RR 346: Matt Fanslow of Riverside Automotive – Improving the level of professionalism within the aftermarket industry

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 a subject matter expert for ASE and has instructed at Vision Hi-Tech Training and Expo.

Matt has participated on 18 ASE technical committees for the ASE Practice Test, A6, A7, A8, and L1 tests. He’s also done case studies for Standard Motor Products.

Fanslow’s goal is to do everything in his power to improve the overall level of professionalism within the automotive and light truck repair trade and also raise the level of its public image. Hear Matt in previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Matt developed a bonus plan for the shop he manages
    • Simple team structure, engaging atmosphere
    • To calculate everyone’s contribution to the overall success of the business is very difficult
  • Entry level compensation
    • A trend of increasing wages for employees coming out of college/trade school- is where increases in wages should go?
    • What about veteran employees? Advocates for your business.
    • If an employee starts at entry level pay and sees ‘light at end of the tunnel’ while working with experienced techs they will stay motivated and loyal to the business. Can see a clear career path.  
  • Attracting younger customers through DVI
    • Majority enjoy using technology to communicate
    • Faster and easier to use with updates and pictures
    • Immediate satisfaction
  • Valuing profession starts with the technicians
    • Not just about fixing the really hard problems and seeing value in that check engine light diagnosis, tires, brakes  
    • Value and specialty in each part of the car
  • Future of cars
    • Diagnostics decisions would be through system and tech where there would be a middleman
    • Similar to “Alexia” system communication back and forth
    • Would techs and specialists become less valuable?


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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.