WORKSHOP FOCUS: HOW TO SET UP THE WORKSHOP OF THE FUTURE!
The project, promoted by Autopromotec EDU and Quattroruote Professional, met with the approval of a number of mechanics interested in attending these courses dedicated to the study of business financial management and digital marketing in the aftersales sector
Curiosity and the desire to rise to the occasion. In order to turn any garage into a Workshop 4.0 many specialists have decided to go back to the drawing board, and to do that they chose to follow the courses “Focus Officina” (workshop focus). The project, created through a partnership between Autopromotec EDU and Quattroruote Professional, aims to provide participants with a set of notions and tools on how to improve the economic management of an enterprise as well as on how to enhance online communication. During the first two stages in Bologna and Milan (but more have been planned in other Italian cities, see the calendar on www.focusofficina.com) entrepreneurs in the aftermarket sectors have analyzed, together with industry experts, several strategies: from how to increase revenues and expand business, to techniques on how to be successful, using the web, in communicating the quality and competence of their work.
The courses will focus on two aspects, both useful in keeping up with the evolution that is sweeping across the automotive sector including after sales service. On one side it deals with understanding how to better manage a business by investing in innovation and technology, and training, and, at the same time, how to use the web as a showcase in which service quality, products and skills can be displayed to find new customers.
Therefore, two special courses were created to provide specific knowledge in the field of digital marketing and financial management within the workshop. «What we do in class is simply to explain how to best set up a profitable online marketing activity – says Daniel Rozzoni, Lecturer in the course "Your workshop on the web: how to take your first steps" and founder of Kerete.it.
Speaking about the web, been present online, making one’s business known, providing the necessary details of the company’s activities, embracing the networking logic and creating a reputation thanks to user’s timely reviews, is essential if a business aims to catch more and more consumers”. Nowadays, a growing number of people use search engines when it comes to deciding what to buy and where. And this no doubt applies also to cars and car oriented services, something that aftermarket companies have well understood – seeing how quickly the market is changing – although still trailing behind a number of other sectors. “Investments should be aimed not only towards technology but also towards marketing – points out Rozzoni. What’s the point of having advanced tools and expertise if one doesn’t know how to communicate them to his clients? That's why a good training program is essential in this field”.
The goal of this digital marketing course is to explain the importance of an effective online presence and to learn how to use key tools to maximize visibility so as to retain customers or acquire new ones. «During class I try to explain what are the top five things to do immediately in order to create an effective profile online – states Rozzoni. Simple things such as learning to communicate what the business is about. The aftermarket’s digital approach is still insufficient and this is not good. With the exception of large companies, small enterprises are still looking at this aspect of the business with little interest, despite the new scenarios and possibilities it offers".
To remain competitive, though, the web alone isn’t enough unless supported by a sound financial management coupled with a good business strategy. To provide the right tools in this case there is a course on the economic management of the workshop. «The idea is providing independent entrepreneurs a few basic notions on proper management – says Marco Fossati, lecturer in the “Workshop Economic Management” course and freelance collaborator of Quattroruote professional. All this to help entrepreneurs to understand how to monitor the key aspects of their business’ profitability.
The course starts by analyzing the income statement explaining its various items and identifying a strategy to increase revenues, improve profitability and adopt a sound management of costs. According to the latest data, there are 83,460 workshops on the Italian market which cater for just over 37 million motor vehicles with an average of 444 vehicles per workshop. A network of garages evenly distributed throughout the territory which, considering the arrival of increasingly innovative vehicles on the market – with Italy currently undergoing a gradual replacement of the national fleet of cars which is the oldest in Europe – must inevitably focus on professional training if it wants to be able to provide adequate customer care and enjoy rising profit margins. The risk, in fact, is to become obsolete with the prospect of having to close the shop. A scenario that the Financial Times, in a recent survey published a month ago, has suggested for different jobs, including many related to the automotive sector and its aftermarket due to the rapid technological development. “During the three hours of the course a series of ideas are considered – continues Fossati. Furthermore, thanks to practical drills, participants have the opportunity to test what they have learned so as to have some business ideas to implement and develop once back home”.