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Importance Of Identifying Your Shop and Staff


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After hearing this story tonight, I figured I'd share.

 

My parents and sister came over to our house tonight for Easter dinner, and shared some photos and stuff from their trip to Key West, which they just returned from yesterday. They drove down the east coast from New York, and stopped in Orlando at my aunt's house, on the way. My aunt was getting over being sick this week and was having difficulty getting around, maybe not feeling well, etc...but had to pick her car up from the service station. Something about battery cables rotting away and the car dying on her earlier in the week.

 

My parents offered to pick it up for her, to make it easier on her, since she really wasn't in the best of health this week. She was very happy about this and said it was at the Mobil station around the corner...make a left, then a right, and it's right there.

 

To make a long story short, my parents hunted around every Mobil station for 5 miles in each direction...no one had her car. They came back and got the number from my aunt and decided to call (maybe they should have done that first). They got better directions and found out that the car was at "something" Automotive Repair. They pulled in to this shop parking lot, with no sign of Mobil anywhere...yet when they walked in, the mechanics had Mobil logos above their shirt pockets.

 

My mother asked the owner if they were a Mobil shop, and if so...where were the pumps. The owner said, "No, we just buy our oil from Mobil, and they give us these nice patches for our shirts."

 

From an older woman's perspective, the shop must have not been clearly identified and the one thing that stood out, was the Mobil logos on their shirts.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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