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Whether or not we realize it, each shop has a similar workflow process. Like many areas of life, we think that we are all unique in our business strategy. However, reality is we are all very similar, our differences lie in management styles. Our attitude and approach, from employees and customers, defines how we achieve success. 

  1. Check In
  2. Inspection
  3. Estimate Building
  4. Customer Authorization
  5. Work In Progress
  6. Completion
  7. Follow Up

The process, is often hijacked by two elements. The first element is service center employee(s) and their attitude(s) and the second element is the software your business uses.

Your employees are your team, and that’s exactly the best way to approach your business. When you look at employees as team members and not as just “the new guy/girl” or “Jack the mechanic who never combs his hair”... everyone’s attitude begins to change.

gears-r.thumb.jpg.5f1694b78bb67d6890ab700f6b460738.jpg

Being a part of a team is a mindset that everyone ‘shares in the responsibility’, everyone is accountable for their role and if one person fails… everyone has failed. This mindset is used to build all types of companies, some of which end up being valued into the billions of dollars. Teams help each other pick up the slack and work with one another to get through personal and professional barriers.  

The most important thing to remember about the team, is that everyone can have a bad day, week, month or even months. We are all human and too often we forget everyone is going through something. The team element opens the door to communication among the facility and if people are comfortable enough to communicate, they are open to moving past whatever ails them. We are all too quick to give up on someone we have invested an immense amount of time and energy training to our standards.  With the right team, dedication is matched on all ends, resulting in happy customers that not only return... they refer.  Which lowers acquisition costs and keeps business growth healthy.

You can read more about team building here and we also encourage you to search for ideas on team building and how to achieve the optimal team at your auto repair facility.

This article originally published in CAR's News Section


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    • By carmcapriotto
      Seth Thorson has specialized in the service of European automobiles since 1999. First, in Michigan and now at his current location in New Brighton, MN. He just started to build a brand new shop and experts to be in by June 2021.
      Seth was educated at a UTI in Chicago, where he was at the top of his class. He then went to BMW Step to finish the master’s program. Thorson was hired in at a BMW dealership in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. From there he moved to an independent shop in Waterford Michigan and learned VW Audi. Seth’s passion remained with BMW and he was offered a chance to buy an existing shop in New Brighton, Minnesota near where he grew up.
      He is the owner of Eurotech, which specializes in BMW, Mercedes, and Audi cars. He is a firm believer in using factory tools to ensure proper repairs and coding. His team of highly trained and certified technicians is able to diagnose today’s complex vehicle systems! His second location, Green Garage, works on all makes and models.
      Seth also owns and runs a BMW tech support company called LMV Bavarian that provides support and programming to a growing network of over 200 shops via remote diagnostics. He also teaches national seminars on BMW diagnostics. Seth has also partnered with SSF auto parts in their unique ‘hands-on’ training program.
      Seth belongs to AASP in MN, BIMRS as well as NASTEF. He is also a member of Cecil Bullards (Institute for Automotive Business Excellence) 20 group. He believes idea sharing and networking with other shop owners have helped grow his business. Listen to Seth’s previous episodes HERE.
      Troy Vaninetti- Troy has been Married to His beautiful wife Kori for 27 years and has four children with one still living at home with one 15 month old granddaughter.Troy started working in a Texaco full service station at age 17, and progressed through the following: from service attendant, tire attendant, apprentice technician, lead technician, shop manager, to purchasing Graham Auto Repair in 2006. Troy knew the importance of having coaching he joined ATI in 2012 and increased his business revenue every since. Troy leased a six-bay building in Graham for ten years before being forced to build his own 7 bay building due to losing His lease in 2016. In his first full year in the new building, Troy doubled his annual revenue. Since then Troy has won the National Top 12 ATI awards in 2018,2019, and 2020. Capturing the number one National Top Shop Award in 2020. Now Troy is working on His second location in Yelm Washington.
      Key Talking Points
      Seth Thorson- 3rd location, built within 9 months in a motorplex condo. It was a PUD (planned unit development). 4,000 square feet, 6 bays total. Tile floor came from Germany and an employee from the company came to install it on a work visa. Epoxy tends to not hold up as well as tile. Customer waiting room downstairs and VIP lounge upstairs. Kitchenette upstairs as well. The location will be hosting car shows and events. Two customer bathrooms and one employee bathroom. Oil and fluids housed upstairs with a pump system. Had fixed price budget bid. Radiant in-floor heat and HVAC air conditioner. Discussed planning and input with shop foreman. Promoting 3 locations on the website, you can call and reach a live person that will book an appointment and pick up car to be serviced at a different location. Troy Vaninetti- new building 4 years old, 7 bays. Over 2 years to be built start to finish. Covered entrance service area. Mixed soil with concrete because the soil was too wet to build on. Made depth 50 ft in case he wants to repurpose space as commercial retail space. Hired a designer to design the interior of the shop. Within the first year the shop doubled revenue, nicer building attracts different clientele. Upgrading customer amenities- people make emotional decisions based on how they feel when they walk into a place. Advice- start early because it is a long process. Remodeling is very different than new builds, make sure you are clear with vision with architect. Visit as many places as you can to decide what you like and don’t like. If you can, assign someone to help with obtaining permits and being the squeaky wheel. New builds/updates to buildings also attracts technicians that want to work there. Have financials in order for bank and be prompt with reports they need. A special thanks to Seth Thorson and Troy Vaninetti 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  
      Mobile Listening APP’s HERE
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy Carm a Cup of Coffee 

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com

      This episode is brought to you by Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you! www.shopmarketingpros.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      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  
      Mobile Listening APP’s HERE
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy Carm a Cup of Coffee 

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com

      This episode is brought to you by Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you! www.shopmarketingpros.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • 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? 
    • By carmcapriotto
      Your weekly broadcast production with wisdom shared by our guest host and a virtual shop tour. There is a trivia challenge. 
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      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
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Your weekly broadcast production with wisdom shared by our guest host and a virtual shop tour. There is a trivia challenge.
      Tom Ham talks about rising costs and labor rates. Tom’s previous episodes HERE Virtual Shop Tour by Eric Henley from H-Teck Auto Care in Gray, TN Eric's previous episodes HERE. Trivia Challenge: What Vehicle Won the Motor Trend SUV of the Year Award in 2020?  

      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
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


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      Whether or not we realize it, each shop has a similar workflow process. Like many areas of life, we think that we are all unique in our business strategy. However, reality is we are all very similar, our differences lie in management styles. Our attitude and approach, from employees and customers, defines how we achieve success. 
      Check In Inspection Estimate Building Customer Authorization Work In Progress Completion Follow Up The process, is often hijacked by two elements. The first element is service center employee(s) and their attitude(s) and the second element is the software your business uses.
      Your employees are your team, and that’s exactly the best way to approach your business. When you look at employees as team members and not as just “the new guy/girl” or “Jack the mechanic who never combs his hair”... everyone’s attitude begins to change.

      Being a part of a team is a mindset that everyone ‘shares in the responsibility’, everyone is accountable for their role and if one person fails… everyone has failed. This mindset is used to build all types of companies, some of which end up being valued into the billions of dollars. Teams help each other pick up the slack and work with one another to get through personal and professional barriers.  
      The most important thing to remember about the team, is that everyone can have a bad day, week, month or even months. We are all human and too often we forget everyone is going through something. The team element opens the door to communication among the facility and if people are comfortable enough to communicate, they are open to moving past whatever ails them. We are all too quick to give up on someone we have invested an immense amount of time and energy training to our standards.  With the right team, dedication is matched on all ends, resulting in happy customers that not only return... they refer.  Which lowers acquisition costs and keeps business growth healthy.
      You can read more about team building here and we also encourage you to search for ideas on team building and how to achieve the optimal team at your auto repair facility.
      This article originally published in CAR's News Section
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