Monday, April 28, 2014

The Adventures of MACH TWO – Chapter 5 by Mike Lee


(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 is in total overwhelm and he can't seem to find enough time to think.
Chapter Five:
I CAN'T Stand Prosperity
I Am Making Money, So I Need To EXPAND

After  being in business for over a year, MACH TWO runs into a limited space problem.  Because of his great reputation for being able to fix the cars, fix them right and treat customers honestly and fairly, he has outgrown his facilities.  He has cars and customers all over the place.

He is making good money and his checkbook actually has a POSTIVE balance.  His bills are all paid ON TIME for the first time since he started the business.  He feels wonderful and is proud of his business ability.  His head and chest are swelling.  He thinks to himself, "Wow, if I am making this much money on two bays, imagine how much I could make in a 10 bay shop.  He makes a decision to expand.  He is now entering the Blunder Zone.
The Blunder Zone

After looking around he finds a nice seven bay shop that is available for leasing.  Of course, it needs a little fixing up, and he will have to buy some more equipment and hire a couple more technicians, but he is doing so well now, he thinks no problem, what can go wrong?!

He signs the lease and starts the process of getting the new facilities into shape.  He buys a couple of hoists that the new facilities are going to need.  Also, there are lots of little things that he really didn't anticipate, like air hoses, pipe, storage shelves, fluorescent lights, etc.  It is amazing how much all of this little stuff costs.  He has used almost all of the reserve money that he had put aside.  He thinks, "No problem, when I open this new shop I will get it all back."

At this point he is just about to open the place.  All he has to do is move all of the stuff out of the old shop into the new one.  He and his two technicians spend the weekend moving everything and getting the new shop totally ready for their grand opening on Monday.

Grand Opening

Monday morning, the shop is pretty busy, except there is one small problem.  His lead technician hurt his back over the weekend doing all of that moving and doesn't show up to work.  He finds out later that the technician has strained his back and will probably be out for six months.  Of course, that means he is going to hit MACH TWO's workman compensation for a ton.

That is okay, because MACH TWO needed to hire a couple more guys anyway to handle the new big volume that he was going to be doing in this new shop.  So he runs an ad in the newspaper for technicians.  After a week of running the ad, he has two guys (actually zombies) show up and neither seems to be alive.

Now panic is starting to set in.  He decides that he needs help desperately or he is going to run out of money quickly.  It is amazing how much more the monthly nut is at this new shop than it was at the old one.

He decides to try to hire some of the good technicians that are working for some of the other shops in town.  He puts out the word to several technicians that he has heard that are really good and offers them outrageous wages to come to work for him.  He has no choice.  He has lots of work and no real help.  He is working day and night and seems to be falling behind in his bills and he has no reserves left.

Three months later, he has five technicians and himself and he is doing $15,000 more a month than he was doing in the old shop.  He should be making a ton more money, but he seems to be going the other way.  He can't figure it out.  He is doing more volume so he figures he should be making more money.  He is now starting to fall way behind in his business and he is going to have to borrow some money from his mother (he hates to do that) to pay the taxes.  It doesn't make sense, why isn't he making any money?

Symptom:  He is doing more volume, but making less money.

Real Problem:  He lacks management skills.  He is in confusion.  He doesn't know where he stands.  He has no indicators to tell him where the real problem in his shop is, so that he can't go about fixing it.

Solution:  Manage by Statistics.  If he had been tracking the major areas of his business and knew certain industry standards on production and what to pay, he would know that he has low production in his shop and he is greatly overpaying the new guys for the amount of production they are doing.

Also, he would know that his monthly overhead has tripled since moving into the new shop and he needs to either increase his production or raise his prices some or do a combination of both.  If he knew how to manage by statistics, he would at least know where his problem areas are and be able to come up with a plan to fix them.

Management Success!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Management Success! Spring Convention 2014

Management Success! Teaches Clients How to Stay Profitable and Happy at Spring Convention in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV - April 10, 2014 - From March 28 to 30, Management Success!, the premier auto industry consulting firm, held its Spring Convention at the luxurious Red Rock Casino Resort Spa in Las Vegas. The convention was the largest destination convention in Management Success! history. Entitled “Stable, Profitable & Loving It!,” the Spring Convention focused on reducing auto shop owner stress and increasing overall happiness by teaching clients how to operate a smoothly running shop for the long-term.

Happiness was a recurring theme throughout the convention. In addition to covering basics like how to use pipelines and dashboards to track production, two concurrently occurring workshops taught how to create harmony within management and the employees: Mastering Your Shop by Consultant Ari Cohen, and Owner’s Team Building Boot camp by Consultant Wency Severi. The workshops took place throughout Saturday and Sunday.

“We created these workshops based on common client problems, like how to operate a master shop with a master team and how to overcome employee situations that impair production,” said Robert Spitz, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Management Success!.

The workshops were well-received by clients. Regarding the Owner’s Team Building Boot camp, Kevin Crowell from Crowell Automotive affirmed, “The workshop really brought home the issues we need to confront. It gave us the tools to go home and implement. It gave us a new zeal to continue with Management Success! and try for Master of Shop Management.”

To give attendees a real-life model of effective shop management, Management Success! held a Masters Panel on Saturday, which featured a Q&A panel of shops that hold the prestigious titles of Master of Shop Management or Master Elite of Shop Management. On Sunday, the open Top 20 Meeting allowed all interested shop owners to see how the top shops in the US and Canada manage, from tackling employee issues to marketing.

While classes were the main event, the company found exciting ways to make the most of the convention’s simultaneously glitzy and rugged location.

The Thursday before the convention was a social day that saw clients exploring Red Rock Canyon in a wild dune buggy chase, followed by touring the Hoover Dam and taking a relaxing cruise on Lake Mead. The fun day capped off with a Meet & Greet at the Red Rock Bowling VIP Lanes, where clients, their families, and Management Success! staff got together for an evening of friendly competition.

And in true Las Vegas fashion, the 007 Casino Royale themed dinner on Saturday night was all about rolling the dice - whether it was at roulette, Poker, or Blackjack. When clients weren’t faux gambling, they were dancing or taking photos in the photo booth. Clients dressed up as Bond girls, villains, and of course, James Bond himself.

Several clients had especially good reasons to celebrate, as they had received awards at Friday night’s Awards Dinner. The Awards Dinner recognizes shop owners who have gone above and beyond expectations. Notable awards included Sustained Masters of Shop Management, given to David Saline and Lynnetta Rogers of 2nd-to-None Service; Master of Shop Management, given to Dave Schroeder of Schroeder Sales & Service; Top HOST, given to Shawn and Melissa Maine of Midwest Rod & Restoration; and Effective Shop Manager, given to Peggy Lawless of Professional Fleet Services.

“Dave Schroeder was an inspiration to the entire group. He achieved the honor of Master of Shop Management in just one year,” Spitz said. “He took a very unprofitable business that had been losing money for years and turned it into a thriving shop, and I know Dave is loving it!”

The 2014 Fall Convention will be held in Glendale, California and will concentrate on achieving something many clients desire: Master of Shop Management, one of the highest levels of shop management.

For more information about Management Success!’ training and consulting services, please visit