Shop Owner Mastermind [THA 373]

In this Mastermind style podcast episode of the Aftermarket Radio Network’s Town Hall Academy, host Carm Capriotto discuss the significance of training, customer loyalty, and the challenges of business expansion. Matt Wagg, AJ Nealy, and John Long share their experiences investing in their teams’ development, creating memorable customer experiences, and the personal growth required for successful leadership. They also delve into the complexities of scaling from a single shop to multiple locations, discussing the importance of readiness, strategic planning, and learning from both successes and failures in the expansion process.

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The Evolution of Automotive Technology Training [THA 372]

The role of mechanical and technology specialists is changing faster than a pit stop at the Indy 500. My guests, including expert NAPA trainers Curt Eigenberger, Bill Weaver, and Randy Cowan, Always know that training is a key pillar to your strategic success. We’re not just talking about keeping up with the latest tech but about staying ahead of the curve. Do you know how?

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From Shop Owner to Trainer [RR 934]

Recorded Live at MACS (Mobile Air Climate Systems) 2024 Training Event & Trade Show, Pam Oakes discusses life after selling her shop and the transition into training. She also focuses on the role of 609 certification, EPA regulations and the importance of continuous learning and education. As professionals, we must adapt, learn, and embrace changes to ensure we’re not left behind.
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Which Scan Tool Should I Buy? Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo 2024 [RR 926]

Insights to the Vision Hi-Tech & Expo 2024 Class “Which Scan Tool Should I Buy?” on Thursday, February, 29, from 1pm-5pm. Our panel discusses the importance of tailoring scan tool recommendations toa technician’s specific needs, including the car lines they work on, their budget, and the features they require. Don’t sit on the value of seeking advice from experienced users and trainers to make informed decisions.
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Labor Rate Tracker Update: A Valuable Tool [RR 914]

Tom Ham discusses the labor rate tracker tool, which can be found on the Automotive Management Network. The conversation includes the variability of labor rates among different types of automotive shops and across states and the influence of location and shop type on rates. Tom shares that the tracker has grown to 3,000 shops reporting their rates, providing a more comprehensive view of the market. The episode also covers the importance of having a labor rate that reflects a shop’s quality and customer trust. Find out why the labor rate tracker is a valuable tool for both shop owners and industry coaches to gauge market rates and inform business strategies.
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Keeping an Eye on Bay Productivity [THA 356]

Did you know most shops only utilize 20-30% of their bay capacity? Let’s explore the concept of effective bay rate and the potential benefits of monitoring and analyzing bay usage. What is the potential revenue that can be realized by addressing these inefficiencies?

Our panel highlights the importance of focusing on bay efficiency rather than just technician efficiency and the need for shops to adopt lean six sigma principles to maximize productivity.
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Doubling Down On Diagnostics [RR 898]

Recorded Live at ASTE 2023, twin brothers Mario and Martin Rojas and their employer Jason Athanas, discuss their work in the automotive industry, the importance of continuous training and staying updated on technology, and their unique business model. Mario also talks about his YouTube channel ‘Super Mario Diagnostics, which is used for training and customer engagement. 
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Scanner Danner: The Next Chapter [RR 892]

A Journey of Collaboration, Family, and Philanthropy

Recorded Live at ASTE 2023, Kristin and Paul Danner discuss the next chapter of Scanner Danner: the birth of their nonprofit organization. Their mission? To help fulfill the needs of others by supporting the automotive community and beyond.  As they embark on this new chapter as soon to be empty nesters, they’re choosing a path of service and giving back. They also discuss the challenges within their marriage during the rise of ‘Scanner Danner’ and Paul’s perspective on elevating shop owners as an industry movement.
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From Idea to Product: Dorman’s Process of Developing Products [AW 178]

Recorded Live at ASTE 2023, Lester Kovacs, Director of Ideation at Dorman Products, explains Dorman’s unique approach to product development, including working closely with technicians, searching through junkyards for challenges, and conducting extensive testing. He also discusses supply chain issues, reaching out to their network for feedback, and upcoming products at Dorman.
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Employee Fraud: Tips to Prevent Fraud and Profit Leaks [RR 890]

Vic Tarasik is eager to share his insights and personal experiences with fraud, a subject that’s not always pleasant but is crucial to address. As Ronald Reagan famously said, “Trust but verify.” Trust is vital in business relationships, but so is verification. Vic highlights the need for proper documentation, procedures, systems in place to prevent fraud, cash management and the potential for fraud in parts purchases. He advises shop owners not to assume they are immune to fraud.
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Hiring Gen Z Mechanics [THA 347]

Carm Capriotto welcomes Sara Fraser and a Gen Z mechanic, Owen Chambers, to discuss his motivations for entering the automotive repair industry. Owen shares his transition from a career in finance to automotive repair, his aspirations within the industry, and the financial consciousness of his generation. The discussion also touches on the cost of entry in the automotive industry, the importance of understanding younger workers’ needs and expectations, and the multitasking habits and attention span of Gen Z. Understanding the motivations, aspirations, and mindset of Gen Z workers is crucial for the future of the automotive industry.
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Lunch and Learn Training: How It’s Done! [AW 174]

Ryan Baxter, the owner of Modern Auto Service in Fruitland, Idaho, shares his approach to training, including setting aside dedicated time every week and bringing in trainers for technical and personal development. Ryan emphasizes the positive impact training has had on his business and the value of continuous learning.
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From Mom and Pop to Multi Shop Owners [RR 671]

Recorded Live at the 2023 Institute Summit in St Petersburg, Florida, Jeannie and David Light, the dynamic duo behind Lighthouse Auto Repair in Manteo, North Carolina, discuss their business, challenges they face, and their recent expansion to a second shop. They also share their experience with joining a coaching program. The coaching program had a significant impact on their sales, with their revenue nearly doubling in the year after joining. Find out how they transitioned from a ‘mom and pop’ shop to successful multi shop owners. 
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EV Fire Safety: Exploring Risks and Solutions [RR 869]

What are the hidden risks associated with Electric Vehicles (EVs)? Multi-shop owner and District Chief of the Troy Fire Department Donnie Hudson and mechanical engineer and Captain of the Troy Fire Department, Pat Durham, discuss the importance of awareness and proper training for EVs. EV fires can be complex and involve risks of corrosion, and short circuits. Education and training are crucial for firefighters, first responders, and automotive professionals to ensure EV safety. Working on EVs can also have insurance implications, with potential surcharges. Despite the risks, being prepared and knowledgeable about EVs is critical when handling damaged vehicles.
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Exploring the Changing Trends in Engine Oil: From Viscosity Grades to Fuel Efficiency [RR 867]

Host Carm Capriotto welcomes Lee Rhodus, Territory Sales Manager for Deckman Oil, to discuss the current state of the oil industry. They delve into the history of Deckman Oil, the importance of oil in various industries, and the different types of motor oil available. They also touch on engine oil viscosity grades, the advancements in additive technology, and the challenges faced by repair shop owners in managing different oil inventories. 
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Counterfeit Parts [THA 336]

Get ready for an eye-opening episode as we dive deep into the world of counterfeit parts in the automotive industry. Tanner Brand, a mobile diagnostician and trainer; Bob Stewart, the global brand protection manager for General Motors; and Stephen Kontos, a patent attorney counsel specializing in automotive engineering and software, discuss the implications of counterfeit parts for technicians, shop owners, and large companies. What is the difference between aftermarket parts and counterfeit parts? What are the legal and security risks from obtaining software from gray market or black market websites? It’s clear that this is a complex issue that requires ongoing attention and discussion. Stay tuned for a potential part two of this episode where we’ll continue to explore this topic.
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Is Your Company Culture Holding You Back? [RR 864]

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Culture again?” But trust me, this episode takes a deep dive into how culture can truly make or break a business. Every business has a culture, whether it’s intentional or not, and it’s crucial to evaluate if it’s the right one for retaining employees and attracting customers.

Imagine an auto repair shop that truly understands the frustrations of car owners and aims to provide honest, knowledgeable, and reliable service to give them peace of mind. That’s the kind of culture that draws customers in and keeps them coming back.

Chris Lawson suggests checking out an article in the show notes that discusses the impact of culture on over 40 business metrics. Studies have shown that employees are more motivated and efficient in a happy work environment. So, investing in your company culture can actually boost your bottom line.

If you’re a business owner or someone interested in creating a positive work environment, this episode is a goldmine of information. Carm and Chris provide practical guidance on building company culture and emphasize the need for strong policies, procedures, and teamwork.
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The Art and Science of Dispatching [RR 849]

Dan Taylor and Reggie Stewart to discuss the art of dispatch in the automotive repair industry. They emphasize the importance of efficiently dispatching and scheduling jobs, using the team’s strengths and weaknesses, the need for accountability, daily tracking of labor inventory to ensure goals are met, and the challenge of accommodating walk-in customers while maintaining productivity. They stress that dispatching is crucial to the business’s success and suggest creating a simulator or role-playing exercise to teach dispatching effectively.
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Streamlining Workflow: Shop-Ware’s New TechApp for Technicians [RR 843]

Recorded Live at Vision 2023, this episode features Carolyn Coquillette, CEO of Shop-Ware, discussing the release of their new mobile application, TechApp, designed to help technicians manage their work more efficiently. The app allows technicians to view a list of current jobs, track their time on individual services, and easily document findings and results, including inspections. The episode also touches on the challenges of building software for the automotive industry and the importance of customer feedback in the development process.
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Why Dressing Professionally Matters in the Shop and Beyond [THA 324]

As a customer, have you ever walked into a business and been put off by the unkempt appearance of the employees or the disarray of the business? If so, you’re not alone. Join our panel as they discuss the importance of professionalism in the automotive industry and how it can impact customer trust, employee morale, and overall success. We should expect nothing less than a professional appearance and attitude from those in the automotive industry, and we should continue to project that image to the public.
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Alignments! Rates, Numbers and ROI [THA 303]

Take a deeper dive into alignments, the numbers being it, and the ROI. Multi-shop owner Joe Hanson has invested in the Hunter Quick Check Touchless Alignment equipment for his one shop, Tom Sciortino brings statistics on the effect alignments have on ADAS, and Jim Fleischman discusses the importance of asking your customers about their driving habits. 
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