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Thank you for a great 2019 event!

Stay up-to-date on news about the 2020 conference by joining our update list.

 
 

About the event

Oct. 3–5, 2019
Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America
Bloomington, MN

The 2019 Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference is coming home. For the first time, we will host our event right in our hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul—and we have a lot of exciting changes and tweaks in store that will help you take your business to the next level.

Stay tuned for announcements, and catch up on all that happened at our event in 2018 by clicking the button below:

 
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30+
Strategy Sessions

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SUPERCHARGED
Networking and Fun

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UNLIMITED
Opportunities For Growth

 

WHO CAN ATTEND

All auto care shop decision-makers—from owners and managers to service writers and CSRs.

 

Why Minneapolis-St. Paul?

The simpler question may be: why not? Aside from being the home to 10 Missions Media, publisher of Ratchet+Wrench, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul offer a unique blend of urban city life and the great outdoors.

Come into town early. Stay late. Bring the family. There's plenty to do:

  • The fall colors (and still-mild, late-September weather) make trips to Minnehaha Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge, Harriet Island, Bde Maka Ska/Lake Calhoun, the Minnesota Zoo and many other local spots must-see attractions.
  • The area’s expansive list of golf courses—as well as bike trails, hikes, and lakes and rivers for fishing—offers a unique blend of options for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • From Surly to Summit and roughly 50 local breweries in between, the Twin Cities holds the clear distinction as the capital of craft beer in the Midwest.
  • Having produced Bob Dylan, Prince and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Twin Cities is also home to a wide range of entertainment options.
  • And the cities’ long list of James Beard–winning chefs is a clear indication that this area takes food very seriously. From lakeside Northwoods-style options to downtown rooftop bars, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area has something to satisfy everyone.

agenda

With a unique blend of presentation formats, the 2019 conference agenda will hone in on providing a learning and networking experience that truly reflects the core philosophies of what the Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference is all about; this event is designed to help you make the connections and learn the strategies you need to optimize your potential.

In all, we have 52 presentations packed into three days—that includes 24 strategy sessions, 24 Ratchet+Wrench Talks (broken up into two separate tracks, “The Big Idea” and “3 Takeaways”), two workshops, and two keynote addresses.

 

DAY ZERO: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2


3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

ADAPT: OEM Repair Panel +

An independent panel for repair shop operators to hear directly from OEM representatives about the most progressive and pressing topics in terms of vehicle design; repair, maintenance and diagnostics; and overall transportation trends. The brand-new event is for attendees and sponsors.

 Sponsored by OEConnection

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

VIP Meet & Greet/Speaker and Sponsor Meeting


6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Conference Meet and Greet


 

DAY ONE: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Conference Kickoff and Opening Keynote: Donny Seyfer - The Inevitable Shift +

Donny Seyfer, Co-Owner, Seyfer Automotive Inc.

Amid the rampant pace of technological change, renowned shop operator and industry leader Donny Seyfer explores the most critical element of sustained shop success, and the three clear takeaways all business owners must act on now.

 Sponsored by BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

NETWORKING BREAK


1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

OPERATIONS Instant, Profitable Revenue Boosters +

Rissy Sutherland, President, SRS + Co.

Opening over 400 shops in her career, Rissy Sutherland knows a thing or two about profit. This session will touch on how to add to your bottom line almost instantly.

You will learn:

  • How to create a roadmap to growth
  • The value of consistent processes
  • Continual evaluation is key

LEAD Delegating: The Art of Letting Go and Empowering Your Employees +

Chris Cloutier, Owner, Golden Rule Auto Care

Many leaders have a hard time letting go and spend more time working in the shop rather than on the business. Chris Cloutier will guide audience members through the difficult process of letting go and creating a self-sufficient staff.

You will learn:

  • How to hire the right people
  • The right way to lead for empowerment
  • The art of looking at the bigger picture

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: It’s Time to Grow +

Aaron Stokes, Owner, AutoFix and EuroFix

This talk is your opportunity to pick the brain of leadership and management guru Aaron Stokes, one of the industry’s foremost experts in shop operations. He’ll discuss growth strategy, and how to maximize your operation.

You will learn:

  • How to understand your market potential
  • How to evaluate your current capacity and opportunity
  • How to enact growth plans that will help you grow

3 TAKEAWAYS The Guide to Ultimate Shop Culture +

Brian Weeks, Owner, ATC Autocenter

In this session, Brian Weeks shares how to turn your shop into the workplace of your—and your employee’s—dreams.

You’ll learn:

  • How a leader sets the tone for the culture
  • Benefits and amenities that make all the difference
  • What your staff really wants in a workplace

2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

CUSTOMERS The Modern Customer Experience +

Greg Buckley, Owner, Buckley’s Auto Care

Today’s customer is completely different than in the past. In today’s need-it-now society, meeting high expectations is key to retention. Greg Buckley shares how to win over the modern customer.

You will learn:

  • The ways technology can be used to streamline business
  • Key trends in technology
  • How to budget effectively to make the purchases you need to take your shop to the next level

TECH Budgeting for Technology Investments +

Seth Thorson, Owner, Eurotech Auto Service

Today’s vehicles are computers on wheels. Fixing them requires the right technology, which can cost you dearly, making budgeting key. Seth Thorson walks the audience through the right investments to make for the future and how to properly budget for those.

You will learn:

  • Investments that are worth it
  • How to create a budget for technology
  • Tips for getting buy-in from you staff

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: The ‘Bazinga’ Number +

Judi Haglin, Owner, Haglin Automotive

Judi Haglin is a true inspiration. A little over a decade ago, 2018 Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Award winner Haglin turned her business around to a shop that consistently tops “best of the best” lists by focusing on process implementation and effective leadership. In this unique session, Haglin breaks down her approach to monitoring her shop’s throughput—the “bazinga” number, a metric based on labor hours inventory.

You will learn:

  • How the number works
  • How to utilize it for monitoring the front office
  • The benefits of monitoring labor hours vs. average repair order

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: PR: The Secret to Powerful Marketing +

Jimmy Alauria, Owner, 3A Automotive & Diesel

Too many marketing campaigns fail, Jimmy Aluria, and far too many fail for the exact same reason: They lack a progressive approach to public relations. Alauria shares his simple, strategic approach to mastering one of marketing’s most powerful tools—public relations— in this RW Talk.

You will learn:

  • The difference between public relations and marketing
  • The power of strategic PR
  • Impactful campaigns and concepts to implement today

3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

RECRUIT & RETAIN Craft a Culture that Promotes Buy-in and Longevity +

Andy Massoll, Owner, Detroit Garage Auto Family

Without buy-in, an idea is just that—an idea. In order for it to take-off, you need buy-in from your staff. Andy Massoll shares how to lead in a way that will get your employees to trust you and stick around for the long haul.

You will learn:

  • Effective leadership styles
  • How to create buy-in
  • Hiring and retention techniques

CUSTOMERS How to Determine if a First-Time Marketing Idea was Worth the Investment +

Dave Striegel, Owner, Elizabeth Auto Care

Marketing is essential to a shop’s success, but it can often be hard to gauge whether a campaign is working or not. Dave Striegel shares with attendees how to evaluate whether a marketing idea is worth it or if it’s a waste of your investment.

You will learn:

  • Easy marketing campaigns that yield big returns
  • How to determine an ROI on your campaigns
  • Free marketing tools

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Dealing with Employee Turnover +

Ryan Clo, Owner, Dubwerx Inc.

Ryan Clo’s unique journey from struggling technician-turned-shop owner to one of the industry’s renowned leaders is one that didn’t happen overnight—and has yielded many lessons. In this session, Clo discusses he doubled revenue at one of his shops in three years while dealing with 100 percent turnover.

You will learn:

  • Addressing one of the industry's No. 1 problems
  • Dealing with tough times
  • Building shop culture
  • Growing through change

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Become Your Market Leader +

Seth Thorson, Owner, Eurotech Auto Service

Over the years, Seth Thorson has built a solid reputation for his shop and created loyal customers, but it hasn’t always been easy. In this session, Thorson shares his journey and how he has been able to do it—and how you can, too.

You will learn:

  • Surefire ways to create loyalty
  • How to differentiate your business
  • Keys to gaining customer trust

4:15 pm - 5:00 pm

Cocktail Hour +

Happening daily, our cocktail and networking hours are the perfect opportunity for you to relax, grab a drink or even seek out the speakers if you have follow-up questions.

Cheers to learning!


5:15 PM - 6:45 PM

Kickoff Party +

Get to know other conference goers by helping us kick off the 2019 Management Conference with some food, fun and networking!

 Sponsored by OEConnection

 

DAY TWO: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4


7:00 Am - 8:00 Am

Networking Breakfast


Conference Keynote: Cindra Kamphoff - Beyond Grit +

Cindra Kamphoff, High Performance Coach

Dr. Cindra Kamphoff is a professional speaker, trainer, entrepreneur and professor, known for her Amazon bestseller, Beyond Grit: Ten Powerful Practices to Gain the High-Performance Edge. In the book’s forward, Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Theilen credits Kamphoff with helping him rise from an undrafted free agent out of an NCAA Division II football program to being one of the NFL’s most productive wideouts. Her presentation will focus on the core tenets of her book, while drawing clear parallels to the ins and outs of shop ownership.

 Sponsored by BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY

8:00 Am - 8:45 Am


9:00 Am - 9:45 Am

LEAD Mastering Motivation: Creating a Team that Cares as Much as You Do +

Andy Bizub, Owner, Midwest Performance Cars

You’re only as good as the people working beside you. So, no matter how much you as the owner care, your business success depends on the buy-in of everyone. Andy Bizub shares the keys to getting your entire staff to care as much about the business’ success as you do.

You will learn:

  • Keys for motivating your staff
  • How to become a leader people believe in
  • The best ways to get buy-in

CUSTOMERS Creating a Consistent Customer Service Experience +

Brian Weeks, Owner, ATC Autocenter

The best businesses know that customers crave consistency, which is why they should deliver the same exceptional experience every time. Brian Weeks shares exactly how this can be done and how it will lead to loyal employees.

You will learn:

  • The value of consistent processes
  • How to communicate expectations to your staff
  • Why repetition is essential

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Creating a Lifelong Business Model +

Mike Brewster, President, Gil’s Garage Inc.

Mike Brewster’s $8 million two-shop operation is the result of constant brainstorming and strategizing. In this session, Brewster will break down his ever-evolving cycle for improvement and how it can be implemented in your shop.

You will learn:

  • How to set a path to reach our goals
  • The secret to getting staff involved
  • Why it’s important to constantly evaluate

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Transitioning Ownership +

Jimmy Alauria, Owner, 3A Automotive & Diesel

As a third-generation shop owner, Jimmy Alauria is well versed in the intricacies of running and growing a family business. And he’s witnessed the pitfalls many have fallen into when transitioning the ownership and leadership responsibilities of a shop. In this RW Talk, Alauria explains the ways to ensure that you can set up your operation for years—generations, even—of sustainable success.

You will learn:

  • How to properly finance the transition
  • How to maintain the core of past success
  • How to transition current strengths into a pathway for future growth

NETWORKING BREAK

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM


10:15 Am-11:00 Am

RECRUIT & RETAIN Team Building, Part 1: Creating a Talent Pipeline +

Brian Sump, Owner, Avalon Motorsports and Urban Autocare

Learn from Brian Sump, the owner of what many industry consultants consider to be one of the best repair facilities in the industry. Sump shares with attendees the importance of building your own talent in this session.

You will learn:

  • The importance of creating a career path
  • Why finding the right people is essential
  • The keys to building a foundation that will allow employees to thrive

TECH Technology to Improve the Customer Experience +

Chris Cloutier, Owner, Golden Rule Auto Care

Chris Cloutier is not only a shop owner, he’s also a software developer. Always looking for a way to improve the experience for customers, Cloutier shares how technology can be used to benefit not only the customer, but the shop as well.

You will learn:

  • How to use technology to streamline the repair process
  • The best ways to use technology to establish trust with customers
  • Ways technology can be used to bring customers back

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Goal Mapping +

Dwayne Myers, Owner, Dynamic Automotive

In this session, Dwayne Meyers shares how he’s been able to grow from one to four locations—hispeople. Myers discusses why investing in your people is the most important investment you’ll ever make and other tips on growing your empire.

You will learn:

  • The importance of investing in others’ success
  • How to create a career path that will help retain talent
  • Keys for finding the best people for your company

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Mastering the Customer Experience +

Gary Pontious Jr, Owner, Toledo Auto Care

Running multiple locations can make it difficult to keep a consistent approach to serving customers. Gary Pontious Jr. shares his secrets for putting his team in the right positions to succeed each day, and how, in the end, it’s the customers that win.

You will learn:

  • How to develop customer-focused processes
  • How to get a customer-first team mindset
  • How to develop true consistency

11:15 Am-12:00 PM

RECRUIT & RETAIN Team Building, Part 2: Explain the Why +

Brian Sump, Owner, Avalon Motorsports and Urban Autocare

Is your team on the same page when it comes to the goals of your business? If not, don’t miss industry expert Brian Sump’s session. Sump discusses how to get everyone on your team headed in the right direction.

You will learn:

  • Tips for goal setting
  • Lessons for clearly defining your expectations for your team
  • Team-building strategies

OPERATIONS The Guide to Advanced Financial Management +

Laura and Gerry Frank, Co-owners, Auto Repair Technology

Laura and Gerry Frank have created a multi-million dollar business by focusing on numbers and profit margin. The two discuss best practices for managing your finances in this session.

You will learn:

  • How to assess the financial health of your business
  • Tricks for assessing financial documents
  • Tips for getting back in the green

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Redefining Service +

Charlie Marcotte, Owner, American Pride Automotive

Charlie Marcotte is on a mission to change the industry’s negative reputation and has done so by doing good in his community. As a multi-shop owner and founder of Family Service Day, a nationwide initiative to provide struggling families with the vehicle repairs they need to get their cars on the road, Marcotte has learned how to effectively juggle many tasks and shares those tricks in this session.

You will learn:

  • The impact of giving back in the community
  • How to get involved
  • Tricks for balancing a demanding career while doing good

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Video: Your Next Revenue Driver +

Frank Leutz, Owner, Desert Care Care of Chandler

Innovation, technology and plain common sense have pushed Frank Leutz’s operation to the forefront as one of the most progressive marketers in the industry. One area he’s truly made a name for himself: video. In this session, attendees will learn Leutz’s tricks of the trade and how he uses multimedia to gain customers and establish his brand.

You will learn:

  • Surefire ways to differentiate your business
  • Simple, creative marketing campaigns that drive big results
  • A clear focus on how video can help your business

12:15 PM - 1:00 Pm

Lunch & Learn +

Sponsored by BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards Presentation +

Help us honor the best in the auto service and repair industry during the 7th annual Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards. Recognize these outstanding industry leaders in five categories:

  • Executive

  • Management

  • Administrative Support

  • Shop Worker

  • Wild Card

 The Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards are sponsored by Elite, Kia and KUKUI

1:45 Pm - 2:30 Pm

LEAD Stretching the Boundaries and Finding Your Business’s New Path +

Greg Buckley, Owner, Buckley’s Auto Care

With over 50 years under its belt, Buckley’s Auto Care has had to adapt to find ways to stay relevant and meet the demands of today’s customers. Owner Greg Buckley shares how he’s been able to do this.

You will learn:

  • Strategies for evolving your business
  • Future industry trends to anticipate
  • How technology can be used to advance your business

OPERATIONS Shop Problem-Solvers +

Jimmy Alauria, Owner, 3A Automotive & Diesel

Jimmy Alauria knows the key to business success, and it’s all about relationships—both with customers and, especially, with his team. This session will give you insight on how to keep a solutions-oriented mindset in operations and truly spot and solve shop issues on the fly.

You will learn:

  • How to identify issues in real time
  • How to formulate quick plans and concept solutions
  • How to carry out immediate change with your team

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: The Tech School Gap +

Wayne Watson, Owner, Auto Works Automotive Center

Wayne Watson opened his first shop at the age of 24 and quickly learned he didn’t know anything about running a business. Over the years, that’s all changed. Watson shares the wisdom he’s gained over the years.

You will learn:

  • The benefits of continual learning
  • How to effectively coach employees
  • Tips for hands-on teaching and motivating

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Implementing Change +

Rissy Sutherland, President, S+S Co.

Rissy Sutherland has opened more than 400 shops in her career as the executive for nearly a dozen automotive brands. This Talk is your opportunity to pick the brain of one of the industry’s foremost experts in shop operations.

You will learn:

  • Processes, systems and philosophies that drive efficient shops
  • Tricks for producing the numbers you want
  • How to set goals and go about reaching them

2:45 Pm - 3:30 Pm

OPERATIONS Mastering the Marketing and Closing of Unsold Work +

Leigh Anne Best and Bill Hill, Co-owners, Mighty Auto Pro

Often, a customer can’t afford a repair or doesn’t have the time when they first come in—that doesn’t mean the sale is lost forever. Learn from Leigh Anne Best and Bill Hill how you can use unsold work to bring customers back into the shop.

You will learn:

  • How to sell the service
  • Effective follow-up strategies
  • Creative marketing strategies to bring customers back in

TECH The Guide to Readying Your Shop for Advanced Vehicle Systems +

Donny Seyfer, Owner, Seyfer Automotive Inc.

New advancements to vehicle technology come on a daily basis. Industry leader and renowned shop owner Donny Seyfer coaches attendees on how to prepare their shops for these advancements.

You will learn:

  • How to plan and budget for training
  • The top technology trends to prepare for today
  • Staffing and equipment considerations to keep in mind

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Conditions-Based Recommendations +

Scott Osborn, Owner, Osborn’s Automotive Inc.

Scott Osborn has a passion for learning, which has helped him turn his small, 1,000-square-foot shop into a giant in the industry, producing an annual revenue of $1.25 million. Among the many reasons Osborn’s business has remained so successful through the years has been his outside-the-box approach. That mindset led to a revolutionary concept: conditions-based recommendations, a process he’s incorporated in his operation and has helped spread across the country.

You will learn:

  • The importance of understanding buying habits
  • How to earn trust in customers
  • How to utilize fair, honest selling strategies that win for customers

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Differentiate Your Business +

Jeff Odom, Owner, Evergreen AutoWorks

Jeff Odom’s shop is unique in the fact that it also performs collision work. Odom shares how he’s been able to juggle the demands that come along with collision, as well as manage a large staff and stay involved in the industry.

You will learn:

  • How additional services can help differentiate your business
  • How adding new processes can shift a business approach
  • How diversifying offerings captures more customers

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

NETWORKING BREAK


4:00 Pm - 4:45 Pm

LEAD How to Handle Success—and Keep Pushing Forward +

Aaron Stokes, Owner, AutoFix and EuroFix

Management guru and industry superstar Aaron Stokes shares what he’s learned about achieving success and the keys to maintaining it.

You will learn:

  • How to turn what could be burnout into fuel for success
  • The importance of looking toward the future
  • Work-life balance techniques

RECRUIT & RETAIN Create an Engaged Team +

Mike Bennett, Owner, Mike’s KARS Inc.

A strong shop atmosphere comes down to teamwork, Mike Bennett says. Too often, a shop leader struggles to find the right way to engage each team member and create a unified staff. In this session, Bennett shares what he’s learned throughout his career and how those lessons have turned him into the successful leader that he is today.

You will learn:

  • Effective time management tips
  • How to take pride in your work
  • Communication techniques that effective leaders use

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Assess Your Business +

Dave Toole, President and CEO, Toole’s Garage

Through the years, Dave Toole has used his leadership instincts and attention to detail to build Toole’s Garage in the premier operation in its market. And as Toole has grown his business, he’s learned a specific and strategic process to determine the next steps necessary to reach new levels of success. Now, as Toole is set to open another location, he shares his mindset in assessing his business and areas of opportunity.

You will learn:

  • How to identify the strengths in your operation
  • How to understand your deficiencies
  • How to realize and seek out profitable new opportunities

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Growth through Generational Change +

William Hillmuth Jr. and William Hillmuth III, Co-owners, Hillmuth Auto Care

Without a thought-out plan, expansion can quickly turn to failure. William Hillmuth Jr. and William Hillmuth III share the lessons they learned expanding from one to four locations, and what attendees can learn from their mistakes and success.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to know when the time is right to grow
  • A process for creating a long-term plan
  • Techniques for keeping an existing location up and running while opening a new one

4:45 PM - 6:00 PM

Table Talks & Cocktail Hour +

Happening daily, our cocktail and networking hours are the perfect opportunity for you to relax, grab a drink or even seek out the speakers if you have follow-up questions.

Cheers to learning!


6:30 Pm - 9:00 Pm

The Ratchet+Wrench Party +

After a long day of learning, what could be better than letting loose with peers at the Ratchet+Wrench Networking Party? Enjoy spectacular views of the St. Paul skyline and explore one of the hit exhibits the Minnesota History Center has to offer—The Greatest Generation.

 Sponsored by KUKUI

 

DAY THREE: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5


7:30 Am - 8:30 Am

Networking Breakfast


8:30 Am - 8:45 Am

Conference Jumpstart


9:00 Am - 9:45 Am

OPERATIONS Inside My Numbers +

Scott Brown, Owner, Cardinal Plaza Shell

Scott Brown shares how his 2,000-square-foot shop pushes through 1,300 cars per month and $4 million in annual revenue—and it comes down to the simple art of “negotiation.”

You’ll learn:

  • Smart processes to become the most efficient shop possible
  • How to lay out and staff a shop for maximum results
  • Techniques that will allow you to turn out more work

LEAD Career Planning for Employees +

Andy Massol, Owner, Detroit Garage Auto Family

The talent shortage is at an all-time high. Andy Massol shares how creating a career path for your employees rather than giving them a job will lead to loyal employees that will stay for the long-haul.

You’ll learn:

  • How to set career goals with staff
  • Ways to use career planning as a recruitment tool
  • Secrets for leading staff to their full potential

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Evaluate Your Growth Potential +

Greg Bunch, Owner, Aspen Auto Clinic

Over the past 16 years, Greg Bunch has grown Aspen Auto Clinic from a one-man operation that he started in his garage into a five-facility, nearly $10 million per year business. Attendees will get to find out exactly how he did it.

You’ll learn:

  • How to master the art of expansion
  • The mindset every shop owner needs before growing
  • Tips for creating an empire

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Marketing Tactics to Implement Right Now +

Frank Leutz, Owner, Desert Car Care of Chandler

Beyond building a $1.6 million operation, Frank Leutz is the host of Wrench Nation, an industry consultant and coach, and runs a successful YouTube channel. How does he do it? Sit in on his Talk and find out.

You will learn:

  • Out-of-the-box marketing techniques
  • Winning marketing strategies that will blow the competition out of the water
  • How to manage different tasks and demands to get you to where you need to be

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Networking Break


10:15 Am-11:00 Am

CUSTOMERS Introducing the “Wow Factor” in Customer Service +

Leigh Anne Best, Co-owner, Mighty Auto Pros

Customers will always remember how you made them feel. Leigh Anne Best shares how you can make your customers feel like they’re cared for and keep them coming back for years to come.

You will learn:

  • What the “wow factor” looks like
  • Little ways to make customers feel special
  • How to create a meaningful connection with your customers

RECRUIT & RETAIN Hiring Best Practices in Tough Times +

Ryan Clo, Owner, Dubwerx Inc.

With a diminishing pool of qualified candidates, you need to optimize your chances of recruiting the best available talent. Ryan Clo shares the ways he’s built in hiring processes and HR support at his shops and how attendees can do the same.

You will learn:

  • How to identify HR resources available to small businesses
  • Tips for identifying what benefits are most important to your employees
  • Ways to find big business support on a small business budget

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Development: Your True Leadership Responsibility +

Doug Grills, Owner, Autostream Car Care Center

Doug Grills shares how he’s been able to expand his business to five locations and over $5 million in revenue in this RW Talk. One key factor? He focused on developing people, something he considers to be the main responsibility of any leader.

You will learn:

  • How to effectively manage your staff
  • How to utilize talent and help it grow
  • How to build a team that works as one

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Grow Your Team from Within +

Mike Bennett, Owner, Mike’s KARS Inc.

Mike Bennett sees it time and again: Shops struggle to retain staff, struggle to recruit talented team members, and struggle to see improvement amongst current team members. Well, Bennett believes, the issue is simple: It comes down to your focus, as the shop’s leader. Focus on your internal team and its growth, and your business will grow. In this session, Bennett discusses how a change in leadership mindset and goals can shift your business in the right direction.

You will learn:

  • Best methods of communicating with your staff
  • The importance of continually setting goals
  • Tried and true time management techniques

11:15 Am-12:00 Pm

TECH A Shop Owner’s Guide to Mastering Google +

Dave Striegel, Owner, Elizabeth Auto Care

Dave Striegel shares how attendees can get the most out of something that they use every day—Google. Learn how to master the search engine to propel your business above the competition.

You will learn:

  • How Google can truly benefit your business
  • SEO strategies that will propel you to the top of your customer’s search
  • Underutilized features of the platform

OPERATIONS Advanced KPI Management +

Laura and Gerry Frank, Co-Owners, Auto Repair Technology

KPIs are the lifeblood of your business. You may be tracking the basic ones, but here’s how to take it to the next level and use the information to turn your business around.

You will learn:

  • The KPIs you should be tracking—and aren’t
  • How to turn a spreadsheet into an action plan
  • The best way to turn around an underperforming KPI

BIG IDEAS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Ask Mitch +

Mitch Schneider, Industry Legend and Ratchet+Wrench columnist

Industry icon and Ratchet+Wrench columnist Mitch Schneider reflects on his decades in the industry, and answers questions about the issues facing today’s shop operators.

3 TAKEAWAYS Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Create a Fearless Environment +

Aaron Stokes, Owner, AutoFix and EuroFix

Operational guru Aaron Stokes will lead attendees in this RW Talk and allow audience members to ask questions about how he found success and how he continues to advance his operation.

You will learn:

  • How to grow your business
  • Effective techniques to increase efficiency
  • Processes that will streamline your operation

12:15 Pm - 1:00 Pm

Networking Lunch & Sponsor Giveaway


1:15 Pm - 3:15 Pm

OPERATIONS Workshop: The Foundation for Growth +

Greg Bunch, Owner, Aspen Auto Clinic

Greg Bunch has been through it all: He opened his first shop in his home garage in 2001, with just a $5,000-limit Discover credit card as his operating capital. Fifteen years later, Aspen Auto Clinic is a multi-location, nearly $10-million-per-year business in central Colorado with additional locations planned in the Denver and Colorado Springs area.

Along the way, Bunch says he’s faced every up and down imaginable, but through it all, he’s developed a systematic approach to expanding that has helped make the process as smooth as possible. Increasing your footprint is not to be taken lightly, he says, and shop owners should not only have a rock-solid existing shop, but also a thoughtful plan before adding another facility.

LEAD Workshop: Leadership Bootcamp +

Aaron Stokes, Owner, AutoFix and EuroFix

One of the most common stories in the industry is that of the shop owner who grew up in the industry, working as a technician before eventually owning his or her own business. That, however, is sometimes where the most difficult work begins—that of a leader. Becoming a great leader—one who inspires and is a visionary—can seem like an arduous process, but, really, if you’re methodical, take one step at a time and maintain self-awareness, you can easily become the type of leader you’ve always dreamed of and the boss your employees love working for.


Happenings

ADAPT: OEM Repair Panel

October 2, 3:30-5 PM

An independent panel for repair shop operators to hear directly from OEM representatives about the most progressive and pressing topics in terms of vehicle design; repair, maintenance and diagnostics; and overall transportation trends. The brand-new event is for attendees and sponsors.

Sponsored by OEConnection

RWMC Pub

October 3-5, TIMES WILL VARY

When you’re thirsty for a drink, stop by the RWMC Pub! Day or night, our pub is here for your pleasure.

Pre-Conference Meet + Greet

October 2, 6-8 PM

If you arrive in Minnesota early and have some free time on Wednesday night, stop by the RWMC Pub and get to know the team that brings you Ratchet+Wrench and mingle with this year’s presenters.

Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards Presentation

October 4, 1-1:30 PM

Help us honor the best in the auto service and repair industry during the 7th annual Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards. Recognize these outstanding industry leaders in five categories:

  • Executive

  • Management

  • Administrative Support

  • Shop Worker

  • Wild Card

The Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards are sponsored by Elite, Kia and KUKUI

Cocktail + Networking Hours

October 3-5, TIMES WILL VARY

Happening daily, our cocktail and networking hours are the perfect opportunity for you to relax, grab a drink or even seek out the speakers if you have follow-up questions.

Cheers to learning!



Kick Off Party

October 3, 5:15-6:45 PM

Get to know other conference goers by helping us kick off the 2019 Management Conference with some food, fun and networking!

Sponsored by OEConnection

Ratchet+Wrench Reception (networking party)

October 4, 6:30-9 PM

After a long day of learning, what could be better than letting loose with peers at the Ratchet+Wrench Networking Party? Enjoy spectacular views of the St. Paul skyline and explore one of the hit exhibits the Minnesota History Center has to offer—The Greatest Generation.

Sponsored by KUKUI

speakers

Learn auto care strategies directly from real shop operators who have achieved real success in this industry. More like mentors than speakers, they are part of the entire event, so you can not only learn from them, but also connect with them one-on-one.

 

 

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HOTEL INFORMATION

The 2019 Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference will be at the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America. We have a limited number of discounted rooms, so register early and reserve your room for the biggest savings. Rooms will sell out.

And keep in mind that the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America is:

  • A five-minute free shuttle ride from MSP International Airport, which means easy travel to and from the hotel and no need for a rental car.
  • Just a two-block free shuttle ride (or walk) from the Mall of America, which aside from the most diverse and immense shopping in the U.S., also boasts an indoor amusement park, aquarium, and dozens of restaurants and bars. And Mall of America has a light rail stop that can take you to both downtowns—Minneapolis and St. Paul—which, again, means there is no need for a rental car.
  • Across the street from the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, a 14,000-acre preserve that runs 70 miles along the Minnesota River. While you’re unlikely to take in all it has to offer, there are paved paths less than 100 feet from the Hilton’s lobby that are perfect for walking, biking and running.

 

 
 

Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America

3800 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425
View Directions

sponsors