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Building a Culture of Excellence

Building a Culture of Excellence

By Chris Pritts, National Install Manager

What separates Car Toys from other aftermarket shops? While it’s easy to point to our pricing and
great selection of products from top brands you won’t find anywhere else, there’s much more to it
than that. The real difference is in our people and their expertise. This isn’t just something we say;
it’s what we’ve been purposefully building since the company was founded decades ago.

As the National Install Manager at Car Toys, it’s no surprise to me that our technicians are the
best in the business. I work with them every day and understand what goes into their training. But
this isn’t always apparent to those on the outside. Understandably, not all of our customers have
the same passion for the niche craft of mobile technology installation that we do; they just need
their stereo, alarm, or remote start system to work. So allow me to bring you a little insider
perspective into what goes on behind the scenes.

I’ve been at Car Toys for the better part of the last 20 years, but I didn’t start out here. Car Toys is
not the “jumping off point” for any technician’s career — it’s the end goal. This is exactly how I felt
when I, as an aspiring young technician, first applied for an installer job at Car Toys. Turns out,
they wouldn’t even look at my application until I had at least two years under my belt and my
MECP certification. So I went to work for other shops, built up my experience, and tried again.
This time I got in — but even as a certified tech with years of experience, I came in on the ground
floor at Car Toys, surrounded by techs with much more experience than me.

Intimidating? A little bit, but this is exactly the environment I needed to be in to thrive. There is
nothing more inspiring than being surrounded by the best of the best in your field, and it’s how
we’re able to do so much so quickly for our customers.

Quality or quantity? We do both.

Another thing that sets Car Toys apart is the sheer number of vehicles we work on and the speed
at which we can finish each job, even complicated installs. Having worked at many other shops,
both large and small, I can attest to the fact that nobody else runs their shop like we do. Where a 
competitor may have a customer’s car in for days or even weeks, our techs are powering through
five to 10 vehicles per day.

Now I know what you’re thinking: if we’re working so fast, how can we guarantee quality? The
simple truth is, it is precisely because of our high volume that we can provide an equally high
level of service. We’re faster because we’ve seen it all before. Our techs have worked on more
makes and models than anyone else, so they rarely run into hiccups on installations and, when
they do, can troubleshoot them faster.

In fact, we’re so confident in our ability to provide trustworthy work that we include a lifetime
warranty on every install. It’s one more thing that sets us apart.

What is MECP and why does it matter?

The Mobile Electronics Certification Professional (MECP) program is the only professional
certification for our industry. The internationally-recognized program teaches the fundamentals of
working with a vehicle’s complex electronics and provides technicians with a foundation of
theoretical knowledge. This is then combined with extensive on-the-job training to build up
practical skills.

Across our 48 locations, Car Toys has 170 MECP-certified technicians, nine of which are Experts
(the highest level attainable). Because we’ve worked diligently to attract and retain the best
people, we’ve created a positive feedback loop within the organization. Aspiring technicians
know us by reputation and want to come work for us. And when they get here, they find
themselves working alongside the most knowledgeable people in the industry, learning
incredibly quickly, rising up the ranks, and going on to inspire the next generation.

It’s my job to ensure this environment continues to motivate every new technician we bring on
board, not just in the beginning but throughout their careers. We strive to maintain a culture of
camaraderie and competition that brings out the best in every employee and rewards everyone
for their growth and a job well done. And when we succeed here, the customer benefits most of
all, with trustworthy, high-quality work that’s better than what they can get anywhere else.