Carl Hutchinson, Complete Automotive, Springfield, MO has been in the car industry since 1982, but has worked on vehicles long before that time. He has a passion for engineering, for understanding how vehicles operate, and how to repair a customer’s concern. Earlier in his career, Carl started working at a GM Dealership, then went to work at independent repair facilities as a technician and eventually became a service advisor. Carl’s experience in the automotive industry led him to his current position as co-owner with Maureen Hutchinson of Complete Automotive in Springfield MO., where he works every day to provide high-quality, valuable service to all customers. Carl is an Alumni with Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield MO Campus. He currently sits on the Automotive Advisory Board with Ozark Technical Community College, member of South East Rotary, and a member of the Springfield Midwest Auto Care Alliance chapter. Carl has his Master ASE Certification, L1 and Service Advisor certification and is an AMI Graduate.
Listen to Carl’s previous episodes HERE
Justin Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Automotive, Cornelia, GA. He is excited about the future of this industry with autonomous vehicles and the role the independent repair shop will play in that arena, and with the changing landscape how we are going to have to be nimble and adapt to stay relevant. Leadership is something that is extremely challenging to him but rewarding when done right. He had some leadership failures and wins which are adding to his growth in that area. His biggest challenge right now is the same thing that he is working on and that is building a great team. In the last 18 months, he had gone from leading himself and one other to leading 6 and still adding to keep up with growth.
Listen to Justin’s previous episodes HERE
Key Talking Points
- Making a tough decision- personnel decisions can be the hardest.
- Giving too many chances for people to correct flaws- consider, are they unmotivated and unwilling to improve?
- 1 bad apple turns the whole bushel bad- identifying the bad apple can be a challenge and can lead to more employees leaving.
- Don’t give ultimatums
- “Run your business as a business. Don’t run your shop as a shop”
- What gets in way of making decision? Fear of the unknown: Will I have to work in the shop? Can you replace that employee? Are you better off tolerating than doing without? Rationalize.
- Right seat right person- are they where they should be?
- Be in tune with your employees- open and honest, open door policy
- Hiring/orientation- slow the process down when you are able to, to see if they will fit in your culture, call references, what is their home life like?
- Always be recruiting even when you have a full staff- offer training at your shop so other technicians can see what your environment is like
- Leaders don’t make excuses- own your decisions as an owner
- Rip the bandaid- 3 days of hurt then move on, you’re doing the right thing for the business and for that individual.
- Listen to your spouse!
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