Mike Davidson is from Parkway Automotive in Little Rock, Arkansas, been in the industry for more than 30 years and a business owner for over 18. Mike is an AMI graduate, an ASE Master Technician, he belongs and contributes to Elite Worldwide and was recognized as the Arkansas NAPA/ASE tech of the year seven years in a row. He’s been doing radio and TV over the last fifteen years talking ‘service’ in Little Rock. Mike helped start the Little Rock chapter of ASA and is currently an officer. Look for Mike’s other episode HERE.
Corey Evaldi grew up in Buffalo, NY (Lackawanna). His dad had his own auto repair shop before Corey was even born. In 1988, he built the shop that is still in business today. He started to enjoy the electronics and troubleshooting of vehicles really young. During his junior and senior year of high school, He went to Potter Road Career and Technical Center and took the Automotive programs. His senior year had an automotive competition at ECC, local community college.
In 2015 he returned and was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of running a shop. he was a technician, service writer, accountant, clean up person, the fireman that extinguished fires all over. He could not keep doing what he was doing. He produced 40% of the billed hours out of 4 techs. He looked for help. Found a coaching firm that really showed him what a business owner looks like. After implementing the changes, there was extreme push back from the existing crew. After standing firm on most things, change over was inevitable. Listen to Corey’s Episodes HERE.
Steve Wootton is the technical manager of Ultimate Automotive. Listen to Steve’s Episodes HERE.
Andrew Minkler is here from Bavarian Motor Repairs, a specialty BMW, MINI, and RR shop outside of DC. He made the transition from a master BMW technician to owner years ago and owe all of his success in the transition so far from watching the giants of the industry and taking what they say to heart. Andrew spent many years thinking that fixing cars was the way to run a successful shop with NO owner experience or knowledge. Rick White was his most recent coach, paired with the Worldpac smart groups and constantly networking with other shop owners, he thinks he has come a long way very recently. Listen to Andrew’s Episodes HERE.
Key Talking Points:
Listen and observe
Strong communication disciplines will create and improve great work flow
Watch behaviors. Sit on a stool and watch.Discover the how
The frontend and communication with the customer is where it startsGet as much information
Time every step in the processDiscover the rhythm
Make less mistakes by measuring and slowing down or speeding up
Mistakes will happen
When parts arrive they are assigned to the technician and the job
Anyone standing around is no good
Managing work flow can be hybrid, computer/paper.
Some that have switched to all digital learn to adapt without any paper
Workflow screens are used from Shop Management Systems to manage expectationsPhone, tablets, big screens
It must work for your shop
Less work and more efficiency can be
Keep in mind your people need to follow your processes. If that is done, then you can find the fixes necessary to improve your processes.
Always keep in mind that you need to ask, “how can we make it better”
Your team needs to be bought into the system so you can measure productivity and efficiency so you can find the positive and negative impacts
You can never find the perfect plan, always be improving
Repetitive tasks need to be put under a process
Work as a collective group to create and improve. Then the collective group owns it
Andrew uses photosync on samsung phones with each tech so they can pull photos into their DVI software
Many things the front office can do to support the shop
A big point if the vehicle gets in by 10:30 AM, inspection must be done by noon
The best time to sell is in the morning
Advisors set the table for the technician. Let them fix cars, what they do best
When speaking to your customer always express the value you provide
Mike Davidson has ONE QUESTION TO ASK TO THE TEAM:
Ask each technician ‘What Makes You Stop?’
Take notes and see what you can improve or make better
When a technician stops it stops production
Look at your efficiencies to find an area of improvementAvailable, actual, billed time
Discover if you need to hire more people or better tooling or training
Look for duplicated work
Always refine your processes. We don’t spend enough time to tackle improvements to our systems and processes. It takes a lot of time to improve and revamp
The people with the answers are on your front lines, your staff.They now the problems and the answers
You do not need to be the one with the answer
A special thanks to Mike Davidson, Corey Evaldi, Steve Wooton, and Andrew Minkler for their contribution to the aftermarket.
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