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  Guest Editorial

See what makes us different ...
and the same!

Posted 09/1/2013

About 90 percent of ASA member-shops are family-owned businesses, according to our 2012 “How’s Your Business?” survey results. Learn what different generations from the same shop are thinking and how they are relating in this competitive and customer-driven industry. In this month’s “Generationally Speaking” department, meet Roy Schnepper, owner of Butler’s Collision in Roseville, Mich., and Daniel Schnepper, general manager. Roy serves on the ASA board of directors as secretary/treasurer.

Baby Boomer Generation Y

Roy Schnepper, Baby Boomer

Roy Schnepper

Who do you trust the most? I have a few people who I trust but first would be my wife and then our kids.

What is the best decision you have ever made? To trust Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Second, marry my wife, Roseanna, 37 years ago. Last, open Butler’s Collision with my in-laws in 1979.

Best book you have ever read. The Bible would be my best, but a recent book that I have read that had a major impact on how I have dealt with all the things that this world can throw at you is a book written by Jerry Bridges called Trusting God.

How did you get into the automotive service business? When I was 14 years old I went to work for my uncle who owned a used car lot. It was then that I realized how much I enjoyed working on cars. Getting into the collision side of it was even more satisfying because people come to you with a problem and you get the chance to help them solve that problem.

Who or what inspires you? When it comes to my business, taking a car that someone had the misfortune of having an accident in and repairing it so you can’t tell that it had ever been in an accident. To see the look on their faces when they see how good their car looks inspires me to keep going.

What do you drive? A 2012 F-150 SuperCrew.

If you had a free weekend by yourself, what would you do? It would definitely be something outside. I still enjoy playing softball and golf. I like to boat and fish.

What piece of advice would you give a young person who is graduating from high school today? Go on to college and get your degree. Ninety-nine percent of all administrative positions will require a college degree. There is much to learn that can be put to use as a small business owner – like accounting, advertising and marketing.

What do you like most about your work? Being able to help a person who is upset because their car is damaged.

What is one electronic gadget you cannot live without? It would definitely be my computer.

Speaking on behalf of your generation, how do you see the future of the industry? I see the industry changing drastically in the next three years. My age group has to be willing to change or it will get left behind.

Daniel Schnepper, Generation Y

Daniel Schnepper

Who do you trust the most? I have a few people who I trust with anything and everything. One is my best friend and wife, Sarah. Also, my cousin, Joel; my friend, Chad; and my Dad.

What is the best decision you have ever made? It’s hard to pinpoint just one, because God has blessed my family and me with many. I would definitely say getting married to my wife and having a son (with more kids to come) is a great one. Also, staying in the family business and doing what I love to do is a close second.

Best book you’ve ever read? I don’t read many books, but there is one book that I respect because it has changed my life in many ways: the Bible.

How did you get into the automotive service business? I was raised in it. My grandpa, dad, and uncle started Butler’s Collision. Ever since I was able to hold a broom, I have been working at the shop. I am now the general manager for my dad, who is sole owner of Butler’s Collision.

Who or what inspires you? I see what my grandpa, dad and uncle have done for their families and themselves (in that order) in the business. And how successful they have made it. I just want to learn from them and continue to grow it.

What do you drive? I drive the only brand of truck worth driving: 2010 Ford F-150 Crew Cab.

If you had a free weekend by yourself, what would you do? Depends on the time of year. If it was fall or winter, I would be in the woods deer hunting or bird hunting. Come spring and summer, I would enjoy golfing, watersports, or being around a fire in my backyard with friends.

What piece of advice would you give a young person who is graduating from high school today? Find out what you are good at and love to do. Get a higher education in that field and work hard at it. You won’t be happy working for the rest of your life unless you enjoy what you are doing. Also, when you are working, give 110 percent and go above and beyond on the job. It will get noticed and you will be successful doing that.

What do you like most about your work? Giving our customers a sense of safety and satisfaction as they see their vehicles fixed and repaired and looking like they did the day they bought them. Treating our customers with care and understanding, knowing that they are the best sales force we have.

What is one electronic gadget you cannot live without? My phone, and my favorite app would be ESPN Score Center.

Speaking on behalf of your generation, how do you see the future of the industry? It’s getting harder and harder to be profitable in this business. There are too many players that are affecting and dictating what we can charge for, and what discounts we have to give them. Also, electronics are more and more popular in the industry. That’s a good thing; we just have to know how to use that to our advantage. That includes social media, smartphones, tablets, and Internet for marketing.

In future issues, we are inviting different generations from each shop (you don’t have to be related) to participate in the “Generationally Speaking” department. If you are interested, please send AutoInc. Editor Leona Dalavai Scott a quick note at leonad@asashop.org.

 

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