IT’S ABOUT COMRADERY, TOO . . .
Published on 10/2/2015
AUTEC conducts recurrent conferences for our distributor partners for the purpose of informing, motivating, training and inspiring our team, with the ultimate goal being to make us better educators for our customers and prospects.
We recently held our AUTEC 2015 Distributor Conference for our distributor principals and their key sales people at AUTEC's headquarters in Statesville. We are happy to have David Rennie of Northeast AUTEC as our blog contributor today to share his experiences. Dave has been an AUTEC distributor since 1998 and we are honored to have him and his company as our representative. Northeast AUTEC covers New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and parts of the surrounding states. See Dave and other AUTEC team members October 5-7 at the Northeast Regional Carwash Convention, Booths 901 and 903.
"Now, that AUTEC’s Distributor Conference has passed, I’ve had time to put some serious thought to what I just attended.
I remember getting an initial email, a couple of months back, from AUTEC, alerting us that a Distributor Conference was being put together for Friday, September 18, 2015 and we should schedule accordingly. I was genuinely glad to see it.
I had family commitments and couldn’t make the Opening Dinner on 9/17/15, but everybody who attended it told me that I missed a great night. I’m sure I did.
The Distributor Conference started on time on Friday morning. I was interested to hear from the entire list of presenters, but truthfully, I was anxious to hear a few folks specifically. AUTEC was creative in bringing in an owner/operator, Bobby Lewallen, out of Texas. Bobby has two In Bay Express sites (with more coming) and led us through his evolving thought process from the typical in bay automatic with four or five self-service bays to the development of his AUTEC In Bay Express sites. His certainty in the fact that the AUTEC In Bay Express is the right decision, as well as AUTEC equipment in general, was as impressive to me, as the details of which he spoke. Tony Robbins, motivational guru, has said many times “The person with the greatest degree of certainty, will always influence the other person." Bobby had a unique influence on me.
Dennis Carson, from Mike Johnson Toyota, in Hickory, NC, was also a speaker and presented an Auto Dealer perspective. This, too, had value. What seems to be the biggest hurdle in the North Carolina Auto Dealer market is not unlike that in my Philadelphia market; Dealer Principals are almost impossible to reach and GM’s and Service Managers are not easily accessible, either. He offered ideas on how to better manage the attempted contacts with the Auto Dealer network. Dennis’ explanation of the CSI score and how various manufacturers view it was very telling. All in all, the Auto Dealer car wash business is definitely on the rise, as the addition of a car wash at their campuses is becoming more and more critical, if not mandated by manufacturers. Dennis made the point several times that AUTEC had the right equipment.
The In Bay Express concept was the focus of much of the day, as it should’ve been. Having the ability to tour AUTEC’s In Bay Express, on site at the plant, is so convenient. It’s impressive to watch how many cars run through that facility. It truly does make me think how I can better present the concept to qualified buyers in the Northeast market. I noticed the ease at which most of the customers went through the In Bay Express. Obviously, they were repeat customers and had been there quite a few times. The facility was spotless, as were the grounds. Image really does begin at the street.
As important as the AUTEC In Bay Express is, we do sell other AUTEC equipment. Mark Hopkins’ presentation, relating to all AUTEC machines, on new equipment design and improvements was great to see. Relocating hydraulic controls to the driver side panel is huge for all of our service personnel and customers. Adding more stainless steel lines and replacing hose for the hydraulics, beefing up and back to a 15hp pump for the EV-1, removing the hydraulic pump from the tank and creating an external feed to the pump are all welcomed enhancements. Acknowledging the need to be diligent in monitoring the water-based hydraulic oil was affirming. Water-based hydraulics is the way to go and there is no turning back, but it has special needs and we all need to be aware of that.
AUTEC’s new website was rolled out about two weeks before the Distributor Conference and is definitely driven towards the mobile user / tablet user which is key. Lorie Street's discussion explained all. I am sure more modification to the website will be forthcoming and I know that Lorie always freely accepts ideas. The changes that are coming to Quote Builder sound as if it will make pricing new AUTEC equipment much easier and refined. Perhaps, I won’t have to hassle Bev (Beverly Fox) as much as I do, now.
Last, and not without merit, it was good to see everyone. New faces. Old faces. Returning faces. It was good to see Junior Shoemoaker, David Mathews, George Sain, Katrina Welborn . . . the whole bunch. We all are in this business together and from time to time, need each other. In an age of increasing disconnects facilitated by Apple, Samsung, et al, the personal touch is missed.
For me, the AUTEC comradery was palpable, appreciated and tantamount to anything else the Distributor Conference had to offer.
It really was a valuable day, on many levels.
Well done to the folks at AUTEC and in particular, those who directly put the event together. Here’s to the next AUTEC Distributor Conference!"
To read more about Bobby Lewallen's Auto Paradise Car Washes, click here: