Running a Shop Tech+Tools

The Resources that Connect Us

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There is more than one right way to run a well-oiled machine. Despite similar tasks and challenges that everyone tackles, the duties of owners and operators aren’t the same. This provides a great opportunity for collaboration. After all, this industry is not immune to change. Being prepared, staying informed and building a community can help ensure success now and into the future.   

This is something that Kevin Davis has built his business on. Davis is the president and COO of Fast Change Lube and Oil and a former NOLN Operator of the Year. He’s established an online community for operators called Quick Lube Expert. Davis is plenty busy, but it’s all driven by a passion for this industry and a desire to see other operators perform their best.   

“First and foremost, I’m a quick lube owner and operator,” Davis says. “I started in the quick lube industry in 1994 building one location, and over 28 years we were able to grow to over 25 locations operating in four states.”  

Davis served on the board of directors for the Automotive Oil Change Association and was able to teach a management certification course for around 12 years. This involvement helped him to make many connections across the industry and established Davis as a valuable resource.  

“During that time, I found myself continually fielding calls from people who were trying to find some resources,” Davis says. “That’s kind of where Quick Lube Expert was birthed from. It was just filling a need that people were asking for, and from that we were able to put a lot of resources online.” 

 

Engage With Fellow Experts  

In the Quick Lube Expert platform, users can buy a monthly or annual membership to access training videos on various topics. There are also resources for safety briefings, standard operating procedures, product and equipment reviews, tech bulletins, shop maintenance minutes, IT communication system tips and more.   

“To me, Quick Lube Expert [is] a one-stop-shop of what I wished I had when I started,” Davis says.   

These resources can be accessed through the Quick Lube Expert website. In addition, Quick Lube Expert also offers one-on-one calls, virtual webinars with operators to discuss hot topics for the industry, a free social media network and in-person shop consultations. 

Collaboration and learning from other operators are the driving forces for this community, the way Davis sees it. There is value to be found in seeking out resources such as the ones that Quick Lube Expert operates and beyond.  

“When you are a quick lube owner and operator, you have to continually stay up with your game,” Davis says. “It’s like I always tell people, ‘It’s hard to give people water from an empty well.’ So, it’s hard for you to continue to give out to your team members, your communities and your customers if you don’t have somebody else pouring into you constantly.”  

Davis believes that one of the things that makes the quick lube industry so great is the number of resources available, from associations to conventions, certifications, trade magazines and more. It boils down to the initiative of taking advantage of the resources available, and Davis says that doing so will pay off.   

“I think that if you’re going to be relevant in this industry and you’re going to be sustainable to continue on, you’ve got to reach out and seek these resources to continue to develop and grow yourself,” Davis says.   

This mindset is especially important as the industry continues to evolve and emerging vehicle technology has become a prominent component of the automotive world. Davis suggests doing research and staying up to date with relevant training opportunities in order to navigate the inevitable.    

  

Maintain Your Relationships

Whether the motivation is to expand your portfolio of knowledge or plan for the future, the greatest takeaways that Davis has seen from his own community are the relationships that have been built.   

“The biggest thing I can say is don’t stay on the island. So many times, I think what happens is, as owners and operators we get so consumed with what we’re facing that we feel like we’re on that island all by ourselves and that’s a terrible place to be,” Davis says. “Because when you’re on that island by yourself, it does seem like the sky is falling sometimes. It does feel like the waves are crashing in on you.”  

Davis says that, across the decades he’s dedicated to this industry, he has never been told no when he’s asked someone for help. By seeking out resources, and by having a willingness to learn and an openness to connect with others, Davis says this industry can only become stronger.   

“I think it’s very important that as owners and operators we stick together,” Davis says. “Are we going to be competitive sometimes? Are we going to compete with one another sometimes? There are going to be times that we are. But I think that we do better by networking together, sticking together [and] helping one another be successful so [that] we’re successful as a whole.”  

 

Hear more from Davis in his interview with The NOLN Podcast, available at noln.net or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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