By Joe Marconi
Having been a shop owner for 41 years, I have lived through many economic swings, both good and bad. I can tell you that increases in prices, from gas to food to new car prices, can prove to be a good thing for auto repair shops.
People tend to tighten their belts during tough economic times, but also understand that they need their cars in the best shape they can be to save on fuel and save on costly breakdowns.
How can you help your customers save on fuel costs and focus on preventive maintenance?
By Mike DelaCruz
A topic that I’ve become more and more interested in is the future of our industry, specifically when it comes to Technicians. I returned from the Spring Leadership Days in Orlando by Auto Care Association with an entirely new outlook, continuously reminding myself: What can I do to help strengthen our future?
As I scroll through my Facebook feed, reading through various forums and private group comments, I constantly hear about the Technician shortage and have been over the past few years.
Does that raise any concern that we’re still talking about this after several years?
As I read through the comments in hopes to find solutions, regrettably the majority of the comments are not solutions to the problem. So, my hope is to find a solution and identify what action I can personally take to help strengthen our future and do my part. I don’t want to spend anymore time talking about what we already know (tech shortage), and watch our industry reduce to rubble in the years ahead. Not on my watch… and I know a lot of you are with me! Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and months turn into years. Let’s not wait!
As I visit shops around the country, which is my favorite thing to do, I notice a common pattern in the workflow. Nearly 70% of the shops that I have visited in the past year have empty bays. For example, a shop in the Bay Area I visited recently had 8 bays, but 4 were empty. They had 2 Technicians, who both told me they’re extremely busy and this has become the “norm” until they hire more Technicians.
Of course, the owners have “tried everything”, but what does that mean? Have they really tried “everything”, or are they looking for a band-aid to fix the short-term problem and not thinking about a long-term solution and preparing for the future?
Shops are busy right now and business is booming for most. So even though they have the Tech shortage issue on their minds, it’s less of a priority right now because they’re busy! It reminds me of what one of my favorite industry coaches (and friend) told me one time about “Panic Marketing”. Business slows down, then we expect our marketing company to step up some SEO or Ads and get cars in today, when in reality you have to plan out your marketing 6-months or a year in advance.
So what do we do when we have empty bays and a Tech shortage? Many will simply place an Ad on Indeed, cross their fingers and hope for immediate applicants! That quick-fix strategy will never work. But what will?
There are shops out there with effective strategies that actually work well. Look at what they’re doing and get some ideas. Joe Marconi has some awesome tips on hiring great people. Having worked directly with Joe, I’ve seen the success firsthand.
But for me personally, I’m more interested in the long-term and getting the “younger generation” interested in our trade. I think this will help shape our future. But how do we do this? Someone once told me, if every shop ran an Apprenticeship program, this would help solve the problem.
Is that the silver bullet? If not, what is?
By Joe Marconi
October 4 - October 6, 2022
Fly with the Eagles
The Industry’s Most Powerful Shop Management Course
This is a 3-day course, with each day devoted to a new topic, but you have the option to pick and choose the days you’d like to attend.
October 4th-6th, 7:30am – 5:00pm EST
After attending this comprehensive course for shop owners you will be able to
Improve your skills in time management, leadership, and goal setting Fully understand your shop’s financials and key performance indicators Find and hire superstar service advisors and technicians Turn your existing employees into self-motivated superstars Fill your bays with the right kind of customers through new marketing programs Utilize your step-by-step Action Plan to ensure your ongoing success This AMI-accredited course has one objective: to help you create a more profitable, successful business! Bob Cooper built this course from the ground up based on his own success as a shop owner and his experience in helping thousands of other shop owners go right to the top.
This series is now presented by Joe Marconi and Kevin Vaught, who have both experienced extraordinary success as shop owners as well, so it’s no surprise that Fly With the Eagles II is heralded by many industry leaders as the most powerful shop management series available to shop owners and general managers.
To learn more and to register: https://eliteworldwide.com/event/fly-with-the-eagles/
By Joe Marconi
With so many different models on the roads these days and the challenges of obtaining all the necessary training, tools, and technical information, should auto repair shops consider narrowing their focus on fewer makes and models?
Is "All Makes, All Models" really achievable today?