Mobile Solutions, LLC
November 19, 2018 Issue
Bryan Schmitt, President of Mobile Solutions, LLC discusses how they are now training Automobile Fabricators and Technicians from all over the world at their 8,000 ft. Training Center in Tempe, Arizona
Mobile Solutions, LLC
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – November 19, 2018
CEOCFO: Mr. Schmitt, would you tell us the vision when you started Mobile Solutions and what is your focus today?
Mr. Schmitt: I started back in 2005. The vision of the company was to do training for dealers already in the business and then to offer specialty products that go along with helping the technician to do their job better. In the beginning I would do a lot of on-site training and I would go to the client’s location and conduct training seminars at their facilities. With that, we were able to start building up our own location and instead of me going to them; they would come to our training center in Tempe, Arizona. That was the big change because it is more scalable and we can do a lot more technicians and more of a school at your facility. I did that for about three or four years and traveled and built up our client base. After that, we transition to what we have now, which is for over the past 9 years we have had of our training center here in Tempe University and have grown us into 8,000 square ft. We train anywhere from 500 to 800 fabricators and technicians from all over the world. It has definitely grown from what it was.
CEOCFO: What is the key to good training?
Mr. Schmitt: The key is to teach in a way that the guys can understand, so it is not over their head and not too much. They see a class-room style and they actually get to do hands-on. I think the hands-on would be the big thing that helps guys learn more because they are actually touching and feeling it. They see multiple ways to learn but the hands-on and their ability to touch and do it themselves, makes a big difference and why our trainings are so popular.
CEOCFO: Do people come to you on their own? Do companies sponsor training?
Mr. Schmitt: It is both. We have several different venues or avenues. We have anywhere from guys that are do-it-yourselfers who like to work on cars, shop owners who come, we have technicians that come on their own that work for shops and then we have several manufacturers endorse us and that actually hire the people that we train for their specific training blended with fabrication training.
CEOCFO: Who is interested in being a fabricator today?
Mr. Schmitt: I would say anywhere from an upholstery shop, building cars, auto/body shops, full restoration shops, and then in the car audio world where guys are building audio systems and enthusiasts that like sound and interiors on cars to enhance the sound of an interior of a car.
CEOCFO: Do you get many women?
We have had several females come through our doors and they were excellent,
the top of their class for sure, so we have had a handful and we welcome
them. It is great.
CEOCFO: How long is a training program?
Mr. Schmitt: We have anywhere from a two-day class to a four or five-day class. We try to make them short; they are very intense classes with a lot of content in a very short time because we realize most of our clients have businesses and we want to have the least amount of impact on their businesses have several four-day classes for them to come to instead of a four or eight-week program. It is held over a week-end.
CEOCFO: What is your geographic reach today?
Mr. Schmitt: We are based in Tempe, Arizona. We have a lot of local guys and California is a drive but beyond that we get guys from all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. We usually have two or three guys from Europe or South Africa, or Japan and all over the world. Most of it is in the US and a good portion is Canada.
CEOCFO: What is The Animal?
Mr. Schmitt: The Animal is a marketing term for a safety router shield. It is a way to fix parts to a template or a safety device so your hands do not get close to the blade. It allows you to do multiple different cuts, three-dimensional cuts and all kinds of different ways. It is very safe and someone who is a beginner can grab this thing and not ever have a problem, to someone who is very advanced and it does things for them as well. They Animal is a nick-name for a safety device, a router shield.
CEOCFO: You have a store on your site and a number of different items; do many people purchase from you?
Mr. Schmitt: That is the major part of our business. The training is secondary. The parts and services that we offer online are probably four times the business than what the training is. A good amount of our business is done through the web store.
CEOCFO: Why buy from Mobile Solutions?
Mr. Schmitt: I feel like our company offers specialty tools and solutions that you cannot get anywhere else. You cannot get them on Amazon or Home Depot. You could not find the services and tools that we offer anywhere else. They are very specialized and we try to stay focused on what we are really good at and that is fabrication; automotive interior design. With that we have a whole community of some of the best in the business and they have won multiple rewards. We have a great community beyond myself and whole team of presenters that come in and do presentations with me and offer their expertise and knowledge and I think that is the magic of our company. We have a community of people that are like-minded and help grow our industry.
CEOCFO: Are you manufacturing the various tools?
Mr. Schmitt: We do manufacture. We have about 400 different skews of products. Out of that four hundred, one hundred and fifty of them manufacture internally and we actually house different US patents on our products and copyrights on these because they are so special. We manufacture a good third of our products and the rest are specialty tools that we have resourced, that complement the rest of the training products and our other products.
CEOCFO: Are there many changes to the basic tools?
Mr. Schmitt: I think that as our industry matures, we build off of what we know. That being said, the tooling does get more advanced, the ideas build upon each other to the next level. That is always what is changing. We are figuring out more efficient and smarter ways to do what has been done but we are just doing it in a more efficient way or a new technique or new way to shape stuff, or a new material that we adopt that can be used in automotive use. Those things are always changing and the electronics are always changing too.
CEOCFO: We came upon Mobile Solutions from the Inc 5000 list. Would you tell us about business side and how you continue the growth and the recognition?
Mr. Schmitt: Our growth has been 100% organic. We do very little advertising and we have partnered with some guys online. Social media helps drive our business and I think that just being pure organic has been because of how pure our trainings are. We want to truly help our customers go to the next level and I think when guys get the experience here, they see that. We have three or four hundred reviews on our social media on how their experience has been here, and I think that it speaks volumes for how we have grown and our popularity. We have some big manufacturers to endorse us and actually sell our product as a brand. We have major distributors and big companies that sell our product as a brand and they look at us as the go-to people for training for the industry.
CEOCFO: What is next for Mobile Solutions?
Mr. Schmitt: We are trying to diversify into a lot of do-it-yourselfers so we look at that as a big market. These guys are week-end warriors that want to not take a car to somebody because they feel like they can do it themselves so we want to cater to them and have a back-to-basics training and they like tooling as well so I think there is a huge market for that. Other ways to diversify is custom radar, so we have a new company called Builtinradar.com and this helps guys that are doing really high-end radar systems that have front and rear sensors in the car and custom displays and controllers that are mounted in the vehicle. We want to offer a solution for that, and I think that ties in right along with our fabrication techniques. The custom radar is a big category and I think that will grow tremendously in the future.
CEOCFO: Why is this the right time?
Mr. Schmitt: I think that the economy is good, the industry is good, and the climate seems to be really good right now. There are a lot of people with exotic cars that need solutions, and we want to be on the forefront of that to help our technicians tackle the new horizons and car sales are up and exotic car sales are up. There are a lot of people with a lot of money and we want to be right there to help our customers to the next level.
CEOCFO: When did you know you were on the right track?
Mr. Schmitt: I do not know that you ever know you are on the right track until you look backwards. We feel that we are in a good direction and we feel like we are aligned with the right people and we are doing a lot of good things and we just want to continue to make more good moves than not. I feel we are doing a lot of good things right now.
CEOCFO: How is it still so exciting for you?
I am passionate about what we do and to see the success stories of people
that come to our training. We not only teach them techniques but we teach
them how to run their business and how to set the shop up and have it more
like a dealership. I have had people send before and after pictures of their
shops and tell me their success stories of how this has changed their whole
life because of our influence. To me, this is more important than anything
that we do, it is really making a difference in people’s life, how they
conduct their business and how they look at working on vehicles, making
money and attracting higher-end clients, that is very exciting. I am excited
and when I am excited, that is contagious.
“I am passionate about what we do and to see the success stories of people that come to our training. We not only teach them techniques but we teach them how to run their business and how to set the shop up and have it more like a dealership.”- Bryan Schmitt
Mobile Solutions, LLC
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