to another shop or dealership, and who knows, at this very moment they may not be very pleased with the company they’re currently working for. Now if you’re able to provide me with their names and contact info, or if you just reach out to them and have them contact me, this is what I’ll do for you… If I hire them, I’ll give you $2,000 on the first day they show up for work, and if they’re still with us after their 90-day probation, I’ll give you another $2,000. In essence, Larry, you can earn up to $4,000 for doing nothing more than putting me in touch with one of the superstar techs who has worked with you in the past, or that you may know of in our community.”
Now before you jump to the conclusion that you’d never pay $4,000 as a referral fee, consider that not only is it an insignificant amount when you consider how much you’ll be paying a top tech, but just think of how much it will cost you if you hire the wrong tech. I have always been intrigued how so many people will not lay down a single dollar for a lottery ticket where they could win ten million dollars, but as soon as that jackpot gets to 100 million, you guessed it: People line up to buy the tickets. Interesting, isn’t it? It’s as though they’re saying “I’m not interested in ten million dollars, but when you offer 100 million, now you are talking real money, so you have my attention!” I have learned over the years that it’s the same with referral fees. The reward you offer has to be large enough to not only capture their attention, but it has to have that wow factor that brings results.
2. Ask every applicant for leads. When you have a tech or advisor filling out an employment application, always ask that they list two great techs they’ve worked with, or presently work with, as references. Not only can those references serve as a good source of info when you are performing your reference checks, but if you build relationships with the references during your calls, they may very well become employment candidates as well.
3. Sponsor a tool raffle. Tell your local tool truck driver that you will sponsor a raffle for a specific tool set, test equipment, etc. that has a value of $500. Now here’s how it works: You pay for the tools, the driver is able to sell raffle tickets at $5 each, and gets to keep all the ticket sales as well. The techs fill out each raffle entry with their contact info, and you get their names, phone numbers and email addresses.
4. Go to where the techs in your community go. Since techs are likely to have a quick lunch somewhere near their shop, consider grabbing a bite to eat at the fast food restaurants that are close to the shops and dealerships in your community. When the techs walk in at lunch time, all that you will need to do is introduce yourself to them, and strike up a casual conversation. Then you’ll just need to tell them you are looking for a superstar tech, hand them a business card, and the process has started.
5. Turn your employees into recruiters. Just like the offer you made to the dealership service managers, make an attractive offer to your employees as well. “Guys, you all know we need another technician, and I’d love to find someone that can not only produce, but someone that all of you enjoy working with. Now as you can imagine, I can invest a good amount of money in a recruiting campaign, but I’d rather see the money go into your pocket than into recruiting campaigns. So here’s what I’ll do: I’m sure you guys know other techs in the community, and I know that you meet them at training courses as well, so if you refer a really great tech to me, and if I hire them, then I’ll give you $2,000 on the first day they show up for work, and if they’re still with us after their 90 day probation, I’ll give you another $2,000. In essence, you can earn up to $4,000 for doing nothing more than helping me find another superstar just like you guys.”
In closing, the superstars are out there. All that you need to do is connect with them, then share your goals, your Mission Statement, the culture of your company, and how you can provide them with what every superstar is looking for: An opportunity to grow with an amazing shop, and help a lot of people along the way.
For additional help finding and recruiting qualified techs, learn how you can team up with one of the top shop owners in the country through the Elite Coaching Program.
By 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!