Episode 114

Are Benchmarks BS? [E114]

Are shop owners blindly giving out benchmarks/blindly following them?

Matt Fanslow, Jeff Barnes, and Bryan Pollack discuss the challenges in the automotive industry, including the overload of information, the lack of standard practices, and the need to understand specific business models. They also discuss the complications of hiring a diagnostic technician, the importance of career development opportunities, the importance of marketing, the challenges of investing in equipment, financial management, and the significance of retaining and training good employees.

Show Notes with Timestamps

  • The challenges of navigating information (00:01:10) Discussion on the abundance of information in the automotive industry and the lack of tailored information for specific shops.
  • The lack of industry standards (00:03:28) Exploration of the absence of standardized practices in running an automotive shop and the difficulty in determining who is the authority.
  • Choosing the right business model (00:06:55) Importance of understanding the specific business model of a shop and making informed decisions based on that, rather than blindly following advice from others.
  • The challenges of hiring a diagnostician (00:08:49) Explains the consequences of hiring a diagnostician without proper training and how it affects the shop's efficiency and profitability.
  • The difficulties of determining the right diagnostician for a shop (00:09:59) Discusses the challenges faced by shop owners in finding the right diagnostician based on the size and workload of their shop.
  • The challenges of finding skilled technicians (00:16:47) Discussion on the difficulty of finding and retaining skilled technicians in certain geographical areas.
  • Different business models and the pressure to grow (00:17:20) Exploration of the pressure on shop owners to grow their businesses and the potential negative consequences of pursuing growth without considering the specific business model.
  • Questioning the definition of success (00:18:14) Examining the concept of success in the automotive industry, beyond just financial numbers, and the importance of personal happiness and work-life balance.
  • The challenges of navigating the automotive industry (00:23:39) Discussion on the importance of continuous training for technicians to keep up with evolving technology.
  • Understanding legal and ethical considerations in running an automotive shop (00:26:02) Conversation about the importance of having an accountant, insurance agent, and attorney, and the potential legal and ethical implications of certain actions.
  • The challenges of advertising in different areas (00:32:30) Discussion on the difficulties of advertising in different locations, including the effectiveness of different advertising methods based on the size and demographics of the area.
  • The importance of targeted marketing (00:34:49) The need for targeted marketing strategies to reach the right audience and avoid wasting advertising budget.
  • The challenges of investing in equipment and key cutting machines (00:40:01) The guests discuss the challenges of investing in equipment and key cutting machines, especially for smaller shops and those located near dealerships.
  • The changing landscape of the automotive industry and the misconception about shops without a diagnostician (00:41:00)
  • Chasing numbers and the prioritization of car issues (00:52:07) Discussion about the pressure to meet certain numbers in the industry and the prioritization of car issues based on customer needs.
  • The challenges of chasing false numbers (00:56:32) Discussion on how some shops miss out on hiring good technicians because they focus on a false number instead of considering the technician's value.
  • Understanding benchmark numbers vs. goals (00:56:54) Exploration of the difference between benchmark numbers used for measurement and goals that shops should focus on to achieve long-term success.
  • Retaining good people and training (01:03:36) Importance of retaining and training good employees as a key factor for success in the automotive industry.

Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Autotech napaautotech.com

Email Matt: mattfanslowpodcast@gmail.com

Diagnosing the Aftermarket A - Z YouTube Channel HERE

Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com/

About the Podcast

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Diagnosing the Aftermarket A to Z

About your host

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Matt Fanslow

Matt Fanslow is the diagnostic tech/shop manager at Riverside Automotive in Red Wing, MN. His primary responsibilities are to diagnose driveability and electrical/electronic issues, and perform most all programming, coding, initializing, adoptions, etc. Basically, if it needs to be figured out or has wires, it goes to Matt.

He’s been a tech since 1996. Matt is also a subject matter expert for ASE and has instructed at Vision Hi-Tech Training and Expo. Matt has participated on 18 ASE technical committees for the ASE Practice Test, A6, A7, A8, and L1 tests. He’s also done case studies for Standard Motor Products. Fanslow’s goal is to do everything in his power to improve the overall level of professionalism within the automotive and light truck repair trade and also raise the level of its public image.