Auto Service World
Feature   August 7, 2019   by Allan Janssen

Greenwood: Making Your Investments Pay Off

By Bob Greenwood

Many jobbers have a tendency to look at every dollar leaving their business as an expense, rather than an investment.

This can be a scary attitude. It’s time to slow down and consider some math.

Imagine talking with someone who believes their staff is a cost to the business. They’re clearly saying that the people who work for them are profit takers, not profit makers.

The obvious questions to then ask is, “Who hired them, who trained them and who pays them?” The fact is good staff is a clear investment in the business as their knowledge, talent and efforts produce a return on the investment made from their wages paid.

Ask yourself,
what value does
your store bring
to your shop client’s
business that your
competition does not?
Define your value
in writing.

A common topic under this mindset is the money spent on providing training courses for clients of the jobber’s store. Let’s review this particular category a little deeper.

All shops are under siege when it comes to ensuring they have the right knowledge available to them to enhance their shop’s efficiency and bottom line profitability. Shops require proper and ongoing business management training.

Many jobbers clearly see this as an expense instead of an investment. If that is your mindset, consider the following:

* If a shop learned to manage its business affairs better, which shows the owner how to become more profitable with current business, then the jobber’s monthly statement would be paid in full on time every time.

* Good shop management courses teach the shop owner the business benefits of purchasing as much volume as possible from one supplier. That is what a jobber is in business for – all of the shop’s business, not just some.

Considering that there are too many jobbers in the market for the number of good shops left,

your business relationship is critical. Are the top 10 shops in your market making you their first call? If not, why?

Don’t point your finger at the shop owner. Opening up personal communication levels between the shop and the jobber is necessary to gain trust. A course with your clients can tremendously enhance that important business relationship. The benefits to the jobber are big in the long term.

However, a simple course does not create loyalty. It’s how you follow up after the fact that makes all the difference to your business. If done correctly, watch your profits rise. If you bring more value to the shop, you can watch those increases happen annually.

Ask yourself, what value does your store bring to your shop client’s business that your competition does not? Define your value in writing. Slow down and do the math. Value delivered increases parts distributor’s bottom-line profitability.

Jobbers have a lot of work to do in building and rebuilding their business and the relationships that go with it. Perform a review of your circumstances and then put into action the process of investing in all types of training.

However, make sure it is the right type of training that is needed for your client base and your store. When handled properly, the financial return to your parts distribution business is tremendous.



Bob Greenwood AMAM (Accredited Master Automotive Manager) is president and CEO of Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre Ltd. (AAEC). Bob has over 40 years of business management experience within the independent sector of the automotive aftermarket industry in North America, consulting independent retail shops on all facets of their business operations.

Bob is one of 150 worldwide AMI approved instructors. He has created business management development courses for automotive shop employers/managers, jobbers and jobber sales representatives, which are recognized as being the most comprehensive, industry specific courses of their kind in North America.