RR 476: Chris Cloutier and Scott Brown – Productivity Hacks

Chris Cloutier is 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 like Southwest Airlines, and Wyndham Intl. He’s worked for companies that understood the marriage of service and software, and have applied it in an effective way. Chris has his ASE C1: Automobile Service Consultant Certification Test (C1). He brings the business side to the business and his brother Pat brings the Braun. Chris is also a musician. Hear Chris’s previous episodes HERE.    Autotex.me website HERE.

Scott Brown 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., a 57-year-old independent shop in Southern California.

With a strong focus on engine performance and electronics, Scott began collaborating with other industry professionals, online, beginning in the early 90’s. Since 1995, he has been an instrumental resource in the development of the largest online community of automotive service professionals, the International Automotive Technicians Network — iATN where he once served as company president. Additionally, he serves on the NASTF Board of Directors and is a member of the following associations: ASCCA, CAT, ETI, I-CAR, & SAE.

Scott is the founder of diag.net. Find other episodes that have featured Scott HERE.   Diag.Net HERE


Key Talking Points:

  • Productivity and efficiency hacks
  • Communicate with your customers in their preferred method. Email, Text, Phone
  • Software today is starting to think as our brains do. Smart
  • Leverage digital technology. 
  • Look to reduce clicks within your systems
  • Communication is the biggest deficiency in our shops. Communication between customers, technicians, service advisor and owner
  • Communicating policies and procedures properly and clearly.
    • Slack App- replacement for email, nonlinear communication style, documentation
    • Shop management system used to dispatch jobs, technicians  can communicate through it internally 
    • Toastmasters- 1 hour a week to improve speaking skills
    • Tablet in every bay- eliminates back and forth wasted steps, saves time
  • Scope Creep. The good thing about software it can do anything. The bad thing about software is it can do anything
  • Process improvements need to be a continual improvement commitment
  • Learning to improve diagnostic methods should have the same discipline that you go through when you do to the doctor: Weight, Blood Pressure. O2 every time every car. Document so you can see the base-case and changes upon visits (a performance analysis) Follow the same steps on every diag ticket. Look for indicators. Can help with prognostics
  • Leverage the internet and software to work for you 
  • Laptop for every technician. Save wasted steps
  • Every tech needs to have their laptop in their bay with two monitors.
  • Mobile carts with test equipment
  • Dual screens for service advisor 
  • Virtual vehicle at the front counter for customer education- focus on customer experience, excel above and beyond than other shops. Many benefits can come from viewing these video’s with your customer
  • Don’t work in the business, work on the business. Wake Up!
  • FAA and Doctoring continue to be a strong theme as it relates to improving our industry as it relates to certification of ADAS and deep system and diagnostic work
  • We must embrace technology if not a business person will go the way of blockbuster
  • Six Sigma Lean Delighters overtime become must-haves
    • Technology assets are delighters for the customer and the shop
    • DVI, Tex-To-Pay, WiFi, Virtual Vehicle, LED Menu Boards, Clean, Bright


  • Thanks to Chris Cloutier and Scott Brown for their contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

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This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve. With 2,500 exhibiting companies, you’ll see the latest products, parts, and technologies for your business. As a result, the event also offers advanced training for shop owners, technicians, warehouse distributors (WDs) and auto parts retailers, as well as networking opportunities to grow your business. AAPEX 2019 will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5 through Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Therefore, more than 48,000 targeted buyers are expected to attend, and approximately 162,000 automotive aftermarket professionals. They will be from 135 countries which are projected to be in Las Vegas during AAPEX 2019. For information, visit aapexshow.com


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!