Technology Talk, AAPEX, ADAS, CES and More.
Chris Gardner, MAAP, is the Vice President or Programs and Member Services for AASA, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association. AASA is the voice for the Aftermarket Supplier Industry. Chris also manages all things technology for the association and that is where we spend most of our time in this interview.
An interview highlight is Chris’s view of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that he has attended for the last three years. He’ll give you a perspective on what he saw and the impact on the aftermarket as our future rolls out, as he sees it.
Among other discussion topics ADAS and the tech he saw at CES. Chris sees a convergence of telematics with the consumer, the service professional and the supplier. We even talked a bit about smart parts.Listen and view episode notes
The Road to Great Technicians
We talk so much about solutions to the technician shortage. Here is an episode that will get you to realize that there is so much more than filling the seats in trade schools. It is about what happens when we hire a new tech. The trend is to grow our own technician, but can we outline a career path for our new recruit? You need to be involved in creating a ‘Road to Great Technicians.
Joining me in studio at Vision 2018 is Donny Seyfer Executive Officer of NASTF, Chris Chesney, Sr. Director of Customer Training at Car Quest Technical Institute and Jill Saunders, Curriculum Developer at Toyota Motor Sales, North America.
This straight up discussion on creating a career path for all entry-level technicians through an apprentice and mentoring program outlines WHY this is so important. Do we want the government someday to create a program of standards and competence or should we as an industry start today to build those standards?
Just putting an entry-level tech in the lube bay without a career path is part of the big challenges we have as an industry. Without a defined career path it becomes a brain drain of young talent.
Without Customers You Have No Business.
One of the most important jobs of a service professional CEO is to be a marketer; to make the phone ring. In this episode Ron Ipach, co-founder and President of Repair Shop Coach will share with you a very simple tactic that he says could double the number of visits from your customer. Ron is known as ‘Captain Car Count’ and he received that moniker from one of his customers many years ago and it stuck.
Ron has some very simple strategies on how to create business from the customers you’ve already served. You’ll hear some very profound stats on the number of messages we are bombarded by each day and how you can get through the clutter of emails, texts, ads, social media and ‘market’ to your customer.
Ron’s got a simple message to share. “Pay more attention to the people you’ve done business with in the last year.” Get them to move to a more experience relationship with you than a transactional. Invite them back in the shop.Listen and view episode notes
The Shop of the Future: Are You Prepared?
Have you thought about how you will do business in the future? Well the mission of this panel was to stretch the boundaries and serve up plenty of thoughts, concepts and changes coming that you need to be fundamentally be prepared for.
So happy to be able to present this audio recording from Vision 2018. With me are shop owners, Summer Gurerro from Affinity Automotive Services, Inc in Wichita, KS, Keith Williamson owner of Williamson’s Repair and Tire in Bondurant, IA, Trainer and Mobile Technician Eric Ziegler form EZ Diagnostics, Chris Chesney the Senior Director, Customer Training at the Carquest Technical Institute and Donny Seyfer the Executive Officer of NASTF, the National Automotive Service Task Force and co-owner of Seyfer Automotive in Wheatridge, CO.
Many great thoughts that will help shape your future. There are many important action steps discussed that need your support and engagement. Listen carefully for those cues.Listen and view episode notes
Why Don’t Shop Owners Bring the Same Level Of Curiosity They Had As Techs To the Business Side Of The Business?
Mike Bennett from Mike’s Kars in Gettysburg, PA is a full-time business coach for ATI. His personal light bulb moment was when he realized he needed more training on business and leadership. That training changed his business. As Mike prospered he realized that he wanted to share his success by coaching other shop owners.
Mike say the best employees are empowered and understand their role and that great leaders show their people how to succeed. Learn what Mike believes is the most important part of building a great business and what happens when you gain control of your business.Listen and view episode notes
Accept the Struggle and Find a Way to Continually Improve your Entrepreneurial Journey.
Chris Cloutier and I had a great conversation, passionate at times, on entrepreneurialism. Chris is a serial entrepreneur and has some wise words and experience at it. We talk bootstrapping, cash is king, the struggle, trusting your gut, leadership and even salesmanship. Don’t shy away from these topics – the discussion just may set you off on a better course. Chris has the scars, like all of us, which are the lessons we all learn as we march toward an improving and brighter future.
This interview is going to cement much of what you know about growing a business, and some of our talk will hit you, I hope, smack in your entrepreneurial soul and get you to understand the journey you are on a little better.Listen and view episode notes
We’re In Good Hands.
Our future is all about incubating young people into our industry at every level from manufacturing, distribution to the service professional. Listen to three aftermarket professionals from the Auto Care Associations dynamic and vibrant under-40 set that finds its home with the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG). YANG provides young auto care professionals in their twenties and thirties the opportunity to network with industry peers, enhance knowledge and improve leadership capabilities.
Joining Carm in this interview are Lisa Nazoyan, Mahle Aftermarket Inc., Farmington Hills, MI, JC Washbish, Director of Marketing, Automotive Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, San Antonio, TX and the Vice Chairman of YANG and Chase Baxley, Vice President of Product & Supply Chain, The Parts House, Jacksonville, FL who has also helped create YANG from the beginning.Listen and view episode notes
Chicago. No Car. No Problem.
Joran Thompson lives in Chicago and hasn’t owned a car for years. She does fine commuting to work, buying fresh groceries and dry goods. Her dry cleaning gets done, perfectly and on-time, and her latest IKEA purchase gets constructed. When she needs medicine, pizza or to wait in a line for a restaurant on a Saturday Night she just uses her smartphone. There’s an APP for all of her needs.
The story for aftermarket professionals is that all the miles Joran is not driving are being done by the services she contracts. Transportation as a Service will rack up the miles to support all the Joran Thompson’s who don’t own vehicles. Someone will need to maintain and repair those vehicles. It’s time to make those connections.Listen and view episode notes
Sell More Batteries. Training and Testing is the Key.
Join Michele Zgola the director of Marketing and Communication at Johnson Controls, Jim Bates the Aftermarket Training Center Manager also at Johnson Controls and Patrick Haynes, Executive Director at the Responsible Battery Coalition.
Learn about selling more batteries and how well the industry has rallied to recycle 99% of all batteries. Recycling challenges are coming in the future as lithium-ion batteries will need to be recovered.Listen and view episode notes
There’s an APP for that!
Ever thought of connecting with your customer with your own APP. Did you know that a smartphone app is a retention strategy?
Ever thought of the challenges with social media to get your message heard? What if you could push a message to a user of your app? Will your customer have a stronger relationship with you if your app is on their phone?
Jason Soto from Mobile Soft Technology talks about the value of having your own smartphone app. Interesting concepts you need to know about. Learn about this tool and how it could work for you in your quest to create customers for life.Listen and view episode notes
The 300th Episode Retrospective
For the first-time podcast host, Carm Capriotto is in the interviewee seat. Seven aftermarket professionals ask Carm questions that discover the attributes and purpose of the aftermarket’s premier podcast. He shares some very personal stories and chronicles some behind the scene moments.
You’ll learn about what makes Carm tick, how it all started and what his thoughts are for the future. He is so proud of the audio library made up of the voices of the aftermarket. The guests who trusted Carm to get their story told so that all ships rise, is the pure foundation of the value of the podcast to the industry.Listen and view episode notes
Finding and Recruiting Technician Talent for Your Shop
Jay Goninen from Find a Wrench and Find a Mechanic.com brings his experience as an industry veteran and recruiter to the Remarkable Results tribe. We have a wide-open discussion on recruiting, job descriptions, why people leave and the value of a good work environment.
Among other discussion points that help you keep your people or help your recruiting effort is offering a path for growth, more responsibility, more money, and benefits. Jay feels that your shop needs to have a unique differentiator to attract top talent.
From a technician’s perspective, they usually don’t promote themselves so creating a good resume and posting it on a job board is something he helps techs with.
He says you should always be recruiting. It is like a 5-star football recruit for your college sports program. You will look at every resume and do every interview.Listen and view episode notes
The Digital Shop: A Discussion.
If you are contemplating the future and know you’ll need to get there maybe sooner rather than later this roundtable discussion has a lot of information for you. Panelists are Joe Sevart from I70 Auto Service from Kansas City, MO, Bill Connor the General Manager form Craig’s’ Car Care in Allen, TX and AutoVitals CEO Uwe Kleinschmidt.
There are many important info points here to help you and guide you in this inevitable change to your business that will be as important as having lifts in the bays. You may not be ready to implement a totally digital inspection, CRM, and workflow system, however, you’ll want to invest the time in this episode, to you keep your learning curve high and hear from shop owners who have done it and are so happy they did.
The digital strategy is to have the service advisor to do more advising and less busy work. Digital also allows the customer to be anywhere and still see the problems via still pictures and videos.Listen and view episode notes
The Four Cornerstone Approach to Service Counter Success
David Eschbach shares his method for improving the relationship and experience with the service advisor and customer.
Here is an in-depth discussion on improving your service counter. It is no secret, we have great people on our service counters and a regiment of training brings fresh ideas and helps tighten your customer relationship.
David shares his Four Cornerstone approach to service counter success. It is a simple process as we look to your customer and discover: What is Broke, Why is it Broke, and then give them a Statement of Benefit and Recommendation and finally Explain How are we Going to do the Repair. Of course, money is a byproduct of a great service experience.Listen and view episode notes
Marketing To the Ultimate Customer. The Power of Video and the Zero Moment of Truth.
Al Haberstroh, a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at MontAd Media, a data marketing company serving the auto aftermarket and Robert Cannon, Chairman and CEO of AutoNetTV. Discuss building confidence and awareness in your consumer’s relationship.
These two companies have formed a strategic partnership to provide innovative content and marketing services to the aftermarket. They believe, “Macro trends like price transparency and more educated consumers are compelling smart manufacturers to connect with repair shops and consumers in creative ways.”
This conversation is going to light you up if you are into branding, marketing and the buying moment of truth. Al and Robert have a handle on the ‘e’ buying experience and look to work with the aftermarket to nurture a knowledgeable and brand conscious customer for the service professional.Listen and view episode notes