Phoenix Shop Proof
Don't Finish Last
By Levy Joffrion
Know-how, being nice, doing what's right paying off.
25th Street Automotive in Phoenix is proof that nice guys don't necessarily finish last.
In fact, 25th Street Automotive is far from last. It's more like No. 1.
But then, being nice isn't its only asset. Combine being nice with genuine know-how and doing what's right and that makes for a winning combination.
Its know-how includes:
- Being a full-service, import and domestic, repair and maintenance facility.
- Being AAA-approved.
- Having a master-certified technician responsible for each repair.
Its being nice includes:
- Performing thousands of dollars in repairs for free to charities and organizations such as St. Vincent De Paul, the Salvation Army, the Department of Economic Security, Maggie's Place and the Florence Crittenton Foundation.
- Inviting sponsorship of neighborhood sports teams and organizations.
- Treating the staff, just like its customers, with dignity and respect.
The managing partner serving, free of charge, as a local television station's (Channel 12) "Resident Car Guy" - answering questions and giving motorists useful tips on maintaining their vehicles. He's Channel 12's choice because of his friendly, helpful style, which is reflected by the Hawaiian shirts he often wears on TV as well as at the shop.
Staff at 25th Street Automotive includes (counter-clockwise, from left) Bill Coniam, AAM; Tony Guido; Jose Fierro; David Hoffman; and Bill Hightower. Hoffman, a master technician, is the lead technician. Tony Guido is the brother of Daniel Guido, AAM who is a national director of ASA and the owner of Tony's Service Center at 5352 N. 16th St. in Phoenix. Coniam has been a technician most of his career. He is ASE master, L1 and service consultant certified and has been recognized as Ford Motor Company's highest-scoring technician. He also was among the first in the nationto be certified as an advanced level specialist.
Aside from knowing what it's doing and being nice, 25th Street Automotive is also known for doing what's right. For example:
- It employs and trains tech-school students in a co-op program offering the students an entry-level position in their chosen field ... a leg up on their peers as they make their way toward becoming certified technicians.
- The shop implements industry-leading programs to reduce its environmental impact.
- It maintains high levels of training, helping its technicians stay at the leading edge of their profession.
25th Street Automotive's business philosophy may best be summed up by its mission statement: "We are in business to 'wow' our customers with convenient, efficient, affordable vehicle service and maintenance for those who live and work in Central Phoenix. We work every day to compel our customers to speak positively about us to others and enjoy doing business with us for many years and over many generations in their family. Our owners and staff operate with the highest level of integrity and we build our reputation through our service promise, our community involvement, our awards and our commitment to the environment."
Bill Hightower is using a scan tool to diagnose a vehicle's need for repair. Hightower, a master technician, also serves as service consultant.
Co-owner and managing partner Bill Coniam, AAM, likes this quote: "Character is doing what's right when nobody's looking." He incorporates that thinking into his approach to business.
Says Coniam, "We're very serious about what we do, but it doesn't mean we aren't enjoying what we do. Our customers are like extended family to us - we don't take advantage of family, and we don't take advantage of customers.
"I believe that fair prices on repairs that are really needed is the only way to run a business. But, like any business, we must make a profit to keep the doors open."
So 25th Street Automotive is dedicated to making a profit the old-fashioned way: by earning it.
Tony Guido, who describes himself as the firm's silent partner, is onboard with that philosophy.
The firm's approach to business is paying off. Annual sales have more than doubled since it started five and a half years ago. And it's growing. It started with two people; now there are six, including two part-time trade school helpers.
Jose Fierro changes oil in a vehicle. Fierro is a graduate of Universal Technical Instiute.
Asked about the future, Coniam replies: "To continue steady growth and adapt with the industry ... hard-working, ethical people don't fear the future; they prepare for it."
One has a feeling the future's bright for 25th Street Automotive, the little shop in the Biltmore area of Phoenix that has the right approach to doing business.
Name: 25th Street Automotive
Locations: 4112 N 25th St., Phoenix, Ariz. 85016
What shop offers: full service, import and domestic, repair and maintenance facility
Size of Shop:2,500 square feet
No. of Employees: Six
No. of Years in Business: Six and a half years
Repairs per Week: 50 to 60
Why he is a member of ASA: There is strength in numbers," says Coniam, "and ASA is on top of training and legislation.
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