Brad and Ted talk about people who are making strides in fixed ops and where they see the industry shifting to in the next few years.
Tactical Tips Episode #28 Transcript
BRAD: All right, guys, we’re here. We’re back here again with another Tactical Tips Tuesday. We have Mr. Ted Ings. He’s executive director of Fixed Ops Roundtable and the Center for Performance Improvement. He’s a five-time NADA show speaker. Ted, I know you’ve been around a bunch. I know you put on some fantastic events. I’ve been fortunate enough to speak in a couple of them, including winning the best practice award at the Transformer one that I have right here in my office pretty handy. So I appreciate you coming on today, man, and I’m really excited for you to tell us what all you got going on.
TED: I’m looking for my Fixed Ops Digital hat. Owen sent me one, and I thought I had–wait, hang on, hang on, I think this is it. Hold on.
BRAD: There you go! Yeah, there you go. Now you’re in the hat crew.
TED: How’s that?
BRAD: That looks good. Looks good. I love it.
TED: Now we can go.
BRAD: Now we’re ready to rock. So I know we got some cool episodes coming up and I know we just finished a Fixed Ops Roundtable and it was fantastic. You had a lot of really, really great people on. I know a lot of the guys that come on your show and ladies that come on your show have been on here and we’re super excited for that. I know we’re going to do after-hours coming up pretty quick. I think it’s on June 27th, the night of June 27th. So I know there’s a rumor that there’s going to be like Nick Varney and Samantha Foster and Owen Moon.
TED: Owen Moon! Oh geez well if we can get Owen Moon that would be the cat’s meow right? By the way – thank you, Brad and Fixed Ops Digital for all your great support. There’s nobody like Fixed Ops Digital in the industry. You guys are leading the way far, like everybody is just falling way back in the distance. So you guys are great and I appreciate all that you do for the fixed ops community.
BRAD: Well, you know, Ted, you kind of take the lead on it. So we try to come back and we, you know, our biggest goal is there’s not as much of a community on the fixed ops side as there is on the sales and the marketing and the internet side, and so, you know, you’re really the first, one of the first ones that kind of created that community where people could go and learn and bring experts in and talk about stuff. So you kind of blaze the path for the rest of us that are out here doing stuff like that.
TED: You and I are changing that. And Owen just did a segment at the last event on the new Google Analytics which is coming, which I thought, I mean, that’s one for the ages. That was a great segment. He told us so much to be aware of because it’s a little in the distance, but not that far out.
BRAD: Yeah that’s kind of interesting that you say that. We sent over our new Google Analytics 4 process to a client yesterday and he was like this is the most in-depth one we’ve seen. And that was a big compliment because our team has worked really, really hard on putting that together and we’ve had to, you know, had to pretty much re-learn everything because it’s totally different than Universal Analytics. It’s a totally different process. It’s a totally different mindset. There’s 3 events in Universal Analytics and there’s 23 in GA4. So it’s very hard to wrap our heads around it. We’re actually doing some more training at the end of the month so that we can make sure. But everything that we do is GA4 set up, and so we appreciate you allowing us to come share and provide content and I know that you have a lot of people on there. I know you have like Mike Hanna on there, Marcus Aman’s been on there, guys like that that are just doing so much innovative stuff that people don’t really realize out there. So, Ted, what are some things that you’re seeing in the industry? How fixed ops is moving, and what are some tactical tips that people might need to pay attention to, you know, processes that they might need to put in place to really make a difference in their fixed ops department?
TED: You know those two that you mentioned just now, Brad, they’re top of mine. You know Mike Hanna with his, I’m not referring to it properly, but it’s sort of like a GPS, you know, where you can locate the keys, locate the license plate, locate the car, save the technician a lot of time. We did a panel with Mike on unapplied time, which is actually part of the dealer financial statement and it’s tracked, you know, in terms of dollars and cents, what that’s worth to a dealer-wasted time. So we did a whole panel with Mike on time wasters in the dealership, and his products and service really complement that. So it saves a whole lot of time. We can apply that to money. And of course, Marcus what he’s doing for following and tracking the time that a vehicle spends in a technician’s bay is just amazing. So you know, those are two trailblazers themselves in the industry. But I think other things that are top of mind are what you are doing at Fixed Ops Digital in terms of actually focusing on digital for fixed ops. Brad, that was unheard of, you know, 3, 4, 5, 6 years ago, and now you know, look at all that’s happened. I can’t imagine what’s going to happen in the next 12 months with that Brad and a couple of things that come to mind. Of course, mobile service is a big topic right now. Dealership culture and how that applies to, you know, retaining and keeping and attracting more technicians and attracting good people to fixed ops. So those are just some of the things that are, you know, some of the low-hanging fruit if you will.
BRAD: Yeah, and I think that’s so important. You know, Mike would get mad if-he can’t use this, but I can say it because I don’t work for his company. Right. So I call him the Domino’s pizza tracker of service. Right, is what is it is. No one else can say that. I could say it because that’s what I compare it to put it thank Domino’s pizza tracker. And Marcus’s product, which is really, really funny, is if you don’t want 97 egg timers in your service department timing everything that’s going on, you should holler at Marcus because he has a whole new slew of KPIs for technicians to measure how efficiently they are and it’s just so fascinating. And on top of both of that, you cannot meet two nicer guys. They’re fantastic. And then you have people like Samantha Foster at UV Eye and the stuff they’re doing and the things that they find out by pretty much doing a scan of all the underside of a car and finding all different things that are going on. So it’s like you can market that on your own. Ted, I know that you guys are getting ready. Coming up in September is the next Fixed Ops Roundtable. It’s the 20th, 21st, and 22nd from 9AM-4PM Eastern. What are some guests that you have in mind coming up for that? Let’s drop a couple of guests that are that might be coming up. Maybe Ed Roberts talking about some mobile service, maybe some guys like that.
TED: Well, that’s guaranteed. It’s going to be the Roaring 20’s as the theme. We thought it’d be kind of fun because, Brad, all the events have a theme, right. The last one was “May the F.O.R.T. be With You” sort of a Star Trek-type theme, and we played off that and this one is going to be taking us back to the Roaring 20’s, and a lot of the music and the energy in the dance that happened there, and applying that over to the fixed ops side, because we got some new stuff happening now with EVs that are coming into the system and a lot of focus on a lot of new technology Brad that we’re going to need to have in our dealerships and services that are going to be offered both through the fixed ops, parts and service, and the F & I side. Towards battery charging and things that complement that. So we are going to have some big names in EVs and electric vehicles speaking at the event, perhaps the biggest name of all in EV speaking at the event. So we’ve been working on having that person on the show. So hopefully an announcement coming very soon on that. But we’ve got a lot of big names coming, so stay tuned and you know, I don’t want to announce them, Brad until we’ve got them confirmed and sometimes even recorded, you know. So I don’t want to jinx us on that.
BRAD: That’s okay. You know I think it’s a really good teaser there. So I think we all know who that could potentially be.
TED: Could potentially be, yes.
BRAD: That’s fantastic. You know, Jared Kilway and myself talked about EVs on one of the episodes of Tactical Tips Tuesday and how dealerships are employing electricians to install EV chargers because a lot of times, if you have to wait on the OEM, you’re 4-6 months out, and so a lot of things are changing. We’re actually writing content around EV service and maintenance schedules and stuff like now because a lot of people are asking that. There’s not a lot of information out there, even from the OEM. So I think that’s super important that we bring awareness to that as gas prices are starting to continue to rise right. So let’s talk a little bit about what do you have on the schedule for After Hours? I know that you’ll do that pretty often, I know Kara Delaine cohosts with you on the After Hours. So let’s talk about some after-hours events if someone needs some knowledge before we get to Fixed Ops Roundtable coming up in September. What’s the schedule on that?
TED: Yeah, great question. Len Bellavia from Bellavia Blatt is coming up on After Dark. It’s the Monday night show, and Len is going to be on the September event also. But he’s been leading a charge because a lot of the manufacturers are talking about the way that vehicle’s going to be retailed, perhaps not through the dealer body, perhaps going online to order that and doing it at a one-price model that does not include the dealership. So Len Bellavia has a company called Dealer Law out of Long Island and Len was just on the front page of Automotive News this week talking about that. So we’re going to have Len on the show coming up here on the 20th of this month and we’ve also got a great technicians panel with AutoMax Recruiting with Joe Lockerd and some of the fine technicians that have been on the show because technicians now are coming to the forefront as to what they’re looking for, you know, employment and working in a dealership and some of the things that they strive for, and it’s not always Brad, as you know, just about the money for the techs. So they’re coming on another lady coming out of Missouri. Her name is Julie. She’s got a company called Julie Douglas from Dealer Pay, with ways for dealers to process transactions at the dealership level and she’s got some mobile options that dealers have not had before. So that’s very interesting and that’s going to be on the show as well.
BRAD: Which is very interesting because if you watched Apple’s event this week, they announced Apple Pay Later, right, which is almost a direct competition with Sunbit and Dignifi and stuff like that. So we need to make sure that we have stuff in pay and place as far as the pay options right now to try to already get and train those customers to go down that path because I think that’s very important. That’s pretty relevant. That’s within the last week, so I don’t think they meant it as an attack on the fixed ops department, but it’s definitely going to have an impact if you offer Apple Pay in your store. Right. So, Ted man, I really appreciate you coming on. If someone wants to reach out to you or they want to know more about Fixed Ops Roundtable, I know they can go to fixedopsroundtable.com, tickets are available now?
TED: Right now. You can go there. You can get a complimentary seat for the September event. fixedopsroundtable.com. It’s our 17th event, Brad. So this one is going to be great. Like you said, it’s a 3-day event starting on September 20th and we’ll have an all-star cast. We’ll have you there and Fixed Ops Digital and we’re looking forward to that. So you guys will be all over it.
BRAD: So if someone wants to email you about sponsorship information or they want to know more information, or if they just have a question and they need you to connect them to somebody, what’s the best way to reach out to you?
TED: fixedopsroundtable.com has all the contact information. Has my 212 number. I’ll give it to you a 212-763-0016 is my phone number. My email’s on there as well. But you know, that’s really the centerpiece and, interestingly enough, Brad it’s an Event Brite site. Right, we work with Event Brite in filling these events and we made a really good decision early on to do that because they do a great job in tracking our attendees and their habits and, you know, things they want to hear about and don’t want to hear about. So we’re very respectful of the audience with that as well.
BRAD: I love it. They can do a lot of feedback on Event Brite and tell you what they’re into or what they’re seeing or what questions they have. So Ted. Like said, I want to thank you again. We’ll put the link in the comments on the on the listen stuff and the show notes. I hope you have a wonderful day. Man, we’ll see you on After Dark on June 27th I think I got snuck into the panel, so I’ll be on this on the panel helping out. So it’ll be a great time, but we’ll talk to you later. Thanks for repping the hat. I love it. Have a great day okay?
TED: You too. Thanks. Brad.