Why you need to be in Orlando this February

By Andy Fiffick, Chairman and CEO MACS Worldwide, Owner Rad-Air

There is no doubt that the technology in the
vehicles entering our shops today is changing at a startling rate, and we in
the aftermarket / independent repair industry need to keep up or be left in the
dust. Experience has taught us that we also need to purchase new tools and
update our equipment or we will no longer be able to be competitive.

Nonetheless, it is a wonder to me when I speak to many shop owners who brag
about having no problem purchasing the latest-and-greatest tool or scanner that
no one boasts about their training programs for their staff.

Training is of the utmost importance to our survival and it’s where many of our
competitors have the one-up on us. Believe me, the vehicle manufacturers know
training pays dividends for their brand and their long term survival. They
require their franchisees to purchase the needed tools and technology and that their
technicians continue their education as part of their new vehicle franchise
agreement. Each year the dealership staff gets the best vehicle-specific
training and equipment they need to keep up with technology.

In my opinion, the technicians and mechanics in most independent shops are good
or better than most vehicle or brand-specific shops because they need to
diagnose, maintain, service and repair many brands and models of vehicles built
over several decades. Call it what you will – training, trial and error, or
evolution – that has taught these men and women to think and work their way
through tough problems and find solutions to repair vehicles.

These are very talented people who stand at the top of their trade; however,
they do need our help to keep up with technology, and here is where I believe
we sometimes fail them as shop owners. So the question is; why are we not
training our staff to keep and stay competitive? Could it be cost? Could it be
lack of time? Could it be we just don’t care? Could it be training is hard to
get? Could it be we are too proud and don’t want anyone in the shop better
trained than we are? Maybe a combination of all these and other reasons all
together! The bottom line is most of us do not provide enough training for our

The good news is that as a MACS member you have all of the necessary training
and technology available to you at this year’s Training Event and Trade Show in
Orlando, Florida on February 6th, 2013. There is nowhere else you can view all
of the latest equipment and receive top notch training for your staff for less.

Additionally, I always learn as much from networking with hundreds of shop
owners from around the country and always come away with new ideas on how to
improve our business. It is truly a unique event you and your staff need to
experience. I invite you to join us in Orlando in February and raise the bar in
your shop.

I often wonder “How are we as independent shop owners going to compete for the
brightest and best talent out there if we do not put a value on training and
education?” Come to Orlando, bring a tech or two and continue your education to
stay ahead of your competition. Additionally, consider starting a formal
training program in your shop to ensure your growth and survival.

See you in Orlando in February!


The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.
You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Click here  to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Be the Best of the Best will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues. www.macsw.org
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