Shop Operations: Setting Up a P&L Statement for Your Auto Body Shop
The 2010 SEMA Show will feature the premier of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) Repairer Driven Edudcation (RDE) being offered on Nov. 4-5, along with an expanded Paint, Body and Equipment section on the SEMA Show floor.
Kicking off the educational track is an individual who has numerous accolades as an author, a speaker and an ally of the collision repair industry. Following is an interview conducted by SCRS with Charles Coonradt, author of The Game of Work, The Better People Leader and Managing the Obvious. In the interview, Coonradt discusses the upcoming class he’ll be delivering at RDE:
SCRS: Your seminar opens up a series of over 21 repairer driven educational classes being offered by SCRS at the SEMA Show. How does the information you have to present set the tone for the event?
Charles "Chuck" Coonradt (CC): Unless you yourself are the one pounding the metal, sanding, painting and detailing, your success and the success of the business depends on the performance of others. The classes being presented within the RDE program deal with the "nuts and bolts" of the day to day scenarios facing the industry and the specific skill sets required in the repair of the vehicle. The concepts I will be presenting deal with motivating those who perform those operations. Understanding the Game of Work will help a leader/owner to better absorb and more importantly apply the content presented in the rest of the classes.
SCRS: Our objective in bringing the collision industry into the SEMA Show was to broaden repairer’s thinking about how they can introduce different revenue streams into their businesses, and how they can think outside of the box to better service their customer. Your course content helps them to look within their companies tobetter service their employees. Explain a little bit about the principles you are looking to discuss.
CC: There are 5 principles in the motivation of recreation which drive the Game of Work. First, feedback is more frequent in recreation than it is in work. (Whether customer or employee everybody wants to know ‘how am I doing’. Secondly, the scorekeeping is better in recreation than it is in work. (In baseball we have hitting streaks or even innings pitched without giving up a hit, in business we track errors come backs and misprints, no wonder our folks hate "tracking." Third, the goals are more clearly defined in recreation than they are at work (Ever been in a shop where temporarily we sacrifice quality for speed to complete?) Fourth, the coaching is more consistent in recreation (they don’t change the rules in the middle of the game). Consistency is the most desired attribute in a coach. Fifth, there is a higher degree of personal choice in recreation. When people feel choice you get ownership, and good artisans always ‘sign’ their work.
SCRS: As repairers from a vast array of different business make-ups, from consolidators and multi-store operators to the "mom and pop" store with 5 employees, what can attendees expect to leave with after attending your seminar?
CC: No matter the size, each of us succeeds based on our ability to get energy, engagement and enthusiasm from our people. The Game of Work teaches the secrets to tapping the motivation of recreation and making it a part of the workplace, regardless of size of work force. The attendees can expect to leave the presentation with the basics of engaging the people in the workforce; the application of which will enhance their daily lives and produce great successes.
SCRS: Your business topics are general practices that all businesses can benefit from, are there specific areas that relate better to the collision industry?
CC: There are estimated to be more than forty thousand collision repair facilities operating in the USA. It is safe to assume that most of them do most things correctly. Most of the cars are repaired correctly; most of the customers are satisfied; most of the repairs are conducted profitably. MOST! What differentiates those in the "most" category from those in the "best" category is the energy within the people working in the facility. People’s quality of work is affected by their attitudes about that work, the people around them and mostly by their "coach." Since collision repair is a combination of science and art, engaged people produce better results. The "specific areas" as you refer to them are the concepts of motivation and feedback coupled with scorekeeping – the core principles of recreation.
SCRS: You’ve done a lot of work within the collision industry over the last few decades, what drew you into this industry?
CC: I met Jeff Hendler in Orlando, Florida while we were conducting different workshops in the same hotel. We met because he found a fascination in my book and the concepts it entails and he introduced it to his attendees. Over dinner he told me there were more collision shops than car dealerships or McDonalds restaurants put together. The opportunity was vast and compelling, and as a third generation entrepreneur, I realized that these are my kind of people. The fact that many shop owners and managers adopted our principles and found tremendous successes as a result is the rest of the story.
SCRS: Explain how this will be a seminar to remember vs. just another opening speech for an event. How will the information change the lives and perspectives of the attendees?
CC: Each and every one of us interacts with people. Whether that is at home, the workplace, church, or social clubs, our daily lives are filled with people. The concepts we will discuss in the opening session are about how to enhance these interactions and place empowerment in the hands of those around us. If you are here with a spouse or significant other, you will be told to first practice this at home. Whenever you demonstrate a true principle, you get immediate results. The longevity of the value of my remarks will only come as the audience chooses to apply them. Those inspired enough to try, will be rewarded almost immediately with better behaviors from their teams and better results in their lives.
SCRS: If, this were the last speaking engagement of your career, why is RDE the right venue to close this chapter?
CC: First understand that I am a third generation small business entrepreneur. When we started the Game of Work I had $1500 because that was all I could borrow. From there our success was founded and built upon. I truly understand the principles of operating a grass roots business with "skin in the game" which is at the very core of the collision industry. Since 1985, this industry has produced some of the finest presentations I can remember and its members have also been some of the best proponents and practitioners of the concepts we endorse. What better way to go out than surrounded by supporters and friends.
SCRS: If you had only one sentence to inspire someone to attend this event, what would it be?
CC: You can have your people demonstrate the enthusiasm you see as they leave work for a softball game or bike ride, if you will learn and apply these time tested principles. Let the Games begin!
Registration for the SEMA Show and RDE are both open, and you can register through the SCRS landing page at www.semashow.com/scrs. Every participant who registers prior to Aug. 31 will be entered into a drawing to win a suite at the Las Vegas Hilton for the run of the SEMA Show, courtesy of SCRS.