AT THE TIME OF WRITING THIS LETTER, we have just finished a very successful Virtually VISION conference. We had superb live training; we had a lobby to meet up with old friends and make new acquaintances. We enjoyed watching the opening general session keynote speaker, sponsored by Advance Auto Parts, along with a happy hour supplied in our VISION boxes, courtesy of NAPA. I felt this virtual event was the closest thing possible to being live in Kansas City. One of the truly remarkable differences from this year is that VISION attendees could log in and view all the presented classes compared to years in the past. How cool is that? If you missed a class due to a conflict in timing, no problem, watch it later on. And many shop owners are allowing their technicians to watch some of the management classes, too. Can you think of a better way for the front and the back of the shop to better understand the concerns each is having? Who would have thought about cross-training as a method of helping increase shop productivity? This benefit was good until April 15th for all attendees, but as a member, you get access to the videos for the term of your membership!

Every year, my friend Jerry Holcom buys lunch and has a meeting with his staff a few weeks after VISION. He requires each employee to bring a list of at least five new ideas or techniques that they got from the VISION training, and they each get a chance to share these ideas with the rest of the staff. What a great way to come up with an action plan for the coming year!

I enjoy this time of year, as it’s the end of winter; the days are longer, the flowers are blooming, and customers have a much brighter attitude. All of this, combined with a mental “recharge” that I received when attending Virtually VISION, gives me an excellent launchpad to really focus on my yearly goals. I find it easier to motivate my staff and put into place the things we learned from VISION, not to just let those lessons fade away. We just pull out our action plan and check off each item as they are put into use.

I am very optimistic that 2021 will be a hectic year for the auto repair industry. We need to be prepared more than ever. My question is, have you reviewed your goals? Are you optimistic that 2021 will be a good year for all of us? With the benefits I receive and the alliances I make from being involved in MWACA, I am confident we will meet the challenges head-on and have a great 2021.


President of MWACA
Owner of Chumbley’s Auto Care