Thursday, 04 December 2014 00:00

An Educational October for ASA-AZ

October was a busy month for the Automotive Service Association of Arizona (ASA-AZ) with two educational seminars in addition to their monthly Board of Directors meeting and the Phoenix Chapter’s Roundtable Discussion. On October 9, ASA-AZ held their monthly Board of Directors meeting where each chapter (Prescott, Yuma, Mohave, Verde Valley, Phoenix and Tucson) is represented by their president, or another representative, as the group collaborates with Executive Director Luz Rubio and the association’s secretary to discuss current issues.

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Because the Board of Directors is comprised of members from all over the state, these monthly meetings are held via conference call for no more than 1.5 hours, to encourage consistent participation without requiring anyone to travel or miss work.In order to stick to this timeframe, the Board of Directors has agreed to cover one main topic at each meeting, and in October, their topic of discussion was ASA-AZ’s 2015 Automotive Training and Exposition which has been scheduled for June 19-21, 2015.

Rubio says, “the meeting was focused on training discussions, such as ideas on which trainers should be considered for our annual event and the balance we need to strike between management and technical training. The goal of the training offered by ASA is to bring in top quality training and speakers to AZ where shop owners can save money in time and travel and are able to send additional employees to the training due to the savings. The training being considered is for both the mechanical and collision repair shops we represent.”

Both educational seminars took place on October 11 at the Arizona Open Wheel Museum, located at 3534 E. Broadway Road in Phoenix. From 8AM until 5:30PM, their Tech Day seminar, entitled “Advanced Drivability Diagnostics Strategies,” was taught by Dean Parsons, an ASE-Certified Master Technician with over 25 years of experience in the automotive service industry. Parsons explained top-down tests for engine mechanical and engine management to help technicians drill down along the most effective diagnostic path while attempting to isolate a root cause for drivability and trouble code faults. The instructor also demonstrated some of the latest tools, such as transducers and processed Scan Tool functions.

According to Rubio, “Tech Day is an advanced training class for experienced technicians, and some of our most seasoned technicians came from as far as Sedona, Cottonwood and Tucson to attend.”

Tech Day 2014 was attended by 23 automotive service professionals who responded positively to the training seminar. One attendee stated, “the interaction with the other technicians at this level is invaluable, and I usually pick up additional tricks of the trade during the breaks.”On the same day and at the same location, the Phoenix Chapter of ASA-AZ also presented a two-part sales seminar, “Increase Sales 40% Through Efficiency” and “Advanced Pricing Strategies” from 8AM until 4:30PM.

The first segment focused on 51 ways that shops can increase efficiency while also improving production and their sales revenue. The second half focused on the use of cost accounting for properly pricing operations without hurting your bottom line.

The course was taught by Becky Witt, AAM, a leading industry expert and an Automotive Management Institute (AMI) Approved Instructor.

Rubio states, “Witt is very energetic and kept the class going through the full day. Several of the 20 attendees came from Tucson, driving two hours before sunrise to attend this class. The highlight of the class focused on specific steps that shops can take to increase efficiency and improve production and sales revenue; this included the front office, technicians and the overall operation. It also gave simple and easy ways to write estimates, use cost accounting and evaluate how to purchase equipment.”

The Phoenix Chapter also held a Roundtable Discussion on October 15 at Impact Auto Body in Mesa. It began with a tour of the 23,000 square foot, modern collision repair facility, during which shop owner Bob Schubert explained his recent implementation of the lean process. At the end of the tour, attendees gathered to discuss industry-related topics in a roundtable format.