The Coalition of Automotive Management Professionals (CAMP) with Bob Greenwood, Bill Haas and Brian Gillis [RR 633]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.
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.
Brian Gillis is the Chief You Net Results Strategist, with 25+ years experience in auto shop operations, hiring, recruiting, systems, processes, multi-store experience, and employee training. Brian’s previous episodes are HERE.
Key Talking Points
CAMP- Coalition of Automotive Management ProfessionalsStarted with a brainstorm 2 years ago- a casual get together with trainers at Vision 2019 Shops should spend time with like-minded people, peer network with each other- coaches need the same As of March 2021-Legal entity Group of like-minded individuals that want to move the industry forward- find the shops that need help and make sure they receive help Keep the consistency of message in the industry Business coaches also need to be adapting and improving Automotiveprofessionals.org Important takeaways Multishop ownership vs single shop ownership- you don't need multiple shops to be successful to stay relevant or a victim of consolidation Have a life outside of the business Average of 5 bay shop- missing between $25-30,000K net profit per bay per year Having a coach doesn’t mean you’re out of the business- owners want to be able to enjoy working on their business and still being a part of it Why are we afraid to help others? There is no secret, it’s time to help people move forward
Thanks to Bill Haas, Bob Greenwood and Brian Gillis 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. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP's HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
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I received an email today from a Consumer stating "Your price is too high, so hell with you sir!" in response a marketing email inviting him back for his next service. My initial reaction was uh-oh, quickly followed by "Why am I not hearing more pricing complaints?". This is quite interesting as we were in a discussion last week, talking about our prices being too low. We are priced competitively in the market, but with a higher service level, likely, we should be able to earn more with a higher pricing.
I remember reading somewhere that if you don't have enough complaints of your price is too high, then you are priced too low. There is a balance in pricing. On one hand, we have price leaders nearby (, with prices so low that they would go broke quickly if they were honest) that will rob the price shoppers blind when they visit as well as other reputable shops with various pricing levels.
I operate a combo lube and repair shop. My repair labor rate is a premium to the area and we have talented technicians that rate this premium. I'm at a small premium on the Lube, but believe it should be higher and .
After having a chuckle on today's email, I figured it would make for a good conversation. What is the right Price-is-too-high-complaint rate? 1% 5% 10%? We might get a 0.5-0.3% abandon rate at the counter over pricing. I'm sure that there is a silent minority that just doesn't come back, yet makes no noise.
Judy Zimmerman Walter is co-owner with her uncles and the CFO of, this 57-year young service business. Zimmerman’s Automotive, Mechanicsburg, PA is a true blue ‘family enterprise’ with 12 out of a team of 29 team members that are ‘IN THE FAMILY’. Zimmerman’s is a top automotive repair facility along with a quick lube and a used car division.
Among her involvement: Women’s Board of the Car Care Council, AASP-PA Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, and the Auto Care Association. Listen to Judy’s other episodes HERE.
Joe Hanson owns Gordie’s Garage. Joe has attended Management Success, NAPA training, Lawrence Tech University and most recently he is a member of the RLO 20 Group 13. He has earned his ASE C1: Automobile Service Consultant Certification. Under his father’s leadership, he has seen what it really takes to make a business like this work. Listen to Joe’s Episodes HERE.
A special thanks to Judy Walter, John Klarkowski and Joe Hanson for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Key Talking Points
Growing up in the family business and deciding to work in the family business
Judy’s Rule: You have to work 2 years somewhere else first, instead of expecting/assuming them to work in the family business
Finding your own way first then can always circle back to the family business later
“I’m here because I have to be here” mentality is a responsibility that will lead to resentment long term
Introduce to beginning stages- cleaning shop
Team concept and positive culture
Treat employees like family
Everyone’s treated the same
Family dynamics have to be separate
Failure is learning
Giving space- share your own mistakes but don’t try to intervene
“Quarterbacking” instead of forcing a certain way
Regretful or grateful
Heightened emotions with family
Not giving things time to work out, treating family members with disrespect
Experience trumps new ideas
Let your family members know your feelings- call them after work
Nurturing the following generation
Guidance and positive reinforcement, moral support
Put things in perspective about the journey
Recognize if you work well together or not well together
Recognize your communication style among family members
Family issues and business issues are checked at the door- no fighting in front of other employees
Keep it simple- find out/analyze whole story first then react after
Focus on celebrating it is a family business and working together
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By Joe Marconi
When I look back at my 40-years as a shop owner, there is one thing that stands out among everything else: It’s the people we surround ourselves with that will have the biggest influence in determining our success. Think about it, even the greatest NFL coach will never win a Super Bowl without great players.
I have worked with a lot of employees through the years, including technicians at all skill levels, bookkeepers, service advisors, managers, and support staff. I can tell you with 100 percent conviction that the years that were the most successful were the ones that I had assembled the best teams. Now, I am not just defining success by profit alone. These were also the years that were the most fun, with less stress and the years that we made the biggest positive impact with our customers and the community.
Let’s talk about production first. Highly motivated, skilled technicians with the right attitude produce more. They also get paid more, and they should. The right team of techs will average higher labor hours. I learned many years ago, it’s not the hourly rate you pay a tech that matters, as much as the hourly labor dollars produced by that tech.
Next up are your service advisors. Here is where you can make or break your company. The service advisor is the face of the company. They represent you, your company and everything you do. The best brake job in the world means nothing if the service advisor doesn’t deliver a world-class experience that gives your customers a compelling reason to return.
The long-term damage from an incompetent service advisor is hard to recover from. For the most part, you don’t run a transactional business. Your company relies on strong relationships and a strong culture. There isn’t a big-box brand name over your bays. It’s your name. And that means service advisors need to go above and beyond to exceed your customer’s expectations. If not, you lose.
For the success of any repair shop, I put great emphasis and responsibility on the owner when it comes to employee management. All too often, a poorly run, failing shop is the fault of bad leadership. The shop owner’s ability to lead and motivate is crucial with building a winning team and successful business. However, I have also learned that sometimes we have the wrong people. And no matter what you do or how you try to motivate and lead, there are some people that just don’t “get it.” If it’s not in someone to begin with, nothing you do will change that person.
In today’s business world, you need a team of great players. You need to hire people that can produce quality jobs, with minimal comebacks, have the right attitude, self-motivated, willing to attend training and have the willingness to work in a united, team environment. You need to hire people that “get it.”
With regard to your customers, your business hinges more on the customer experience than it does on the equipment you have or the brand of parts you use. Of course, the parts you purchase matter. Of course, your alignment machine matters. But none of that is as important as what the customer sees. The customer sees and judges you on her overall experience. Which is how she was greeted at the service counter, how she was spoken to during the sales process, the car delivery, and the experience driving away with a smudge-free steering wheel.
Lastly, here’s something you need to accept as a business owner. There isn’t a process anyone can create that will make up for mishaps caused by employing the wrong people. You do need to have processes and policies in place. It’s how you build a smooth-running and efficient business. However, we don’t run a McDonalds or a Dunkin Donuts. We can’t make up for poor customer service with a process or with a point-of-sale computer terminal. The processes and policies you create will only work the way they were intended to when you have employees fully aligned with your culture and have the right attitude. You need to have the right people.
There are many components of business. The financials, choosing the right vendors, training, equipment, and advertising are among them. The two most important components of your business are your employees and your customers. However, you have great control over who you hire. And we all know, great employees create great customers. Assemble the right people around you and the rest will fall into place.
This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on August 5th, 2020
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