A Special Addition to This Shop’s Family

Greg Buckley, owner of Buckley’s Auto Care in Wilmington, Del., proudly describes his eight-member staff as “all very important to the success of the business.” Building Maintenance Manager Sean Maloney fits right in.

For the past four years, Sean has been responsible for keeping Buckley’s service bays clean, customer service/waiting areas inviting and grounds neat and trimmed. That’s a manageable handful for a part-time staffer (16 hours per week) whom Greg secured through Delaware’s Disability Employment Project.

“Sean’s parents have been longtime customers, and I even coached Sean’s brothers in sports. But I was not aware of Sean’s deep love of cars. So when another customer, a counselor for the state’s program that focuses on helping those with learning disabilities, approached me about possibly hiring Sean, I was very interested in giving it a chance,” says Greg.

He says the paperwork and background checks were completed in about a month and arrangements were made with the state for periodic on-site visits by the counselor to ensure that everything is going well for all concerned. Greg also received a one-time grant from the program to offset part of Sean’s salary and related expenses.

“The program’s administrative side has been pretty painless,” says Greg. “And Sean has proven to be one of our best team members. He does his job, including the paperwork, correctly. He’s always punctual, and he fits right into our family approach. Once we figured out where his talents met our needs, everything has run smoothly.

“I didn’t know what to expect when Sean first joined us. But now I couldn’t imagine him not being part of our shop family.”

From a practical point of view, Greg says, Buckley’s Auto Care has benefited as much from the relationship as Sean has.

“Every state has programs that offer opportunities like this,” Greg explained. “So any shop can do a similar program and benefit from it. It’s a practical solution to the challenge of never having enough people to get everything done. Plus, it’s personally very fulfilling. I’m seeing something every day that says Sean is making progress. And it’s just very rewarding.”

Automechanika, NACE Sign
Letter of Intent to Combine Forces

Automechanika Chicago and the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) are exploring combining forces to present the
nation’s premier trade show for automotive collision and service repair shops. Starting in 2017, Automechanika and NACE are planning to present NACE | Automechanika Chicago to provide mechanical service and collision repair professionals with the largest show in the nation devoted to high-end technical and management-related training for shop owners and managers. The show is scheduled for July 26-29, 2017, in Chicago.

ASA-Colorado Schedules
Summit for January

ASA-Colorado has renamed its yearly Symposium to The Summit! Brittany Stewart, executive director of ASA-Colorado, promises there will be “amazing changes that you won’t want to miss.” Mark your calendars now for Jan. 27-28, 2017, to attend ASA-Colorado’s revamped annual event. For more information and to reserve your seat, contact Brittany at bstewart@asacolorado.org or (303) 202-5231.

From the ’60s Till Now,
an ASA Member

ASA’s 65th Anniversary is honored to recognize our oldest continuous member-shop, Royce Brooks Garage in Abilene, Texas. Royce Brooks joined the Independent Garagemen’s Association when he purchased his shop in 1957. As IGA evolved into today’s ASA, he and son Bobby Brooks have maintained their membership (No. 100008).

Bobby joined the company part-time in the early 1960s and assumed a full-time position in 1965. “My job started out cleaning parts and sweeping floors. That’s all I could do at the time,” says Bobby, “Then I started working with the mechanics and began learning about repairing parts and servicing cars. Being a mechanic is my love, but that’s not what I get to do much anymore.”

Through the years, the Brooks family has kept the shop running smoothly at the same size (12 bays and 9-10 employees) and, for the past 32 years, the same location. Staff also has remained constant: Three of his mechanics have tenures ranging from 25-35 years. His only substantial operating change has been closing on weekends.

Bobby sees emerging technology as the newest and most intricate challenge he faces: “It’s our ability to repair today’s cars that most concerns me because it means having to do a lot of things to stay up. It means a lot of studying in the evenings and spending weekends going over the latest information.”

But, he adds, the nature of the technology and operating challenges facing today’s shop owners are not totally new. Though they require updated answers, they are the same basic challenges that Royce shared with his son in the 1960s. “Back in the ’60s, Royce wrote informally about the things that concerned him then,” Bobby says, “but they’re the same things we’re facing now. It’s like he wrote it yesterday.”

Bosch Joins As Newest Corporate Member

Bosch Automotive Aftermarket North America, an international manufacturer and supplier of diagnostic and repair shop equipment and spare parts, is ASA’s newest corporate partner. Bosch offers independent shop owners more than 650,000 spare parts, as well as full-service equipment and consultation services. For more information about Bosch’s involvement in ASA, see asashop.org/bosch-automotive-aftermarket-na-joins-asa-corporate-member.

Gary Keyes Leads
Recruiting Challenge

Congratulations to Gary Keyes, owner/manager of E & M Motors Auto Service in Stuart, Fla., for recruiting two new ASA members. A former general director of ASA and one of our most enthusiastic champions, Gary received an ASA tumbler for his efforts. His next recruit will earn him an attractive Nike golf shirt embroidered with the Chairman’s Club logo.

Join Gary and a number of your fellow ASA members in the Chairman’s Club by recruiting a new member to ASA before year’s end. You’re automatically entered when you successfully recruit a new member. For details about the Club and recruiting rewards, visit the Chairman’s Club on ASAshop.org.

Autoshop Solutions Offers ASA Members Website Special

Autoshop Solutions, an ASA Sponsored Benefit Provider, is offering member-shops a year-end special on the monthly hosting fee for their shop websites. New members who contract with Autoshop Solutions before Dec. 31, 2016, get a special $29 monthly website hosting fee, which is a $70 (70 percent) discount off Autoshop Solutions’ usual $99 per month fee.

The fee includes all of Autoshop Solutions’ normal monthly services, such as mobile-friendly formatting, coupons, online scheduling, location maps and website domain management.

More information is available at automarketingexpress.com or by calling (888) 847-7036.

ASA Expands
Store Inventory

ASA is upgrading the inventory in the ASA store to better serve our members. Starting in November, Membership Services Manager Nicole Jewell will begin adding a variety of new items to the store’s permanent inventory. The store will feature merchandise that members can use in their everyday operations and on special occasions, like printed forms, signage, lapel pins and ASA-logo’d apparel. The new arrivals will complement the store’s existing selection of information items such as labor law posters, collision warranties, etc., subscriptions to our award-winning member magazine, AutoInc., and logo’d clothing. As always, these items will feature special member pricing and savings opportunities.