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

Town Hall Academy

Oct 3 2019 • 31 mins

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%

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