Tatum: Upgrading Your Talent

Feb. 9, 2024
Investing in-house with ASE programs.

Many of you are always on the lookout for the next big hire. We are always looking for a talented salesperson or a gearhead that can add some higher-level services to our business. This comes with generally higher costs in labor and recruiting, as well as onboarding and training costs. But what if there was a resource that you could utilize to not only build up your own people in-house, but also get national certification at the same time? Let’s talk about your options within ASE certification programs.

Let’s start with the most sought-after certification within the quick lube industry: looking to add more services. The A5 Brake certification is the ASE’s designation for their techs. The testing is not that difficult or expensive to get set up. During the pre-training process, your technician will learn about everything from simple brake diagnostics to complicated understanding of brake system rebuilds. This will allow you to add brake repairs, rebuilds, and replacements to your lineup of services. The testing is done by season, so if your technician misses out on the score the first time, they can return for another shot at a lower price point.

If you want to get deeper in the repair weeds, you can send your technician to another testing option: ASE A8 Engine Performance certification. This test is one of the most popular test series offered by ASE and tests your knowledge of an automobile’s ignition, fuel, exhaust, and emission control systems. There is a lot more studying and hands-on work to get this one down, but the financial benefits back to your shop are worth the effort. You may have to do some investing to get the full effect of this certification. You’ll want to get specialty tools, a toolbox, and maybe add in a two-post lift. However, you would have new abilities in changing starters, alternators, fuel pumps, and more.

Finally, there is an odd one that most do not think about, and I send certain people to take this one. Like any ASE certification exam, the C1 Service Consultant test requires a great deal of knowledge and preparation. Not only are you required to have two years of previous on-the-job experience, but you also need to demonstrate communication skills, product knowledge, sales skills, and an understanding of shop operations in order to pass the test. This program will help you fine-tune each of these skills so you will be prepared to take on C1 certification. The C1 is great for service advisors or salespeople in our business. The skills that they will acquire on this track will allow your people to be able to explain services and answer simple questions about repairs that need to be made. You can see the results of this training over time as you add additional services.

There are many tracks that can be beneficial to your business that can be taken with the ASE certification programs. There are so many more that I did not discuss, such as A/C and heating systems, diesel specialists, suspension, and transmission tests. Invest in getting some training materials for your teams to be able to check out and study. You can get complete sets of ASE study guides on Amazon for less than $200 that can be used as pretests. With a certified technician, you gain the ability to advertise yourself as an ASE certified location and will be able to hang up banners and signage to say as much. Take advantage of marketing it on social media and in your advertising. You will be happy that you made the effort to train and advance your own people. It is a lot easier to cultivate loyalty in your business trying within, rather than always overpaying for someone looking to make a little more somewhere else. Remember that YOU might be the one that they move on from next. 


About the Author

Adam Tatum

Adam Tatum is the Director of Operations for Virginia Lubes, a Jiffy Lube franchisee with 11 locations. He has over a decade of experience in the industry with a proven track record of building customer counts and sales, as well as using innovative ways to bring a new look to the automotive field for both the customer and the employee.  Performance comes from growing your business through people.

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