THA 078: Low Hanging Financial Fruit That Will Increase Your Profits


 Your Learning Curve Never Sounded So Good

The Panel:

Ron Haugen owns Westside Auto Pros in Des Moines Iowa. Celebrating their 21st year in business in 2018. Ron is an ASE Master Technician, has his AAM certification and is an AMI Certified instructor. Ron also provides coaching and consulting for auto shops across the country.

Ron has been Co-Chair of Vision, Hi-Tech Training and Expo,  President of the Des Moines ASA chapter and wants to be in Puerto Morelos Mexico whenever he is not in Des Moines!  Find Ron’s previous episodes HERE.


Andy Bizub is a native of Chicago. His first career was 25 years as a commodity trader. He entered the professional auto industry in 2014 by acquiring a failing shop in downtown Chicago that he was a customer of, and starting a turnaround. At bought his first car at age 19, a 1972 Triumph Spitfire, which was the start of his gas, oil, and automobile obsession. Listen to Andy’s previous episodes HERE.


B. J. Lee is a business coach, consultant and VP of Client Services at the Institute for Automotive Business Excellence.

Throughout the years, B. J. has managed, owned or partnered in several repair shops and has gained a wealth of experience in which he calls upon to train others within his own organizations as well as abroad.

Whether working in a high-end store or a small rural community, B. J. can easily adapt to any challenges quickly. B. J.’s success and experience has given him the opportunity to partner with Cecil Bullard and the Team at The Institute of Automotive Business Excellence and to be a Consultant to other shop owners and service advisors. Moving up quickly in the field of Business Consulting, he has made a name for himself and loves to see the positive changes within the auto repair industry. Listen to BJ’s previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Vehicle Inspections. The 300 Rule
    • Inspect 100% of the vehicles, 100% of the time and 100% presentation of the results.
    • It is your obligation and ethical and moral responsibility to tell the customer what is wrong with their vehicles.
    • Digital will be more thorough and efficient than paper.
    • Helps create a strong trusted relationship by showing everything they need to know
    • What it is what it does, what will happen when you don’t’ fix it.
    • Must have accountability to the process.
      • Shop foreman should check a few cars a week to be sure the inspections are being done completely
    • Create a spiff for a number of pictures taken per week.
      • Pictures of good things help build history and trust.
      • Andy Bizub requires the minimum of 10 pictures per car, but the count can go up which is a trend for him.
  • Be sure to bill customer for certain items that you may not remember to add to the RO. Items like fluid top off. And many small parts. Shop supplies are important to charge but check with your state.
    • Forgotten parts like 3rd wiper blade and cabin air filter. But a good inspection process will not forget these items.
  • Having fun at work is also an important part of the culture at work.
    • Rotate your ‘fun at work’ events.
  • Retention programs can generate huge top line sales. Mine your data.
    • If you can get one-third of your customer base to come back you have a huge opportunity for organic sales growth.
    • Keep top of mind to your customers. Reach out to them via direct mail, email, and social media
  • Follow up on declined services. The customer may not have money to do the service at a later time.
  • Facebook is social media, not sales media.
    • Keep it light. Do not offer specials
  • Track your marketing efforts.
  • Schedule a calendar event to remind yourself to call the customer in five months.
  • Pay your parts bill with a credit card that may have travel benefits.
    • Andy will use the travel benefits to send his techs to training.
    • IRS has ruled that benefit points are tax-free.
  • Consider this, warning: check with your accountant and state tax code:
    • Lower your payroll tax and workers comp insurance costs while offering your technicians a great benefit, by funding their tool & personal parts purchases upfront, then let them pay you back with an interest-free, hourly deduction BEFORE it hits payroll. It is like a barter arrangement between you and your tech. They get pre-tax tool purchases, and you get a lower annual payroll number and a happy, better-equipped technician.
    • You may get a better price for tools/equipment because the shop is paying cash and supplier will not need to hold paper.
  • Ditch your monthly parts washer service and buy Hot Tank (Jet Spray Washer).  No more monthly / Quarterly Service payments. (BJ Lee)
    • Can save thousands in renewable costs and in the time the tech needs to stand and ‘wash’. The Jet Sprayer will do the work for you. Productivity gained.
    • Also, there is a product called a ‘smart washer’ (Andy Bizub)
  • Headlight restorations and windshield repair.
    • Ron gives incentives to the team for finding and repairing cracked windshields.
    • Easy to do. Nice margins.
  • Incentivize to introduce a new product to sell and make a new habit.
  • Join an association. You’ll earn money.
    • Keep your membership up and keep earning.
    • Be sure to utilize all the financial incentives.
    • Association memberships have extreme value in networking, training and financial benefits.

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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!