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[Podcast] Automotive Management Institute: Looking Ahead with Chuck Searles [RR 585]


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Chuck Searles has played an active role in the automotive service and training community for 28 years. He is a proud supporter of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and is a member of the ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC).

He was born in Alaska and spent childhood years on the North Slope in small rural villages. After his Fathers retirement from the Alaska educational system, the Searles family relocated to the Big Island of Hawaii, where Chuck attended high school. After high school, he attended post-secondary technical school in Phoenix, Arizona, and then moved back to Alaska to begin a career in the automotive industry.

Chuck served as a Line Technician, Service Advisor, and eventually Shop Foreman at Nissan Dealerships in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Phoenix, Arizona. He was then hired by Nissan North America as a Technical Support Specialist in Los Angeles, CA. Over the next 19 years, he served several Sales and Technical Training roles, including Sales Training Senior Planner, Technical Training Operations Manager, and Instructional Design Manager.

He is currently the President of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi). AMi’s mission is to identify, provide, and promote qualified business education for the success of automotive service repair professionals.

Chuck resides in a quiet suburb outside of Nashville, TN with his wife of 23 years and 2 daughters. Time away from work is spent in the outdoors with the family on hikes or kayaking.

Key talking Points:

  • Career pathDidn’t know what to do after high school, did not want to become a teacher or educator 
  • Attended Universal Technical Institute- focus on heavy diesel industry but ended up working at a dealership in Alaska then hired by Nissan as technical trainer.
  • Two things you will always remember in your career- best boss and worst boss. Training will help you be the best boss you can be.
  • AMI valuable for succession planning with learning management systems 
  • The current president of AMIWants to increase the presence of the service side of the industry- the value of designations. Networking with former contacts and making new relationships as well. 
  • Working on new designations- service advisor and shop foreman
  • You can pay by courses at AMI or a yearly subscription    
  • AAM/AMAM- prestigious titles  
  • Looking aheadRecruiting new trainers- AMI has an audience of over 100,000 and is an ideal platform for any trainer. Head to the website and contact them.
  • If you’re not involved with AMI you need to be- training is ongoing no matter what stage you are at in your career, even as a shop owner.
  • Employee retention is based on the owner- is the owner offering training to employees and getting training themselves? Invest in your employees.
  • Look for AMI elective credit courses/classes because you can use it towards a certification/accreditation

amionline.com

Resources:

  • Thanks to Chuck Searles 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 The NAPA Smart Sign and the hundreds of other benefits NAPA offers. visit the NAPA Benefits Center at www.napabenefitscenter.com or call the NAPA Benefits Center at 844-627-2123.

Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

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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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