RR 329: Tom Ham Part 2 – Automotive Management Network

Tom Ham, with the help of his wife Deb, is the creator and owner of Automotive Management Network an 12,000 plus member website dedicated to the exchange of vehicle service management information. Tom got his start in the auto service industry pumping gas in the late 60’s. Tom and his wife operate Auto Centric, an import specialty shop in Grand Rapids, MI. 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.  Discover Tom’s previous episodes HERE.

Talking points:

  • It is easy to ignore the fundamentals that make the big difference in business. It is like the basics of block and tackling, a sports analogy.
    • When we were young, we were always told by our baseball coach to keep your eye on the ball. Same concept as being sure you are focused on the fundamentals of your business.
  • Systems are mandatory for a successful business, shop management software is the ultimate system. As the owner of AMN Tom has done extensive research on SMS systems and shares his finding with his membership.
  • Systems are so important because your people communicate differently. Every team member has different priorities on methodology and quality. That is why having clearly defined processes as ‘the rule’, makes for a strong company singing from the same hymnal.
  • Checklists are the way to keep the fundaments in check.
  • Great systems only work if you have good people who understand and appreciate the discipline.
  • Once or twice a year, have every employee create a wish list – then make sure you do at least 1 or 2 things on each person’s list.
  • Advise on changing an employee’s behavior. You must manage incremental improvements.
  • As long as we are moving the ball in the right direction, we are winning – every play can’t be a touchdown.
  • It’s the lack of sticking to the basics/fundamentals that cause failure, not the complex issues.
  • Having a home office is a great idea to split your time commitment. You may find you get more done at your home office. You get out of the fire pit.
  • Three questions to discover if you can pull your day-to-day responsibility to the business:
    • Is your team doing anything illegal or immoral?
    • Are your customers happy?
    • Is the business profitable?
  • AMN surveys are there for management resources.

Automotive Management Network Website

Auto Centric Automotive Repair Website

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.