This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Automotive Management Institute (AMI), the provider of management education for the automotive service and collision repair industry. The Institute currently offers more than 1,300 approved courses, a faculty of 300 approved instructors and the prestigious Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation. To date, its programs have attracted 230,000 enrollments throughout North America.
The Institute was founded 25 years ago based on the concept that there was an abundance of technical education in the market, but very little industry specific management education. At the start, AMI offered 26 courses taught by 10 instructors. Today, courses are offered on a range of topics including marketing and sales, operations and service, management and administration, financial management, and personnel management and human resource development. Students can choose from several formats including webinars, online courses, DVD-quality downloads, self-study workbooks and traditional classroom settings.
“When students take an AMI course, they immediately can apply what they learn to the day-to-day operation of their business,” said Tony Passwater, AMI Board of Trustees chairman and president of AEII, Indianapolis, Ind. Many students tell us that the skills and techniques they learn from AMI courses have made their business more efficient, profitable and successful. AMI also has helped thousands of shop owners and managers change their focus from ‘turning wrenches’ to truly managing the shop and its employees.”
Steve Louden, one of the founding members of AMI and owner of Louden Motorcar Services, Inc., Dallas, Texas, said, “After 25 years, many shop owners would not be in business if not for the management education they received from AMI. For them to succeed in the future, management education is a must.”
Louden also is one of the first to earn the Institute’s AAM designation. In the past 25 years, more than 1,700 students have completed 120 credits of education and graduated from AMI with the AAM designation.
Jerry Holcom, owner of S & S Service Center, Inc., in Kansas City, Mo., and a graduate of the class of 1996, has a total of 712 AMI credits, the most credits ever earned by an AMI student in the Institute’s 25-year history. “When I went into business 32 years ago, I knew that I was a good technician, but not necessarily a good business owner. After several years of trial and error and learning mostly by reading trade magazine articles, my early mentors Richard Clipp and Bob O’Connor made me aware of AMI and what a great management training resource it is for shop owners,” said Holcom. “Over the years, as I found I needed some training or a refresher on a particular topic, it was great to look through the catalog by subject and find just what I was looking for. And with AMI’s new monthly webinars, I can plan an hour off for my entire front counter staff and help keep them (and me) pumped up with some great ideas, then get right back to work. Congratulations to the AMI staff and the AMI board of trustees for 25 years of helping us become better automotive managers.”
“In 1989, our founders had a vision – to make management education specifically tailored to the industry accessible to owners, managers and their staff,” said AMI Executive Director, Toni Slaton, AAM. “Since then, more than 700 AMI-approved courses are delivered annually at many of the industry’s largest events.”
The Institute will celebrate its 25th anniversary with special events throughout the year, starting with the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) and the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS), June 30-Aug. 1, in Detroit.