By Vic Tarasik, Shop Owner Coach
Wow, what a year it’s been! Through challenges and times like this, we have the opportunity to adopt a growth and change mindset. When we look back five, maybe 10 years, we’ll look at the lessons we’ve learned and realize that in tumultuous times, the best of us truly comes out.
So how does that fit into AAPEX? Well, during the COVID scare and the impact it’s had on our country, industry leaders have been working to bring you one heck of an AAPEX show this Fall.
In 2019, AAPEX made a commitment to do something that has never been done at the show before. Bring live running vehicles inside a built-out 5,000 square foot 6-bay shop, complete with lifts and a 2,000 square foot front counter experience. The shop will be known as “Joe’s Garage.”
On top of that, the entire first level of the Sands Expo hall is dedicated to the service center and everyone who works inside the shop. It’s known as Repair Shop HQ; it will have sections devoted to Mobile AC, Tires, Telematics and Diagnostics, Alternative Fuel, and Tool & Equipment, which will feature two live Tool & Equipment demonstration areas.
But wait, there’s more… Repair Shop HQ will have three training theatres for technical and business management training. Here you’ll be immersed in a hands-on training environment with live vehicles, all sessions taught by today’s top industry trainers.
Joe’s Garage will have a broad appeal for everyone in the shop. Here, shop owners can look at some of the latest equipment, software and service solutions from the leaders of that respective product category.
Technicians will have the opportunity to get up close to some of the newest service equipment where they’ll not only see it in action, but talk with the people who know how to get the most out of it.
Managers and advisors will be able to see the latest cloud-based and traditional shop management systems, CRM and DVI applications and how to improve operations at the front of the house.
Joe’s Garage will be a highly dynamic environment so plan on going to this new area more than once while you are at the show. You never know who you will see or what might be going on at any given time. Considering that Joe’s Garage is literally in the center of Repair Shop HQ, you won’t be far from it at any point in the show. That way it will be easy to visit multiple times!
The headliners for Joe’s Garage will be NAPA Auto Care, Bosch, Hunter Engineering and BG Products; each will have stellar exhibits that are sure to wow you. NAPA will build a fully equipped Auto Care bay demonstrating hybrid services, and electronic power steering operation and repair. Bosch will outfit one of the bays with their latest advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) calibration equipment and demonstrate the ease and functionality of ADAS on a live vehicle.
Hunter Engineering is bringing their latest alignment equipment and will have its team on hand to walk you through the newest features to improve you and your shop’s impact of offering alignment service.
BG Products will have their team of experts on hand to show you the effectiveness of their fluid chemical and signature equipment. They will have demonstrations on their full line of chemicals and equipment. They are not to be missed!
Headlining the service counter experience will be Carm Capriotto of Remarkable Results Radio; Carm will have his studio at the heart of Joe’s Garage. Stop by to see an interview in action or just to say hi to Carm.
Additional headliners to the service counter experience are Tekmetric and Kukui. Tekmetric offers cloud-based shop management software. They will demonstrate the functionality of all the Tekmetric components in the shop environment.
Kukui is a leader in website implementation and SEO; Kukui will have a green-screen studio in Joe’s Garage. Visitors can have Kukui shoot a 60-second spot to put on their own website.
Additional exhibitors in Joe’s Garage as of this blog include:
360 Payments – They’ll show you how to make it easier to get paid through their virtual terminal or integration with your shop management software. Talk with experts on the benefits of the integrated payment system and text-to-pay solutions.
Broadly – Will demonstrate their online communication system and provide shop owners with their own online business health check.
Challenger Lifts – See their mid-rise floor-mounted lift in action and talk with their team about how Challenger lifts can assist your under-car service.
EuroVent – You’ll see how a full shop exhaust extraction system can enhance the work environment, reduce utility costs, and create a healthier atmosphere.
John Dow Industries – Get to see the latest fluid handling equipment, LED lighting, hose reels and other tools used in support roles in your shop.
Mitchell 1 – See the full suite of Mitchell products. They’ll have their management system and CRM products available for you to look at.
Shop Boss – Offering cloud-based shop management system with full DVI, payment and CRM abilities.
If you’d like to learn even more, visit the Welcome to Joe’s Garage page to watch the new video, Check Out Joe’s Garage.
Lastly, this will be the inaugural year to recognize the service professional. AAPEX will be presenting awards for Shop Owner, Service Advisor, and Technician of the Year. I gotta say, that is pretty cool!
Regarding COVID, we don’t know what the landscape will look like in a few months, but rest assured that AAPEX and the Sands Expo are putting into place protocols to protect your health. The health of the attendee is the number one priority of the show.
As you can see, there is a vast commitment to the service professionals at AAPEX and now more than ever you have a reason to attend the show. If you consider there will be world-class training, a complete show floor dedicated to the shop, or the live demonstrations in Joe’s Garage, and awards for the best of our profession, then you can see this is the show to attend this Fall!
Vic Tarasik has been an independent auto repair professional for more than three decades and is the former owner of Vic’s Precision Automotive in The Woodlands, Texas. He is the founder of Shop Owner Coach, a coaching and training organization that is committed to helping independent repair shop owners achieve their dreams through the intentional application of best business practices. Vic can be reached at vic@ShopOwnerCoach.com.