Steve Ciabattoni is the co-founder and CEO of 360 Payments, a payment technology company located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Raised in Philadelphia, Steve is the son of a small business owner who had to work two jobs just to put food on the table. Living the struggles of small business ownership firsthand gave Steve…Listen and view episode notes
Matt Fanslow is the diagnostic tech/shop manager at Riverside Automotive in Red Wing, MN. His primary responsibilities are to diagnose driveability and electrical/electronic issues, and perform most all programming, coding, initializing, adoptions, etc. Basically, if it needs to be figured out or has wires, it goes to Matt. He’s been a tech since 1996. Matt is also…Listen and view episode notes
RR 489: Louis Altazan – Total Quality Management Comes From Great Processes-Systems
Louis Altazan, President of AGCO Automotive Repair Service – Baton Rouge, LA. Louis has also studied under Dr. W. Edwards Demming the father of Quality Management. He has a lot of expertise and experience to show us regarding the processes that we need to run a successful quality shop.
This episode shows you the importance of a quality system in place. It is also useful to use Demming’s quality revolution as pointed out by Louis who served as a student of Dr. W. Edwards Demming, a renowned father of Quality Management. Louis also shares with us the 14 principles of Total Quality Management.Listen and view episode notes
THA 147 Overcoming Debt
A big problem for many service professionals is learning how to manage cash flow. The cash in the bank isn’t there for spending. It is generated by sales and the gross margin dollars that are earned on those sales is used to pay expenses. The remainder is profit. If cash is spent before allocations then it is very difficult to pay obligations. In many instances, loans are taken to pay bills and overspending stresses the business and the owner.
The panel for this Town Hall Academy includes Kim Walker from Shop Marketing Pros and former shop owner, AJ Nealey from Nealey Auto Service, Edgewater, MD and Tom Lambert owner of Shadetree Automotive. They each have a story on how to manage or eradicate debt, grow sales and scrutinize expenses. Knowing your financial states including Profit or Loss Statement and most importantly your Balance Sheet will help. Knowing what your metrics or tolerances of spending and cash management will lessen your dependence on borrowing and putting your company in harm’s way.Listen and view episode notes
Chris Cloutier and Scott Brown – What does it take to become more Productive and Efficient?
There are a lot of ways to become productive and efficient. There are a lot of strategies and systems that can be followed by just hearing this episode. Follow the process, improve communication, leverage to software technologies, learn to improve diagnostic methods and a whole lot more!
The experts: Chris Cloutier and Scott Brown. Chris is the co-owner of Golden Rule Auto Care in Dallas Texas and CEO of Auto Tex Me. He spent many years in the software industry developing solutions for companies. And Scott is an ASE Master Certified Automobile Technician with over three and a half decades of professional service industry experience. He and his wife own Connie & Dick’s Service Center Inc. Together they are the productivity and efficiency duo that bring results.Listen and view episode notes
THA 136 Branch Growth Strategy
Here are two voices that have grown branch stores and they tell a story you need to hear. Find out if they were successful right out of the gate. What they learned as they continued to grow. The importance of people, processes, finances and how to they like to grow. Is it a brownfield, scratch startup or through acquisition.
Listen to Austin Miller from Tire Star with 3 stores who is only 29 years old and to aftermarket veteran Jeff Moore from Moore Tires with 5 stores. Jeff and Austin will tell you what they believe is the most important thing you need to do well before you decide to grow. They also get into the people factor and the importance and strength of your profitability before you ever decide to grow. Don’t make the same mistakes they did.
Growth in stores is an exciting strategy. It can be rewarding for all the right reasons and it could be the most costly and hardest thing you’ve ever done. My panel shares their reality for growth. Between them, they have eight stores.Listen and view episode notes
Implementing Profit First – Shop Owners Thrilled With Results
This episode will change your thinking as it relates to a new profit discipline and cash management. I know you know that cash is king in any business, so start being a better manager of it.
Listen in on Danielle Bohlmann, owner with husband Brett in Highway 7 Service Center, Newell, IA, Kenny Wedow from Fine Tuned Auto, Broomfield, CO and Chris Cotton, Certified Profit First Professional from AutoFix SOS coaching company and a former shop owner.
They nailed the benefits of a strong and disciplined cash management system. Both these shop owners say they are in a better place because of implementing Profit First. Danielle and her husband Brett always plowed all their money back in their business. Now hear what they are doing and are better for it.Listen and view episode notes
THA 131 The Future – Preparing Your Shop For the Next Five to Ten Years
What is your future? Have you planned it? What are you doing to ensure your success in the next 5, 10 or 15 years? If you do nothing you get what you currently have and that may not sustain you to far into the future.
Your panel: Kelli Weatherby, co-owner, with husband Lee, in Accurate Automotive, Inc. in Mesa, AZ., Bill Nalu, owner of Interstate Auto Care, Madison Heights, MI and AJ Nealey, Nealey Auto Service, Edgewater MD. This diverse group has some similar yet some different strategies for their future. It is so refreshing to hear the dialogue and then compare their tactics to your current or long term plans.
We are in a dynamic industry that is in a heightened change curve. Keeping up at all levels will bring you spoils. And keeping your eye on your business with the future in sight is an important responsibility you have to your employees and your family.
We talk BHAG’s, Debt, Branches, Succession, Training, refinancing, and SWOT among others.Listen and view episode notes
THA 116 Business Coaches Lab – Improving Shop Efficiency
Look forward to tactics like knowing your techs gifts or strengths, remove obstacles, make process improvement a rule, minimize interruptions, if your techs aren’t efficient find out why. There are so many factors and our coaches do a great job of exposing some key components for improving efficiency in your bays.
The Academy panel includes Murray Voth, RPM Training, Rick White 180 Biz, Jude Larson ACT Group, Cecil Bullard, The Institute for Automotive Business Excellence and Bob Greenwood, Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Center.Listen and view episode notes
Charging What We Are Worth
We talk professional courtesy, labor rates, training, having the right value proposition for your customer so you can charge accordingly, the labor rate spread in our communities, and why you shouldn’t be afraid to charge what you are worth. You’ve invested a lot in your business and need to be paid for this. Listen to why confidence in your skills and abilities will help you charge accordingly.
With me on this Academy panel is Tom Palermo, Preferred Automotive Specialties, Philadelphia, PA and former NAPA ASE Technician of the year in 2015, David Justice, President Repair Shop Of Tomorrow, Asset Management Technology and Mark Colaw, Seymours’ Garage, San Antonio, TX and founder of Carfest.Listen and view episode notes
Tom Ham: Running your Business Remotely
Tom answers some big questions like: Does it take the right culture and people to make working remotely work? What kind of self-discipline to you need? And how does technology make it feel like you are there? We cover a full spectrum of how Tom makes it work.
Tom Ham gives us the blueprint on how to run a remote office and what are the expectations that come along with it.Listen and view episode notes
What Happens When a Technician Becomes a Customer for Automotive Repair.
Pete Meir, Director of Training for the UBM Advanstar Automotive Group, which includes Motor Age magazine, wrote a story “When a Technician Becomes a Customer for Automotive Repair Service.” You can only imagine the implications and ramifications this implores.
When Pete needed tires for his truck he became a customer. He was not delighted with the service he was given and it drove him to write about it. He may have never written it if he had a satisfying and complete service experience. It’s tough to be in this industry and not judge your own personal experiences and standards against all others.
Training and Customer Service are the very processes that needed improvement and constant adjustment to meeting trends and everyday situations. Having this can equip a technician and service adviser in most decision making situations.Listen and view episode notes
Patrick McHugh. Using a Scoreboard to Manage Shop Performance.
In this episode, Patrick shows us an interesting way of tracking progress and goals in his shop with his new scoreboard. It actually came from a discussion he had with his techs and his disciplines as a former pilot. The board is located in the bays of his shop and has sections for workflow and numbers.
The scoreboard is meant to be in technician speak. It has a grid that flows from top to bottom with customer name/car, incoming work, in diagnosis, ready for work and more. This entire system came from the drive to engage his technicians and ultimately provide stronger earnings for his team.
Patrick says there is a quick way to see hold-ups and to improve communication between the sales counter, office and the back of the shop. He also talks about a feedback loop using the logic of a PID Controller. (Like Cruise control for the shop)Listen and view episode notes
21 Tips To Gain An Edge Over Your Competition – Part 3
With me, in this part three is the same crew from part two and part three. Todd Westerlund, CEO of Kukui , Jeremy O’Neal Freedom Automotive in Hesperia, CA and President and lead sales trainer for Advisorfix and Mark Goldsmith Mark’s Independent Service in Chatsworth, CA
There was a special challenge put forth by Todd Westerlund from Kukui and you’ll discover that at the end of the episode. The combined tips between the three parts are 68 which includes bonus tips.
Too many to list, but you’ll find not only great ideas in this episodes but trends you must be implementing if you plan to stay relevant and in business.Listen and view episode notes
David Justice – You Must Manage Your Labor Profit Before Anything Else
When David Justice sold his $5M business he was already speaking and coaching in partnership with NAPA. To help run his business David created the Labor Profit Management tool to keep a tight and smart handle on his labor and he was traveling the country and speaking to service professionals on the power of managing your labor.
Post sale he started Repair Shops of Tomorrow which not only incorporates the Labor Profit Management tools along with a focus on marketing programs.
David decided he needed to give back and is working hard to help shop owners achieve exceptional success. We talk about his three-legged stool, rewards, networking, and so much more.Listen and view episode notes
The Power Of A Vanity Phone Number
Bruno Tabbi is the President and Co-Founder at Ignition Toll-Free, where he focuses on premium vanity phone numbers including 1-800-MECHANIC.
Bruno says that organic marketing, through phones, is still alive and important in this day and age. We are so preoccupied with online marketing strategies that we forget that the phone call is still relevant and powerful. Managing your incoming phones is as powerful as having a solid SEO strategy for the web.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Talk: Time Management and Digital Inspections
Shop talk with three shop owners; John Constantin, Jim Fleishman and Mike Schultz talk time management and digital inspections.
Systems for time management will either make our lives easier or without them, our stress level could be at Defcon 2. You may use post-it notes or digital software to stay on track and more organized.
This episode was recorded live and was an ‘open mic’ format. You enjoy the dialogue between these shop owners from the Western New York area near Buffalo.Listen and view episode notes
Can David Beat Goliath?
The Academy panel dives into the dichotomy of David and Goliath. David, quick nimble and did not perceive that he was an underdog. The panel considers that larger industry players can be Goliath-like … complacent, too structured, weighed down with rules and inflexible. It doesn’t mean that it is bad, but they say small and nimble is better than big and sluggish. They are quick to point out that we can learn a lot from Goliath’s as it pertains to systems and processes.
Ironically we did discuss that having a Goliath mentality may be good for a David. We talked about business models, being able to adapt to changes in the marketplace and consumers habits. A great example in the discussion was that Starbucks is a Goliath but they hire Davids. A very potent strategy for success. We also talk customer loyalty and what we can learn from the Goliaths of the aftermarket.
The Panel: Bambi Crozier, from Car Clinic in Lowel, AR, Jeremy O’Neal, Freedom Automotive, Freedom Automotive in Hesperia, CA and President and Lead Sales Trainer at AdvisorFix and Scott Pelava, Lonsdale Auto Works in Lonsdale, MNListen and view episode notes
Friends To The Rescue.
Mark Bergasse from Marks Auto Service in Oakville, ON, had a life-changing medical condition. A heart attack that precipitated a quadruple bypass. His wife Sandy called their friends Glenn Colling of Eastside Auto Service, Todd Sarson of Stop N Go Automotive, and Carlo Sabucco of Sils Complete Auto Care Centre. They share their story of support to Mark and Sandy.
This story is about friendship, caring and the power of humanity. Are you prepared for a possible business or life-changing moment? Is your network in place? Are your friends or competitors ready to step up. Mark, Todd, Carlo and Glenn share the backstory on the value of friendship first, competitor second.Listen and view episode notes
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 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
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 Center of your Business is in the Back Office PART 2
Amy Mattinat, Jacquie Walter Hower, Maryann Croce and Kim Auernheimer discuss Human Resources and Marketing. Two very important responsibilities of the CEO and back office team.
Highlights: The legal document called an employee handbook, hire slow-fire fast, know your candidate’s personality and hire for a culture fit.
Track your marketing efforts, never shoot in the dark you may not be spending your money wisely. Have a good referral program for your advocate customer and your brand’s image needs to be consistent and must match the face you put in the web and social media. This group also shares some great marketing ideas.Listen and view episode notes