ARA Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program

7 Steps to Success

There have been a lot of changes recently with ARA, our National Association. ARA and its leadership are focused on how to better serve its members. One thing that we agree on, in addition to legislative representation, is the need for training and education for our members. There is a need for mentoring in the industry to make all recyclers better operators.

ARA has put together a panel composed of some of the industry’s leading recyclers to advise and coach all recyclers large and small, full and self-service, and be available to help any recyclers that may be struggling or simply may be looking for answers on how to be better operators. We believe successful operators have an obligation to help others in our industry to improve their own businesses, with the ultimate goal for the betterment of the industry as a whole.

Our vision is for this to be a cornerstone in ARA’s new direction in training and education for its members.

This initial program will be free of cost and a benefit of being an ARA member. We will run this program in its initial phase for one year. This initial phase will close two weeks before the start of our annual conference.

This program will focus on the 3 Ps (People, Product and Process).

  1. People: How to attract, hire, train, and retain good employees. The importance of building a good team. Employees are a company’s greatest asset.
  2. Product: Purchasing the right vehicles to supply customers’ demand in their market. Using data from the YMS to help make informed business decisions to fill those needs.
  3. Process: How to properly inventory, dismantle, and warehouse parts. The importance of quality control as well as proper handling, packaging, and shipping.
  4. Customer Service: How to better serve and fill the needs of their customers. The importance of providing a great customer service experience, customer retention, and the importance of online reviews.

This mentoring program will focus on the big picture (getting back to the basics approach), with an emphasis on proper fundamentals.

How this will work:

We have and will continue to reach out to members in need of help. We will start with a simple questionnaire, with a phone call or two to get to know them and their needs. This will require analysis and evaluation because there will be no “cookie cutter” approach. The treatment and advice will be tailored to the specific needs of the mentee. The mentee will be required to visit the mentor’s place of business.

For each mentee, there will be seven tasks to perform. Again, these tasks will be unique and tailored to the mentee. This “ladder” approach will be broken out into three segments that must be done within the first phase of the program. The order will be: easy, harder, and hardest. The first segment will have three steps that can be easily done and have the most effect. The second segment will be two more difficult tasks. The last segment will be the two most difficult tasks.

The mentee will be required to hold up his end. This means acting on the task he is given by the mentor. The mentee will also be required to attend the annual conference, give his input, and share how this program has worked for him with all members. Because this is a “no cost” program to the mentee, these conditions must be met. We cannot effectively teach or mentor someone who is not willing to put forth the effort needed. For this program to be successful, it is going to require hard work and an honest effort from both the mentee and the mentor.

This isn’t about instant gratification.

We as mentors should be doing this as a way to give back to the industry in which we belong, and for the mentees, the mindset should be that more responsible and successful operators are almost always the most profitable. This is our return on investment, folks.

ARA is the only association for auto recyclers.

Your ARA vision: Train, Educate, Advocate!

     To learn more about the program or to become involved, please contact Sandy Blalock with ARA at 571-208-0428.

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