Former AAMCO Employee Makes the Jump to Franchisee
Familiarity with a system can be ideal for people looking to buy their own franchise.
That was certainly the case for John Summers, who currently owns an AAMCO service center in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. After having worked as a service center manager for four years, Summers purchased his own AAMCO franchise in 2004.
While working as a service center manager, Summers was tasked with handling all of the customer relations aspects of the business, including greeting and working one-on-one with customers on their automotive repair service needs and dispatching work to the service technicians.
And while he loved his role, Summers wanted the increased flexibility that business ownership brings.
“I wanted to have the independence that comes with self-employment,” Summers said during a recent interview.
Since purchasing his franchise, Summers said, he can enjoy more time with family while still having the opportunity to make a great living.
Having been an employee of AAMCO for several years before becoming a franchisee, Summers still took advantage of the company’s state-of-the-art training center, AAMCO University, located in the Atlanta area.
In addition to classrooms, AAMCO U. includes a simulated service center with hands-on training designed for new franchise owners, customer service managers and technicians.
Training for new owners runs for four weeks. Three of those weeks are spent in a classroom and one week is spent at an existing AAMCO service center.
Since the opening of its first service center in 1963, AAMCO has built extensive career paths for employees of its franchises, which helps owners recruit top notch talent in the field. These career paths allow franchise owners to not only offer jobs to people, but meaningful careers, which helps them retain the talent they attract.
The company has also simplified its business model for franchisees. As cars become more complex, it has become increasingly difficult for franchise owners to repair transmissions at the local level. In 2012, AAMCO acquired Global Powertrain Systems (GPS), located adjacent to AAMCO University, which gives franchisees the opportunity to buy below market value transmissions and allows them to save money and focus on expanding its Total Car Care services.
In addition to its own university and transmission rebuilding center, AAMCO also provides ongoing in-field training by way of operations managers who make quarterly visits to franchisees’ centers to train both technicians and management.
Summers had high praise for AAMCO, saying the company’s leadership is taking the brand into the future with continuous improvements and new initiatives.
With AAMCO’s assistance, the franchisee recently transitioned his existing store from a three-bay service center to a 10-bay super center, which has quadrupled business ever since. He is considering opening additional AAMCO locations in the near future.
Summers said he believes in the AAMCO model and the company has invested heavily in giving franchisees ongoing support, which is good news for Summers and his fellow franchisees.