By Joe Marconi
I will never forget the day when a customer, who didn't like the price, took cash out of his pocket, crumbled up the cash, and threw the money at me.
This customer clearly crossed the line, in my opinion.
Before I tell the rest of this "true" story, I would like to hear from you: How would you have handled this situation?
By Joe Marconi
When it comes to advertising, there is an endless list of strategies. And, it appears, that everyone has a different strategy and opinion about what works and what doesn't.
So, the question is: What's Your Most Effective Form of Advertising?
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
Yesterday, around mid-day, I headed out to run a number of errands. I first stopped for a quick lunch, then on to the hardware store, the beer distributor (for Father's Day BBQ), the grocery store, and then I went to Staples to pick up a few shipping cardboard boxes.
EVERY place I went to had a sign out in front: NOW HIRING!
I don't get it, where are all the workers? The unemployment rate is at 3.6%. Does that really reflect the number of people out of work, or is the number higher when we factor in those that don't want to enter the workforce or those that have left the workforce?
Something doesn't add up.
Are A,B, and C technician levels outdated? Or do we need to take into account specialized skills that can be required in certain areas? Is there room for A, B and C levels within categories? As our industry continues to change, maybe our perspectives on technician labels change too.
Tim Iezzi, Iezzi’s Auto Service, Reading, PA
Ryan Kooiman, Director of Training, Standard Motor Products. Ryan’s previous episodes HERE.
Matt Fanslow, lead diagnostician and shop manager, Riverside Automotive, Red Wing, MN. Matt’s previous episodes HERE
Matt Fanslow Podcast: Diagnosing the Aftermarket A to Z
Key Talking Points
After Covid, techs were a bit burnt out on webinars and sitting behind computer screens-they appreciated being able to be hands-on again and in person without having to drive and take up their personal time after hours. Pick an area to focus on- like a business coach for your technicians. Start from the ground floor Similar to case studies- using cars to teach and diagnose at the same time Training- collective education on a subject matter Trainer and technician bond when you’re in the shop Logistically easier having in house than traveling for training Assessments of every technician with 1 trainer Fosters open and receptive culture The relationship between techs and Scott and owners and Scott is valued and appreciated. He gets to know them and can determine strengths and areas for growth. The collaboration as a team is increased as well. Documenting/journaling for technicians to reference past jobs
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Check out today's partners:
More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management getshopware.com
Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio