ATI - Automotive Training Institute

 

Articles

Click here to display articles by category

Finding Future Technicians

by Tom McGee ABRN, December 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, December 2014 Finding Future Technicians

I couldn't tell you how many times I’ve heard: "I've been doing this for more than 20 years, and I know how to create a damage report, repair plan or perform the repairs." Today we have many highly qualified individuals working in the collision industry. However, vehicle manufacturing and construction methods, new materials, accessories and safety systems have made it impossible for anyone to remember everything they need to know about how to repair every vehicle. Today, we must provide continuing

Read the article: Finding Future Technicians

Show Me The Money

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, November 2014
Motor Age, November 2014 - Show Me The Money

I am sure there have been times in your life when you had to pay taxes on profits that you didn’t think you had earned. And if you did earn it, where had the cash gone? I was listening to one of our coaches, Brian Hunnicutt, explain to a shop owner where the money might have gone. This shop owner was not feeling the money in their wallet. According to their profit or loss statement, they were doing great. So where is the money? This is not as uncommon as we think. Most of my clients were technicians, not

Read the article: Show Me The Money

Do You Have A Staffing Problem?

by Tom McGee ABRN, November 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, November 2014 Do You Have A Staffing Problem?

As a shop owner or manager, you have probably felt like you needed to hire additional staff to solve a problem or replace someone already working for you because they are not meeting your expectations. Shops face these decisions on a frequent basis. But before you hire additional staff or begin making a staff change, ask yourself, “Do I really have a staf ng problem?” Whether you are making the choice to replace someone or to increase the size of the staff, there is an associated cost. You have the cost of

Read the article: Do You Have A Staffing Problem?

Time To get Pushy

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, October 2014
Motor Age, October  2014 - Time To Get Pushy

Shop owners have a difficult decision to make when it comes to how aggressive they want service advisors to be with customers. I was listening to Kim Hickey, a former shop owner from Arizona and current ATI coach, suggest a strategy to her clients that made a lot of sense. Let's listen to Kim's suggestions. During my weekly conversations with my clients about the importance of upselling and educating our customers on benefits and features of services, many times the response I get is, I don’t like to be pushy.”

Read the article: Time To Get Pushy

What Route Are You Taking?

by Tom McGee ABRN, October 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, October 2014 What Route Are You Taking?

Remember when you went on a trip and you used a paper map to plan the route you were going to take? Today we enter where we want to go into our phone or GPS, and we are provided with verbal instructions on how to get to our desired location. So where are you on your route to retirement? Do you have a clear route and know at which exit to get off? Maybe you don’t have a route at all. Many owners do not have an exit strategy for their business. They do not have a plan for retirement, such as succession or transfer

Read the article: What Route Are You Taking?

Five Big Marketing Mistakes

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, September 2014
Motor Age, September  2014 - Five Big Marketing Mistakes

Over the past several years, stabilizing car count has been one of the biggest challenges, even for the shops typically loaded with cars. I overheard one of our long-term coaches, Eric Twiggs, tell a story in our marketing class. I thought you would enjoy the story and possibly learn from it. I would like to introduce you to my friend Ed. He is a shop owner who was having a difficult time in his business. His cash flow was low, and he struggled to maintain a consistent car count. He saw winning the lottery as the

Read the article: Five Big Marketing Mistakes

Doing The Parts Profit Math

by Tom McGee ABRN, September 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, September 2014 Doing The Parts Profit Math

Every week I have the opportunity to look at several profit or loss statements for shops in different parts of the country. When we do a shop analysis, one of the areas that we look at is parts margin. Not only are shops dealing with one or more estimating systems and parts procurement methods, but they also handle multiple types of parts, vendors and discounts or markups to determine the sale price or cost of the parts. For most shop owners, parts seem pretty simple. We have income for the parts sold and a cost for

Read the article: Doing The Parts Profit Math

The Secret To Selling Maintenance

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, August 2014
Motor Age, August  2014 - The Secret To Selling Maintenance

If you want to stabilize your car count and hold onto customers through their purchase of new cars, you are going to have to be proficient at selling maintenance. I was listening to a story from Nebraska shop owner and ATI coach Rick Johnson, who explained how he coaches service advisors to learn the secret to selling more maintenance. Let's hear what Rick has to say. As I talk to shops, I often am surprised at how a few shops can sell a lot of maintenance and others will tell me no one is buying. I hear that all the

Read the article: The Secret To Selling Maintenance

Technology Equals Opportunity

by Tom McGee ABRN, August 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, August 2014 Technology Equals Opportunity

Just like cell phones, cars have added technology over the last several years. While there have been tremendous advancements, I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard: “I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years, and I know how to perform the repairs.” Or, “They are still cars and nothing is really changing on them.” We have highly qualified individuals working in the collision industry. However, vehicle manufacturing and construction methods, accessories and safety systems have made it virtually impossible

Read the article: Technology Equals Opportunity

'Til Death Do Us Part

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, July 2014
Motor Age, July  2014 - Til Death Do Us Part

Until death do us part. That sounds kind of scary, but we all have heard that expression before. Most of the time, it refers to marriage. Marriage is defined as a formal union, a combination of two or more elements, a state of being united. Some of the things you need for a successful marriage are commitment, humility, patience, forgiveness, trust, communication, clear boundaries and respect. When you get right down to it, you need those same things for any successful relationship. Make no mistake, you need to

Read the article: 'Til Death Do Us Part

Adding A Sales Rep To Your Team

by Tom McGee ABRN, July 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, July 2014 Adding A Sales Rep To Your Team

I conduct several shop owner events across the country every month. When I ask, "How many of you have a sales representative on your staff?" almost none raise their hand. In fact, they all do! By definition, a sales representative is a person employed to represent a business and to sell its merchandise. We use titles such as repair planner or estimator for the person who creates and presents an estimate to the vehicle owner. With continuous change in systems, vehicle construction materials and new vehicle technology,

Read the article: Adding A Sales Rep To Your Team

You Didn't Set Any Goals This Year, Did You?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, June 2014
Motor Age, June  2014 - You Didn't Set Any Goals This Year, Did You?

I have often wondered why some years I achieve my goals and some years I don't. Sometimes I blame it on the goals being too lofty, or someone or something got in my way. I was listening to one of our senior coaches, Geoff Berman, explain it to a client and it helped me, so I wanted to share what Geoff had to say. It is amazing how quickly time goes by - and the older I get, the faster time seems to go. What a year 2013 was! As you look back on the year, whatever you see, I can make this statement with

Read the article: You Didn't Set Any Goals This Year, Did You?

Following Cues From Fast Food

by Tom McGee ABRN, June 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, June 2014 Following Cues From Fast Food

It's not hamburgers. It's systems. Fast food restaurants have developed phenomenal systems that result in a consistent, reliable and efficient product. Unsuccessful fast food restaurants - whether unsuccessful from the customer's point of view (poor quality, slow service, dirty restaurant); the employees' point of view (drama, bickering, lack of teamwork); or the owner-operator's point of view (unprofitable) - can become successful by implementing and following the established systems and procedures. Just like a

Read the article: Following Cues From Fast Food

When The Right Choice - Hiring A Veteran - Is Wrong

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, May 2014
Motor Age, May  2014 - WhenThe Right Choice - Hiring A Veteran - Is Wrong

I have dealt with shop owners for more than 30 years now, and the one thing almost every one of them had in common was how they hired people. If you lose an "A" technician, or even a "B" technician for that matter, with what skill level do you want to replace them? That’s right, an "A" tech. If you lost a seasoned manager or service advisor, who do you want to replace them? Someone with years of experience, so you can just plug and play. The biggest problem with that is the really great person who has all

Read the article: When The Right Choice - Hiring A Veteran - Is Wrong

We Only Really Wanted To Fix Cars

by Tom McGee ABRN, April 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, April 2014 We Only  Really Wanted To Fix Cars

I work with many shops and owners, and it is common to come across an owner who started in the industry as a technician. This is great, as we keep the knowledge and skills gained over the years in the industry. But many times they find their dream of being an owner is not as glamorous as they had thought. Owning a shop is not all about  xing cars. Today, the owner needs to be a master of many disciplines - accounting, cost control, sales, human resources and marketing, to name a few. One critical part of being successful is having the skills to develop an accurate estimate and repair plan.

Read the article: We Only Really Wanted To Fix Cars

Breaking The Rules

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, April 2014
Motor Age, April 2014 - Breaking The Rules

If I could teach you how you and your people could become more productive by just reading this article, would you consider it? I am sure this is not your first rodeo; however, this might be an approach you have not considered working on to increase profits in your business. Plus, if you want to retire, you might want to consider teaching this to your second-in-command. One of our most successful senior coaches, Brian Hunnicutt, teaches the following concept to his client base - with tremendous results. The 80/20 rule has

Read the article: Breaking The Rules

Are We The Problem?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, March 2014
Motor Age, March 2014 - Are We The Problem?

One of the most important people in a shop is the one who communicates with the customer. He or she has a direct effect on customer retention and visit frequency for your shop. Last year we trained more than 1,000 service managers on relationship- based service advisor skills, and I sat in on one of those classes to see if I could learn anything new. I was listening to our instructor, Randy Somers, explain how we can be the problem without realizing it, so I thought you would like to hear what he had to say.

Read the article: Are We The Problem?

Addressing the Parts Challenge

by Tom McGee ABRN, February 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, February 2014 Addressing the Parts Challenge

Recently, the industry has been focused on the parts pro-curement process. While this has created tremendous controversy and debate at just about every turn, the procurement of parts is really just a component of the parts challenge that shops need to address. As you look at the overall repair process and the key performance indicators that a shop should be measuring, parts have a significant impact on the shop’s overall performance and profitability. Shops need to implement a process to prevent incomplete

Read the article: Addressing the Parts Challenge

Is OK Good Enough?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, February 2014
Motor Age, February  2014 - Is OK Good Enough?

Employees know what's expected of them in their jobs, and of course they know what’s good enough, right? How many times have you thought, "You’re a professional, you should know what the job is, just do it!" Honestly though, should they really? Should we assume they know about business and know what you need to survive? Do they know exactly what you expect? Mike Bennett, a shop owner from Gettysburg, Pa., and coach for ATI, will share some of his secrets to creating the shop of your dreams.

Read the article: Is OK Good Enough?

Why In The World Do I Need A Coach?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, January 2014
Motor Age, January 2014 - Why In The World Do I Need A Coach

Most of us sleep with a great coach; but if you won't listen to him or her, let me give you some suggestions before you hire a coach. Whether you want to stay the best shop owner or the best athlete, remember you are in the game, and you can't see the whole field or the big picture when you are in it. We all have blind spots, and a good coach will enhance your strengths and reduce weaknesses. Successful athletes, shop owners, CEOs and actors all have coaches. If you want to increase profits, the right coach could

Read the article: Why In The World Do I Need A Coach?

The Power Of Two

by Tom McGee ABRN, January 2014
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, January 2014 The Power Of Two

How many times have you watched your son's or daughter's game, or even youur favorite college or professional team lose with a final score of 1-0? With a score of 1-0, most likely the game was competitive and the game was exciting. When you look back at the game, it is rare that you could say your team played a bad game. What you would find, however, is that there were a small number of plays or situations that could have been improved upon to prevent one point from being scored, or for your team

Read the article: The Power Of Two

Making Time To Grow Your Business

by Tom McGee ABRN, November 2013
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, November 2013 Making Time To Grow Your Business

Having the opportunity to visit and work directly with several collision repair facilities each week, I am seeing a few common themes in the industry. As you read this article, ask yourself if this is occurring in your business. If you answer yes to any of them, it is time for you to make a change. If we look back in history to the good old days, most shops didn’t have to do much work to get the cars needed to pay the bills. The cars just arrived and everything was good. What I see almost every day now is that there are

Read the article: Making Time To Grow Your Business

Want To Grow Your Auto Shop? Cook A Potato First

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, November 2013
Motor Age, November 2013 - Want To Grow Your Auto Shop? Cook A Potato First

If you have been in business more than 10 years, you are well aware of how hard it can be to keep growing your customer base. Our most successful clients spend a great amount of time focusing on growing their customer base in the hopes of simply stabilizing car count for their people. Last month, I overheard George Zeeks, who is our coaches' team leader, explain to a group of shop owners the basics of how to grow their shops. Many of us want to skip the basics or we never learned them in the first place, so

Read the article: Want To Grow Your Auto Shop? Cook A Potato First

Firefighting and Collision Repair

by Tom McGee ABRN, October 2013
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, October 2013 Firefighting and Collision Repair

My son, who is a junior in high school, started school last week. This year he started a new program at school that takes him off campus to a local career center where he attends a Fire Science course five days a week for three hours each day. While he has his heart set on joining the Marines when he graduates, I am seeing a tremendous amount of excitement and passion in him regarding this Fire Science program.

Read the article: Firefighting and Collision Repair

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, October 2013
Motor Age, October 2013 Are You Asking the Right Questions

I think everyone will agree the interview process is one of the more uncomfortable things we do as owners or managers. When I first started interviewing, I would ask candidates to tell me about themselves and why they were looking for a change. I would manipulate most of the time during the interview selling the job and the company. I've learned I was doing almost everything wrong when interviewing. Let's hear how Mike Haley, ATI team leader and instructor, teaches shop owners to make better hiring

Read the article: Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Give Customers A Quick Response

by Tom McGee ABRN, September 2013
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, September 2013 Give Customers A Quick Response

Just about everywhere you go today you can probably find one of those funny-looking squares in an advertisement, on a vehicle wrap, on a product, on a business card or on social media business pages. QR (short for “quick response”) codes are a type of barcode that can be scanned and read by smart phones. Once read by your phone, they will redirect you to a website, play a YouTube video, send a text message or provide directions via Google maps, among other tasks, depending on what the QR creator se

Read the article: Give Customers A Quick Response

Aiming For Quality

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, September 2013
Motor Age, September 2013 Aiming For Quality

When most of us started in the automotive repair business, we had a dream we were trying to achieve. It might have been spending more time with the family or with our hobbies. It might have been to earn more money to provide a better life, or we simply felt we could do it better than most. Whatever your dream was, the No. 1 dream wrecker I have witnessed in my 40-some years watching shop owners has been on the labor side of the business.

Read the article: Aiming For Quality

Do You Own Your Community?

by Tom McGee ABRN, August 2013
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, August 2013 Do You Own Your Community

In the old days, cars just arrived at the shop and it didn't take much effort to keep the shop full. Today, if you are in the office waiting for cars to come to you, it may not be long before you look around your shop and discover you don't have any work. You can no longer just expect vehicles to arrive at the shop. You have to devote time and effort to building your brand. Today, the average consumer has a collision every seven to 10 years. With the increased availability of vehicle technology such as collision avoidance

Read the article: Do You Own Your Community?

Stop Selling & Get Customers To Buy

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, August 2013
Motor Age, August 2013 Stop Sellling and Get Customers To Buy

Over the past decade, many of you have noticed a major change in customers' buying habits. This month, our senior team leader to our coaches and instructors, George Zeeks, has several suggestions to help your customers invest in their vehicles. We all know that the aftermarket auto shop scene has changed yet again. The way you present recommendations is different now than it was in 2007 or even 2011, and many of the sales staff out there haven't caught up with the change yet. Top shops have a major

Read the article: Stop Sellling & Get Customers To Buy

What Your Techs Really Cost You

by Tom McGee Auto Body Repair News, July 2013
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, July 2013 What Your Techs Really Cost You

A collision repair shop is in the business of selling labor, parts, paint and materials and, in some cases, services that are sublet to another business. The shop must have the ability to produce enough sales while maintaining costs to generate a profit.

With increasing influences on parts purchases and, in some cases, caps on paint and materials, a shop must make a large percentage of its profit on labor. Today, shops face

Read the article: What Your Techs Really Cost You

Should You Be Listening To Your Employees?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, July 2013
Motor Age, July 2013 Should You Be Listening To Your Employees?

Should you listen to your service advisor? Should you listen to part-timers who help you keep the shop looking great? How often should you talk with them? Working with shop owners for more than four decades has taught me a lot about running a business. In the past 10 years, I have seen more change in our industry than in the previous 30. We have had to learn many new skills, and believe me when I tell you I hate change. I was listening to a shop owner from Nebraska, Rick Johnson, explain how to keep your

Read the article: Should You Be Listening To Your Employees?

Are You Lying to Your Staff?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, June 2013
Motor Age, June 2013 Are You Lying to Your Staff?

Have you ever been blasted by your significant other when you thought you were doing nothing wrong? Odds are, you did do something wrong days ago, but they didn’t share it with you, and it built up inside them. I was listening to coach Geoff Berman help a shop owner avoid the same mistake with their staff, and I’d like to share his advice with you. How many times has something that bothered you happened in the shop, but you chose to ignore it rather than confront the employee?

Read the article: Are You Lying to Your Staff?

Accomplishing Your Goals

by Tom McGee Auto Body Repair News, May 2013
ABRN - Auto Body Repair News, May 2013 Accomplishing Your Goals

We are now well into the New Year. On New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, you probably told someone what your New Year’s resolution was. The problem is that by now, most of us don’t remember what our resolution was, or worse, have already given up!

For most people, they didn’t take the time to write their goal down. The key to accomplishing your goals is simple: have a written plan.

Read the article: Accomplishing Your Goals

Tracking Those You Serve

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, May 2013
Motor Age, May 2013 Tracking Those You Serve

During the past year, even the best shops have been battling with trying to stabilize car count. It hurts technicians, service managers and families of shop owners all across North America. We all know what is causing it. But what can we do about it? I was listening to Rick Johnson, a Nebraska shop owner and ATI coach, explain how to solve the problem. He began by asking, "Do you know how many times a year your customers are coming in to visit your shop?"

Read the article: Tracking Those You Serve

Create Marketing That Gets Ignored

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, April 2013
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

I was listening to a great story being told to one of our clients by Coach Eric Twiggs, and I thought you would enjoy it. Twiggs said marketing is not the real key to your success. Now that I have your attention, let me clarify the point. I am reminded of the story of a young man who had an encounter with an older rich man wearing an expensive suit. The young man asked him how he made his money. "Marketing was the key to my success," replied the older man. "I invested a nickel in an apple. I spent the entire day polishing the apple

Read the article: Create Marketing That Gets Ignored

Where Do You Land on the Auto Shop Pyramid?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, March 2013
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Everyone has to start somewhere, and not everyone starts their first shop with all the bells and whistles. Let's face it: You can't have the "Garage Mahal" without the customer base to support it, yet most of us dream about having the top shop in our market. Let's listen to Head Coach George Zeeks explain the building blocks you need to become a top shop. New shop owners have a whole host of things to think or worry about. They simply don't know what they don't know. They're out there overwhelmed with pressure, and it's easy to see why.

Read the article: Where Do You Land on the Auto Shop Pyramid?

Lessons In Leadership From A 2-Year-Old

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, February 2013
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

I want to share a great story that will help you continue to be the best shop in your market. Our head coach, George Zeeks, shares what he has learned from helping hundreds of shop owners obtain a better life. Let's listen to his story. Spending time with my grandson is a joy for me, but the repeated cartoons can really become mind-numbing. That is, until I began to look at the lessons behind the stories. Passion is something all of you had when you started your business. You were filled with excitement and optimism when you first

Read the article: Lessons In Leadership From A 2-Year-Old

Stacking Success

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, January 2013
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Several years ago, I wrote an article on this subject, because as a coach, I saw that when shop owners did not balance business and personal life, it could cost them big on both sides. Mike Bennett, a shop owner in Gettysburg, Pa., was listening, and I want you to hear how he did it. Bennett remembers some phrases we have all used as excuses at one time or another: “I own the business so the buck stops with me” or “I have to do it because no one else can (or will).”

Read the article: Stacking Success


Realigning Your Focus

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, November 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Our people we employ are our biggest , most important asset in our business. However, if you don’t focus on their roles first, it will be difficult for the employees and the employer to be happy. This month, our coaches' coach, Bryan Stasch, is going to share with you how to focus on your people's roles so your operation can become more profitable and run smoother, to help you stay the best shop in your area and still allow you to take some time off. Let's listen to Bryan.

Read the article: Realigning Your Focus

Putting A Bow On Your Car Count

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, October 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

In our world of the automotive repair industry, we have two constant moving targets: car count and staffing. Maintaining these targets usually costs a lot of time and money. There is a process that won’t cost you a nickel; however, it will take great leadership to implement it into your daily routine. Basically, it will be a way to put a bow on your service. And just like tying a bow on a present, it might not cost a lot, but it will take some time to finish. Let’s listen to Bryan Stasch, the director of client fulfillment at ATI, as

Read the article: Putting A Bow On Your Car Count

Want to know a secret?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, September 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

For the past couple of years, the economy has affected us all, from long-standing companies going out of business or suffering massive layoffs, to people picking and choosing where to spend their dollars. Yet I am astonished at the dreadful customer service I run across daily. At a time when I believe everyone is in a battle for every dollar earned, owners are putting customer service in the hands of employees who don't know or care what true customer service is. Let'’s listen as our head coach, Mike Haley, explains to shop owners how to solve this problem so that all your customers keep coming back.

Read the article: Want to know a secret?

When the Rock Won't Roll Up the Hill

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, August 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Many OF us learned valuable lessons from our dads that have really helped us in business. It didn't matter whether they were in our business or not, because the stories they told somehow would help in any situation. I want you to listen to a great story told by our head coach, George Zeeks, about his dad. My dad received his GED while he was in the U.S. Army, which he joined to escape his family of 15 brothers and sisters. His departure meant one less mouth to feed, but he was still loved and missed. His eighth-grade education drove him to years of reading and study

Read the article: When the Rock Won't Roll Up the Hill

Increasing Sales

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, July 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Every week I hear from clients, "Man, in the good old days," or things like, "When it turns around and things go back to normal." It got me to thinking, what if this is the "new normal" or what if 20 years from now we look back on today and say, "Man, 2012 – now that was the good old days?" In fact, as time goes on, I am more and more convinced that the present time is, in fact, the new normal. I personally don't believe that we are ever going to see things like they were pre-2008. Credit lines certainly have tightened. Cars are more reliable than...

Read the article: Increasing Sales

Don't Put Your Business On A Diet!

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, June 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Every shop owner I have ever met wanted to change something in their shop at some point in their career. The real challenge is implementing change so it lasts forever, because many times things go right back to the way they were if you aren’t careful. Geoff Berman, one of our seasoned coaches at ATI, has a very successful strategy for implementing change, so let’s listen to his story. Ever wondered why no matter how hard you try or how committed you are to a diet, just can’t keep the weight off? If you’re lucky, you’re one of the few that this doesn’t apply to.

Read the article: Don't Put Your Business On A Diet!

Emotional Figures

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, May 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

How's business? Are things back to normal or at pre-recession times in your shop? Do you really know? I mean do things "feel" better? More importantly, how do the numbers look? That is where we really can see how things are compared to pre-recession figures, providing that you know what numbers to look at. You do look at the numbers of your business, don't you? Or are you running your shop based on pure emotion?

Read the article: Emotional Figures

Seizing A Chance

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, April 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

While the first day of summer doesn't officially happen until June 21, the bountiful days of summer are coming. The world of automotive typically experiences a boom in the four or so months of summer that can rival the other eight months of the year. There is air-conditioning work, overheating vehicles and clients preparing for trips by catching up on their needed maintenance. Our service advisor instructor, Randy Somers, trained more than 1,000 advisors just last year, and I heard a great story sitting in his classroom. Here’s his story.

Read the article: Seizing A Chance

Where There's Smoke, is There Fire?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, March 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

We've all heard this old saying, but does it have any real meaning in the automotive world? Let's listen to Senior Coach George Zeeks share his experiences in the trenches. After spending more than seven years talking with and helping shop owners through their problems, I can firmly say that it definitely, maybe does have meaning. One of the biggest issues is responsibility, and so many people try so hard to avoid that particularly thorny issue. They begin to embrace the smoke and pray that the fire doesn't break out.

Read the article: Where There's Smoke, is There Fire?

Can You Learn A New Trick?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, February 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

This month, we are going to learn a new skill that will help you stabilize your car count, increase your profits and help you stay the best shop in your area. One of our head coaches, Mike Haley, has been working with shop owners to help them implement QR codes. These codes were initially introduced in 1994 by Toyota to track parts in vehicle manufacturing. I must admit, I was not sure the QR (Quick Response) codes were going to be a fad or a new cutting-edge technology in mainstream business. Nevertheless, I've become a fan of this remarkable digital marketing and informational tool. Why do I find these jigsaw-looking squares so fascinating?

Read the article: Can You Learn A New Trick?

Employees Keeping You Up at Night?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, January 2012
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Have you ever asked yourself what you could do differently to get your people to do what you want them to do? Here is what Tom Ringle, a veteran ATI shop owner coach, tells his clients. As shop owners with so many things to do to get through the day, you might find yourself seeking new ways to create or define accountability. So, what is accountability? We'll start there on our lesson. Accountability is owning the consequences of our own actions and decisions. It means you are responsible to someone or something. Every person in the workplace must be held accountable. As owners and managers, you regularly deal with managing your work force.

Read the article: Employees Keeping You Up at Night?

Graduating from Groundhog Day

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, November 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

One of my favorite movies is "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray. In the movie, Murray's character is stuck in a frustrating cycle. Every morning when he wakes up, it's the same day. During this day the town, events and people never change. It is not until he changes that he is able to break this cycle. Have you ever felt like Murray's character? You go to the shop day after day and the results stay the same.

Read the article: Graduating from Groundhog Day

Surviving the Day

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, October 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Turning wrenches, answering phones, diagnosing cars, building estimates, ordering parts, directing technicians and speaking with customers makes up a typical day for most shop owners. Add just one hiccup in any of the previously mentioned events, and you add several more to the list. The day typically starts at the crack of dawn and runs straight through until the sun goes down, and for some, even longer. At the end of it all, you are just happy to have survived the day. But what did you do to survive tomorrow? What about surviving next week, next month or next year?

Read the article: Surviving the Day

You Might Be Measuring Tech Productivity All Wrong

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, September 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

I wanted to begin this month by thanking all of the Profit Matters readers who have emailed me over the years telling me how much they enjoy reading our articles. If you haven't picked up on it yet, I am recognition dependent, not money motivated, and my No. 1 passion has been helping shop owners grow over the past 40 years. I do realize that in order to stay up with the changing times you need to stay close to where the action is, which is in your repair shop.

Read the article: You Might Be Measuring Tech Productivity All Wrong

Is Your Service Advisor More Like a Robot?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, August 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

In today's economy and in talking to many shop owners across the country, I often hear, "I need more cars," and "Customers just aren't buying." If you have made either of these statements yourself, maybe you need to look at the level of customer service on your counter. Building a relationship with your customers is the key to their becoming repeat customers and spending more money with you. As a bonus, having that relationship with your customers will prompt them to refer more new customers to you. Having said that, way too often in automotive repair and other retail walks of life, the person behind the counter is a robot.

Read the article: Is Your Service Advisor More Like a Robot?

The Magic Pill To Increasing Car Count

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, July 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

The price of gas is hovering around $4 per gallon. Consumers are driving less, so their time between visits will be longer. What does that mean to you, the auto repair shop owner? Keeping car count consistent in your shop is going to be more challenging than ever! Today, building strong relationships with your customers is critical. Shop owners constantly tell me they're looking for the magic pill, the secret sauce or the silver bullet to get more cars into their shops. So what's the secret?

Read the article: The Magic Pill To Increasing Car Count

Answering Your Phone Effectively

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, June 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

This month, one of our top coaches, Matt Winslow, is going to share our secret super-powered tip to keep your bays full of cars and your cash register ringing with sales: "Give good phone and you'll never be alone." All of your marketing and advertising is designed to do one thing: make your phone ring. Answering your phone effectively is critical to the success of your business. Taking the time to make sure your employees do it right will help you stay the best and keep your customers from going to your competition.

Read the article: Answering Your Phone Effectively

Branding Your Service Center

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, May 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

If you want your shop to be perceived as the best shop in your area, you have to differentiate it from your competition. When your car count is stable, your profits will be stable and you won't have to lay off employees when you don't want to. The way you accomplish this is through branding your service center. Many of you already have started on this journey and don't realize it.

Read the article: Branding Your Service Center

The New Age of Marketing for Increasing Car Count

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, April 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

"It has taken me years to learn how to fix cars and run my shop. I don’t have the time to learn how to do advertising; I'll just pay someone to do that." Does that sound familiar? Here at ATI, we have heard it so many times that it sounds like a broken record. The bottom line is that whether you like it or not, whether you want to do it or not, you're already in marketing! For better or worse. It is a fact of life. If you want to survive you had better learn what to do and how. This month, we’ll hear from George Zeeks, our Internet marketing instructor, who will get you started on stabilizing or increasing your car count.

Read the article: The New Age of Marketing for Increasing Car Count

Effective Discipline Without the Pain

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, March 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Why is it that building the right staff and keeping them is so difficult for many business owners? We all know that one of the key elements to a smooth running and profitable shop is getting the team members to follow the same script. Talking to shop owners over the years, it has become obvious that the three biggest problems to maintaining discipline effectively are on-time attendance, smoking in the shop and excessive cell phone use. Holding people accountable for following the rules is one of the most challenging things a shop owner must do.

Read the article: Effective Discipline Without the Pain

Eating the Elephant

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, February 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

We have a way you can leave loose ends behind. One of our senior coaches, Brian Hunnicutt, has an easy and fast technique for implementing change called, "Eating the Elephant with a Notebook," otherwise called the Notebook Technique. This simple technique requires the massive investment of a spiral-bound notebook for each employee, one for yourself and one for the shop in general. After acquiring the notebooks, take them and walk your entire shop, starting from a street view, through the parking lot and front door path that a customer would take, through the front counter, waiting area, bathrooms, office area and entire shop.

Read the article: Eating the Elephant

Shop Owner Secrets to Achievement

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, January 2011
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

I have been blessed to have been able to hang out with some of the most successful shop owners in North America over a 40-year work history in the automotive repair industry. It isn't one thing, but about 15 things a successful shop owner has to do in concert to truly have the most successful shop in any given market and to have enough free time to enjoy life. I won't bore you with the 15 things, but the most important one is to have a definite purpose in life and the power to achieve it. If you are reading this article, you made it through 2010. Some of you may have made a few New Year's resolutions for 2011.

Read the article: Shop Owner Secrets to Achievement

Choosing the Lane to Successful Shop Culture

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, November 2010
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Like many of you, I started in the automotive industry at the ripe age of 21. Life seemed so simple and a heck of a lot of fun. I had just flunked out of my third college when my dad asked me if I thought street racing could be a career. You see, I talked my dad into getting my mom a 1969 COPO Camaro with GM’s 427 cubic-inch iron block coupled to an automatic, which had a lot to do with my lack of interest in higher education. Then I temporarily lost my license doing something stupid, and began drag racing in Super Stock against the likes of Ronnie Sox, whose HemiCuda would blow us away on any given day. I remember my dad saying, “Do something you have passion for,” so I applied to Sun Electric, because I liked their tachometers.

Read the article: Choosing the Lane to Successful Shop Culture

Don’t Let Discounts Make Your Shop D.O.A.

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, October 2010
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Is discounting killing your business? Yes! Now, I know what you’re saying: Discounting helps create new customers and increase sales. But that is not always true. I do agree that discounting a service as an acquisition tool might help you attract new customers. But what type of customer did you just attract? And can you retain that customer for future visits? The answer to those questions depends on the efforts and passion of your service writer. And on the sales side, did you generate enough in sales to make the discount worth doing?

Read the article: Don’t Let Discounts Make Your Shop D.O.A.

Making Friends With the Shop Operations Mirror

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, September 2010
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

One of our senior coaches, Brian Canning, told me there is no doubt that in writing this we are going to upset many of you. But if we can get you to take a close look at your shop operation, I think a little of your wrath is well worth my effort. I will apologize in advance to those very rare shops that are doing the things they should be. But for many of you, I am truthfully hoping that the truth hurts enough to get you to act and to correct what is going on in your shop, because that will put you in the best possible position to thrive in this challenging market.

Read the article: Making Friends With the Shop Operations Mirror

"Cowboy Up" and Rope in Your Shop

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, August 2010
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Believe me when I tell you that when I first meet a shop owner (or service manager), most are very proud of being a businessman or woman and happy to tell me about their shop. They tell me how long they have been in business, how many bays they have, how many techs work there and so on. However, there is always this little something in their voice that says, “I want my business back!” I wanted you to hear a real pep talk from our leader of trainers and coaches at ATI, Bryan Stasch. He is a former shop owner who manages other former shop owners and service mangers in implementing changes in 948 shops every week.

Read the article: Cowboy Up and Rope in Your Shop

Hitting the Car Count Bull’s-eye

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, July 2010
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Most shop owners have a pretty good idea of how many cars it takes each day to maximize their profit. Too much or not enough car count can affect bottom-line profit daily. If you would keep what we at ATI call your “win number” of cars in your bays, every day your profits would soar. But how do you do that consistently? Senior Coach George Zeeks had one explanation.

Read the article: Hitting the Car Count Bull’s-eye

Planning for Success a Step at a Time

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, June 2010
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

I want to take you on a trip to the happy ending of your day-to- day hard work in your business. Matt Winslow, our director of seminar development, has worked with our coaching staff to present the overall system we use for actually helping you plan your retirement. If you were to spend a day with Matt, it would go something like this. How many of you are thinking about retiring? What is your plan? Will a family member take over or will a trusted employee? Will they buy you out? Will you draw a pension? Will you become a landlord?

Read the article: Planning for Success a Step at a Time

Riding the Fine Line Between Shop and Home Life

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, May 2010
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Helping shop owners do the balancing act of driving profits at work and taking dreams home is part of our mission. The challenge is there is no such thing as work-home balance. In real life, you are either heading for a crisis or coming out of one. Most of us keep pedaling the bike even when we know we are off-balance. When we lean too far to the left, by making too many withdrawals, we try to balance by making deposits. We fall off the bike when we lean too far to either the family or business side. And how would that look?

Read the article: Riding the Fine Line Between Shop and Home Life

Sizing Up Your Shop With Surveys

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, April 2010
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

How are the tire and service shops in North America doing? In light of the economic downturn, you would expect the answer to be bad, awful or terrible. While there are areas that have been hit much harder than others, there also are many shop owners holding their own and a few having record years. Many shop owners got scared and were forced to make tough decisions they wouldn’t make before the “Great Recession.”

Read the article: Sizing Up Your Shop With Surveys

Catch the Wave of the Present

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, February 2010
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

If you want to increase car count by working on the relationships you have with your customers, then pay close attention to what our best clients are doing about it. Our 20 Mastermind members are made up of the best of the best from thousands of our shop owner clients. Any time the majority of this group gets excited about a marketing concept, you can be sure it is a winner. In this article, Senior Coach George Zeeks this month will teach you how to get started in the world of social marketing.

Read the article: Catch the Wave of the Present

If you don’t care about customers, do you think your employees will?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, November 2009
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Many years ago, Dale Carnegie wrote a book that became famous by helping us really care about other people. The book taught us the basics to really listening and what not to say if you wanted to win friends. Shop owners, in an effort to make real money, must focus as much on the customer as the car today. As a matter of fact, many times the customer is more broken than the car.

Read the article: If you don’t care about customers, do you think your employees will?

Why Some People Always Make Money in the Service Business

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, October 2009
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Many of us have been surprised by the way this recession has affected our businesses. Who would have thought OEMs would go bankrupt and so many new car dealers would close their doors? Then for every independent shop we see experiencing increases in sales due to lack of new car sales, there is a shop located in a challenging area of high unemployment experiencing decreases in sales.

Read the article: Why Some People Always Make Money in the Service Business

What Happened to the Dream?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, September 2009
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Most of us who join the automotive industry at a young age end up spending our entire lives in the business. It just gets in your blood! Shop owners and technicians usually have a dream of achievement that is different for all of us. Some want to be the best, some want to be rich and others just want to be comfortable while helping others. All of these dreams require continuing education by investing in yourself, whether you are a tech or a shop owner.

Read the article: What Happened to the Dream?

Toxic Employees

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, August 2009
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Over the past four decades, my passion has been helping shop owners grow. I believe profit matters, and trying to make 20 percent to 30 percent cash profit is a necessity not a luxury. Most shop owners get in trouble when three problems appear at the same time. Most of us do not get in trouble with one problem, but with a combination of multiple problems. A toxic employee is defined as one that pollutes the entire business and creates multiple problems in the blink of an eye. These problems can be very expensive to correct, and without a fat savings account you may not be even capable of proving your innocence.

Read the article: Toxic Employees

The Banana Theory: How Customers Spoil

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, July 2009
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Many fishing professionals feel bananas bring bad luck or a chemical imbalance to the fun times. I overheard one of our senior coaches, George Zeeks, relate The Banana Theory to spoiling our customers. How many times have you purchased a bunch of bananas at the store? I’m talking that perfect, firm one, just the right shade of yellow and smelling exactly like a banana should smell. You bring the bunch home and maybe even snack on one or two right away. Then, like a lot of other things, we forget about them.

Read the article: The Banana Theory: How Customers Spoil

The Six Ways to Stay a Top Shop

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, June 2009
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

There are many shops in North America that are nominated for top shop awards, and many that go unmentioned but certainly not unnoticed. I would define a top shop as one in which it has become famous in the area by quality, integrity, relationships and differentiation from its competitors. Its sales would depend on the size of the market they are located in and could range from $500,000 to $3 million annually. The challenge with being the best is that everyone wants to be the best, so it can be tough to stay on top. I have had the pleasure of working with lots of the best of the best shop owners and here is a list of basics to focus on so you can stay the best.

Read the article: The Six Ways to Stay a Top Shop

Survive and Attain Success in a Bad Economy

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, April 2009
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

This month I wanted you to hear from our head instructor, Matt Winslow, who has been in the trenches giving ATI one day workshops across the U.S. and Canada. Over the last year, hundreds of owners have asked, “Can we survive the bad economy?” I say yes, and not only just survive, but flourish and reach your dreams and goals over the next five years. Here are Winslow’s suggestions to help you implement change in 2009. We all know 2008 was a tough year. Banks failed. The stock market dropped to half its value. Retirement funds evaporated.

Read the article: Survive and Attain Success in a Bad Economy

An Economic Forecast

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, January 2009
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Since we all know the joke about opinions, I have one like everyone else, and I’d like to share my opinion on the economy in 2009 with you. I have been through a few tough times since I joined the automotive brotherhood in 1971. Actually, I went through rough times before then. While I am the CEO of a company that mentors 947 independent automotive service centers and tire dealers every week, I had three different colleges ask me to leave, and leave I did. So I have seen in our industry some shops doing better and just as many doing much worse. So what’s my opinion on 2009, and what can you do to survive?

Read the article: An Economic Forecast

The Economy Is Not The Boogeyman In Your Closet

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, December 2008
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Today I will let you decide if we are in a recession, examine where we currently stand on your recession plan and decide what we are going to do about it. I received a great e-mail from a shop owner upset that one of our earlier articles might be blaming you guys for the recession. Although I do not feel that way, perception is reality, so I want to certainly apologize if any of you felt the same way before we get started. Many of my coaches were shop owners in their previous lives, and they understand how hard the automotive service business can be at times. They also understand that most of the time the difference between success and failure in a recession

Read the article: The Economy Is Not The Boogeyman In Your Closet

19 Ways To Stabilize Your Car Count

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, November, 2008
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

I want to share with you 19 ways to stabilize your car count. Look at this as a quick review without taking the time to dig very deep into each strategy. My objective is to help you take an inventory of what you are doing in your shop and focus on the strategies you are not currently using in your business that can help you stabilize your daily car count. This is accomplished by doing everything you can to retain customers and get them to come back even in a recession and in a time of reliable cars.

Read the article: 19 Ways To Stabilize Your Car Count

Turning $4/Gallon Gas Prices into Continued Profits

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, October 2008
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

I know a lot of you have been hearing the customers complain and grieve about today’s economy, how the cost of everything is increasing and that it leaves little or no money to put into their automobiles. Every time they have to go to the gas station or just drive by and see the prices posted, they are reminded of it. That, combined with just turning on the TV, is what fuels their woes. Once they start complaining about the price of gas and the economy, I have seen and heard service advisors jump right on board with them and acknowledge their complaining.

Read the article: Turning $4/Gallon Gas Prices into Continued Profits

You, Perhaps, and Not The Economy

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, September 2008
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Like many of you, I have had the challenge of working through many recessions in the automotive industry. Historically, it has always been good for us, as we watch the repair business go up as car sales go down. This recession has been more challenging as gas prices reduce mileage, which certainly has affected tire sales for most of the tire industry. The good news is shop owners who are staying proactive still are having a good year in service. As a matter of fact, the shops we coach weekly are up $2,143 a week in cash profits since the day we began working with them.

Read the article: You, Perhaps, and Not The Economy

Will You Please Answer The Cash Register?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, August 2008
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

One of the most common complaints from shop owners is the need for more customers and more cars. Shop owners spend their hard earned money on a multitude of marketing ideas, but they forget to focus on the most important part of the marketing process. The idea behind all of this marketing is to get the phone to ring — a customer calling to ask for your services. Few shop owners spend the time needed to develop the proper system for answering the phone. Fewer still measure the effectiveness of the employees who are answering the phone and have tools in place to gauge how many incoming calls result in the customer coming into your shop.

Read the article: Will You Please Answer The Cash Register?

Working Harder And Enjoying It Less?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, July 2008
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

You have successfully built a wonderful business with a great reputation. Everyone is proud of your accomplishments.Your family is very appreciative of the many hours it has taken you to build your business.Your customers love you for taking care of the safety of their families.Your associates have looked up to you for years and, for the most part, will follow you into any battle. You love your business and you enjoy working in it. You have rarely ever met anyone who can do it as well as you can. You have made mistakes like most shop owners, but you have hung in there and learned what it takes to run a profitable business.

Read the article: Working Harder And Enjoying It Less?

Finding the Needle In A Field Of Needles

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, June 2008
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Everything is going great. The phone is ringing, we have customers coming through the door wanting work done on their cars and all is right with the world. Except, we don’t have enough technicians or maybe the right technician for the job. This is a very common scenario that plays out in shops around the country every day, and a common complaint from our clients is the problem of finding a good technician or the “right” technician. My first impulse is to ask why they lost a good technician and were they that good to begin with.

Read the article: Finding the Needle In A Field Of Needles

The Care Feeding of Your Manager

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, May 2008
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

In consulting with automotive shops across the country, I have talked to a lot of owners and one thing is very clear: when it comes to creating an environment for managers and other staff to flourish, most owners just don’t get it.We, as an industry, have not stepped up to the idea that managing an automotive shop is a profession. Much of the population would rather go to the dentist than take their car into a shop for work.Many think that as an industry we score just above a collection of attorneys when it comes to image. Don’t shoot the messenger! I certainly do not believe that stereotype is real or deserved, but rather that most shops are fair, trustworthy and professional.

Read the article: The Care Feeding of Your Manager

Maintenance: A Catch-and-Release Business

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, March 2008
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

In December, we discussed how women have become the No. 1 buyer of maintenance. So this month, let’s focus on our sales process skills. I’ve co-developed the Relationship Marketing System (RMS) to help capture the estimated $70 billion in untapped maintenance. The most interesting thing about sales is that most people believe they are an expert or a guru. After spending 35 years of my life in sales, I believe some days you are much better at it than others. During the past decade, I have trained more than 11,000 service managers in the art of relationship- based selling.

Read the article: Maintenance: A Catch-and-Release Business

Selling Maintenance to Women

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, December 2007
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Last year, I was invited to speak to 1,100 of the industry’s finest at the AAIA Town Hall Meeting at SEMA. The subject was “Why are we closing the hood on the $70 billion in untapped maintenance?” There are many issues preventing the flow of cash in our pockets; however, let’s first explore who is purchasing this extremely important service: women. Most men believe since they sleep with women, once in a while, they are mental giants when it comes to communicating with them. Our trainers have discovered this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Read the article: Selling Maintenance to Women

How to Increase Average Repair Order

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, November 2007
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

If the most difficult task in the automotive service world is getting customers to actually hop in the car and make that long journey into our shops, many would say that increasing the amount of the average repair order (ARO) would be second. Though it requires a combination of effective procedures and strong leadership, this process need not be as daunting as many would make it. Most shops with low ARO do not have a measurement or quality control system for their courtesy checks. You should expect 75 percent of your daily car count to receive a complete courtesy check, if you inspect the forms being attached to your hard copy.

Read the article: How to Increase Average Repair Order

How to Increase Shop Productivity

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, October 2007
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

I am certain most of you have read articles on how to increase shop productivity — and if tested, would ace the test. The real challenge is achieving 100 percent productivity during the majority of your year. My goal in this article is to remind you of something you used to do or help you add the missing ingredient that could help you net 20 percent to 30 percent cash profits. The vast majority of shop owners need coaching or mentoring to see their blind spot in this area. Once they have the hang of it, most of our clients can maintain a very productive shop. Because the average shop in the U.S. and Canada is only 67 percent technician-productive, the hardest part is arriving at this lofty goal with some consistency.

Read the article: How to Increase Shop Productivity

Is Your Labor Apple Going Bad?

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, September 2007
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Many times during the course of a busy day I’ve started to eat lunch or a snack and I get interrupted. Have you ever taken a couple bites from an apple and have to put it down to take care of something? The problem is that when you come back, it has already started to turn brown and just doesn’t look as good as it did. The same thing happens to your labor margin. If you “put it down” or don’t pay attention to it on a constant basis, you will find your labor margin going bad and it just doesn’t look the same on your bottom line. A complete understanding of what affects your labor margin — and how to hold a 60 percent margin fully loaded with benefits — is essential to maintaining a profitable shop.

Read the article: Is Your Labor Apple Going Bad?

Making Parts Profitable

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, August 2007
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Last month, we talked about netting 20 percent to 30 percent profit, and I shared a model that some shop owners have been able to accomplish. In that model, it required that your parts costs be 18.5 percent of your total sales. In order to accomplish this, you must hold at least 53 percent profit on your entire parts pool. This is key performance indicator (KPI) No. 3 out of the 37 KPIs that a shop needs to hit that ideal 20 percent to 30 percent net profit. However, this is one of the easiest plates to spin because unlike labor, parts don’t talk on cell phones, smoke, get sick or take time off.

Read the article: Making Parts Profitable

Let The Journey Begin

by Chris Frederick Motor Age, July 2007
ATI - Automotive Training Institute

Most of us have encountered low points in our life when we thought there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Some of us put our heads down and fought to survive when many a mortal would have said we had no chance.You may have been that person and rose to become the top shop owner in your market.You may be presently fighting the battle to take you and your family to the Promised Land. You know - the land where all your dreams are fulfilled and your bank accounts are full of profits. What makes this actually happen? And if it hasn’t happened to you, when will it take place? How long will you have to fight to ensure a happy retirement and fulfill your family dreams?

Read the article: Let The Journey Begin











































 

AMi Certified:

Approved for Educational Credit!

Shop Owner's
1-Day Workshop

Our Shop Owner 1-Day Workshop will ignite your passion again,
re-energize your business and
increase your profits by 3-8%
or your money back.

Gain MORE Control!

Shop Owner's 1-Day Workshop

Seating is Limited



 
Home  |   About ATI  |   1-Day Workshop  |   News & Resources  |   Contact Us

ATI - Automotive Training Institute

TOLL-FREE 888-471-5800  |  705 Digital Drive Suite V  |  Linthicum, MD 21090

Copyright © 2014 Automotive Training Institute