How to Create a Tool Incentive Program

June 6, 2017

Jamie Dodd has found a way to increase sales by giving her technicians money to purchase tools.

STATS:  Autosmith  Location: Colorado Springs, Colo.  Innovator: Jamie Dodd, CEO  Size: 4,000 square feet  Average Monthly Car Count: 142  Annual Revenue: $587,000

What It Is

A tool incentive program.


The Inspiration

At Jamie Dodd’s shop, Autosmith, technicians are paid an hourly wage, between $10.25 and $16, depending on the skill level. Dodd wanted to inspire her team to hit specific goals by providing each tech with some sort of incentive.Her front office staff has a sales goal incentive, but she wanted something to inspire her technicians. Dodd considered numerous incentives until she settled on tools.

“In this industry, people are expected to pay for their own tools,” Dodd says. “It’s a lot to ask.” 

That’s when she decided to implement an incentive program that would award her staff money for tool purchases when sales goals are met.

What It Does

Dodd sets a sales goal for the team at Autosmith each month, which she says is typically a 10 percent increase from the same month a year prior. She then posts each day’s sales in a bar chart that is made available to the entire staff. The sales from each day are added to the cumulative sales for the month so the staff can watch it increase. If the team meets its goal for the month, Dodd buys the entire team lunch. If the team meets its goal for three months in a row, she writes each of her technicians a check for $250 that can be used for tool purchases. 

“If we’ve done $48,000 in the month and their goal was $49,000, then they haven’t met their goal,” Dodd says. “Since we started over a year ago, there’s only been one month that they haven’t met their goal.” 

Dodd explains that the one month that the goal wasn’t met was a month where an employee change occurred. Dodd says that the team loves doing it and that it gets everyone in the shop invested in meeting sales goals.

How It's Made

In order to track progress, Dodd prints out a chart that shows the sales progress and updates it daily. That way, the team can see exactly how close they are to hitting their goal. Dodd decided $250 would give her staff enough money to buy a few tools or make a down payment on a more expensive tool. 

“One hundred dollars wasn’t enough and $500 was too much,” Dodd explains. “I felt $250 was a nice number down the middle.”

If the staff achieves its goal for the third month in a row, Dodd pays the tool vendor the $250 directly and then the staff has that money on credit. 

The Cost

Apart from the $250 checks she writes if they reach their goal, there is no cost.


Dodd says that when she compares her sales from January/February of 2016 to the same period in 2017, Autosmith has experienced a 22 percent growth in sales. 

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