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ONLY 7 ALL ACCESS TICKETS left AT current rates

SEPT. 20-22

THE WESTIN LOMBARD
CHICAGO, IL

 

About the event

SEPT. 20–22
THE WESTIN LOMBARD
CHICAGO, IL

Connect and boost your auto care shop with the best and brightest operators Sept. 20–22 at the only industry event geared to introduce game-changing strategies. 

This year's Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference will have brand new content and will be more personalized and in-depth than ever before. And when you register this year, you'll also be given access to Ratchet+Wrench's exclusive Facebook group where you can continue your conversations and get answers to questions.

 
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30+
Strategy Sessions

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SUPERCHARGED
Networking and Fun

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UNLIMITED
Opportunities For Growth

 

Bonus: When you register, you will be given access to our private Facebook group where you can connect with other shop operators and continue the discussion.

 

WHO CAN ATTEND

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

agenda

Get ready for a life- and business-changing experience. Our agenda features an eclectic mix of activities designed to keep you engaged and energized throughout the conference. This includes strategy sessions delivered straight from successful shop operators, thought-provoking discussions, fun and carefully crafted networking events, and a workshop taught by industry superstars. You’ll leave the conference with tested and validated processes you can implement the day you return to your shop, as well as new relationships with some of the brightest minds in the industry.

 

DAY ONE: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

OPENING KEYNOTE: Joe Marconi - How I Did It +

Joe Marconi, owner, Osceola Garage; Ratchet+Wrench columnist

 Sponsored by:

To kick off Day 1 of the 2018 Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference, RW columnist and shop operator Joe Marconi gives the opening “How I Did It” keynote, the first piece in a series that carries over throughout the event’s Ratchet+Wrench Talks. The “How I Did It” series is an introspective look at the success stories of some of the industry’s top operators. Marconi’s own empowering and motivating journey through the ranks of the industry serves as a powerful message as to the opportunity this field can provide—and a clear pathway for others to follow.


1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Networking Break


1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

TECH Shop of the Future +

Greg Buckley, owner, Buckley’s Auto Care

Inside the advanced technology, innovative solutions and sophisticated strategies that have simplified workflow and customer communication for Buckley’s Auto Care, the 52-year-old, family business that serves as one of the industry’s most progressive operations.

You will learn:

  • How to identify technology that will help you streamline the customer service experience
  • How to implement processes and procedures that optimize technology to boost overall efficiency

LEAD The Secret to Self-Belief +

Aaron Stokes, owner, EuroFix/AutoFix

Leadership and management guru Aaron Stokes walks you through the steps to build the self-confidence needed to reach your full potential.

You will learn:

  • The secret that all entrepreneurs need to know about achieving their dreams and creating a great business
  • How to take that feeling of burnout and turn it around to fuel yourself with hope—especially if you’re operating alone

WORKFLOW Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Rissy Sutherland - How I Did It +

Rissy Sutherland, industry entrepreneur, Ratchet+Wrench columnist

Industry entrepreneur 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.


2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

TALENT The Apprenticeship Blueprint +

Brian Sump, owner, Avalon Motorsports/Urban Autocare

An insider’s guide to building a fully realized apprenticeship program that churns out high-quality employees—from what many industry consultants consider to be one of the best shop operators in the industry.

You will learn:

  • How to build a foundation for apprentices to thrive, from the moment they walk into your shop to the moment they become full-time professionals
  • The keys to creating a funnel to find potential apprentices that will be natural fits for your shop’s culture and standards

CUSTOMERS The Keys to Effective Rebranding +

Brian Weeks, owner, [atc] Auto Center

Discover the essence of your brand—your shop’s DNA—and the keys needed to implement a strategic rebrand of your business, all from a shop owner who rebounded from his own failed rebrand to create a brand so strong it doubled net profit and annual revenue.

You will learn:

  • How to create a brand guide that highlights not only your shop’s story and vision, but also how to carry that out in all aspects of the business
  • How to create a road map that effectively outlines your vision, mission, story and brand promises—and that lends itself well to the short- and long-term goals of your company

WORKFLOWTECH Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Donny Seyfer - How I Did It +

Donny Seyfer, owner, Seyfer Automotive

Immediate past chairman of the Automotive Service Association, second-generation shop owner and executive officer of the National Automotive Service Task Force, Donny Seyfer breaks down his thoughts on the state of the industry.


3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

WORKFLOWCUSTOMERS Mastering the Client Experience +

Leigh Anne Best, owner, Mighty Auto Pro

How to manage the customer throughout the workflow experience—from the first touch to the last—from a 16-bay, 10,000-square-foot shop that has more than quadrupled its sales over the last decade.

You will learn:

  • How to incorporate your brand and customer service throughout every step of the repair process
  • How to properly manage customer expectations

CUSTOMERS Customers for Life +

Andy Bizub, owner, Midwest Performance Cars

Seventy percent of Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies that provided excellent customer service. Customer service is a brand differentiator—and in today’s competitive marketplace, here’s how one shop owner built a loyal client base.

You will learn:

  • How to turn one-time buyers into lifetime customers who have immense trust in your staff and its recommendations
  • How to make customers feel so special and well-cared for that they wouldn’t dream of straying from your shop

WORKFLOWLEAD Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Scott Brown - How I Did It +

Scott Brown, owner, Cardinal Plaza Shell

At Scott Brown’s 2,000-square-foot shop, four bays manage to push through 1,300 cars per month and $4 million in annual revenue. Generating that kind of volume comes down to smart processes, maximum efficiency and the development of a shop culture that always puts the needs of the customer first.


4:15 pm - 5:00 pm

Cocktails & Networking Hour +

Take a breather, grab a drink, and go back over notes from your sessions with other shop operators. This is also a great time to seek out the speakers and ask them follow-up questions.


5:00 pm - 6:30 PM

Kickoff Party +

Join us as we kickoff the conference with some fun, food and auto-driven networking—Chicago-style! If you like to mix a little fun with business, you won't want to miss this party.


 

DAY TWO: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21


7:00 Am - 8:00 Am

Networking Breakfast


CONFERENCE KEYNOTE: Jeff Butler - Attracting and Retaining Millennials +

Jeff Butler, millenial expert, public speaker

 Sponsored by:

Renowned speaker and millennial expert Jeff Butler will deliver the Day 2 keynote, leading a list of presenters that includes the industry’s top shop operators. Butler’s TEDx appearances have positioned him as a new, authoritative voice on hiring, retaining and leading the younger generation of workers. He has spoken for Fortune 500 companies, and helped businesses across the country with hiring.

Utilizing his own experience as a millennial working for some of the world’s fastest-charging startups and tech companies, Butler will speak to the auto service industry’s talent crisis and what attendees can do to attract millennials into their shops.

8:00 Am - 8:45 Am


9:00 Am - 9:45 Am

LEAD Ensure Your Shop’s Future +

Ron Haugen, owner, Westside Auto Pros

It’s nearly inevitable that shop owners will experience a time—planned or unplanned—when they can’t be at the shop. Having a thoughtful succession plan in place that provides for an orderly transition of both management and ownership is the only way to ensure that your business won’t suffer the consequences.

You will learn:

  • How to successfully valuate your business to ensure a smooth sale
  • The financial documents and business agreements that must be in place to create a seamless transition in ownership

WORKFLOW Workflow Solutions Part I +

Rissy Sutherland, industry entrepreneur, Ratchet+Wrench columnist

An inside look at the processes, systems and philosophies that drive highly efficient shops—from an industry expert who has helped open more than 400 of them.

You will learn:

  • How to market for the right work mix and then effectively schedule for capacity
  • How to implement numerous processes—from inspections to nonverbal communication—to get the most out of each vehicle

LEAD Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Mitch Schneider - How I Did It +

Mitch Schneider, industry legend How industry legend Mitch Schneider navigated through a career of ups and downs, challenges and solutions, and the lessons learned along the way.


Networking Break

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM


10:15 Am-11:00 Am

TALENT Hiring and Retaining Top Talent +

Jimmy Alauria, owner, 3A Automotive & Diesel Repair

Finding talented, committed employees who fit within the culture of your shop isn’t easy, but it is essential if you want to grow. Hiring the wrong person can be costly, in both dollars and damage to your operation.

You will learn:

  • How to identify your true staffing needs and make your operation appealing to ideal candidates
  • How to conduct an interview that will provide the information you need and how to keep those star employees on board for the long haul

WORKFLOW Workflow Solutions Part II +

Rissy Sutherland, industry entrepreneur; Ratchet+Wrench columnist

An inside look at the processes, systems and philosophies that drive highly efficient shops—from an industry expert who has helped open more than 400 of them.

You will learn:

  • How to market for the right work mix and then effectively schedule for capacity
  • How to implement numerous processes—from inspections to nonverbal communication—to get the most out of each vehicle

LEAD Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Aaron Stokes - How I Did It +

Aaron Stokes, owner, EuroFix/AutoFix

Aaron Stokes grew his business into a six-shop operation that is widely regarded as one of the top repair businesses in the country. Find out the secrets to his success and the simple takeaways you can implement.


11:15 Am-12:00 PM

TECH Earning a True Return on Investments +

Greg Bunch, owner, Aspen Auto Clinic

Whether you’re investing in training, tools or marketing campaigns, you can trace the ROI on any business expense. You just need a system in place that tracks both your relationship with customers and the performance of your employees—here’s how you can do just that.

You will learn:

  • How to measure the ROI for any business expense
  • The financial terms you need to know to properly track your investments

CUSTOMERS Blood. Sweat. Brand. +

Frank Leutz, owner, Desert Car 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.

You will learn:

  • Proven methods to attract the right client through low-cost branding techniques
  • Simple, creative marketing campaigns that drive big results

LEAD Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Chris Cloutier - How I Did It +

Chris Cloutier, owner, Golden Rule Auto Care

From musician to software developer to radio DJ to shop owner, Chris Cloutier has approached each of his careers with a resourceful, entrepreneurial mindset—and after quadrupling sales of his now $1.2 million shop, it’s obvious the approach has worked.


12:15 PM - 1:00 Pm

Lunch & Learn


1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards Ceremony


1:45 Pm - 2:30 Pm

WORKFLOW Maximum Profitability +

Seth Thorson, owner, Eurotech Auto Repair

Time is the most valuable asset in your business; it’s the key to efficiency. And per one $1.6 million shop owner, efficiency has been the key to building and running a successful, sustainable and profitable business.

You will learn:

  • An understanding of your shop’s production capacity and how to fix process flaws and maximize sales
  • Easy steps to solve a drop in your efficiency and productivity numbers

LEAD Shop Hacks—Innovations and Big Ideas +

Ryan Clo, owner, Dubwerx, Avid Autowerx and Just Saab

How to find simple solutions to complex problems.

You will learn:

  • How to implement easy solutions to problems without undergoing major overhauls
  • How to find and utilize existing resources in your shop to cut down on time-consuming tasks

TALENT Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Mike Davidson – How I Did It +

Mike Davidson, owner, Parkway Automotive

As the founder of the American Skilled Labor Association, which aims to bring shops and vocational centers together and increase apprenticeship programs across the country, Mike Davidson has a clear solution to the industry’s talent shortage


2:45 Pm - 3:30 Pm

TALENT How to Build a Culture that Keeps Employees +

Dave Toole, owner, Toole’s Garage

The essential guide to creating a culture from the top-down that every employee buys into.

You will learn:

  • How to create a list of operational standards that will become the expectation in your shop
  • How to instill those values into your staff and keep them a source of constant conversation

TECH Charging for Diagnostics +

Joe Marconi, owner, Osceola Garage

Not charging for diagnostic time in your shop can hurt gross profit dollars, effective labor rate and your bottom line—here’s how you can ensure none of those are affected.

You will learn:

  • Strategies for getting paid for diagnostic time
  • How to make sure you’re charging enough and selling the importance to customers

TECH Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Panel — e-Commerce and the Future of Auto Repair +

Greg Buckley, owner, Buckley’s Auto Care (panelist)

Donny Seyfer, owner, Seyfer Automotive Inc. (panelist)

Bryce Evans, editor, Ratchet+Wrench (moderator)

The sale of automotive parts has undergone a major shift over the past several years, especially through the channels of eBay and Amazon. Position your shop to succeed in the changing marketplace.


3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Networking Break


4:00 Pm - 5:00 Pm

Roundtable Discussions


5:00 Pm - 6:00 Pm

Cocktails & Networking Hour +

Take a breather, grab a drink, and go back over notes from your sessions with other shop operators. This is also a great time to seek out the speakers and ask them follow-up questions.


6:00 Pm - 8:30 Pm

The Big Networking Party +

This is your time to let loose after a long day of learning! We’re taking you offsite for a night of food, fun and supercharged networking with your new friends. There will be a lot of energy and a lot of fun.


 

DAY THREE: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22


7:30 Am - 8:30 Am

Networking Breakfast


8:30 Am - 8:45 Am

Conference Jumpstart


9:00 Am - 9:45 Am

CUSTOMERS Community Marketing +

Ron Haugen, owner, Westside Auto Pros

As an independent repair shop, you have opportunities larger companies are often too big to truly capture—as long as you’re willing to connect with your community.

You will learn:

  • The independent’s guide for becoming your market’s go-to, trusted shop
  • Simple tactics for engaging members of the community and becoming the talk of the town

LEAD Bringing a Vision to Life +

Sunil Patel, owner, Motorwerks of Houston

How to identify and execute the vision you have for your shop—and sell it to your staff.

You will learn:

  • The steps to identifying the exact vision of your business and how to lead with that vision in mind
  • How to make sure your vision permeates through every area of your shop

LEAD Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Ryan Clo – How I Did It +

Ryan Clo, owner, Dubwerx, Avid Autowerx and Just Saab

Ryan Clo’s European speciality shop wasn’t always the pristine, precise and efficient example of industry professionalism it is today. But he found a way to take his shop from good to great, and is convinced any shop can do the same.


9:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Networking Break


10:15 Am-11:00 Am

TALENT Developing a Surefire Onboarding Program +

Leigh Anne Best, owner, Mighty Auto Pro

Bill Hill, owner, Mighty Auto Pro

Swiftly and effectively onboarding new hires is key for a smooth transition, but creating a program that emphasizes continuous employee development ensures continued success.

You will learn:

  • How to prepare for a new hire
  • How to fully indoctrinate new hires into your team
  • How to keep good employees happy and engaged

WORKFLOW Systemize Your Shop +

Greg Bunch, owner, Aspen Auto Clinic

Systems and processes are key for not only allowing staff to effectively do their jobs, but also for you as a shop owner to take a step back and work on the business.

You will learn:

  • How to identify the systems that will be most effective in every area of your shop
  • How to ensure processes are meticulously followed by staff

LEAD Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Greg Buckley - How I Did It +

Greg Buckley, owner, Buckley’s Auto Care

How Greg Buckley has used innovative technology to streamline his businesses’ customer service strategy.


11:15 Am-12:00 Pm

WORKFLOW Advanced Shop Financials +

Sunil Patel, owner, Motorwerks of Houston

An effective grasp on your business’s financials is the key to not only stability, but also growing your shop and expanding operations. Learn the advanced—yet simple—keys to understanding your top financial documents.

You will learn:

  • How to properly utilize your financial statements
  • The keys to planning and forecasting your budget

CUSTOMERS Facebook Revealed +

Dave Striegel, owner, Elizabeth Auto Care

The free secret Facebook strategy that actually delivers new customers to your shop.

You will learn:

  • How to leverage the power of Facebook and get in front of your customers
  • Easy marketing campaigns that yield big returns

WORKFLOW Ratchet+Wrench Talk: Panel - The Keys to Expansion +

An inside look at the step-by-step, systematic approach to help make the expansion process as smooth as possible—from shop owners who have done so.


12:15 Pm - 1:00 Pm

Networking Lunch & Sponsor Giveaway


1:15 Pm - 3:15 Pm

WORKFLOW Workshop: Break Through Your Largest Bottleneck +

Every business, no matter its status or level of success, has issues that hold it back. Some are obvious; some aren’t. In this two-hour, action-packed workshop, you’ll work with Ratchet+Wrench columnists and industry superstars Aaron Stokes, Brian Sump and Rissy Sutherland to identify and fix your operation’s biggest issues.

Functioning as a true workshop, Stokes, Sump and Sutherland will help you:

  • Identify your business’s largest bottleneck
  • Formulate processes and action plans to correct the issues
  • Discover strategies and insight into the implementation process of your plan, including, but not limited to, leading through change, getting your team on board, making changes without disruption, and continued focus on improvement.

Stokes, Sump and Sutherland will be on the floor, answering one-on-one questions and workshopping ideas. Each will draw on their respective experiences in forming some of the industry’s most iconic operations in order to provide you with the solutions you need to push ahead.


3:30 Pm - 4:30 Pm

Cocktails & Networking Hour +

It’s been an action-packed three days. You’ve learned valuable insights and made new connections. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a drink before you head home to implement these strategies in your shop.


Happenings

In addition to the 30+ strategy sessions, there will be an unlimited number of opportunities to kick back and connect with other shop operators (including the speakers). Here are some core events that will get you started.

 

PRE-CONFERENCE MEET + GREET
SEPTEMBER 19, 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

If you arrive early and have some free time Wednesday evening, come say hello to the Ratchet+Wrench team. We’ll be hanging out in the bar area of Harry Caray’s at the conference hotel.
 

KICKOFF PARTY
SEPTEMBER 20, 5:00 PM–6:30 PM

Join us as we kickoff the conference with some fun, food and auto-driven networking—Chicago-style! If you like to mix a little fun with business, you won't want to miss this party.

The Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards Presentation
SEPTEMBER 21, 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Honoring the best in the auto service industry, the 6th annual Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards recognize outstanding industry professionals in five categories:

• Executive
• Management
• Administrative Support
• Shop Worker
• Wild Card
The Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards
are sponsored by KIA, MAHLE and MobileSoft

THE BIG NETWORKING PARTY
SEPTEMBER 21, 6:00 PM–8:30 PM

This is your time to let loose after a long day of learning! We’re taking you offsite for a night of food, fun and supercharged networking with your new friends. There will be a lot of energy and a lot of fun.
 

COCKTAIL + NETWORKING HOURS
SEPTEMBER 20–22, TIMES VARY

Take a breather, grab a drink, and go back over notes from your sessions with other shop operators. This is also a great time to seek out the speakers and ask them follow-up questions. Here's to the next step!

PRESENTATION THEATER
SEPTEMBER 20–22, TIMES VARY

Located right in the Networking Plaza, you'll have the opportunity to see, first-hand, some of the latest and greatest in products and services in action. This year's lineup includes:

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.

 

hotel information

The conference will take place at the 4-star Westin Lombard Yorktown Center hotel. We have a limited number of discounted rooms, so register early and reserve your room for the biggest savings. Rooms will sell out.

 

 
 

THE WESTIN LOMBARD
70 Yorktown Shopping Center
Lombard, IL 60148
View Directions

register

Register now for the best price. Some passes close to selling out.

ALL ACCESS
$1,499 $1,029

  • All conference sessions
  • Kickoff and Awards Party
  • Big Networking Party
  • Meals throughout the event
  • Online community for more discussion
  • Videos of every session

GENERAL ADMISSION
$1,324 $874

  • All conference sessions
  • Kickoff and Awards Party
  • Big Networking Party
  • Meals throughout the event
  • Online community for more discussion

SPOUSE PASS
$229

  • Kickoff and Awards Party
  • Big Networking Party
 

sponsors

 

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