THA 139: Trending – Close the Shop and Take My Entire Team to Training

Tristan Ramer of Nappanee, IN, founded Locke Performance in 2014. Beginning his career as a teenager working in his father’s mechanic shop; his interest in the light-duty diesel’s was sparked with the inception of the common rail diesel in the early 2000’s. Seeing the repair industries rapid changes; Tristan is committed to providing all the necessary resources, for those under his employ, to be successful in their respective duties. Diagnosing and repairing vehicles of today have many more requirements for up to date training than they did in years past. Today, a technician must network with other like-minded individuals, commit a lot of their personal time to craft their skills so they can confidently, efficiently and accurately diagnose the issues that they face daily. 

Greg Ritter is a 1989 graduate of Kinmundy-Alma High School in Kinmundy Illinois and married for 25 years with one daughter age 18. Greg attended Wabash-Valley College in Mt. Carmel Illinois. and graduated with a degree in Diesel Power Equipment Technology in 1991. Greg owns Ritter’s Auto Repair in Kinmundy, Illinois and has been in business for 24 years. He holds the ASE Master Technician Certification since 1995 and serves his local College Advisory Board. Greg is a Napa Auto Care Center  and is a board member of the McKay Napa Auto Parts.

Greg has attended Vision High Tech Expo for 23 years has attend APPEX and SEMA as well as the NAPA Expo in 2015.  2019 is his secondyear attending ASTE 2019.

James Perry


Key Talking Points:

  • Excuses do not compute anymore
  • Daytime training more valuable
  • Tell your customers you’ll be closed for training.
    • Include in mailers or your social posts
    • They will understand
    • You have plenty of time
    • They understand you close for Holiday, so why not for training
    • Technology is changing at a rapid pace and they need to understand the need
    • You are investing in training for your customers and for the efficiency of the shop
  • A weekend worth of training is intentional and concentrated
    • You get a lot more out of it vs. 3-hour evening classes
  • A lot of this type of training can’t be covered in evening classes
  • Techs are impressed with the depth of training
  • No techs go to the same classes so they can get back to work and conquer and divide the training.
    • Share five key take-a-ways from each class
  • Build a training resume to be sure they are taking the training you know they need.
  • A key indicator to the value of training is to track, in-depth, your comebacks
    • Greg tracks in his SMSystem by creating a special invoice. He can pull back the info
    • It may not always be the techs fault, which is why you need to provide in-depth research
    • It may be the product, even having the right tool
  • The Power of Networking
    • More learning happens out of the class than in it. But you have to engage and meet your peers
    • Technician networking is also very important
    • You will meet colleagues that care about your success
  • Greg has a spreadsheet to justify his investment in training
    • His comebacks have come down and his revenue is up 25%
  • Management training for the CEO is mandatory
    • Learn to be a better leader.
  • Training Improves shop efficiency.
  • Training reduces comebacks is a big way Greg Ritter looks to find his training ROI
  • Training keeps you relevant
  • Event or daytime training provides better knowledge transfer
  • Event training build strong networking opportunities that are priceless
  • Event training builds the team
  • You should feel the pressure to provide excellent content for your technician team
  • You make an investment in your team personally and in their career



  • A special thanks to Tristan Ramer, Greg Ritter and James Perry for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Books Page HERE
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

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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!