RR 343: Shop Talk: John Constantin, Mike Shultz, and Jim Fleischman

Panel:

  • John Constantin from Bison Fleet Specialists in Buffalo, NY
  • Jim Fleischman from Automotive Alley in Arcade, NY
  • Mike Schultz from Schultz Auto and Truck Repair, Hamburg, NY

John Constantin from Bison Fleet Specialists in Buffalo, NY, has strived to bring quality service and superior workmanship to the vehicle repair industry in Western New York. When John first started out as a technician, he was determined to identify with his customers, making sure every effort was made to maintain the integrity of Bison Fleet Specialists workmanship, and establish a long-term “care” relationship with each person who passed through their service center. John’s personal goal was to inform each customer of basic maintenance steps they could perform to keep their RVs, Trucks, Trailers, Buses, Campers & Cars running at optimum performance levels, achieved by following a few simple guidelines.  Listen to John’s previous episodes HERE.

Jim Fleischman and his wife Shelly own Automotive Alley in Arcade, NY. Jim attended Alfred State College for Automotive Tech. He went to work for a Ford Dealership as a shop foreman. Jim’s racing and organizational experience came by being part of a race team that ran Busch and NASCAR. He was recruited from his alma mater, Alfred State College, and became an instructor. Jim always wanted to teach and it was fate. He spent fourteen years as an instructor. He loved building relationships with his students.

He was balancing his teaching job and owning a shop while Shelly ran the business for him. Jim ultimately left his teaching job and went to work full-time in the business. Shelly’s background was accounting which was good for the business overall.

Jim believes in a strong process driven company. He is all about improving efficiency. Saving steps for productivity gains. Anyone can study their inefficiencies and make changes to improve productivity. He templated his systems against NASCAR. Immaculate, organized and tools quickly reached and found. Jim perpetually works on streamlining to increase his productivity.

Automotive Alley also specialized in street rod, hot rods, upgrades, and restorations. For Jim, the word “can’t” is not in his vocabulary. Listen to Jim’s previous episodes HERE.

Mike Schultz

Mike Schultz started out in his dad’s garage, went to vocational school and got a job at a Mobil station when he was 16. After the Mobil station, he worked at a Chrysler dealer until he went to college.

After graduating from Ohio Diesel from their auto course Mike jumped around from job to job for a while. He found a home at an independent repair shop where he took care of a fleet account and ran the shop when the boss was gone,

Mike decided to open his own shop in 2010. The shop was on a dead end street. He realized that he needed more exposure in his town so it was easier for new customers could find the shop. In March 2018 of this year, he moved to into a highly visible location, not to mention cleaner and brighter. Listen to Mike’s Previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Shop Talk – open microphone with three members of the local Jasper Roundtable Group
  • Buffalo, NY based service professionals sharing issues of the day
  • Time management
    • Need to constantly work on and always changing
    • Systems and technology can help you manage your time
    • Post-It notes at your desk or using digital like phone and apps to keep with you all the time
    • Put systems in place and delegate, then follow up with delegation if tasks were complete. Hold employees accountable.
    • Shop owners have different passion and desire to accomplish tasks. Too often owner starts to delegate tasks and ends up doing it themselves when it doesn’t get done.
    • Employees need to have confidence and drive to make things happen. Let employees take the reins sometimes. No one is ever going to be or do things exactly like shop owner.
  • Project assignment
    • Expect that the person you assigned work to will add their own touch to it.
    • Your culture and the person’s capabilities/competency will dictate the outcome
    • Taks are based on what the customer expects from you. It is part of the culture of the company.
  • The challenge of working in verses on your business.
    • You want to be in the bays but you can’t. Your business will suffer if someone doesn’t lead it.
  • Digital inspection
    • Coach the techs with taking proper pictures and videos and explain to them why they do it for customers
    • Customers appreciate the transparency with repairs if they can see it on their own vehicle
    • Take more pictures because once the vehicle is gone you cannot recreate a picture, delete is easy, so take multiple pictures.
    • A quality DVI with videos and pictures will pay dividends long range.  

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This episode is brought to you by Federal-MogulMotorparts and Garage Gurus. With brands like Moog, Felpro, Wagner Brake, Champion, Sealed Power, FP Diesel and more, they’re the parts techs trust.  For serious technical training and support – online, onsite and on-demand – Garage Gurus is everything you need to know. Find out more at fmmotorparts.com  and fmgaragegurus.com

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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.