Auto Service World
News   March 20, 2013   by CARS Magazine

Veteran shop owners to speak at AIA’s Ontario Automotive Service Providers Forum

Among the featured speakers at the 5th annual Ontario Automotive Service Providers Forum are a number of successful shop owners. They'll cover a range of topics including customer retention, successful preventive maintenance and building shop performance.

Veteran shop owners will be among the featured speakers at the 5th annual Ontario Automotive Service Providers Forum.

They’ll cover a wide range of topics including customer retention, successful preventive maintenance and building shop performance.

Among the presenters is Alan Beech, who will focus on customer retention, which refers to the percentage of customer relationships that, once established, a business is able to maintain on a long-term basis. It is a major contributing factor in the net growth rate of the businesses.

As the successful owner of Beech Motorworks in Hamilton, Alan Beech recognizes the importance of customer retention. He has worked hard to build his company to be part of the Hamilton community and runs a business with "A Company Built On Trust" as its founding principal.

Successful preventive maintenance will be addressed by Roy Hinbest, Owner and President of Roy’s Service Centre, who will share how this approach has helped him grow his business into one of the largest vehicle repair operations in Dufferin county. Hinbest has been in business for over 30 years by operating on one mission: his promise to his customers is to reduce stress, avoid costly breakdowns & deliver more value.

According to the AIA Canada Demand Study, there exists significant additional opportunity each time a customer brings in their vehicle for servicing, that if attained, the benefits would reverberate through each layer of the automotive aftermarket supply chain. As well, increased education and customer awareness of proper vehicle maintenance leads to safer vehicles, less costly repairs for the consumer and is good for the environment.


 Retention of skilled employees is another important issue to be discussed at the forum. To present on this topic, John Edelman, operator of Haldimand Motors in Cayuga, Ontario will be sharing his experiences.

In 1984 John and Arda Edelman purchased an old 2-bay gas station and started a small used car lot in Cayuga, Ontario. Since that time, Haldimand Motors has grown to be one of the largest used-car dealers in Canada. And as the used car dealership grew, so did the service department.  Presently Haldimand Motors boasts 130 shop bays plus a full parts and service department, 55 acres of property and 100 staff.

Many people assume that people leave jobs largely for financial reasons – but that simply is not the case. Extensive research into employee retention shows that people leave jobs for a combination of factors. Because retaining people is not just about financial benefits – shop owners need to become better at developing and promoting all the non-financial benefits of working at their businesses.

John Edelman operates his business with a conscience.  His most unique business practices pertain to what he describes as his company’s top resource – its people. From the very start, he has made his employees’ quality of life a priority.

The final veteran shop owner to speak at the conference will be Leroy Martin, owner of Leroy’s Auto Care in Elmira, Ontario, who will discuss ways to build shop performance.

Many automotive repair facilities operate at a lower productivity rate than they should be, resulting in lower profits and possibly higher door rates.  Management skills are a must for a shop owner/manager to increase their shop’s efficiency, manage productivity and improve their bottom line. 

With a background in business management training, Martin hired staff who are dedicated to providing excellent customer care and high-quality service. Hiring highly ethical, dedicated and trained individuals laid the groundwork for success and helped to make Leroy’s Auto Care the success it is today.

The 5th annual Ontario Automotive Service Providers forum will be held March 27at the International Centre in Toronto, Ontario. To register for this event, visit AIA Canada’s website.