The 2020 FenderBender Awards: Keith Myers
Humble as ever, even after nearly 45 years in the industry, Keith Myers is uncomfortable when praise is heaped upon him.
So, when Myers, the CEO of Eurotech Refinishing and Collision, heard a colleague praise his shop’s segmented repair processes, he sounded stunned.
“I’m a technician at heart, and I grew up working on cars,” notes Myers, who operates two Los Angeles-area shops that combine to produce $10.5 million in annual revenue out of 23,000 square feet. “We put estimating disassembly, reassembly, and our mechanical work all in one building.
“There’s steps that you have to go through in each repair. You know, you don’t put your shoes on and then your socks, right?”
But again, that’s just Myers being humble. Because what he really did was take the repair process, deconstruct it, and created a process that involves a level of technician specialization that, when implemented, delivers the highest quality work with a streamlined process flow that maximizes efficiency and produces the highest quality, most consistent outcome possible.
Through continuous exploration of new strategies, advanced technologies and enhanced processes, Myers continues to drive higher productivity and profitability.
“The whole process is really about producing consistent, predictable outcomes,” Myers explains. “There are people in each department in charge of making sure that our SOPs are followed every time.”
Myers feels that his shops’ quasi assembly-line process could be the answer to today’s industry wide technician shortage. After all, by focusing on one shop floor specialty, young technicians can become an asset to their employer rather quickly.
“I think it would really help the industry with the technician crisis,” Myers says, “to create more specialities in the industry, instead of just assuming that one technician is going to be great at every discipline.”
Eurotech gets young technicians up to speed rather quickly. And it has to, considering the two southern California shops work on a combined 380 cars or so per month, with techs producing five times the industry benchmarks of gross sales per technician. Over the years, Myers has found the following tactics can help a young technician become productive in mere months:
- Screen new hires. Myers hires many technician hopefuls as trainees initially, letting them know their work will be monitored closely for at least 90 days before a promotion is considered.
- Assign new hires mentors. At Eurotech, entry-level technicians work directly under the guidance of veteran employees for at least three months.
- Focus on fit. “We really want to build a team,” says Myers, who takes note of how new hires interact with veteran staff members.
- Invest in new technicians. Myers sends a message to talented young technicians that their employer views them as valuable by investing in tools and training. He works collectively with his team to develop and refine their performance, seeking input and ideas from them. The result? Increased trust, a unique culture, and stellar work.
Perhaps the biggest reason that Eurotech is such an incubator of talent is Myers’ boundless passion for the industry. It is, by all accounts, infectious.
“I really enjoy and like the people in the industry,” says Myers, who regularly helps oversee a staff of 60. “I just enjoy being a part of it. I’m very grateful to the industry for what it’s done for me and my family. I don’t take that for granted.
“I’m still passionate about what I do, and I have no desire to retire.”