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Building a Community of Auto Shop Owners: The Impact of ASOG on the Industry with Scott Pelava - The Auto Repair Marketing Podcast

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The Auto Repair Marketing Podcast features Scott Pelava, founder of the Auto Shop Owners Group (ASOG), who shares his story of how he started the group to help shop owners connect and share their experiences. Scott talks about the challenges he faced when he first started ASOG and how the group quickly grew to almost 7,000 members. He also shares a powerful story about how ASOG saved a shop owner's life. The episode highlights the importance of community and collaboration in the auto repair industry and the impact that ASOG has had on shop owners and their communities.

Thank you to our friends at RepairPal for providing this episode. RepairPal’s Certified Network of shops are trusted by millions of customers each month. Learn more at RepairPal.com/shops.

  • Scott's Story and the Founding of ASOG (00:00:53 - 00:07:21) Scott shares his story of starting his own auto shop and struggling to make money. He then talks about how he founded the Auto Shop Owners Group (ASOG) after seeking help from other technicians on Facebook.
  • Creating ASOG (00:08:25) Scott shares how he founded ASOG to connect shop owners and help them with technical aspects of business ownership.
  • Managing ASOG (00:11:56) Scott talks about how he has managed to keep up with the changes in managing a Facebook group with the help of his team of moderators.
  • Raising Professionalism (00:14:13) The group aims to raise the professionalism of the industry by maintaining a level of decorum and changing the industry for professionals.
  • ASOG saves a life (00:16:23) Scott shares a story of how ASOG saved a member's life who was about to commit suicide.
  • Impact of small businesses (00:20:26) Brian and Kim discuss the impact of small businesses on families, employees, and the community.
  • ASOG scholarships (00:24:04) Scott talks about how ASOG started sending shop owners to training events and offering scholarships.
  • Pre-registration (00:24:47) Scott talks about how they started doing pre-registration for their events to avoid leaving people foot in the bill for anticipated amounts.
  • Scholarship for a shop owner in need (00:25:34) Scott talks about how they used the extra money from their event to create a scholarship for a shop owner in need, the Bunard family.
  • ASOG Mastermind (00:29:13) Scott talks about how the ASOG Mastermind started as a group of people who wanted to do a mastermind, and how it evolved into a mentoring type thing with a leadership team made up of experienced shop owners.
  • Feeling Defeated (00:32:52) Scott and Brian discuss their experience in a coaching group and how they felt defeated when they saw other agencies working with big companies like Coca-Cola and Walmart.
  • Learning to Run a Business (00:34:06) Brian talks about how he learned to run his business like a business and the importance of coaching and relationships with other business owners.
  • ASOG and Scholarship Program (00:37:11) Scott talks about how to get involved with ASOG through their Facebook page and website, as well as their scholarship program and upcoming dinner event.





How To Get In Touch with Shop Marketing Pros



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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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