Threefold Formula for Success Drives ASA-Georgia PresidentPosted 08/13/2004
By Leona P. Dalavai
When Weeks Transmission opened its doors in 1952, "I Love Lucy" was the No. 1 show on television, Doris Day was crooning "A Guy is a Guy" on the radio and Harry S. Truman was president. A lot has changed, but the shop's commitment to its threefold formula has not.
Earl Weeks founded the business, and his son, Ashley Weeks, took over in the mid-1960s. Weeks operates three companies. The main facility - Weeks Transmission Service - is supplemented by a tire and auto business along with a towing service. Between the three businesses, the company employs 24 people, has 24 service bays and owns two tow trucks.
His son, John Weeks, has worked with him since he was 16 and went full time after he graduated from high school. He serves as vice president and manager of the transmission business. Son-in-law Bobby Rachels runs the towing service. Ashley has two other children - daughters Tiffany and Beth - and six grandchildren.
"I enjoy working with my son and son-in-law in an industry that I love," said Ashley. "It's great to have family members who are so dedicated to work toward a common goal."
Other family members assist with the business as well. Ashley's wife of 16 years, Connie, is a big help in the office, performing various duties. His daughter-in-law, Linda, decorates the office for the holidays and assists in other ways as needed.
Ashley is proud of his businesses and enjoys giving his customers personal tours of the main store when needed to help them understand the repairs that need to be made on their vehicles. "We keep a good, clean and safe shop, and I enjoy showing our customers our facility," he said. It's special touches like the tours that customers remember and appreciate.
In addition to having exceptional employees and emphasizing quality, Ashley said his company succeeds by its established reputation and choice location. Weeks Transmission Service does enough advertising to "keep its name out there," said Ashley, but it also relies on word-of-mouth for new business. Having been around for more than five decades, Weeks has a faithful following of customers.
Ashley takes continuing education classes in the field of automotive repair and management. He says the offering for management courses today is so much better than when he first got started in the business. He feels that today's business owners have much better resources to draw from to become better managers and owners.
ASA, said Ashley, has been key to his professional success as a shop. He said his membership has helped his business become more professional and efficient by affording him opportunities to interact and learn from other shop owners. Through his involvement in ASA, he finds better ways of managing his shop. "We learn many new things on how to be a professional shop," he said.
After nearly five decades of working in the automotive industry, 63-year-old Ashley has no plans to retire - yet. He enjoys assisting the managers of his businesses and finds much satisfaction in his work. Future plans for the company include expanding the tire service to a new and larger location. Ashley also plans to start a full- and self-service car wash facility with a detail shop.
Shop StatsName: Weeks Transmission Service
Location: Augusta, Ga.
No. of employees: 24
Number of years in business: 52
Projected Annual Sales Volume: Weeks Transmission, $1.5 million; Weeks Tire & Auto, $480,000; and Bodie Towing, $72,000.
On what he likes best about his job: I enjoy meeting and serving my customers to the best of my ability and the satisfaction of producing quality work.
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