ARA’s mentor program offers a participating MENTEE the opportunity to receive ongoing knowledge and insight from a fellow recycler.
By RD Hopper
There are common problems that all face. Everyone has learned from experiences that could help another facing the same problem.
ARA Developed the Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program to facilitate auto recyclers assisting fellow auto recyclers in reaching their goals. Recyclers helping recyclers is a longstanding industry heritage, especially amongst the membership of the ARA. Two years ago, the ARA leadership found this type of support, organized into in a more structured program, was needed and important enough to start the mentor program, which assists members in getting help to reach their current goals.
Getting the Most
For this process to be effective, the mentee needs to consider certain things before beginning the program:
GET MANAGEMENT BUY-IN: It is crucial that the management team of the mentee’s business be on board, as the only way to improve is to be able to agree on what needs improvement and tackle it. Management must be willing to spend the time and effort it takes to achieve the desired results. Everything in business is a team effort. There are no easy buttons. If everyone is not pulling together in the same direction, it will be impossible to lead the team to achieve successful results.
BE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS: Auto recycling facilities come in all shapes and sizes with different business models, in different locations, using different operating software. There are different personalities with many philosophies on what a successful business looks like. There is no cookie-cutter way of managing a company that is going to work the same everywhere. No one person is going to show up and have the best answer for the situation every time. That being said, many successful people are very strong in different aspects of recycling. While fundamental truths apply across the board and there are common problems that all face, these can be successfully managed in many different ways. Everyone has learned from experiences that could help another facing the same problem.
FOLLOW THROUGH PUTTING INTO ACTION: Each recycler must develop the processes and the people to satisfy the needs in its market and satisfy customer expectations. In addition, this plan must cover overhead and be profitable. Each recycler must measure each part of the process and people to evaluate changes and assess results. The processes must be “scalable,” and thank you Ron Sturgeon for that piece of advice. Each recycler must determine what is most important to their family at work and at home. Easy button? No. Hard work and opportunity? Yes.
When the decision is made, everyone must be willing to devote the resources, time, and effort to work in the same direction. ARA will do its very best to help find a fellow recycler to share their insights and help another recycler establish key processes. Believe it or not, these mentors gladly help others and, at their own expense, to pay back the many people that have helped them along the way. If recyclers are willing to share, learn, and invest in the three P’s – people, process, product, as Marty Hollingshead always says – then everyone wins.
RD Hopper is the owner of Sonny’s Auto Salvage in Jacksonville, AK, the company he and his wife Jennifer bought in 1998. Hopper is also a past president of the ARA.
How do I Enroll in the Program?
PEER-TO-PEER MENTORING is offered through ARA’s effective empowerment program. Monitored by the ARA, mentoring is available to any auto recycling facility owner or manager who is looking for a fresh perspective on their business strategy and daily business operations. Mentors & Mentees are paired based on criteria developed to create a successful match. To enroll as a mentor or mentee:
1. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive more information on the program, as well as to request an application to mentor or be mentored.
2. Return your application to enroll in the year-long program. You will be matched with a Mentor or Mentee. It is the responsibility of paired parties to develop communication systems that work for both parties.