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The Reason Your Shop Meetings Aren't Working

I was all in, on-board, and "drinking the Kool-Aid!" As a new district manager of automotive service, I had a just returned from a national meeting where our president clearly communicated the company direction. What he said was good for the car, the customer, and the corporation. My next step was to have a meeting with my managers to get their buy-in.

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The Secret to Finding Success When You're Feeling Stuck

"Harry" is a shop owner in your area. One day he's walking down the street thinking about his dreams, his dollars, and the upcoming decisions he will have to make at his shop. He's so focused on his future that he fails to notice that there is a hole in the sidewalk. As a result, Harry falls in the hole!

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The Fastest Way to Build Trust With Your Customers

In any interaction, you have the opportunity to either make a deposit or a withdrawal into a trust account with your customer. When the amount deposited exceeds the amount withdrawn you have a successful relationship, where the customer is more likely to agree to your request or to do business with you.

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The Role of the Manager in Employee Engagement

If you have ever lost a good employee and wondered what you could have done to prevent it, I suggest you keep reading this month. Great techs and advisors are very difficult to find and expensive to replace. The millennials who represent almost half of the workforce need to be treated very differently than Generation X and Y associates.

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How to Lose Your Good Customers Over Price

"I'm losing business because of the pricing matrix!" This statement was made by a shop owner named Rich, during our weekly coaching call. Both his car count and average repair order (ARO) were down from the previous year. He had two service writers named Steve and Chris. Even though they had the same invoice count, Steve held a 61% parts margin and a $400 ARO, while Chris hovered around 45% and $230.

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ATI Relaunches "Driving Change" Podcast

ATI is thrilled to announce the relaunch of our podcast, "Driving Change." It's a show hosted by ATI Performance Coach Geoff Berman that highlights the growth journey of our members and the challenges they've overcome through our coaching and training programs.

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ASCCA Selects ATI as March Partner of the Month

Each month, an ASCCA partner is recognized for their outstanding support of ASCCA, its members, the automotive repair industry, and their commitment to going above and beyond to support ASCCA's Core Purpose: To elevate and unite automotive professionals and give them voice.

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Rainmaker or Order Taker – Which One is Your Service Advisor?

Ever wonder why some Service Advisers have a higher ARO than the others in your shop? Ever wonder why some shops have more sales per pay or more hours per ARO than other shops? Do you think that maybe that high producer Service Adviser is just better at slowing it down on the sales offer?

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The Key to Attracting Your Ideal Customer

Several weeks ago I took my car to a local tire retailer to resolve a slow leak. As soon as I arrived at the service counter, it became obvious that "Jeff," the service writer, didn't want my business. He didn't smile, didn't greet me, but he did say the following: "Sir, I need you to step to the other side of the counter because I'm with a customer."

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How to Hire the Right Technician for Your Shop

When it comes to automotive education, "Bill" has more degrees than a thermometer! He's a master certified ASE technician. He also has certifications from Ford and Subaru. His white toolbox is bigger than a Buick, and if he ever got a scratch on it, he would replace the entire drawer! If Bill knocked on your door today, with the goal of becoming your next "A" technician, would you hire him?

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The Leading Cause of Low Car Count at Your Shop

He got out of a Ford Crown Victoria with no hubcaps. He had a full shaggy beard, a white t-shirt, jeans with holes in them, and flip flops. It appeared that it had been a while since he last combed his hair! This is how Dave Ramsey describes his sales prospect, "Chris." During his sales training, Dave was taught to make judgment calls about customers based on external indicators of success. 

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60 Percent Gross Profit – Fact or Fiction?

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times: "Dollars pay the bills, not profit margins!" Well, I agree with you, but you can't effectively manage your shop by dollars alone. Percentages, or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as we call them, give you the ability to measure and manage your business, manage integrity of pricing strategies, and manage by each profit center.

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Something to Consider When You Feel Like Giving Up

Have you ever felt like giving up? "Mike" and "Harry" certainly did. They were frustrated by their general manager's performance failures. He was highly compensated, but his results weren't on par with his pay. In spite of their best efforts to provide training and coaching, sales were slipping, profits were plummeting, and morale was moving in the wrong direction.

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My Biggest Frustration With Selling Service

Imagine that "Cliff," your customer, has dropped off a brown 2007 Toyota Scion with over 115,000 miles. The paint is peeling, the front bumper is missing, and the rear windshield is cracking. If you typed the word "beater" into "Google," an image of this car would appear!

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New Owners Triple Business as Car Count, Average RO, and Year-end Sales are Up

Numerous factors have contributed to the increases, including growing the shop's online presence by using services such as ReachLocal for pay-per-click advertising, business training from ATI, and using Kukui for the shop's new website development. 

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ATI Announces New Preferred Provider, PSA Insurance & Financial Services

ATI Members will receive many value-added benefits, including streamlined claims management assistance and risk and safety management services. PSA's dedicated teams of experts help ease the burden of managing claims and reduce workplace exposures, protect ATI member properties, minimize business interruption, and protect members from liability claims.

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ATI's SuperConference 2019 Charity Selection: Soldiers' Angels

Each year at ATI's SuperConference, we select a charity local to the community we visit and raise awareness and money for their organization. We're excited to introduce you to our SuperConference 2019 Charity: Soldiers' Angels and the ways you can help donate with ATI.

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How to Regain Your Swagger at The Shop

The year was 2012, and I was frustrated. I was frustrated by the fact that I couldn't move "Jack." Jack is a shop owner who was failing to achieve his profit goals. He and I would speak every week, but the results didn't change.

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How to Achieve Relentless Success at Your Shop

Back in the late 1980s, Tim was a 25-year-old, with no prior experience working with pro athletes. He was hoping to get his big break. He picked up the phone and contacted the local team offering his performance improvement services. He called all twelve players on the roster leaving messages for them to get back with him. Eleven of the twelve ignored the call.

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What Top Shops Never Say and What They Do Instead

"Jack" owns a shop on the east coast and has two service advisors: "Ray" is an automotive industry veteran with over 15 years of experience while "Craig" knows nothing about cars and couldn't change his own oil if his life depended on it! Which one would you hire? Before you answer, allow me to continue the story.

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Examine These 3 Areas of Your Life to Ensure They're Not Holding You Back

We are always aspiring to get or have what the other person has, whether that's material things like a bigger home or newer car, or maybe it's a better relationship with our spouse or significant other. Sometimes we hire a trainer/coach to help us. Most of the time we don't reach the outcome we desire.

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ATI Announces New Preferred Supplier, EasyPay Finance

ATI announced that EasyPay Finance, a company that provides finance options for retailers and auto repair shop customers, will join its list of preferred national suppliers. With consumers finding it harder than ever to pay for emergency repairs, the need to offer customer financing that covers both labor and parts has never been higher.

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The ATI Way | Fundamental #8: Take Responsibility

Constantly evaluate and reevaluate every aspect of your job. Don't be satisfied with the status quo.

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How to Become an Unstoppable Shop Owner This Year

Have you ever attended a training class looking for "the silver bullet?" I thought about this as I recently watched a documentary on legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. Lombardi is considered to be the greatest coach of his era. He would conduct clinics for assistant coaches around the league who were seeking the secret to his success.

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How To Profit From Your Biggest Problem

Certain shop owners have gotten upset with me over the years because they think I'm hiding a secret. They think I have that one thing in my back pocket that will instantly grow their car count, attract the best 'A' technician, and improve their business to the point where they no longer need to come in!

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Are Your Misguided Beliefs Causing Misguided Results?

Have you ever thought about the possibility that many things you do every day are because of a misguided or unexamined belief? I heard longtime ATI Coach and 20 Group Facilitator, Rick Johnson, tell a story how this can happen to the best of us. Let me repeat a story that has been told many times.

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The Surprising Secret of the Influential Leader

"How do I us a flexible approach at my shop?" The critical place to start is with your communication style. When communicating you should always consider the following four personality "birds": The eagle, peacock, owl, and dove.

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How to Overcome the Real Problem at Your Shop

As part of my training to run a full marathon, I ran a half marathon which was 13.1 miles. It took me two hours and twenty minutes, which was just under an eleven minute per mile pace. I believed that it was impossible to run a full marathon (26.2 miles) at this pace.

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I See Dead People — I Mean I See Service Advisors

"I see service advisors." They are walking around like regular people, we shop owners don't see them, we only see what we want to see. These people don't know they are service advisors. I see them all the time, they are everywhere.

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Don't Forget to Take Inventory

As 2018 comes to a close, I encourage you to take inventory. You are probably thinking about your parts inventory. Yes, it is very important to count all your parts and fluids and nuts and bolts for accounting and tax purposes. It is also important to take inventory of all your equipment...

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The ATI Way | Fundamental #7: Continuously Improve Everything You Do

Constantly evaluate and reevaluate every aspect of your job. Don't be satisfied with the status quo.

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Getting The Best Performance From Your People

A 2012 Gallop study found that only 13% of the surveyed work place population was actively engaged in their work. 63% reported being disengaged, and 24% reported being actively disengaged! That's a total of 87% (63+24) of employees who are dis-engaged on some level. If your goal is to get the best performance from your people, the first step is to get clear on what that looks like.

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ATI's Coaching Staff is Now Certified by the Center for Executive Coaching

ATI recently announced that its entire staff of thirty-one coaches are now certified by the Center for Executive Coaching (CEC). The training is an ongoing process, starting with three months of home study and three days of onsite instruction at ATI's headquarters with Andrew Neitlich, CEC founder and director of CEC.

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The Secret To Building Momentum At Your Shop

Imagine being out of town and hopping into a taxi cab and the driver asks, "Where to?" and you respond "Don't take me to the airport! I don't want to go there again!" You wouldn't get to your desired destination until you changed your focus. Your intense focus on what you don't want, would prevent you from getting to your goal. Most people have an intense focus on what they don't want. 

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How to Find Quality Service Advisors

What is a great service advisor worth? Before we can put a value on this we need to define what a good or great service advisor is. Why? Because I promise you, there are far more mediocre and even bad service advisors out there than good or great. How can this be? Because hiring and terminating employees is a hard thing to do and it is easier to keep who you already have at the counter.

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How to Break Through Your Limiting Beliefs

How do you break through a limiting belief about yourself? Reflecting on this question, reminded me of a story I read in John Maxwell's book, The Five Levels of Leadership. Maxwell writes about of a young lawyer named Herb, who was new to the legal profession. In an effort to get up to speed, Herb studied two experienced attorneys to see what he could learn.

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New Insurance Buying Program Exclusively For ATI Members!

Chances are, your current insurance policy isn't properly covering your major exposures leaving you vulnerable to potential claims to pay out of pocket. Why? Because sufficient business insurance for the unique risks of Auto Service and Body Shops is often not offered by insurance companies or it is too expensive. Through our new preferred supplier, PSA Insurance & Financial Services, you can now get the coverage you need for a variety of risks without breaking the bank.

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How to Bounce Back from Your Setback

Have you been allowing a temporary setback to become a permanent excuse? This mentality will make it harder for you to bounce back. The key to making a comeback is to embrace an ALWAYS mindset. The owner with the "always mindset" is always preparing for the worst-case scenario.

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So You Want to Know About 5S?

Organizing a business so that you can drive the maximum production potential has always been a top interest of mine. About 15 years ago, the new buzz words were Lean Production Systems. The Japanese, always trying to improve their processes, came out with a continuous improvement process model which included something called 5S.

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The ATI Way | Fundamental #6: Go the Extra Mile

Be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the job — plus a little bit more. Whether it's starting early, staying late, or doing something that's not in your job description, it's the extra mile that separates the average person from the superstar. Be a superstar.

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The Inside Secret to Finding Fulfillment

You just had ten fork lift drivers respond to your State Inspectors ad. Your $$3,000 Google Adwords campaign only generated a $30 oil change. Your new "A" Technician that started on Monday still hasn't come back from his lunch break. Each of these scenarios have one thing common. They leave you feeling frustrated.

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How to Master the Art of Persuasion

What's possible if you become a master of persuasion? As I ponder this question, I'm reminded of something that happened back when I was a shop manager in need of a new car. The shop was 45 minutes away from home, so I was looking for a reliable and dependable vehicle. The plan was to get a car that I could drive until the wheels fell off!

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How to Grow When They Say It's Slow

"My tool guy says that everybody's slow!" Said "Katie", the service manager of a local repair shop. She was averaging $12,000 per week in sales which was a 16% decrease when compared to the previous year. Katie went on to tell me: "It's a tough economy, and we're in the fall season, but I'm sure things will pick up as we get closer to the holidays."

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The Best Kept Secret to Increasing Your Car Count

Are you frustrated by the decrease in car count that came with your increase in Google AdWords? Does it feel like you're flushing money down the drain with each marketing campaign? In his book titled, Sticky Church, Larry Osborne communicates a similar frustration. Osborne is a church pastor who struggled to grow his membership.

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Baby Boomers Are Sinking Your Ship

According to Pew Research Center, baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 a day and have been since January 1, 2011. This trend will continue until December 31, 2030. In my 30-plus years in this business, I have never experienced a more difficult time than now to find good qualified staff.

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Automotive Training Institute's Members Raise Over $70,000 for Orlando's Kid Beating Cancer Charity at Annual Conference

ATI raised over $70,000 for Kids Beating Cancer (KBC) from attendees at its annual SuperConference. This year's conference was hosted near KBC's facility in Orlando, FL and attended by over 600 of ATI's members, partners and vendors.

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Overcoming the Uncertainty of the Auto Industry

What's the future of the automotive service industry? As I ponder this common question, I'm reminded of the tale of two CEOs from another industry. Allow me to introduce you to Reed and John. Reed was the founder of a small niche business that was losing money. John was the CEO of an established Fortune 500 organization.

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Veterans Day is Around the Corner!

Here's a marketing idea that's also good for the community: a promo for veterans and active duty. Email blast, Tweet, Facebook, Google +, etc. You could limit the promotion to one day only or for the week.

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The ATI Way | Fundamental #5: Be Performance-Driven

We appreciate effort, but we reward and celebrate results. Set challenging goals, and then go after them. Don't shy away from metrics or accountability. Numbers are the best tool we have to help us understand how we're doing and how we can improve our performance. Holding ourselves accountable for results is a reflection of our commitment to our mission.

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Daylight Saving Time

November marketing Idea! Offer to change your customers' clocks. Here is a sample email blast you can send: Dear [Customer], It is that time of year again and in a few days we will be setting our clocks back one hour on Saturday night November 3 before we go to sleep.

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ATI's SuperConference 2019

SuperConference 2019 Registration is Open!

March 20-23, 2019 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort

One of the automotive industry's premier annual gatherings, ATI SuperConferences bring together the best minds in the industry, world-class guest speakers and the owners of hundreds of the Top Shops in the US and Canada

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Auto and Collision Repair
Shop Owner's 1-Day Workshops

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

Find a Workshop near you and gain more control!

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