Monday, February 17, 2014

The Adventures of MACH TWO – Chapter 2 By Mike Lee

Mike Lee
Management Success!

(MACH TWO gets his name from the fact that while at work, he is constantly going MACH TWO with his hair on fire).

In the continuing adventures of MACH TWO, a once mild mannered technician turned automotive shop owner, he now confronts the fact that while he seems to have developed a stable business with a bright future, he can't seem to find employees that will do the work on the car with the same thoroughness that he does.

Every time MACH TWO asks an employee to do a job, it is not up to the standard that he sets for the shop.  Also, he can't seem to find anyone that is willing to go get the training necessary to stay up to date on the new cars, even if he pays for them to do this.

Chapter Two:Handling Employee Problems

MACH TWO finds that when he tries to train his people they don't seem motivated enough to learn and don't seem to be able to do the jobs the way that he wants the jobs done.  Eventually, he ends up doing most of the complicated work himself.

It is very important to him that everything that is worked on in his shop be done to his standards.  He is unwilling to settle for less than perfection.

The Effect of Not Being Able To
Adequately Train Employees

Because MACH TWO cannot depend on his employees to complete a quality job he is sometimes forced into hitting Mach Three.  To his credit, MACH TWO is a super technician that insists that the jobs be done right in his shop.  But because he can't seem to get his guys to do the work the way that he wants, it is negatively affecting himself, his personal life and his ability to run his business successfully.

For example:

1.  It is a good thing MACH TWO is young or he would be a good candidate for:

A.  "I am forty-five and I have just had my first heart attack."  OR
B.  "I am getting married for the third time, gee!  I hope this works."

So how do you know if you are having these problems or if you meet the MACH TWO status?  Here are some of the major qualifications and/or symptoms.  These are all qualities that our MACH TWO hero in the story possesses.

1.  Your business has grown to about $10,000 to $25,000 a month.  You have two or three technicians working for you.  You have been at this level of sales for one or more years.

2.  You suffer from the DAD SYNDROME.  You, like our hero MACH TWO, are the only one that can really solve the tough problems in the shop.  You are so busy handling everybody else's problems that you don't have time to run the business.

3.  It used to be fun fixing cars, but lately it has become more and more frustrating because you never have time to do all of the things that you want to do.  So you have become MACH TWO with your hair on FIRE and with a SHORT FUSE.

At this point you and our mild mannered MACH TWO shop owner are no longer mild mannered.  You become known as "A TICKING TIME BOMB ON THE MOVE".  Customers, employees, wives, children notice that you have become a "GRUMPY BEAR."

If you meet some or all of the qualifications of being MACH TWO, here is the PROBLEM:
MACH TWO knows how to fix cars.  He is the best at fixing cars, but he doesn't know how to fix his business and handle his employees.

1.  The only business school that he has attended is the school of HARDKNOCKS.  Of course, he graduated CUM SUMA HEADACHE and is now working on his MASTERS DEGREE in MIGRAINES.

2.  MACH TWO lacks management skill on how to train employees.  He gets frustrated because he cannot teach his employees what he knows. Mostly the problem is that he tries to teach his employees what took him ten years to learn in just two days and then wonders why his employees don't get it.

3.  He lacks the management skills necessary to get his employees OPERATIONAL.  OPERATIONAL means to work well without attention.  He doesn't know how to effectively deal with employees.

Here is the prognosis for our MACH TWO shop owner and for you if some of the above scenarios sound familiar:

A MACH TWO shop owner has got himself stuck in the Stage One of a business.  This is a common problem in the automotive industry.

In Stage One, the owner is doing every job in the shop.  He is the service writer, bookkeeper, legal department, advertising executive, employee director, quality control.  But he spends most of his time fixing cars.

As long as he continues to run his shop this way, he will never grow big and he will not make lots of money and will not have lots of time off.  He has 60 to 70 hour a week job.  He doesn't know it, but he is just an employee of all his customers.  They get great service and a super technician and he gets all the headaches.


MACH TWO needs to learn how to run an automotive business.  It is just like fixing cars.  If you know what you are doing, it doesn't take long to find and fix the problem.  If our mild mannered MACH TWO shop owner doesn't change his way of doing business, he will still be doing it the same way twenty years from  now.

Management Success!