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
Do You Have Control of Your Business Intelligence Data?
Data is king. It is ok to share your data if you know who you are sharing it with? If and when you share your customer database with vendors; what do you want them to do with it and how should you expect them to treat it thereafter?
These topics and many more are covered in the lively and wide-ranging discussion and debate over data and what happens to your data once you sign an End Users License Agreement (EULA).
Guests include Karim Morsli, Winkler Automotive Service Center, Bill Nalu, Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, MI, Chris Cloutier, owner of Golden Rule Auto Care in Dallas, TX and president of Autotext.me and Greg Buckley, Buckley’s Personalized Auto Care in Wilmington, DE.Listen and view episode notes
Workplace Organization: Waste. Clutter. Standardize. Improved Efficiency.
5S came from the Japanese and the concept of Kaizen, continuous improvement. 5S is a method to improve workplace organization. The 5S’s are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. The benefits of 5S helps you eliminate waste, and in many cases reduces your steps, minimizes injuries, and removes clutter.
Start by finding the simplest task. Perfect it and move on to the more complicated.
This panel has the expertise and experience to help you on the process of improving your workplace organization. Pat Brown retired from Cooper Tire and learned lean and took the manufacture training to translate 5S into shop management working with Twenty Groups for DSP (Dealer Strategic Planning) Twenty Group, Keith Tucker form Triple ‘T’ Tire in Dyersburg, TN and Brad & Ryan Goff from Rogers Tire in Caldwell and Meridian, ID.
Learn about 5S and how these shop owners translated the method into improve processes where they saw a measurable difference in their operation including the generation of more revenue.Listen and view episode notes
The Qualities of a Good Partnership or How to Make Partnerships Work.
Partners and brothers Vinnie and Anthony Lucido from CoAuto, Community Conscious Car Care in Reno, NV and partners Shawn Kline and Jeremy Austrum from Next Generation Auto in Baldwin, WI., share how they make their partnership work.
They share advantages and disadvantages of having a partner, the role of each partner, and the qualities of a partnership. They say that knowing each other’s communication style or DISC respects each other’s way of getting and sharing information
These partners believe that their business coach has improved the partnership. These partners also share the pitfalls or challenges that can creep into a partnership. You’ll also hear about buy-sell agreements, life insurance and work-life balance.Listen and view episode notes
The Dreaded Come Back: The Keys To Prevention.
Comeback prevention starts at the front door. It is all about communication. Writing enough information to the technician the better he/she can handle the diagnosis.
To improve the end product and to reduce comebacks, you must build quality into the repair process. Quality control checklists at the end of the repair can only do so much. Quality, not quota, is the strategy you need to adopt to reduce comebacks. You should always be looking to improve. Your processes will drive a well-managed quality program.
The quality of parts today is in question and you need to pay attention to comebacks so your costs and reputation are managed. Tracking every comeback is a necessity if you are going to reduce your comebacks.Listen and view episode notes
The Rule of Holes: Know When To Stop Digging
Knowing your break-even point — the point at which total cost and total revenue are equal is important to running a business. It is not just good enough to reach your daily break even, you must exceed it if you are to stay in business.
Knowing the break-even point is helpful in deciding gross margin on parts, labor rates, setting sales budgets and preparing a business plan. If you do not reach your daily break-even then there is a great chance that you had a loss of profit for the day.
This episode provides a worksheet download for calculating break-even. The numbers will come from your financial statements. Your accountant can also provide them. The key to knowing your break-even set the tone when you are reaching for your profitable sales goal. You’ll know what the minimum excepted number is without digging yourself into a hole.Listen and view episode notes
How To Get Value From Recorded Service Calls
Listen and learn from Rena Rennebohm, service advisor coach and the Chief Training Officer of ACT Group, Keith Williamson, president of Williamson’s Repair and Tire in Bondurant, IA and service advisor Lauren Giver, from Los Gatos Auto Service in Campbell, CA.
Listening to just one side of a customer call does not do justice in improving and training your service advisor. Service advisers need quality training, no different than technicians and business owners and the recorded phone call is an important element to that training. Save good calls and go over what a good call sounds like. If your shop does not record calls, then get your shop secret shopped. You’ll be convinced.
Find one phone call that works play it over and share it with your team; you will grow your business. Recorded calls and coaching helps to convert and opens the learning to be a better communicator. A great outcome of recorded calls is the opportunity to make changes to your policies. You’ll discover what works and what doesn’t.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Owners Must Do’s: Daily Actions that Matter: Why Routine Matters.
We had a very deep discussion on critical daily actions that will keep your business compliant and running smoothly. You’ll walk away with a strong sense of discipline in building a daily task list that you stick with. Without proper planning and a strong checklist, that you are accountable for (or that you delegate), too many slips through the cracks and eventually crashes into your well-intentioned routine.
Bambi Crozier wife and co-owner with Neil Crozier, of Car Clinic in Lowell, AR, Mark Goldsmith Mark’s Independent Service in Chatsworth, CA and Rick White Rick is President and Lead Coach for 180BIZ bring their great insights on the importance of planning to be a strong business leader and watchdog.Listen and view episode notes
The Power of Strong Financial Statements
No question that knowing the value of your Profit and Loss Statement helps you grow a strong, viable and profitable company. Many shop owners have not gotten intimate enough with the value of their financial statements.
The episode with Maryann Croce from Croce Transmissions in Norwalk, CT, Mark Roberts from Schertz Auto Service in Schertz, TX and Bob Greenwood, AMAM, president of Automotive Aftermarket e-Learning Center show the power of an accurate P & L.
We also talk about the Balance Sheet and the extreme value in accurate finical statements if you are going to sell your business or buy one. Also discussed is where on the P & L is it indicated that you can afford raises and that your emotions will try to override the numbers, because they tell the real story.Listen and view episode notes
Many Problems Are Found in A Lack Of Communications; Therefore Good Communications Can Prevent Come Backs.
Improving Communications Between the Service Adviser and Technician with Jude Larson from Valley Repair in Tenino, WA and also with JML Real Solutions, also Darrin Barney, Owner of Barney Brothers Off Road in Grand Junction, CO and Donnie Carter, Service Manager at Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI.
Communication is an important tenant in any service business. It is up to the service advisor to bring the ‘novel’ to the technician. Listen hard to the customer and write down the details of their issue or concern.
Technicians results are dependent on getting a good path to follow. Give them a great opportunity to succeed with clear in-depth information. Techs need to do their part and provide clear information back to the service advisor to support the recommendations they are going to provide as a value to the customer.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
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
Find A Blue Print Outlined For Finding Success If You Are Going To Open An Automotive Aftermarket Service Repair Shop.
There is some secret Sause shared here including a few preferred methods on how to start, setting up your spending plan, how important location is and the need to know the demographics of that local community. Is the income level such that money can be spent on vehicle service and maintenance?
We talk financial, (knowing your numbers) debt, cash flow. All very important parts of a CEO’s responsibility. May great technicians, who are unemployable, strive to start their own business because they want to do things their way. Most find out it is not an easy task. There are responsibilities beyond financial and cash flow like, marketing, the tax man, HR laws and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
This panel does a great job of explaining the challenges you’ll need to deal with, so you can find your successes sooner rather than later. It is a slow process, but success shouldn’t take years to achieve.Listen and view episode notes
How To Sell Diagnostics at a Profit?
This is not an easy question to answer. Service professionals must be paid for their expertise because the cost of doing diagnostics is the most expensive service you have in your building.
It is time to move from diagnostics to testing and analyzing. Every shop needs to build a premium product around testing and analyzing. You need to be known as the ‘we can fix anything right the first time shop’. Your motto: “We have the best technicians.” Your shops testing and analyzing skills is the premium product you sell and are known for in your marketplace. No need to go anywhere else. We do the research, test, analyze and discover what is wrong. We present the solution then you decide.
Marketing this premium product requires a strong testing/analyzing process that both the service advisor and technician are totally in agreement with. The benefits allow the SA to confidently sell testing and analyzing.
The diagnostician knows that the SA will sell the value and benefits to the customer because the process dictates the work to be done. A very strong discussion and powerful take-a-ways that will arrest the black hole in your business of profitable diagnostic time.Listen and view episode notes
Growth Strategy: Fleets
Fleet business can sustain your revenue during the up and down times of the year. Get started and be willing to change and adjust as you move along. These three experts agree that it may be time for you to ‘Get out of your comfort zone’ and jump into the fleet business.
Learn from Tom Palermo from Preferred Automotive Specialists in Jenkintown, PA, John Constantin from Bison Fleet Service in Buffalo, NY and Bill Nalu from Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, MI.
We talk how to recruit fleet customer, obvious reasons to get into fleet business, the how and the challenges of implementing and growing fleet revenue.Listen and view episode notes