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[Podcast] RR 476: Chris Cloutier and Scott Brown – Productivity Hacks


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Chris Cloutier is co-owner of Golden Rule Auto Care in Dallas Texas and CEO of Auto Tex Me. He spent many years in the software industry developing solutions for companies like Southwest Airlines, and Wyndham Intl. He’s worked for companies that understood the marriage of service and software, and have applied it in an effective way. Chris has his ASE C1: Automobile Service Consultant Certification Test (C1). He brings the business side to the business and his brother Pat brings the Braun. Chris is also a musician. Hear Chris’s previous episodes HERE.    Autotex.me website HERE.

Scott Brown is an ASE Master Certified Automobile Technician with over three and a half decades of professional service industry experience. He and his wife own Connie & Dick’s Service Center Inc., a 57-year-old independent shop in Southern California.

With a strong focus on engine performance and electronics, Scott began collaborating with other industry professionals, online, beginning in the early 90’s. Since 1995, he has been an instrumental resource in the development of the largest online community of automotive service professionals, the International Automotive Technicians Network — iATN where he once served as company president. Additionally, he serves on the NASTF Board of Directors and is a member of the following associations: ASCCA, CAT, ETI, I-CAR, & SAE.

Scott is the founder of diag.net. Find other episodes that have featured Scott HERE.   Diag.Net HERE

 

Key Talking Points:

  • Productivity and efficiency hacks
  • Communicate with your customers in their preferred method. Email, Text, Phone
  • Software today is starting to think as our brains do. Smart
  • Leverage digital technology. 
  • Look to reduce clicks within your systems
  • Communication is the biggest deficiency in our shops. Communication between customers, technicians, service advisor and owner
  • Communicating policies and procedures properly and clearly.
    • Slack App- replacement for email, nonlinear communication style, documentation
    • Shop management system used to dispatch jobs, technicians  can communicate through it internally 
    • Toastmasters- 1 hour a week to improve speaking skills
    • Tablet in every bay- eliminates back and forth wasted steps, saves time
  • Scope Creep. The good thing about software it can do anything. The bad thing about software is it can do anything
  • Process improvements need to be a continual improvement commitment
  • Learning to improve diagnostic methods should have the same discipline that you go through when you do to the doctor: Weight, Blood Pressure. O2 every time every car. Document so you can see the base-case and changes upon visits (a performance analysis) Follow the same steps on every diag ticket. Look for indicators. Can help with prognostics
  • Leverage the internet and software to work for you 
  • Laptop for every technician. Save wasted steps
  • Every tech needs to have their laptop in their bay with two monitors.
  • Mobile carts with test equipment
  • Dual screens for service advisor 
  • Virtual vehicle at the front counter for customer education- focus on customer experience, excel above and beyond than other shops. Many benefits can come from viewing these video’s with your customer
  • Don’t work in the business, work on the business. Wake Up!
  • FAA and Doctoring continue to be a strong theme as it relates to improving our industry as it relates to certification of ADAS and deep system and diagnostic work
  • We must embrace technology if not a business person will go the way of blockbuster
  • Six Sigma Lean Delighters overtime become must-haves
    • Technology assets are delighters for the customer and the shop
    • DVI, Tex-To-Pay, WiFi, Virtual Vehicle, LED Menu Boards, Clean, Bright

Resources:

  • Thanks to Chris Cloutier and Scott Brown for their contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

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This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion AAPEX_logo_CMYK_with_tagline-1440x621.jpglobal automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve. With 2,500 exhibiting companies, you’ll see the latest products, parts, and technologies for your business. As a result, the event also offers advanced training for shop owners, technicians, warehouse distributors (WDs) and auto parts retailers, as well as networking opportunities to grow your business. AAPEX 2019 will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5 through Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Therefore, more than 48,000 targeted buyers are expected to attend, and approximately 162,000 automotive aftermarket professionals. They will be from 135 countries which are projected to be in Las Vegas during AAPEX 2019. For information, visit aapexshow.com

 

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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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