David Saline has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, and more than 40 certifications. He is an ASE Medium/Heavy Duty Truck Master Technician, ASE Advanced Level Specialist, ASE Master Automobile Technician and ASE Master School Bus Technician. David ranked in the Top 30 Diesel Technicians at the Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) SuperTech competition, which tests trucking industry technicians for written and hands–on tech skills. In 2011, David started out as a client with Management Success and, two years later, joined the team by leading training seminars. He is now the Vice President of Sales at Management Success, while continuing to run two shops, 2nd-to-None Service in Moriarty and Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his wife, Lynetta.
Management Success’ business model is designed specifically to relate to the shop owner and who better to share proven practices than the clients themselves. How did you transition from a Management Success client to an employee?
I went to a Management Success seminar and that’s when I realized that I needed help with managing my shop. The way we were running things just wasn’t working anymore and I was ready for a change. I signed up for the program and, immediately, I noticed an improvement. Management Success taught me everything that I need to know about how to run my business and how to make it better.
Once I applied these concepts, I ended up working myself out of a job. I didn’t have to be there as often, the shop ran smoothly without me, my staff took ownership of their positions and profits increased. At this point, I became bored. I have always had a passion for community outreach and customer service and the automotive industry is where I belong, so the transition seemed natural. I now fulfill this passion through my role at Management Success. They helped me improve my quality of life and now I get to help other shop owners achieve this same dream lifestyle.
What was the biggest change your shop experienced after implementing Management Success’ consulting services?
Before Management Success, I was working six and sometimes seven days per week, from about 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. I was earning a technician’s salary, so this seemed pointless since I could work for a shop putting in fewer hours with similar pay. Finances were stressful. I always had to worry about our next bill, how we would pay it and if we would have enough left over for payroll. There were some months that we didn’t have enough, so I paid my employees and I didn’t take a check. Within six months of signing up with Management Success, we had doubled our shop’s sales. I was working less than eight hours per day, the shop was profitable and operational, and I had money in reserves.
How difficult is it for you to leave your shops and come into an office each day?
It’s not difficult at all; each shop runs itself. I have the right management put into place, my managers and finance team report to me daily via email and they keep me apprised via weekly reports. I know every customer who comes into the shop and what work is being done through these reports. That has significantly freed up my time so that I can travel from New Mexico to California. Every Monday morning, I fly out to work in our Glendale office all week and then fly back home for the weekends.
As a shop owner, if there is one piece of advice that you could give to other shop owners, what would it be?
We need to accept the fact that sometimes we need help. We can be our worst enemies by not taking it. We’re in the business of fixing things and we think we can fix everything. If the business isn’t doing well, we are programmed to believe that the solution is a few more hours of extra work for just a little more money. Corporations and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have one thing in common; they hire hundreds of consultants to guide their companies and it only makes sense that we do the same for ours.
When you first started in your new your role as Vice President of Sales, what was your first impression of Management Success’ internal operations?
I remember first thinking that they are very organized. One of the most impressive things about Management Success is there isn’t one person on the team who isn’t dedicated to helping others. All of the employees here at Management Success help to make millionaires. It’s not strictly for a paycheck; they do it because they’re individually passionate about making a difference.
Since you are currently a shop owner and you’ve probably had exposure to many automotive consulting groups, what three qualities do you think sets Management Success apart from the competition?
Management Success becomes a vested partner. Our success depends on your success, and your consultant becomes not just your coach but, over time, a best friend. It’s a great working relationship.
Another great thing that makes us different is we emphasize teaching shop owners the right communication skills. In a shop owner’s line of business, they are dealing with people all day long — from customers to parts vendors and employees. As a client of Management Success, I was taught the people skills to handle each relationship in the correct manner. The results here are a profitable business, happy employees and a more efficient shop.
Thirdly, the Management Success philosophy runs a business off of the numbers. It’s important not to make judgements by the balance in your checkbook, but by what is actually happening in the shop. What do the statistics say? If you monitor your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and how to make important decisions based on where your statistics stand, it’s a lot easier to get the results you want to see.
Since this industry is constantly evolving, what can we expect next from Management Success?
I see our world adapting to a new electronic age with more computer systems and technology. The programs that we use to track KPIs and measure statistics are all programs we built internally. We have a team of programmers and web experts. Management Success constantly strives to maintain both management principles and technology. That combination is powerful for us.
What advice do you have for shop owners who are trying to expand their brand?
Everything that you do is an extension of your brand and the reputation of our industry. Get involved in local trade associations and business networking groups. This is key in helping you improve the standards of the automotive industry.
From a local standpoint, it’s as simple as being active within your community. You can sponsor local sports teams, attend Chamber of Commerce meetings, join local clubs, help your favorite charity, or become a mentor. High schools and vocational schools are always in need of mentors within our industry and it’s a great way to help make a difference.
When you make a positive impact within your community, it expands your brand and improves the quality of our industry. Also, a kind gesture is contagious. It encourages others to want to make a difference. In turn, it helps to make all of our towns a better place to live.