Tom Ham: Running your Business Remotely
Tom answers some big questions like: Does it take the right culture and people to make working remotely work? What kind of self-discipline to you need? And how does technology make it feel like you are there? We cover a full spectrum of how Tom makes it work.
Tom Ham gives us the blueprint on how to run a remote office and what are the expectations that come along with it.Listen and view episode notes
What Happens When a Technician Becomes a Customer for Automotive Repair.
Pete Meir, Director of Training for the UBM Advanstar Automotive Group, which includes Motor Age magazine, wrote a story “When a Technician Becomes a Customer for Automotive Repair Service.” You can only imagine the implications and ramifications this implores.
When Pete needed tires for his truck he became a customer. He was not delighted with the service he was given and it drove him to write about it. He may have never written it if he had a satisfying and complete service experience. It’s tough to be in this industry and not judge your own personal experiences and standards against all others.
Training and Customer Service are the very processes that needed improvement and constant adjustment to meeting trends and everyday situations. Having this can equip a technician and service adviser in most decision making situations.Listen and view episode notes
Taking Great DVI Pictures
Taking quality DVI pictures reflects on your brand and helps the customers builds trust. The power of demonstrating work needed and future maintenance concerns in the art of picture documentation is how we are going to do business in the future.
This wide-ranging conversation is brought to you by Scott Brown from Connie and Dicks and Diag.net, Greg Buckley from Buckley’s Auto Care, Jim Fleishman from Automotive Alley and JR Portmen from 5 Stones Media.
Videos must be included in the repertoire of good documentation and when you are in marketing mode.Listen and view episode notes
Patrick McHugh. Using a Scoreboard to Manage Shop Performance.
In this episode, Patrick shows us an interesting way of tracking progress and goals in his shop with his new scoreboard. It actually came from a discussion he had with his techs and his disciplines as a former pilot. The board is located in the bays of his shop and has sections for workflow and numbers.
The scoreboard is meant to be in technician speak. It has a grid that flows from top to bottom with customer name/car, incoming work, in diagnosis, ready for work and more. This entire system came from the drive to engage his technicians and ultimately provide stronger earnings for his team.
Patrick says there is a quick way to see hold-ups and to improve communication between the sales counter, office and the back of the shop. He also talks about a feedback loop using the logic of a PID Controller. (Like Cruise control for the shop)Listen and view episode notes
Father and Son / Owner and Prodigy
Scott and Michael Waddle of Precision Auto Service, Langley, British Columbia. Shows us that a tandem of father and son can unlock different creative and innovative skill sets applicable to the modern shop of today.
Listen to how Scott is nurturing his son’s gifts and transforming them into assets their shop can use. Michael’s innovative work on automotive electrical and lighting systems is phenomenal considering that he is 15 years old this year. Even though Michael still can’t do the heavy lifting within the shop, this doesn’t stop him from his creative thinking. He is creating apps for the business. Learn about them.
Scott continues to provide training and enrollment plans for his son’s future providing an inspiration to every family owned shop and maybe a succession strategy too.Listen and view episode notes
The Power Of A Vanity Phone Number
Bruno Tabbi is the President and Co-Founder at Ignition Toll-Free, where he focuses on premium vanity phone numbers including 1-800-MECHANIC.
Bruno says that organic marketing, through phones, is still alive and important in this day and age. We are so preoccupied with online marketing strategies that we forget that the phone call is still relevant and powerful. Managing your incoming phones is as powerful as having a solid SEO strategy for the web.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Talk: Time Management and Digital Inspections
Shop talk with three shop owners; John Constantin, Jim Fleishman and Mike Schultz talk time management and digital inspections.
Systems for time management will either make our lives easier or without them, our stress level could be at Defcon 2. You may use post-it notes or digital software to stay on track and more organized.
This episode was recorded live and was an ‘open mic’ format. You enjoy the dialogue between these shop owners from the Western New York area near Buffalo.Listen and view episode notes
Can David Beat Goliath?
The Academy panel dives into the dichotomy of David and Goliath. David, quick nimble and did not perceive that he was an underdog. The panel considers that larger industry players can be Goliath-like … complacent, too structured, weighed down with rules and inflexible. It doesn’t mean that it is bad, but they say small and nimble is better than big and sluggish. They are quick to point out that we can learn a lot from Goliath’s as it pertains to systems and processes.
Ironically we did discuss that having a Goliath mentality may be good for a David. We talked about business models, being able to adapt to changes in the marketplace and consumers habits. A great example in the discussion was that Starbucks is a Goliath but they hire Davids. A very potent strategy for success. We also talk customer loyalty and what we can learn from the Goliaths of the aftermarket.
The Panel: Bambi Crozier, from Car Clinic in Lowel, AR, Jeremy O’Neal, Freedom Automotive, Freedom Automotive in Hesperia, CA and President and Lead Sales Trainer at AdvisorFix and Scott Pelava, Lonsdale Auto Works in Lonsdale, MNListen and view episode notes
Underutilized Shop Management Systems.
The panel is all about max utilization for your SMS. You are going to learn a lot and maybe walk away with an action plan to better utilize your SMS.
Listen to Tom Ham, Automotive Management Network and shop owner of Auto Centric in Grand Rapids, MI, Scott Brown, from Diagnostic Network and shop owner of Connie & Dicks Service Center, Claremont, CA and David Roman Shop owner of Done With Care Auto Repair in Merriam, KS and Facebook Group Founder, Ask-A-Mechanic.
Among the talking points: There is a training gap on features and actual uses, cloud-based SMS is where we are heading, and it is the shop owner’s responsibility to request and get the training from your SMS supplier.
From a marketing and customer perception, when you are all digital and you come across as ‘high tech’ from counter to bays, it also puts you ahead of the pack and provides a certain level of differentiation.Listen and view episode notes
Fundamentals, Systems, People Development and How to Work From Home
Tom Ham has been a great contributor to the podcast and with his years of experience as a shop owner and chief conductor at Automotive Management Network, he has a perspective and/or opinion on all aspects of running a successful and professional automotive service business.
We’re going to talk about basic block and tackling, the power of good systems and procedures, because if your not your dying. Also, hear about a clever idea to extract business improving ideas from your team and three questions to ask yourself to discover if you can start to walk away and work away from your business.Listen and view episode notes
Do You Have Control of Your Business Intelligence Data?
Data is king. It is ok to share your data if you know who you are sharing it with? If and when you share your customer database with vendors; what do you want them to do with it and how should you expect them to treat it thereafter?
These topics and many more are covered in the lively and wide-ranging discussion and debate over data and what happens to your data once you sign an End Users License Agreement (EULA).
Guests include Karim Morsli, Winkler Automotive Service Center, Bill Nalu, Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, MI, Chris Cloutier, owner of Golden Rule Auto Care in Dallas, TX and president of Autotext.me and Greg Buckley, Buckley’s Personalized Auto Care in Wilmington, DE.Listen and view episode notes