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How to Become a Thermostat Instead of a Thermometer- Dave Hobbs [RR 601]


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Dave Hobbs automotive service experience spans 40 plus years in the industry, starting out as a technician and then as a service manager working in his family’s repair shop (Hobbs Auto Electric) in Kokomo, Indiana. After leaving Hobbs Auto Electric, Dave began working as a hotline advisor and field engineer at GM’s Delco Electronics. Those roles eventually led to becoming an electronics systems instructor for thousands of Delco Electronics / Delphi engineers throughout North American and Asia.

Dave is currently the lead technical trainer and course developer for Delphi Product and Service Solutions. In addition, he serves part-time as a contributor to Motor Age Magazine and as a field correspondent for MACS Worldwide (Mobile AC Society). Dave’s previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Become a thermostat instead of a thermometer When things heat up with frustration thermometers react, thermostats do something (cool down or heat up)
  • Pertains to shop owners, managers, and lead technicians- it’s in our control
  • Virtual classesDifficult to connect with distant learning- no interaction and often time camera for zoom calls are off
  • Missing the important feedback from in person classes
  • ADAS trainingMany cars don’t require targets for radar or cameras that you can do yourself
  • Fuzzbuster, thermal imager etc are tools you can use (“MacGyver” tips)   
  • Love of cars and the car industry- then vs nowDave’s first car- ‘61 Chevy Station Wagon
  • Cars have more technology on them- can appeal to tech savvy students, but still needs to have aptitude of taking apart and putting back together, coding and computers
  • Encourage women to join industry as well
  • Selling it as “computer on wheels”    

Resources:

  • Thanks to Dave Hobbs 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.
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Learn more about NAPA AutoCare, Gold Certification, and the hundreds of other benefits NAPA offers. Talk with your servicing NAPA store or visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com visit the NAPA Benefits Center, at www.napabenefitscenter.com or call the NAPA Benefits Center at 844-627-2123.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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