Vehlo AMP: A Tech and Teamwork Tour De Force

Jan. 19, 2024
In its annual kickoff meeting, the aftermarket software and payments technology company brought its leaders and team together to champion its collective vision.

Vehlo, parent company to aftermarket brands such as Autoshop Solutions, Tire Guru, Shop Boss, Protractor, Omnique, AutoServe1, Fitment Group, and 360 Payments, held its annual company-wide meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from January 15-16, 2024. Dubbed the Vehlo AMP Kickoff, the event was a gathering of the company’s leaders, employees, and industry partners to showcase its achievements, discuss strategic initiatives, and call its team to continued unity and purpose. 

Attendees were treated to informative general sessions outlining new developments happening within Vehlo, breakouts for focused learning, a games-based team-building night, and an awards ceremony to recognize the notable achievements of Vehlo employees. 

Here are some of the highlights from the event:

On January 15, Vehlo AMPO opened with General Session: Shop Panel with Van’s Tire Pros. This event was a live interview with Philip Biscan, owner of Van's Tire Pros and Hills & Dales Auto Care.  

Biscan answered questions about how he got into the industry and built his tire shops. Aimed at helping attendees understand their role in elevating a shop customer, Biscan shared a walkthrough of each of the Vehlo portfolio products he uses in his shop and how they have helped him to operate and grow his business.

One of the morning breakout sessions focused on giving and receiving feedback and was led by Anita Gibbs, PMP, COO of 360 Payments, who offered attending team members critical keys to giving constructive feedback to team members in a way that helps them improve and shows that the manager’s end goal is always in the best interest of the team member they’re addressing.  

Gibbs reminded attendees to use feedback as a basis to improve the performance of their direct reports, to be timely and not wait for annual reviews but to continue the feedback look throughout the year, to receive feedback gracefully and without defense, and to use the E2C2 method for providing good feedback. E2C2 stands for evidence, effect, change, and continue. For example: 

  • Evidence. "Your digital vehicle inspection didn’t explain the brake problem thoroughly enough. " 

  • Effect. “This makes it harder for the customer to understand the necessity of the repair which could lead to it being deferred.” 

  • Change. "On the next inspection, double-check your notes to make sure they’re clear and easy to understand. 

  • Continue. "You're one of our most efficient techs. I know you'll get it right the next time around. Keep up the good work. 

In one of four afternoon sessions, Vehlo product development teams met for a Product Session to review all of their shop management software application development wins, each sharing the most significant feature added to the various CMS platforms within Vehlo.  

Development leads counted wins such as updated DVI, improved user interfaces, performance enhancements, payment integrations, upcharge opportunities, and usability improvements. 

The evening ended with a competitive team-building exercise, where employees were grouped into teams to work collaboratively against other teams for points in games such as Giant Jenga, cornhole, trivia, and more. 

January 16 kicked off with a leadership panel moderated by Rob Hough, executive vice president of Vehlo. Hough brought four Vehlo leaders on stage—Shannon Vann, senior vice president, marketing; Tony Mercury, vice president, revenue at Autoshop Solutions; Anita Gibb, PMP, COO at 360 Payments; and Christian Nimsky, Product + M&A Integration, to talk about how they lead teams. You can read the Q&A here

Following the opening session were four breakouts. In Layers of Customer Service, Ruth Wisniewski, MS, Vehlo's head of customer success, shop management systems, led an interactive talk driving home the point that customer success is a company-wide initiative.  

She added that a key component of success is constantly communicating with the customer and said, "If we're paying attention to their business, how special do they feel?"

In his morning session, Leadership Lessons, Rob Hough, Vehlo's vice president, outlined tips for how to call and conduct meetings and hold successful one-on-ones.  

For meetings, Hough advised to know why you're holding the meeting, to provide an agenda, and to know who needs to be in the meeting and what their roles are.  

For one-on-ones, Hough said to stress to your team members that it's an opportunity to get to know one another better, learn about challenges, discuss careers, and offer them help where needed.  

He added that it's important to remind them of what you need from them to make the meeting a success. And if you have to cancel for any reason, be sure to set a reschedule date to remind them that you value your time with them. 

The afternoon offered four sessions as well. In Websites and Digital Advertising, Tony Mercury of Autoshop Solutions shared four points of internet marketing: website, PPC, social media, and SEO. 

Mercury said auto repair shops need to have a content-rich and optimized website that's mobile responsive, use social media as a recruitment tool to show potential candidates a behind-the-scenes look at the shop and capitalize on pay-per-click campaigns using broad-match keywords over specifics (e.g., brake repair vs Honda brake repair).  

Mercury also added that shop owners need to keep their Google Business Profile updated with the correct name, address, and phone number. 

Brian Robison discussed artificial intelligence and automation in his session, AI and the Future of Technology.   

A technology and automation expert, Robison walked attendees through how to properly use language models (like Chat GPT) in ethical and secure ways.  

He encouraged being highly specific in writing prompts in AI, using it primarily as an assistive tool, fact-checking it for accuracy, choosing reputable models (e.g., Chat GPT, Bard), and not putting private or proprietary data into AI. Robison said AI should be used purposefully. It should help add value for customers first and foremost.  

In a humorous twist, he demonstrated how interpretive AI can be with a technician's customer notes. He prompted AI to write the notes as a 5-year-old, a teenager, in Spanish, as Snoop Dogg, and in pirate jargon. All prompts were returned with comical accuracy. 


The two-day event concluded with a plated awards ceremony honoring top producers throughout 2023. Nineteen team members and leaders were recognized for their contributions and following the presentations, a wrap video was shown. You can read about the award winners here

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