Auto Service World
Feature   May 1, 2007   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter May 2007

Eliminate Deviation and Prosper, Autopro Members Told

Attendees at the 2007 Ontario NAPA Autopro convention heard about new business tools and tweaks to existing ones, but mostly they heard of the importance of using them.

Held at the Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, Ontario, the convention offered 300-plus service providers and NAPA jobbers a day hearing about business tools that will help improve customer contact, repair efficiency, and shop management.

The underlying message of it all, however, was customer satisfaction–an improved customer experience. And to accomplish that goal, attendees heard, shop owners must stop subjecting customers to a highly variable experience.

“The independents pride themselves on that personal contact, on doing things their way,” Rohan Lobo of J.D. Power and Associates told them. “That’s fine when you’re small, but when you get to the size of Autopro, you need consistent processes.” A case in point offered during the early breakout sessions was that research on Autopro customers revealed that only about half said they had been told about the North American warranty coverage on Autopro service.

“We have a legal obligation to honour that warranty commitment, whether you talk about it or not, and whether you fill out the warranty form or not,” said Mike Fazackerly of Matthew Scott Data Marketing, which handles warranty calls and administration for NAPA. It was clear from some of the questions in the session that this fact may not have been clearly understood; some seemed to believe that they could choose which customers would be covered.

Regardless, the key to improved performance for each operation and the entire network is a greater adherence to proven processes and procedures.

“There are three priorities,” explained Lobo. “One, establish consistent processes. Two, move away from a cost-based to a value-based model. And three, continue to focus on the softer aspects, such as communication skills.”

At least part of this message rang true with Stephen Tuch and Andy Beintema, whose Northside Auto in Chatham, Ont. was named Autopro of the Year for Ontario. The partners had operated the business for most of its 25 years, and struggled for every one of them, before joining the Autopro group three years ago and applying some of the management techniques learned. The business had been caught in the cycle of building activity, not profit. By applying sound business principles learned through the Autopro group, they found that they were engaged in performing too much unprofitable work. That has now changed and the two have quickly realized their personal and financial goals, goals that were on hold for more than 20 years. Tuch put the lesson succinctly: “We learned that we can’t be everything to everyone.”

NAPA is planning the first national Autopro event for 2008, the 25th anniversary of the banner’s launch, with a Cancun trip early next year.

GM and Toyota Reward Students for Attending Trade Event

The transportation technology program at a large Toronto-area high school received a boost with the recent donation of two “practice” vehicles.

Students from St. Edmund Campion Catholic Secondary School in Brampton won one of the vehicles by participating in the CarFixWorld trade show last fall. Toyota Canada donated a Lexus vehicle to the school that sent the most participants to the Career Day at the show.

CarFixWorld is now known as Automechanika Canada, and will take place September 26-28 at the International Centre, Toronto.

The second vehicle for St. Edmund Campion was donated by General Motors of Canada. “I like to promote training at the high school level, so that students have an awareness of current vehicle technology, and so that they get excited about careers in the automotive sector,” says Don Teevens, bodyshop manager at Roy Foss Chevrolet. Teevens assisted with the donation and delivery of both vehicles.

The cars will be used mostly by Grade 12 students learning diagnostic procedures, says Luciano Novia, head of technology at St. Edmund Campion. “The intent is for these to be fully-functioning vehicles–before and after the students work on them,” he jokes.

For more on these and other stories, log on daily to

Joint Venture Gives Hella Cooling and A/C

Behr and Hella have launched a North American joint venture for engine cooling and air conditioning, under the brand Behr Hella Service.

The product range consists of over 1,000 parts, with 30% of them recently prepared primarily for the launch, in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.

All product-related activities will be covered through Behr Hella Service in Peachtree City, Ga. All sales-related issues in Canada will be covered through Hella, Inc.–Canada. All former aftermarket customers of Behr Service America will receive sales service through Hella Inc.

The venture’s long-term vision for NAFTA is to be the main supplier for European passenger car and truck applications.

UView Appoints Rep Agencies

Jack Kligman, Canadian sales manager of UView Ultraviolet Systems, has announced the appointment of RPM Sales and Marketing as sales agents for the Ontario marketplace, and Lyman Agencies as sales agents for Western Canada.

Shell Canada Launches Promotion

Shell recently launched the Rotella Express network to help drivers prolong the life of their trucks.

Rotella Express oil analysis can uncover issues in a truck’s engine, transmission, and power steering systems. With this information, the driver could save on maintenance and repair costs, reduce the chance of engine failure, and eliminate downtime.

With 18 sites across Canada, Shell’s Rotella Express network offers on-site oil analysis. Normally, a driver would have to wait weeks while the results were sent to a lab, but at Rotella Express locations the results are ready in about 10 minutes, which reduces both the time and cost of sending samples to a lab.

Uni-Select to Provide Nitrogen Inflators

D Marsh Company, Inc. has announced an agreement with Uni-Select, Inc. to supply its line of NIflate99 Nitrogen Inflators. “Replacing air in tires with nitrogen is becoming big business for our customers,” says Uni-Select national tool & equipment manager Denis Brault.

“Uni-Select has been researching nitrogen machines for a year, and there are several important reasons we decided to meet our customers’ needs with NIflate99 Nitrogen Inflators.”

Uni-Select will be offering five models to meet a wide range of needs, such as facilities that service automobiles, trucks, powersports, and recreational vehicles.


World Automotive Warehouse has announced the appointment of Warren Brown to the new position of general manager at World Automotive Warehouse in Toronto. Brown brings to the team a wealth of experience and conscientious enthusiasm in sales, marketing, and management.

Abbas Khan, president of Osram Sylvania Ltd., has announced the appointment of JoAnn McKeown as vice-president, sales and marketing–retail. McKeown assumes responsibility for all sales and marketing activities for the consumer products and automotive lighting sales channels. Reporting to McKeown will be the director of sales, retail marketing manager, and product management team. Previous to this appointment, McKeown had held the position of national sales manager, automotive since November 2001. Also announced is the appointment of Colleen Kelly to the position of director of sales–retail. Kelly will report to McKeown.

Lund International announces the appointment of Matt Stanesic as vice-president of the company’s Light Truck and Automotive Original Equipment business unit. In addition to managing the company’s Original Equipment channel sales and marketing group, Stanesic will lead the co
mpany’s cross-functional team responsible for the Light Truck and Automotive Original Equipment channel.

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