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  • 1. Dear Cottman Franchise Community, Believe it or not, by the time you read this we will already be well into the fourth and final quarter of 2010, and what a year it has been! In one short year we’ve gone from a company that was experiencing some significant “communication challenges,” to an organization that, as a whole, is more connected than at any time in recent memory. Attendance at our monthly Town Hall webinars has continued to climb at a steady pace, while our new “Franchisee and Technician Portals” have provided an entirely new means of facilitating the information delivery process. In addition, our Cottman Convention in May and subsequent “Mini-Convention” regional seminars have provided the perfect forum to connect with the majority of Cottman Owners and Staff, while helping to spread the vision regarding STORE LEVEL PROFITABILITY and our goal of creating “THE ULTIMATE COTTMAN.” Although I personally believe that we’ve made great progress these past few months, there is still much work to be done and 2011 will once again be a year of growth and change for all. So what’s on the horizon you ask? Plenty – here’s a brief preview: The rollout of our new and significantly improved Point of Sale System New and improved business intelligence at a local, regional and national level The continued rollout and implementation of our new “Outside Sales in a Box” program An enhanced and improved Site Visit process New and improved Marketing and Advertising programs Even more focus on Individual Store Profitability And more… Based on my conversations with many of you, along with my personal visits to multiple stores this past year, I believe that the key to our success going forward will be the relentless pursuit of the “Ultimate Cottman” ideals: clean, good looking stores; high quality, well-trained staff; upgraded software; new third-party programs, a commitment to high quality transmission and Total Auto Care work; and a continued emphasis on profitability. Thank you for all of your hard work and commitment this year and I’m looking forward to another year of continued growth and success in 2011. Sincerely, INSIDE THIS ISSUE Town Talk 2 The New and Improved Cottman.com 4 Rick Center in the Spotlight: Hammond, LA A little recycling can make you some extra cash 6 8 The Home Office Team 12
  • 2. Cottman Transmitter Page 2 Town Talk By Joe Josko In this issue of Town talk, I would like to discuss several dealers who think “well” outside the box. Our first dealer is Dan Simon of Cary NC. Daniel is always looking for new ways to increase his centers visibility. Daniel went out and had 100 jackets made with the Cottman logo proudly displayed on them. He then went around town giving them to the needy and homeless. It is hard to drive around Cary and not see our logo somewhere you would least expect it. This served a two-fold purpose in that not only does it get our name out there in a very unique way, it also helps some very needy folks. And because of that, its all tax deductible. He also purchased a headlight polishing business. He not only sells the service to his TAC customers but, he also uses it to get on many dealer lots by offering free or discounted services to those who send him their work. It has helped him establish several new wholesale accounts. These steps are a necessity for Daniel whose center is buried in an industrial park, and therefore hidden from view. In Waldorf, Maryland, Ken and Cara Barker use several other unique methods to generate interest. First, they use little plastic discount cards attached to the customer’s key ring. It is punched each time a customer returns for work and entitles the customer to a ten percent discount on any future work. In this way they pattern their customers to keep returning. They also offer 90 day same as cash financing and have helped roll this useful program out to the entire chain. It must be effective, as they will be the first Cottman to exceed the million dollar mark in TAC sales alone. Fred Bowen in Greensboro NC makes heavy use of the internet to promote his shop. He credits the exposure from this single source for about one third of all his business. Dealers everywhere are looking to capitalize on the rise in the auto repair segment of the market by using new logo signs with Total Auto Care, pennants, banners, handouts, window clings, mirror hangers, shirts, hats and good old fashioned palm pressing to establish or solidify relationships with our customers. In our recent round of “Mini Conventions” Rick Basch, our President, Joe Josko, Senior Operations asked what your plan was for generating business tomorrow. Are you Manager is available to one of the ones still waiting for snow, a hurricane or excessive heat to answer all your questions improve your business or do you have a real plan for your center’s about your center. He may growth? We are in the fourth quarter of 2010 and quickly headed for a be reached via email at new year. If you lack a plan at present, set your sights on 2011 and jjosko@cottman.com what you want and need your business to do and how you plan on get- or at ting there. If your not sure of what to do give us a call and we will be 215-643-5885 Ext. 153 happy to help.
  • 3. Cottman Transmitter Page 3
  • 4. Cottman Transmitter Page 4 THE NEW & IMPROVED COTTMAN.COM As you are no doubt aware, the new COTTMAN.COM website has now been live for a few weeks, and we hope you are as excited as we are to have such a cutting edge, user friendly and highly optimized web presence. There were three major goals we set out to accomplish in the design of our new site. In order to maximize the exposure of a website, through either SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or SEO (Search Engine Optimization), there are very specific components that needed to be a part of the design. Many of these are not visible on the site itself, but are an important part of the back end design. In the creation of the new site we worked closely with the development team to make sure our site was designed with all the right “key words” and “tags” to ensure that the site was fully optimized. We have already seen a measurable improvement in our on-line exposure and rankings since the new site was launched. Next, it is important to have a site that is attractive and interactive. We want our visitors to stay engrossed, and our goal was to create an “experience” that inspired them click through the various links. The site needed to be very easy to navigate with all of the important information easily visible and simple to find. That is why the “Click to Save”,” Find a Cottman Center” and “Car Problems?” are available on the first page in multiple locations. Once a visitor locates their nearest location, we wanted to make sure that your individual page included as much information as possible.. If you have not done so already, please take a careful look at your own page and let either Leonie Sowah or myself know if anything needs to be added or corrected. The last thing we want is to miss an opportunity due to a lack of correct information. Please note that the online appointment function is still active, so please remember to check your email several times throughout the day. Finally, we wanted to create a website that would provide a wealth of information to our Franchisees, and that would help them (and their Managers and Techs) to become more knowledgeable and profitable. On the bottom of the website, simply click on the link that says “Portal.” The username is “franchisee”; the password is “cottman246”. Once you enter the portal you will be able to view all kinds of information including news, communications, previous webinars, videos, the monthly “Score Cards” and even an online “Swap Shop.” Please take some time to visit each and every link. We have also added links to all of our third-party vendors, which will take you directly to their respective websites. At the bottom of this page you will find the “Technician Portal” link; the username is “technician” and the password is“tech321”. The “Tech Portal” provides valuable technical information such as bulletins, news and technical training videos. Your technicians will be able to access the side directly by clicking on the “Portal” link on the main Cottman.com page and using the same username “technician” and the password “tech321”. Please keep in mind that this is only the beginning. We will constantly be updating the site with more news, information, videos and webinars. Please visit the site frequently and as always, your comments and suggestions are always welcome! By Sue Burg
  • 5. Cottman Transmitter Page 5
  • 6. Cottman Transmitter Page 6 Center in the Spotlight Mike Price, Hammond, LA We all know that word of mouth referrals bring big Receiving such praise from customers is nothing new dividends and are a major factor in lead generation to a veteran Cottman dealer like Mike Price. In fact, and lead conversion. Building bridges one customer at this is Mike’s second time around with the Cottman a time with national fleet and warranty companies is System as owner of the Hammond, LA Cottman Center another solid method to bring in even more leads and for the past 6 years. Mike formerly worked as the drive revenue. When you can turn those kinds of leads Manager of the Mandeville, LA Cottman Center for 5 into major Cottman boosters, the fleet and warranty years. companies will surely send more business your way which is exactly what’s happening at Mike Price’s While working as the Manager at the Mandeville Cottman Center in Hammond, LA. Cottman Center, Mike saw an opportunity to be his own boss and earn a good living in the repair industry. Recently, Cottman’s Customer Relations Department So, he made the leap and bought the Hammond received some very complimentary feedback from a Center, doubling up as both owner and manager. military discount referral, Mr. Robert Coleman. Mr. Most days Mike admits to spending 14 hours or more Coleman wrote to us expressing his appreciation for the in his Cottman Center providing both Transmission outstanding service he received from Mike Price and his and Total Auto Care services. crew at the Hammond Cottman center. Mike feels that as a Cottman Center owner there is Mr. Coleman writes; “Mike and his staff provided certainly plenty of room to grow, and is energized and excellent emergency service on my 1996 GMC excited with the fresh leadership he sees in having a Sonoma while traveling from Florida to Nevada. He also new Cottman President. Of course, Mike attributes arranged for pickup and delivery to a local hotel for my much of his success to paying attention to the details two night stay while the truck was being repaired. I will and to making his customers feel comfortable and highly recommend to USAA that they continue to use confident that he will get the job done right. this repair facility. Thank you for standing behind your work with the warranty service, not to mention the For this outstanding effort and dedication to quality repair and getting me to my destination on time.” customer service, Mike Price’s Hammond location has been honored as this quarter’s “Center in the Spotlight”. For any customer service inquiries/issues and to request By Carol Kohlmier information about closed center Director of Customer Service warranties, please contact Carol at 215-643-5885 Ext.160 or via email at carol@cottman.com
  • 7. Cottman Transmitter Page 7
  • 8. Cottman Transmitter Page 8 A Little Recycling Can Make You Some Extra Cash Recycling - it’s the buzz word of the 21st century. Recycling containers are becoming common all over the place. Here at the home office everyone has a recycling container and we are asked to put bottles, cans and white paper in these bins. Everywhere you look people are trying to do their part to clean up the planet. Even a number of you guys have a place in your shops for cans and bottles. It’s great that you have taken it upon yourselves to do your part in keeping cans, bottles and papers out of our land- fills. But let me ask you, what are you doing with your old transmission parts? I’m not talking about hard parts and cases. I’m talking about the old clutches, steels, bands and other parts we replace every day. If you are like most of the centers I’ve visited, you are throwing them in the trash where they go right to the local landfill. The problem is we don’t see any value in the scrap we produce. If you think I’m kidding answer this question, “What do you do with your old aluminum and damaged hard parts?” I’ll bet the answer is I give it to a junk collector. Have you ever asked yourself what your junk collector does with all the old aluminum, brass, steel and copper? I’ll tell you what he does with it. He sells it! Everybody laughs at the poor old junk collector. I mean look at him. He’s usually dressed in old dirty clothes, drives an old beat up truck and spends most of his time rummaging through other people’s junk. Remember the old adage that “He who laughs last, laughs best?” I’ll bet your old junk collector is laughing all the way to the bank. I had an uncle that always drove no more than a 2 year old Cadillac, lived in one of the nicest homes I can remember and put 2 kids through college and one through medical school. I never knew it as a kid but he was a junk collector. By now you’re asking yourself, where are you going with this? Think of all the clutches, steels, bands, and metal clad seals you are throwing away. Ever wonder what it’s worth? I can tell you that I recycle all the bent and busted race car parts I collect during the year. I usually end up with about ½ a pickup bed full of junk that gives me about $50 in cash that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. So once a year I make a trip to the recycler and pick up an extra $50. Now I can hear you guys saying that $50 is not worth the effort. Well Jack Roush from Roush Racing said in an article that he recycles 90% of every racecar they total during the year. And in 2009 that brought in $261,000. Just about every part in a transmission can I’m willing to bet that you will fall somewhere in-between. be recycled. Doing this helps keep these parts out of our landfills and can also put a little Recycling in your center isn’t hard to do. Get yourself some 55 gallon money in your pocket. drums. Label one for clutches, one for steels, one for bands, one for steel parts and one for aluminum. Instead of throwing this stuff in the trash, have the technicians put the parts in the appropriate drum. When the drum is full, take it to the recycle center or scrap yard and sell it off. You can even put metal and brake pads that are not returnable in the drum marked steel. So your Total Auto Care scrap is recyclable also. Recycling your scrap really takes very little effort but can be very rewarding. First it takes all the recyclable parts out of your area landfills. It will actually help clean up your shop because your technicians now have a place to put this stuff. It will cut down on your trash collection costs because you will take some of the recycle weight out of your dumpster and lastly is will make you a little money. By Bob Afflerback
  • 9. Cottman Transmitter Page 9 51 TX, WOODLANDS 3516 3rd Quarter AWG Ranking 52 NJ, WILLINGBORO 3441 1 PA, PAOLI 205 53 FL, BRANDON 3557 2 MD, WALDORF 3535 54 MD, BELTSVILLE 3293 3 CO, DENVER BROADWAY 2936 55 PA, LANCASTER 218 4 LA, GRETNA 140 56 PA, PITTS (BABCOCK) 3556 5 NC, GREENSBORO 2732 57 TX, CORPUS CHRISTI 2128 6 MI, FLINT (SAGINAW) 3364 58 TX, AUSTIN CONGRESS 2265 7 VA, NORFOLK 2178 59 NC, CONCORD 3542 8 KY, LOUISVILLE SHELBYVILLE 3367 60 SC, SPARTANBURG 3540 9 LA, N.O. (EARHART) 1138 61 VA, VA BEACH (INDIAN) 3545 10 WA, VANCOUVER 2364 62 NY, ALBANY 3437 11 FL, FERN PARK 3528 63 LA, BOUTTE 2978 12 PA, EMMAUS 2064 64 TX, AUSTIN YAGER 2425 13 CO, WHEAT RIDGE 3544 65 LA, METAIRIE, VETS 2102 14 OH, CINCINNATI (EASTGATE) 3021 66 NY, E SYRACUSE 2386 15 TX, SAN ANTONIO PATRICIA 3508 67 NC, MOORESVILLE 3435 16 NJ, TRENTON (OLDEN) 1405 68 PA, STROUDSBURG 3532 17 IA, DES MOINES 2658 69 OK, OKLAHOMA CITY WESTERN 3552 18 VA, MANASSAS 3538 70 LA, LA PLACE 3360 19 NC, GARNER 2229 71 IL, LONG GROVE 3267 20 KS, SHAWNEE 3533 72 OK, MIDWEST CITY 3549 21 NC, RALEIGH 2430 73 NS, HALIFAX 2134 22 NC, WILMINGTON 2700 74 PA, ERIE 2915 23 OR, BEAVERTON 2095 75 SC, GREENVILLE 2243 24 MO, GLADSTONE 3088 76 FL, TAMPA (DEL MABRY) 127 25 PA, LANSDALE 220 77 OK, OKLAHOMA CITY 3550 26 VA, WOODBRIDGE 3512 78 OK, OKLAHOMA CITY ROCKWELL 3551 27 FL, OLDSMAR TAMPA RD 3499 79 PA, PHILA (13TH) 2248 28 SC, COLUMBIA BUSH RIVER 3536 80 WI, KENOSHA 2344 29 NJ, WOODBURY 187 81 LA, HAMMOND 2994 30 PA, KINGSTON 2961 82 TX, ROUND ROCK 2532 31 NC, CARY 3509 83 NC, DURHAM (ROXBORO) 3554 32 AZ, PHOENIX CAVE CREEK 3530 84 NC, BURLINGTON 3227 33 PA, FEASTERVILLE 2999 85 GA, ATLANTA (BUFORD) 3001 34 DE, NEW CASTLE 108 86 MI, GRAND RAPIDS 3263 35 MO, KANSAS CITY 836 87 VA, ALEXANDRIA 2555 36 MO, INDEPENDENCE 3500 88 GA, MARTINEZ 2957 37 KS, OLATHE 3523 89 WV, CHARLESTON 2690 38 VA, RICHMOND 3136 39 FL, JAX (ATLANTIC) 1971 90 KY, LEXINGTON 3196 40 PA, WEST MIFFLIN 2032 91 NV, LAS VEGAS (JONES) 2484 41 OH, COLUMBUS (BROAD) 199 92 OK, YUKON 3553 42 TX, CEDAR PARK 2489 93 MO, ST. CHARLES 3537 43 VA, CHANTILLY 3555 94 KS, WICHITA 3084 44 GA, MARIETTA (Cobb) 2983 95 PA, GREENSBURG 3539 45 NJ, MAPLE SHADE 3195 96 VA, RICHMOND BROAD 3371 46 SC, MAULDIN 3504 97 WI, RACINE 2571 47 FL, JAX (BLANDING) 3126 98 VA, VA BEACH (HOLLAND) 3529 48 MO, ST. PETERS 3527 99 NS, DARTMOUTH 1615 49 NC, CHARLOTTE (SUGAR) 1571 100 FL, ST PETERSBURG 3548 50 NC, CORNELIUS 3520 101 DC, WASHINGTON 2597
  • 10. Cottman Transmitter Page 10
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  • 12. Cottman Transmitter Page 12 COTTMAN HOME OFFICE DIRECTORY NAME TITLE EXTENSION/CELL E-MAIL RICHARD BASCH President Ext 156 rbasch@cottman.com JOE JOSKO Senior Operations Manager Ext 153 jjosko@cottman.com Regional Operations Manager - Eastern or (267) 549 - 1044 RYAN OPRANDI Regional Operations Manager - Southeast (330) 206 - 0088 roprandi@cottman.com ROBERT HETTENBACH Regional Operations Manager - Midwest (610) 764 - 5011 rhettenbach@cottman.com ROLAND CAMUNAS National Account Fleet/ Inside Sales Ext 209 rcamunas@cottman.com 3rd Party Inside Sales or Alternate Regional Operations Manager (215) 359 - 5091 LEONIE SOWAH Executive Assistant to president Ext 101 lsowah@cottman.com BOB AFFLERBACK Technical Services Director Ext 158 bafflerback@cottman.com CAROL KOHLMIER Director of Customer Service Ext 160 carol@cottman.com SUE BURG Director of Advertising (ROSS) Ext 201 sburg@cottman.com CHRISTINA CARTER Administrative Assistant (ROSS) Ext 234 ccarter@cottman.com STEVE FREEMAN Collections Manager Ext 140 sfreeman@americandriveline.com ROBERTA MENSAH Accounting Clerk Ext 147 Roberta.mensah@cottman.com GREG ADAMS Vice President of Equipment Ext 180 gadams@americandriveline.com CONNIE LINEMAN Promotions/Supplies Manager Ext 181 clineman@americandriveline.com Cottman Transmission Systems, LLC 201 Gibraltar Road. Horsham, PA 19044 Phone: 215-643-5885 • Fax:309-420-6349