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Dave's Car Care relies on systems, processes to drive profits

Monday, June 27, 2016 - 07:00
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Last year, Dave’s Car Care was able to proudly announce they received the Better Business Bureau’s International Torch Award for Ethics. As one of only four companies—in ANY business, mind you — to receive this honor in 2015, how did this Glendale, Ariz. shop achieve this honor? Owner Dave Denmon hit the books.

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At a Glance:
Dave's Car Care
Glendale, Ariz.
Dave Denmon
No. of shops
Total square footage
No. of bays
Years in business
No. of vehicles per week
Average repair ticket

First there was In Search of Excellence, or rather its co-author, Tom Peters. “I was mesmerized by that man back in the late ’80s, early ‘90s,” laughs Denmon. “If you saw him speak, he’d get up on the table and jump up and down screaming, ‘Image is everything!’ and ‘A man who can manage technology will manage success!’”

Opening his doors as a tire franchise in 1980, Denmon was receptive to any and all ideas as he began transitioning from retail to full repair. “We went from three working bays to five, then to nine, and finally 12. Same corner, same building, but we grew. That’s the evolution of the business,” he explains. “I have a real ability to just sit in seminars and bring home something that enhances the business, particularly branding; that became important to me.  Who am I — Interstate Batteries or NAPA? No, I’m Dave’s Car Care.

“You will know who your best customers are, who your most productive technicians are, what to look for, what not to look for,” counsels Denmon. “When we go to hire a technician now, we profile. If an applicant doesn’t meet the profile, we won’t talk to them. One of the key factors is we won’t interview a technician who hasn’t been at their last job for 5 years or more. If he has, he can fix a car right and get along with the staff.”

Then in 1995, Denmon read The E Myth by Michael Gerber. Subtitled “Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It,” Denmon contacted a colleague who had retired from the auto repair industry, and together they were inspired to create Automotive Management Systems — essentially creating a book of their own.

“’Systems and processes to profits’,” says Denmon as he recites their mission statement. “What we did at that point was redefine the business into five key areas: management, technical operations, sales, personnel and marketing. We wrote an operational system for every aspect of that for our business.

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