Attract, Develop, and Retain Top Automotive Talent [CC 113]

Building the dream team in the automotive industry goes beyond hiring technicians—it’s about creating a culture that fosters growth, respect, and development.

Join our panel of shop owners as they share their experiences and strategies in building an outstanding team. Topics include the significance of culture, passive and active recruiting, development through apprenticeship and training programs, and retention strategies like understanding employees’ goals, compensation, and creating an enjoyable work environment.

Want to learn more? Join Chris Lawson’s ‘Repair Shop Growth Systems Live 2024’ May 31st – June 2nd in Mt. Arlington, NJ. https://www.repairshopgrowthsystems.com/
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So You Think You Want To Open Your Second Location? [THA 377]

Industry shop owners discuss the challenges and strategies of opening and managing a second location. They explore the motivations behind opening additional shops, touching on wealth building, seeking new challenges, and planning for retirement. Carl Hutchinson emphasizes the importance of providing a growth path and career opportunities to attract and train the next generation of industry professionals. The conversation highlights the complexities of scaling a business and the need for strong leadership, financial planning, and a commitment to developing talent within the industry.
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Technician Attraction Blueprint [RR 921]

Chris Lawson discusses the Technician Attraction Blueprint, a strategy for automotive shops to attract and retain technicians by focusing on respect, growth, and money. Lawson’s blueprint, derived from extensive industry questions, helps shop owners self-assess and troubleshoot hiring issues. 

If you’re ready to transform your shop into a magnet for top talent and create an environment where technicians thrive, then you won’t want to miss this!
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Driving Change: Women’s Influence in the Automotive World [THA 361]

Nichole Bennecoff and Tenise Chapman are steering the automotive conversation toward new horizons. We’re shifting gears to talk about the power of female presence in the industry, from technicians to service advisors, and the impact it has on businesses and customers alike. Nichole shares her success in creating a team dynamic that’s as inclusive as it is efficient. She’s proving that leadership knows no gender, and her approach is magnetizing more women to the field. Tenise drives home the importance of visibility. She’s out there in a rural setting, changing the landscape and inspiring the youth to dream of a career in automotive with Camp Drive, a two-day camp for kids ages 12-15. 

We also touch on the art of customer service, crafting spaces that make everyone feel welcome, and the quest to bring more female technicians into the fold. 
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AAPEX’S Commitment to Student Mentorship [THA 360]

Recorded Live at AAPEX 2023, industry mentors and students worked together to service, repair and donate a 2013 Ford Edge to a Veteren. The students share their experiences and aspirations in the industry, from welding to diagnostics. It was also a heartwarming experience to have the recipient of the donated vehicle, Savannah, present in the studio with us. Let’s continue to have a positive impact on the industry and inspire more support for young people to join.
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Why CRM is Vital to Automotive Shop Success [THA 359]

Our panel discusses the importance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in the success of auto repair shops. They highlight CRM’s role in client retention, communication, and building trusted relationships. The discussion also covers the significance of integrating CRM with shop management systems and the potential for automation and reminders based on customer data. The panelists stress the importance of the first 100 days in the customer journey, the need for consistent touchpoints, and personalized communication. 
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Give Me 10 Update: Collaboration with Education [AW 186]

“Give Me 10 Mission: To provide a work-based learning model that any industry can utilize to bridge the skills gap. Combining classroom instruction with on the job work based learning opportunities. This program integrates the classroom with employers to create an introduction to a career path of the student’s choice. 

The program simplifies the relationship between an industry lead business and vocational education that can lead into a career path. We ask for no money. Our “ask” is for your time. Time to integrate a student into your business to create a career fit. It starts with 10 hours and can grow into a new employee. Can you “Give Me Ten?”

Sue Dixon, the creator of the “Give Me Ten” program, discusses the importance of collaboration between the automotive industry and education. The “Give Me Ten” program, which exposes students to the automotive industry and helps them explore potential career paths, is highlighted. The discussion also covers the need for updated curriculums, industry involvement, and the success of the “Give Me Ten” program in providing work-based learning experiences.
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Insights Into AAPEX 2023: Right to Repair and Magic Johnson [RR 899]

Recorded Live at AAPEX 2023, Bill Hanvey and Paul McCarthy give insights into Right to Repair, what it takes to put on a massive show encompassing 2,600 exhibitors, and 46,000 buyers, and a recap of Magic Johnson’s engaging keynote. In a recent study, by 2035 there could be a 54% decline in market share due to repair restrictions, translating to $92 Billion lost by the independent aftermarket. This issue is not just about the industry, but also about the consumers who rely on affordable and accessible auto services.
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Overcoming the Challenges of Apprenticeship Programs [RR 891]

Jake Sorensen shares his experiences with running an apprentice program at McNeil’s Auto Care. Initially, they were able to find suitable applicants easily, but as time went on, they faced challenges in finding the right candidates.  Jake also talked about the practical skills gap he has observed in the younger generation. He shared an anecdote about an apprentice who had never drilled a hole in a wall or hung anything before. Despite this knowledge gap, Jake believes that with the right attitude and willingness to learn, the right apprentices can become great technicians in the future.
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Life Calibration: From Burnout to Balance [THA 348]

Our panel explores the challenges of achieving work-life balance and how it affects busy professionals and entrepreneurs. The key takeaway was the importance of operating with the mindset of wanting employees’ lives to work both inside and outside of the shop. Eddie Lawrence shared his personal story of experiencing a health crisis in 2015, which served as a wake-up call for him. As a business owner, he had been prioritizing his work over his own well-being. This realization led him to create ‘Life Calibration,’ a framework to help individuals prioritize and improve different areas of their lives, not just for themselves but also for their teams.
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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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New Age Employees Require A New Way of Thinking [AW 176]

Pete McNeil discusses the changing needs of employees in the post-COVID workplace, particularly focusing on Gen Z employees. He talks about the importance of providing a positive customer experience and adapting to the preferences and attention span of Gen Z employees. He also discusses the challenges of hiring and retaining Gen Z employees, including the need for benefits, learning opportunities, and potential pay advantages. 
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The Roadmap to Success: Work Smarter Not Harder [RR 884]

Dan Taylor discusses various aspects of running a successful automotive repair business. He emphasizes the importance of having a roadmap to success, repackaging information to resonate with different people, utilizing reliable shop management systems, client and employee retention, effective marketing strategies, well-defined processes and procedures, and artificial intelligence in the industry. The episode concludes with a discussion on the importance of making money in the automotive repair industry and the need for a paradigm shift towards maintenance and customer service.
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Who is Your Customer Experience Officer (CXO)? [AW 173]

Nichole Bennecoff discusses the importance of customer experience in the automotive industry. Nicole shares her company’s focus on customer experience and introduces Taylor, a client success representative who manages communication between clients and the company. Taylor’s responsibilities include monitoring client communication, arranging loaner vehicles, supporting service advisors and providing excellent customer service. Nicole and Carm also touch on setting client expectations, appearance, and the importance of listening to service advisor calls. 
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The Art of Onboarding: A Deep Dive Into Employee Training and Development [RR 880]

Murray Voth discusses the importance of teaching and training employees instead of assuming they have common sense or knowledge. He shares personal anecdotes and observations from the automotive industry to highlight the need for employers to nurture a natural curiosity and desire to learn in their employees. He also discusses effective teaching and training methods, the importance of understanding employee strengths and preferences, and the significance of clear expectations and policies during the onboarding process.
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Personal Struggles in the Workplace: Lessons from Joe Marconi [AW 172]

Ever wondered what makes a leader truly great? Joe Marconi discusses the value of being approachable, connecting with your employees on a personal level, asking about their life outside work, and genuinely caring – it all contributes to a positive work environment. Remember, leadership is a constant learning process. Let’s nurture empathy, be open to self-reflection and keep the balance between old school values and new school flexibility.
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Acquiring and Transforming a 72 Year Old Business [AW 171]

Jon Kloosterman, the Director of Operations at West Side Service in Zeeland, discusses their recent acquisition of a business and their approach to training and retention of technicians. The acquired business had been a pillar in the community for 72 years and was ready for a change in ownership. Jon also highlights the importance of maintaining professionalism and focusing on the right KPIs in your business. 
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Redefining Business Bravery: Stories of Courage [THA 341]

Join our panel as they share insights on the importance of courage, different leadership styles, the need for tough conversations, and the role of coaching and mentoring in developing courage in teams. The panelists emphasize the importance of effective communication, training, and providing individuals with the tools and confidence to make courageous decisions. They also discuss the need for leaders to make tough decisions even when uncomfortable.
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My Technicians Won’t Go To Training: Why Not? [RR 875]

Our panel from NAPA AutoTech Training, discuss key insights regarding the pivotal role of continuous training in the automotive aftermarket industry. What are the challenges of learning technical material after a demanding workday and is there the need for tailored training sessions that consider the environment and attention span of technicians? The NAPA Apprentice Program was highlighted for its self-paced approach, allowing apprentices to earn multiple ASE certifications in a span of two years. Beyond training, the panel stressed the significance of investing in technicians and the consensus emerged that prioritizing attitude and work ethic in technician hiring, rather than just skill sets, equals a successful workforce.
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Rachel Spencer’s ‘Rachelisms’ for Auto Repair [AW 169]

What are some of Rachel Spencer’s “Rachelisms?” The Power of Consistency: Rachel emphasizes the importance of consistency and communication in her operations. She believes in creating habits, holding each other accountable, and striving for perfection while acknowledging that mistakes can happen. Customer Communication is Key: Rachel’s approach to customer service is all about overcommunication. You must provide customers with as much information as possible upfront, offering financing options, and sending vehicle health and safety reports via text. Rachel also shares her experiences with recruiting technicians including reaching out to institutes with automotive programs.
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Breaking the Mold: How a Staffing Agency Can Help You Build a Winning Team [THA 338]

“There isn’t a technician shortage,” Said no one ever. 

Please welcome our panel of guests to discuss the topic of recruiting talent with a staffing agency in the automotive industry. Shop owners Kathleen Callahan and Michelle Tansey share their experiences and challenges in finding skilled technicians and how partnering with Promotive, a full-service staffing agency, has been a game-changer for them.  Joelle Pollak and Amy Gerardi, Cofounders of Promotive, discuss the process of understanding individual shop needs, sourcing candidates, and the importance of communication and partnership between the agency and shop owners.

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From Training to Triumph: Breathe Leadership Into Your People [RR 868]

COO’S Max Orsborn and Dave Askwith discuss the importance of training and defined leadership in automotive businesses. They highlight the need for effective training that goes beyond just checking boxes, emphasizing accountability and pressure on individuals who attend training sessions. The conversation also touches on the significance of transparency and communication within organizations, focusing on clear communication during promotions and changes. Max and Dave share their experiences as leaders, with insights on admitting mistakes and making adjustments in hiring, as well as the importance of staying true to one’s beliefs and vision.
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Marketing Power Panel: Grow Your Revenue by $1 Million [THA 337]

Is it possible to grow your shop’s revenue by $1 million? Together, our panel of marketing gurus discuss the importance of marketing for automotive repair shops and provide insights on effective marketing strategies. The panel emphasizes the need to understand the shop’s current situation and goals before developing a marketing strategy. They also discuss financial aspects, setting goals for growth, seeking advice from successful shop owners, and creating memorable customer experiences. They stress the importance of strategic and proactive marketing and financial planning to drive business growth in the auto repair industry. Remember, marketing takes time and should be trusted as a process. Always be marketing, and don’t stop when business is busy.
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