Automotive Training Institute (ATI), which consults to automotive service businesses, has helped more than 20,000 shop owners ``increase profits, make life easier and stay professional,'' according to President Chris ``Chubby'' Frederick.
Savage, Md.-based ATI conducts management training, tracks financial benchmarks tailored to auto service businesses, and analyzes the needs and goals of clients.
Key customer groups within the industry are those whose businesses ``provide a reasonable return but do not meet the owner's long-term goals,'' Mr. Frederick said, and baby boomers who are opting to retire and sell their businesses.
ATI's proprietary software and management system allows clients to log on to the company's Web site-www.autotraining.net-and input weekly sales and cost data for parts and labor, technician productivity, human resource costs and operational costs. The data are benchmarked against 16 financial/performance indicators, including average car-repair dollars, shop productivity by technician, weekly sales and weekly gross margin.
A one-year full consulting program runs $19,000. The company said that 30 percent of its clients are referred, while the rest come from seminars like that presented at the SEMA Show. Potential clients are rigorously screened. ATI guarantees clients a two-to-one return on investment but reports that about 2.5 percent of clients fail to attain the two-to-one guaranteed returns.
Corporate clients have included Sunoco, BP/Amoco, Meineke, Goodyear's Gemini auto service program, the Heavy Duty Truck Association and the Tire Industry Association.