When More than Cost is in the Picture

Why do professionals need training?

Why not just buy a product and use it?

This seems like a silly question, but lets chew on it for a moment. Every new product you buy requires training. And that training comes in many different flavors. One simple case is just to use the product and get it right away, the other extreme is to play around with the product for years to hear from a peer that there has been another way with a different process creating a huge time saver, but you never took the trouble to ask or take a training course. It was just too expensive and time consuming. Right?

The equation time = money, or better saving time in the long run = saving/creating a lot of money never came to mind.
Some people call it penny smart and dollar foolish.

One of our clients shared with us that every unproductive technician minute costs him $4.04.
Four dollars and 4 cents. Every minute.

Assuming this number is true for your shop as well, we could jointly save/create $2,500 a week, if we shaved off 30 minutes a day per technician (for a 5 work day week and 4 technicians). Sounds a great goal to me and not outlandish.
Does it sound feasible in your shop?

Ok then. Buy SmartFlow, play with it and save $2,500 in your first week and increase your ARO by 25% after a month. Simple. Right? If it doesn’t work in the first week, lets just try harder and and it will work the next. Right?

Do you remember the times without personal computers, when typewriters were used to type letters and somebody’s boss changed his mind 5 times a day and the letters had to be rewritten as often? Have you heard of such a somebody being successful by just trying harder? And when the computer came out, the somebody bought a computer one day and they were able to use it proficiently the next day right away?
Very unlikely.

More likely though is that all innovations, most effective when changing a process and behavior, need the four pillars of guaranteed success:

  1. You, the Shop Owner/ General or Service Manager, own the introduction of a new process
  2. Technicians and Service Advisors experience the right combination of carrot and stick to be successful
  3. The well adjusted training is offered to you, service advisors and techs
  4. Success metrics are introduced and relentlessly measured and change is implemented accordingly 

Sound familiar? That is by design, nothing new is invented here.

How to select the training best suited for your shop?

The selection happens in two dimensions:

  • How to train yourself and your staff
  • What goals need to be met to consider the training a success


There are indeed professionals, who are wired a certain way and disciplined enough that they don’t need any additional training other than online videos and playing with the product. Are you one of those? If you have enough time to focus on one thing for a few hours at a time and allow/encourage/force your techs and service advisors do the same, or if you spend the weekends to make such time or if you plan your week so that self-training is planned for a particular time period during that week, you are one of those people. You are wired that way and have shown already that additional hand holding might be helpful, but you can go all the way by yourself. You probably trained yourself driving your first vehicle, your Point of Sale software has been comprehended the same way within a few weeks and you have been successful in your business doing it your way.

Efficient Learning:

Then there are professionals, who want to focus on what they do best (often the best fit of skills), and use their time for the most important business activities. Spending extra time on something they know they could learn but takes lots of effort to do on their own doesn’t seem like a good use of their time. So, they recruit help to learn more efficiently. Having professional guidance for what to focus on, combined with tactile and visual experiences shortens the time to success and helps creating focus to the business. They have learned the successful way that POS training time spent upfront, and use of the videos and webinars as refresher, is more effective for their business than figuring it all out on their own.

SmartFlow Training

SmartFlow services are available for both types of learning.

For the Self-Learning Method webinars and Interactive videos are available and included in the setup fee. The success rate really depends on your pace and goals you are setting yourselves. Your AutoVitals product advisor is guiding you through the program. We know of selected clients, which got it 100% dialed in within 6-12 weeks and have produced ARO and shop productivity increases of more than 25%. within 6 months.

For the Efficient Learning Method  a 5 week program conducted by experienced industry veterans, who include current and former shop owners, is offered for an additional cost-covering fee.
The 5 weeks are broken down as follows:

  • Week 1: The coach contacts you and makes sure all hardware prerequisites are met (e.g., internet speed, dual screen, tablets have been used for 50+ inspections etc.). One service advisor and one technician are selected for the onsite training.
  • Week 2: The selected technician and service advisor are trained on-site by the coach to train ‘muscle memory’. The workflow configuration is defined and set up. You and the coach agree on the metrics to measure progress by (number of images per inspection, adherence to the 300% rule, etc.).
  • Week 3: The coach monitors how the metrics are met. Regular check-ins with you as well as both the selected technician and service advisor make sure you are on track. The whole shop uses SmartFlow by now, and both the selected tech and service advisor act as trainers themselves.
  • Week 4: Additional metrics are used to determine whether all technicians are on their way to success.
  • Week 5: The last check-in is conducted and the metrics are used to decide whether a second on-site visit is needed. If all metrics are met or exceeded, a substantial portion of the coaching fee is reimbursed. Otherwise the second  visit is conducted and the potential for metric improvements uncovered and implemented. The hand-off from the coach to your AutoVitals product advisor includes the report card with all results and guidelines are agreed upon between you and your product advisor. The interactive videos can be used to reinforce the on-site training.

What type of training do you want to select for your business?

PS:  Are you and your staff mainly tactile, visual or auditory learners? You can find here a survey, which helps you to determine how you process information most effectively.