Education+Training Service Technology Department

A Coaching Mentality

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Aric Heuring entered the industry after his high school sweetheart’s father told him he needed to go to college—so he signed up for diesel school.

“I had never changed oil in my life,” Heuring says.

Heuring quickly caught on and started as a lube tech in the express lane and by 24, was promoted to shop foreman and lead diesel tech, a title that he held until he was 34 years old, when he was promoted to service director.

Heuring credits his upward mobility to being in the right place at the right time.

“It was a weird era, everything with technology was rising quickly in the early 2000s,” Heuring says. “There was a huge variance of techs that were skillful in technology and those that were falling behind. I was part of the young group that was passionate about technology.”

Not only was he in the right place at the right time, Heuring has also found a leadership style that works for him and found ways to uncover hidden potential.

Growing its Own

Something that Heuring really likes about Brandon Dodge is the fact that the dealership promotes from within. The dealership has eight line technicians that have been promoted from lube techs in the last four years and one of them is the shop foreman.

“We focus on tapping into local trade schools and growing our own,” Heuring says. “Grow your own and you’ll have employees for life.”

Heuring says that the dealership visits career fairs and works closely with local colleges.

Creating a Path

At Brandon Dodge Ford, the service department has a minimum of two apprentices per year. To enter into the apprenticeship program, they must start as a porter to get a feel for the position.

“A technician sometimes doesn’t understand the life of a service advisor, they don’t understand the service advisor is the most important person—porters understand that,” Heuring says of structuring the program this way.

The porter then moves into the service lane and after that, the person is placed into the apprenticeship program for 6–12 months, depending on the need. Then, he or she becomes a line tech.

Continual Support

Even after the apprentice is named a line tech, he or she isn’t left to fend on his or her own. He or she is given a stall next to a mentor that can help them through it.

“The scariest thing for a tech is going from hourly to flat rate pay,” Heuring says. “It’s scary. We keep them close to the person that is helping them.”

Leading by Example

Heuring describes his leadership style as a coach.  

“I’ve had different leaders in my life and the ones I appreciated the most had no qualms doing my job,” Heuring says. “I will never ask anyone to do something that I’m not willing to do. Being a coach is the best way.”

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