Precision Tune Auto Care: Training That Strengthens the Automobile Industry
By Brandon May


Precision Tune Auto Care, a one-stop automobile car maintenance and repair company headquartered in Leesburg, VA, understands the importance of franchisee training. According to Lee Oppenheim, vice president of franchise development, Precision Tune Auto Care’s training programs are regarded as an important aspect of franchisee success: “Training should be important to any organization so that you’re learning with the improvements in technology.”

As a full-service automotive repair and maintenance company, Precision Tune Auto Care has built a successful business model which includes high-quality training. The training process involves video-based training courses which include franchise management, pricing for profit, and service writer and advanced service writer courses that take care of the front of the house. Training and refresher courses for technicians—like oil changing, tire rotation, engine diagnostics, brake maintenance and alignment—are also offered for franchisees. In total, there are 10 weeks worth of true classroom courses offered during various periods throughout the year. Precision Tune Auto Care also supports the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) curriculum for mechanics. And, the plus side of training is that all training in the system is free.

Employees can receive certification for the successful completion of training courses.
According to Lee, “Anything we teach requires certification and recertification every five years. This is required by us.” Also, when it comes to who is trained, Lee is very clear about requirements: “Everyone is trained—management, front line, customer service, franchise owners and the technical aspect.” He expands by saying, “You need training on the customer side in learning how to better engage with the customers and become an effective communicator, and you need training on the back end to improve your efficiency in operations and to increase your staff skills, which ultimately is going to result in the opportunity to land more business for your company.”

Training isn’t without its challenges in the automotive industry, as Lee points out. Copious amounts of litigation can strain the line between franchisor and franchisee, and for some franchisors the franchisor/franchisee practices have caused new issues in the industry. However, training and certification is still recommended to help employees on all sides have the skill sets they need to do their job safely and effectively.

How Precision Tune Auto Care Encourages Training
Franchisors can’t require training, nor can they establish minimal performance standards for employees of franchisees. One of the ways Precision Tune Auto Care encourages franchisees to train employees is to work by example. Also, Precision Tune Auto Care features an international convention held every two years that provides numerous training programs and presents countless field examples, all of which is designed to increase motivation among franchisees to train. Ultimately, however, the franchisee has to make the decision whether or not they wish to follow the business model and train their employees. This one decision can be the turning point for franchisees. According to Lee, “We’re a very mature system and have a very low turnover because we have a very effective training program and operations team and a model that can be followed and duplicated throughout the country and anywhere in the world.”

To further encourage training, Lee believes franchisees need to believe in the business model they’ve bought into. They also have to know that they have multiple lines of support to help them during the running of the business. “Beyond the franchise agreement which governs how we’re going to play with each other, we have an operations team in the field which is involved in the initial set up and launch of the shop. And then I’ve got my training department which is out there teaching classes in the field.” Precision Tune Auto Care also has a MyPTZone, an online toolbox in their Intranet for franchisees where they can access everything they might need for supporting their business. Here, franchisees can access fliers for marketing and advertising, uniforms, or promotional items. In addition to online support, there is also a tech support line for the back office software which helps shops run business on a daily basis. A tech hotline is available to assist with any major or day-to-day technical issues.

About Precision Tune Auto Care
Precision Tune Auto Care is a full-service automotive maintenance and repair company with 40 years of experience in the automotive care industry. The company started in 1976 in Texas as an engine tuning and diagnostic company before becoming a one-stop shop for maintenance services and repairs, including oil changes, brake maintenance, tire rotation, and heavy engine repair. The certified team of technicians at Precision Tune Auto Care perform similar dealership repair services but usually at a better price with a greater convenience factor for customers. Precision Tune Auto Care services 2.5 million vehicles a year and has 267 locations in the United States and another 70 stores in eight other countries.

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