Since its inception more than 20 years ago, Dynamic Automotive has always been about more than just repairing vehicles. With three locations in the Frederick, MD, area, the shop’s owners, Dwayne Myers, Lee Forman and Jose Bueso have chosen to give back to customers and the community alike through education.
“We are big believers in educating ourselves, our team, our customers and the community as a whole,” Myers says. “We began this automotive repair shop not only to work on cars, but to integrate into our community as a business that was well respected and able to be relied upon.”
Dynamic Automotive representatives attend community events throughout the year to help educate local residents both about their vehicles and all three shop locations in the Libertytown, Urbana and New Market areas of Frederick.
“We stay active in all our communities, with booths at local carnivals, county fairs, Fourth of July events and musical festivals,” Myers says. “When we celebrated our 20th anniversary in business, we decided to use education as a means to give back and presented a scholarship to a local student. We have already committed to have multiple annual scholarships in the future.”
Customers also benefit from the shop owners’ focus on education with Car Care events throughout the year. At each clinic, employees provide free safety checks and also educate customers about basic car care procedures. Myers says it’s this kind of commitment that makes customers take notice.
Positive Customer Experiences
“I can say we fix the car right the first time, but nowadays that’s not enough,” he says. “That’s expected, and if you can’t do that, then you will not be in business for long. Our goal is to give our customers an experience that is positive. That isn’t easy because no one wants to spend money to repair or maintain their vehicle. To help with that, we try to listen to them, get to know them, and their wants and needs. This personal touch has helped us grow.”
A commitment to educating staff through ongoing training has also helped with steady business growth over the years. Myers says education starts even before a potential team member is hired.
“During the interview process, the potential team member is asked about their feelings on training, and our policy is that if a class is available that will help them grow, then they are expected to take that training,” he explains. “Our quick lube technicians receive training directly from our oil supplier, complete with videos explaining how the facility operates. Then they are teamed up with a trainer to get hands-on training. Other team members, technicians and service writers go through an orientation and then are paired with a trainer to learn their duties.”
And that’s just the onboarding process. The shops use local resources for technician training throughout the year as well, with groups such as Auto Plus, Advance (CTI), Parts Authority, NAPA, ATI and WORLDPAC.
“Business development, sales training, human resources, bookkeeping and management training are also critical,” says Myers, “and for those areas, employees attend courses at local community colleges and universities, as well Fred Pryor Seminars training.
“Managers also receive appropriate education toward completion of a business degree,” Myers says. “The more educated they are, the better their ability to lead their team. As an automotive repair shop, we may fix cars but we are truly in the ‘people’ business. We are continuously developing our skills to better communicate with our team members and customers alike to be successful. Continuing education helps us accomplish this goal.”
The shop’s emphasis on training has paid dividends on a national level, too. The Auto Care Association recently awarded Dynamic Automotive with its 2015 / 2016 Head of the Class Award in the Small Company category. The award recognized the shop owners’ commitment that all employees would have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills.
Once team members have demonstrated their dedication to honing their craft through ongoing training, they have the opportunity to attend national events such as AAPEX, SEMA, the VISION Expo and Automechanika. And it’s not all business; Myers says they want to make sure employees have fun as well.
“We don’t use these events for just training, but team building as well,” Myers says. “We try to send a manager or owner with the team to help strengthen the bond they share. We also like to add an extra day to give employees the chance to experience the area they’re visiting. There’s nothing worse than going to Las Vegas or Chicago, and not having the opportunity to get to experience some sights!”
With that level of commitment to employee development, it comes as no surprise that most of the staff at the business’s three locations have been with the company for a long period of time. But when they do need to look for a replacement, many times they hire from within, thanks again to that focus on training.
“The last time we had to replace an ‘A’ tech in one of our stores, we moved him from another store,” Myers says. “We had groomed him through training, and when the time was right, he moved into that position.
“Otherwise, we try to use word of mouth. We let our people put the word out. If you have a good work environment, they are happy to share it with their friends. It’s not always about the money. Many people want to belong to something that is positive and growing. They want to work with people who believe in them and invest in them as a professional and a person.”
“At our Urbana facility, we call all of our customers back a week later to make sure we meet their expectations,” he says. “Do they have any questions, concerns? Do they understand what we did? We also email our customers using MechanicNet. It’s a reminder of needed services, critique of services performed and an avenue for them to communicate with us.”
Shop Appearance & First Impressions
First impressions are important, but so is maintaining a shop’s appearance year after year. To keep each location looking its best, Myers says that in addition to everyday maintenance they give the shops “a really good cleaning.”
“I was in the Army a long time ago, and I like things to be in their place and in an orderly fashion,” he says. “Customers bring very expensive investments to us to take care of, so we need to be professional and trustworthy. I tell my team that a clean carwash cleans a car better. It’s the same with the entire building. If it looks great, then that is part of providing great service.”
The owners of Dynamic Automotive have certainly found a winning combination in education and focusing on people, whether it’s employees, customers or the community at large. Twenty years in business is proof positive of that.
“You have to develop a team of people to help make a positive experience for the customer,” Myers concludes. “It takes time and dedication to the job, and the people to make this happen. Lots of education and an openness to be willing to try something different. Accept input from your people and act upon that.
“Of course, you have to set up the proper margins and matrixes for the business, but deep down it’s the people we have on the team who deal with the customers that come into our shop on a daily basis. We are in the people business — we just happen to fix cars, too.”