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[Podcast] RR 397: Acquisition Integration – A Look Inside a New Location Transition


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Mike Allen has been with Telle Tire since 2017. He got his start in 1999, cleaning floors and pumping gas at 15 years old, eventually working up to replacing tires, changing oil and operating a shuttle van. Now, as a manager, he absolutely loves customer interaction and providing excellent service. At home he enjoys working around the house, riding his bike or spending time outdoors with his wife, Angie and two daughters Kaylee and Courtney.

Key Talking Points:

  • Industry veteran now GM of two locations of Telle Tire and has been involved in a recent acquisition.
  • Telle Tire continues to grow.
  • Growth presents issues:
    • Finding good help
    • Integrating new staff if acquisition vs a brownfield.
  • There is always a transition time.
  • Every transition is different.
  • Customer interaction is important but he also has to help integrate vendors and team members.
  • How Mike helps his team with change:
    • Make feel as comfortable as possible. A new team will be uneasy.
    • Be honest.
    • Don’t immediately make huge changes.
  • They try to find locations that fit their growth strategy.
  • Some locations will not be successful, according to the company, right away.
  • They will meet with the acquiring team 3 or 4 days previous to the deal.
    • Some sellers do not do a good job of passing the torch.
  • Pay and benefits are covered right up front. They want to make this the least of their concerns.
    • 401K, Health, Dental, Trips, Good Vacation Time, great commission plans, Free Flights after 7 years.
    • They want to have a compensation plan that makes it attractive to work there.
  • You learn with each acquisition
  • Sometimes there are tough decisions that have to be made especially if the location was under financial stress. Things will change.
  • Challenges of re-branding
    • Many acquisitions have been in business for many years and it can be a struggle to re-brand or the best thing to do. Especially if the former owner was a pivotal lead in the business.
    • Some stores get a make-over right-away and some will wait depending on the acceptance of the customer.
  • As a consolidator in the industry, it happens either looking for locations more than people are calling them to be considered for acquisition.
    • Looking for locations with a good reputation and good reviews.
  • They do a great job reaching out to customers in the market about what they are doing immediately with the acquisition.
  • Having patience whether buying or selling is very important.
  • What makes Telle tire unique,
    • Sharp sales lobby
    • Loaner cars
    • Shuttle service
    • A kiosk centers to look at the company website.
    • Cold water
    • Fresh fruit

Resources:

  • Thanks to Mike Allen 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.
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

 

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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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