Combining stellar customer service skills with operating experience gleaned over a 25-year tenure as a Moran Family of Brands franchisee, enabled Al Martin to win the coveted Milex Franchisee of the Year Award for a second time.
Diagnosing problems correctly, making sure not to overcharge, and employing skilled technicians helped Martin become a star in the Moran Family of Brands franchise system. As part of his effort to provide customers with high-quality service, he has a policy of acknowledging repair mistakes. Honesty and working with integrity are central components of his business philosophy.
Martin operated a Multistate Transmission store in Naperville, Illinois, for 20 years before adding Milex Complete Auto Care to become a co-branded operation in 2015. His business was so successful that he was named franchisee of the year one year later. In addition to operating his co-branded shop, Martin serves on Moran’s Franchise Advisory Alliance, which serves as a resource for franchisees under the Moran umbrella.
“There is a sense of pride in winning this award. I am there for other franchisees and try to help them, and they respect and like me enough to vote for me,” Martin said. “Moran Family of Brands gives you all the tools and teaches you how to use them. Their support has been fantastic.”
Franchise Path Started in Corporate Office
Before becoming a franchise owner, Martin first started as an operations manager with Moran Family of Brands conducting center manager training. The course used to be conducted once a week at the company’s Midlothian, Illinois, headquarters. Today, the 12-week training is offered as a correspondence course and is broken down into five related topics by days of the week.
In addition to training, Martin performed center visits to analyze performance and repair orders. From there, he went to Alabama, where he worked as a center manager at Mr. Transmission stores owned by Robert Fondren and Randy Whitworth. Following his tenure working at the corporate headquarters and for two franchisees, Martin was ready to venture out on his own and bought his first franchise in the Chicago area.
Co-Branding a Game-Changer
Martin built his business in the transmission industry, operating his Multistate location in Naperville for 20 years before co-branding with Milex approximately five years ago. Adding Milex to his store enabled him to provide customers with a wide variety of auto repair services, while continuing transmission repair. His location offered customers a one-stop shop for servicing all their vehicle’s needs.
“It has probably been life-saving. It has been so important to be able to offer a service in addition to transmission repair,” Martin said. Adding general repair increased our gross sales numbers and has greatly increased our customer base. Being able to provide both services gives customers one location that can handle all their repair needs.”
Committed to Offering a Helping Hand
As a member of Moran’s Franchise Advisory Alliance, Martin is committed to helping fellow franchisees succeed on their path to entrepreneurship. Martin does on-site training for new franchisees and is always happy to answer calls from franchisees who have a question or a technical problem. The training gives new franchisees a hands-on experience of how a successful shop operates on a daily basis. Martin relies on his experience from operations to continue to provide guidance and support for other franchisees.
Martin places great value in staying abreast of the latest innovations in the field. When he started in the industry more than 40 years ago, there were only 17 to 18 transmissions, and now there are more than 400. He takes part in educational seminars every year and reviews industry publications, saving important information into his database, so his employees are also kept up to date on the latest technology. Instead of learning by mistakes, his technicians have the information they need to succeed.
Moran Family of Brands looks forward to recognizing Martin’s accomplishments and contributions to the system at its convention, which will be held April 29 - May 1, 2021 in New Orleans.