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.

Jon Kloosterman, Director of Operations, WestSide Service, Zeeland, MI. Jon’s previous episodes HERE

Show Notes:

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  • The acquisition of the business (00:03:49) Discussion about the recent acquisition of an existing business and the reasons behind it.
  • Renovations and community response (00:04:16) Talk about the renovations being done to the building and the positive response from the community.
  • Training and retention of technicians (00:05:20) Conversation about the training process for technicians, including shadowing experienced technicians and the apprentice program.
  • The importance of consistent DVI format (00:09:34) Discussion on the need for consistent digital vehicle inspection (DVI) format to ensure uniformity in the pictures taken and information provided to service advisors.
  • Labor vs Service (00:12:12) Exploration of the concept of using the term “service” instead of “labor” to shift the focus from labor rates to the overall service experience.
  • Professionalism and image (00:15:42) Emphasis on the significance of professionalism and image in the automotive repair industry, including the impact on customer perception and attracting higher-end clientele.
  • The apprenticeship program and communication between service manager and shop foreman (00:18:41) Discussion on the relationship between service manager and shop foreman, responsibilities of apprentices, and communication within the team.
  • Effective labor rate as a key performance indicator (KPI) (00:19:31) The importance of effective labor rate as a KPI and its position in the list of critical KPIs.
  • Average opportunity as the most consistently watched KPI (00:20:23) Explanation of average opportunity as a KPI

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of 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 of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!