Fundamentals, Systems, People Development and How to Work From Home
Tom Ham has been a great contributor to the podcast and with his years of experience as a shop owner and chief conductor at Automotive Management Network, he has a perspective and/or opinion on all aspects of running a successful and professional automotive service business.
We’re going to talk about basic block and tackling, the power of good systems and procedures, because if your not your dying. Also, hear about a clever idea to extract business improving ideas from your team and three questions to ask yourself to discover if you can start to walk away and work away from your business.Listen and view episode notes
Tom Ham, with the help of his wife Deb, is the creator and owner of Automotive Management Network an 12,000 plus member website that is the largest information center for vehicle service facility owners and managers.
Tom got his start in the auto service industry pumping gas in the late 60’s. Tom and Deb operate Auto Centric, an import specialty shop in Grand Rapids. Tom and Deb have five children including two sons and a daughter who served in the Iraq War as U.S. Marines. He writes extensively on industry topics. Tom’s previous episodes HERE.Listen and view episode notes
How Do We Educate and Integrate Our Young People into a Career as Automotive Technicians?
My guest is Dave Macholz, the Academic Chair at the automotive technology program at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island, NY. The automotive program has been active for over 30 years. Dave has an independent aftermarket history and is very transparent about the current and future value of training our future technicians.
We cover a large breadth of topics including funding, graduation rates, mentoring, improving enrollment, internships and capital spending to keep our colleges current with new technology. Stuff you need to know and get involved with.
You will benefit from this discussion. The more you know about the grassroots issues we face the better you be able to help solve them. With your help, the future is bright.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Owner For Only 2 ½ Years Makes Big Moves: Buys a Building And Retrofits It Into a State Of The Art Facility.
Christopher Petersen from Northwest Automotive in Kalispell, MT has only been a shop owner for 2 ½ years. A twenty-two-year industry veteran, Chris made the leap to shop ownership and found himself owning two properties. He shares the story and explains that his bank showed the confidence in him to support these transactions.
Good take-a-ways here on DVI, and staying on the cutting edge of change. Chris says If it is not documented, then it didn’t happen. He’s got a porter on staff and he shares how important his people are to his culture and that his loyal and happy customers are a direct reflection of him putting his people first.Listen and view episode notes
Super Growth rate of 40% Has Its Challenges to Expense Control and Cash Flow.
Ryan Blair of Blair Automotive is a highly honored Audi technician and worked at an Audi dealership for eight years before deciding to start his own Audi/VW specialty shop.
As an independent, he has brought a high level of differentiation and a better than dealer experience to his customer. His new location was a perfect ground zero for his increased sales.
We find Ryan with big growing pains and a huge scale up when he moved into his new 12 bay facility. He has no regrets to get the shop where it is and admits he stretched and has personally guaranteed his expansion. Ryan has the perfect outlook and is building a strong business long into the future.Listen and view episode notes
This panel’s perspective is meant to excite a dialogue, to present ideas and concepts to support your decision or to inspire you to take a stand; one way or the other.
This topic is a worthy discussion because of the growth rate of e-commerce part availability, transparency in pricing, and ease of self-diagnosis on the internet.
At risk can be your reputation based on the quality of part being installed. You own the cause of their concern. This panel has not gotten one new great customer from ever installing parts for walk-in customers.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Owner Shares His ‘Grow Your Own’ Technician Training Program
Eric Svedberg from Automotive Specialists in Virginia Beach, VA is in the AAPEX 17 studio with his millennial technician Rex Cate. The conversation gets deep into the recruitment of Rex (he worked at Panara), his training program, his annual review, and how Eric is integrating Rex into his business.
Now four years into the training program there are no regrets on either side. Rex says that there are many millennials like him out there looking for a chance.Listen and view episode notes
Are You Committed to Be A Lifetime Learner In The Automotive Aftermarket? Learn Why It Must Be Your Most Important Goal.
Chris Chesney is the Senior Director, Customer Training at the CARQUEST Technical Institute and explains that our great aftermarket has its best days ahead, however, the challenge is going to take many people, teams and organizations working together to formulate solutions as we prepare for the largest wave of technology and consolidation we’ve ever seen.
Chris explains that all successful technicians and shop owners know …. that you must be committed to being a lifelong learner. If not … you’re in the wrong profession.Listen and view episode notes
Have You Turned Your Passion Into Your Business WHY?
Marcus Marchegger’s career as a shop owner didn’t take the traditional path. It included working for a friends shop right after college, real-estate, dealership’s and being a mortgage broker. With a new wife and baby, he had a long commute and became a stay at home dad.
His wife knew of his passion for the automotive and together they found and purchased Capitol Automotive in Carson City, NV.
Marcus takes you through the early days and some of the early regrets. We all have them. A smart, passionate people person who wants nothing more than to help people be safe and make sensible decisions about their cars.
From floor sweeper to mortgage broker to shop owner. An interesting pathway to being a service professional.Listen and view episode notes
Let’s Do Some Math on the Foundations of a Million Dollar a Year Shop.
As a 36 years industry veteran and he’s been a business coach for the last 17 Scott Wheeler holds numerous ASE credentials and we jump into some extremely important topics of discussion that will have you engaged and shaking your head slowly up and down as you will relate to many of our key talking points.
Don’t shy away from the financial discussion. These are some of the most critical topics for a successful business. Life is a big math problem and we do some of it here.
From the tech shortage to learning leadership qualities and the extreme importance of good financial statements Scott Wheeler covers a broad range of important aftermarket subjects.Listen and view episode notes
Your Business Model Needs to Be Fluid and Flexible as Tech and Business Transformations Abound.
Brian Bates from Eagle Automotive in Littleton, CO is a multi-store operation where the strength of his business culture and leadership is based on firm values and integrity.
Brian points out that leaders are not born and being a great leader can be learned. Studying leadership is your most important role as a business owner. You must learn how to be a great leader. He’s built his business based the relationship he has with his team and how they function as an organization. He says, “Customers can feel that.”
An early adopter of Digital Vehicle Inspections a member of the NAPA advisory team and his local Business Development Group has helped influence his business success.Listen and view episode notes
NASCAR Experience Helped This Shop Owner Create Strong Systems in Every Department.
Jim and Shelly Fleischman created Automotive Alley in Arcade, NY from scratch while Jim was still teaching post-secondary automotive technology. Now working full-time in the business, Jim brought his passion for teaching and organizational skills to the business and Shelly brought her accounting experience.
This meticulous shop with systems designed for improved efficiency is preparing to scale. Jim credits his past NASCAR experience as a guidepost for being lean and organized. Jim’s every move has been to consider growth through business model improvements along with additional locations.
Jim is a big thinker with huge goals and the energy to do anything he puts his mind to. And all along the way, Jim will have a system in place that makes it all work.Listen and view episode notes
Be Honest, Speak from Your Heart, Always Be Authentic and Have the Highest Ethics. Your Business Will Boom!
John Francis from Francis Automotive in West Chester, PA has given of himself to further the industry. With support to ASE, ASA and AMi among others, John has helped steer the direction of the aftermarket in many volunteer positions.
He finds the time to be a part-time business coach, is excited about the 3rd generation of Francis’s to join his company, he ran in twenty marathons, and John figured out a long time ago that he needed to work on his business, not in it.
Another Legacy Leader Episode.Listen and view episode notes
Is Your Customer Retention All About Your Integrity and Building a Trusting Relationship?
Dynamic husband and wife team, Brenda and Brent O’Neal, lead their team to ensure “The customer experience is the best it can be.” All roles must do their job to perfection. The team knows that they are not fixing cars and that their customer is the most important part of the business.
They believe that living in the same community as their business brings great value and recognition.
Brenda and Brent, who do not have a background in the automotive field, share where they get their new ideas, how to grow your own techs, their marketing strategy, and the extreme value they’ve received from hiring a business coach.Listen and view episode notes
Do You Expect Your Customers to be ‘Customers For Life?’
Tom Lambert from Shadetree Automotive in Layton, UT has a goal to keep customers for life. Everything done in the business and through marketing efforts works toward that goal.
Lambert can say this because he has built a company with a strong culture of caring from a highly motivated, yet laid back team that loves to have fun.
The key to his success was hiring a business coach to bring the guidance he needed to see things from a different perspective. His organization is experiencing 10% growth each year and will top out at $2.5 M in revenue this year.Listen and view episode notes