"It was a huge success!” said ASA-AZ Executive Director Luz Rubio. “This year, we delivered 60 hours of training to both collision and mechanical shops from all around the state of AZ, and several shops even closed for the weekend so that their owner, manager, service advisor and technicians had the opportunity to participate."
The only event of its kind in AZ, the 2017 Automotive Training and Expo featured some of the industry's best trainers who shared valuable information with attendees. However, the event kicked off with ASA-AZ's Golf Outing on Friday morning where "48 golfers enjoyed the views of the McDowell Mountains," according to Rubio.
From 1--4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, a Collision I-CAR class on "Vehicle Technology Trends and Diagnostics Overview (VT117L01)" was taught by Dan Martinez, while GM's Marlon Kunz provided a technical presentation on "GM Beyond the Four Strokes: What Do You Do When Nothing You See Is Wrong, But Something Is Broken?" Chris Chesney from Advance Auto Parts taught managers how to "Make Diagnostics a Profit Center," and service advisors gained information about "Next Generation Telephone Skills for Optimized Repair Shop Profits" from AdvisorFix's Jeremy O'Neal.
Friday afternoon also included a 90-minute seminar on "Enforcement Trends and How to Handle an Audit - How to Avoid the Top 5 Body Shop Citations" with Brandon Thomas of GMG EnviroSafe, as well as four 2-hour options: "Tips on Interviewing, Discipline and Termination" by Attorney Thom Cope, "The State of OEM Certification Programs" with the Certified Collision Group's Michael Quinn, ASE's Walt Commans' "The ROI of Having ASE Certification," and "Show, Don't Tell - Digital Inspections Sell," a product demonstration by Bolt On Technologies' Frank Dragoni.
The expo was open from 4:30-7 p.m., running concurrent with the Welcome Reception, and providing attendees an opportunity to visit vendors and network with peers.
Rubio stated, "This year's vendor showcase featured many of our local vendors that support the activities of ASA and the automotive industry as well as many new vendors such as Shop-Ware, APN Staffing, Auto Nation, GMG EnviroSafe and Snap Financial."
On Saturday morning, the event resumed with breakfast and a welcome speech delivered by ASA National's Executive Director Dan Risley. From 8:30-11:45 a.m., seven educational opportunities were available. I-CAR's "Understanding the Cycle Time Process" was presented by Dan Martinez, while GM's Marlon Kunz covered "Body Electrical Systems." Managers chose between "How to Use Financial and Operational Data to Maximize Profits," presented by Bob Ward of Wardden, LLC; and Bob Cooper of Elite Worldwide's "The Employee Management Show." In addition to two technical seminars for mechanical shops, Amy Mattinat of Auto Craftsmen, VT, delivered a marketing seminar titled "Ten Cost-Efficient Ways to Gain Customers and Grow Business."
During lunch, Ben Johnson of Mitchell 1 spoke about "What You Need to Know about Telematics and Emerging Vehicle Technology." Designed to address what technologies shop owners, managers and technicians need to know, the discussion provided an overview of the automotive industry and related topics by exploring technologies being developed and released across the globe.
Saturday afternoon's offerings included two mechanical sessions, two management seminars, and I-CAR's "Hazardous Materials, Personal Safety and Refinish Safety (WKK01)" with Dan Martinez, as well as Jeremy O'Neal's "Dominate Google Through Positive Online Reviews" for service advisors. The management sessions included Bob Cooper's "Eight Steps to a More Profitable Shop" and Bob Ward's "The Perpetual Business Succession by Design."
The expo and reception on Saturday evening featured a buffet and no-host bar, accompanied by music from The Last Territory. ASA-AZ hosted a Silent Auction to benefit the association's Scholarship Fund, and prize drawings were also held.
Following breakfast and the event's closing announcements on Sunday, the 2017 Automotive Training and Expo concluded with two roundtables. Amy Mattinat facilitated the Owners and Managers Roundtable, while the Service Advisor Roundtable was facilitated by Jeremy O'Neal.
More than 30 industry vendors sponsored ASA-AZ's 2017 Automotive Training and Expo, including AutoZone, Bolt On Technologies, Federated Insurance, Parts Authority, O'Reilly Auto Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, Auto Nation Parts Centers, and Reliable Risk Management, among many others. The association expressed gratitude for the aid received from these companies.
"Without the financial support of our sponsors, an event like this could not be possible," Rubio said.
ASA-AZ's 2018 Automotive Training and Expo will be held at the same location from June 21--23, 2018. For more information about the association, visit asaaz.org.