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May-June 2012
Do It Your Self
"Right now, the growth curve for self-service facilities is phenomenal," said Dimitri Gerontis of S3 Software Solutions. "We'll definitely see more of these in the future." According to Gerontis, "There is a 50/50 trend in the self-service facilities. Half of the facilities are 'newbies' to the industry and the other half are auto recyclers with full service yards who are transitioning to open self-service yards." With a national increase of approximately 20 percent in the last few years, self-service facilities are attracting those on the peripheral of the automotive recycling industry. Gerontis believes that they see the potential of the self-service yard and also have the cash to invest.
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It's POS-ible
In self-service yards, we all know that it is the vehicle that is inventoried not the parts. Customers want to know if you have the car and they'll do the rest. Therefore, it becomes vital to use an efficient and accurate database of the vehicles in your yard and that your counter sales staff can quickly find cars for the customer. A good management system is crucial to your success. If you run your business efficiently and have accurate databases you will be in a better position to expand your customer base. "It is important to have a fast, efficient self-service yard system," notes Dimitri Gerontis of S3 Software Solutions, a point of sale system company specializing in self-service facilities. "You can always try to make current systems do what you want them to, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the right tool for the job."
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U Can Be Insured
Paying attention to the way your self-service yard is laid out not only helps to attract customers but it makes a huge difference when it comes to insuring your business. With self-service yards, insurance is geared more towards the liability of patrons than for employees. This is typically because when the dismantling of vehicles is not done by employees, but instead your customers are pulling parts off the vehicles - you are exposed to a very different set of safety concerns.
Read More >
 
Do It Your Self
"Right now, the growth curve for self-service facilities is phenomenal," said Dimitri Gerontis of S3 Software Solutions. "We'll definitely see more of these in the future." According to Gerontis, "There is a 50/50 trend in the self-service facilities. Half of the facilities are 'newbies' to the industry and the other half are auto recyclers with full service yards who are transitioning to open self-service yards." With a national increase of approximately 20 percent in the last few years, self-service facilities are attracting those on the peripheral of the automotive recycling industry. Gerontis believes that they see the potential of the self-service yard and also have the cash to invest.


It's POS-ible
In self-service yards, we all know that it is the vehicle that is inventoried not the parts. Customers want to know if you have the car and they'll do the rest. Therefore, it becomes vital to use an efficient and accurate database of the vehicles in your yard and that your counter sales staff can quickly find cars for the customer. A good management system is crucial to your success. If you run your business efficiently and have accurate databases you will be in a better position to expand your customer base. "It is important to have a fast, efficient self-service yard system," notes Dimitri Gerontis of S3 Software Solutions, a point of sale system company specializing in self-service facilities. "You can always try to make current systems do what you want them to, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the right tool for the job."


U Can Be Insured
Paying attention to the way your self-service yard is laid out not only helps to attract customers but it makes a huge difference when it comes to insuring your business. With self-service yards, insurance is geared more towards the liability of patrons than for employees. This is typically because when the dismantling of vehicles is not done by employees, but instead your customers are pulling parts off the vehicles - you are exposed to a very different set of safety concerns.


U Market? U Should!
You have invested your time and money to create a new business venture; a significant component of that investment should involve promoting your services and your quality recycled parts at good prices. This effort, or lack thereof, can make or break your self-service yard. "The first place to start is to look at whom your competitors are reaching and where they advertise," said Dimitri Gerontis, who holds a degree in marketing and worked in the field prior to joining S3 Software Solutions. "How you advertise your business is crucial to your success. You have to market your businesses to let potential customers know what you are doing." Eighty-five percent of self-service customers are returning customers, so the secret is to do whatever it takes to get them in the door. Then, follow up with "four walls marketing" to do whatever it takes to make sure their experience will warrant a return trip. Take a look at what your competition is not doing and then do that. If they are not giving warranties on parts, then give warranties on parts. If they are charging two dollars at the gate, then charge less at the gate. Basically, wherever you can find a gap in the competition's offerings, fill it in by providing something your competitors don't.


Spirits Lifted
“It was a fabulous experience to represent the Members on the Ottawa 2012 DreamLift, said Steve Fletcher, Managing Director, ARC and Executive Director, OARA. “Most of the volunteers were up for 23 hours straight doing everything they could to make this a memorable event for the kids. The excitement and memories made it all worthwhile. It should make everyone mindful of the health they do have and live life to the fullest – these kids certainly did.” “You know, sometimes we live, work, and hibernate in the auto recycling trenches and rarely come up for air,” says Ed MacDonald. “But when a DreamLift came along, I was intrigued to have the opportunity to participate. If you get the chance, you, too, should share the day with some of the most endearing youth you will find on the planet. “These challenged youth are all very happy because people took their time to share a picture perfect day in Disney World with them. Our task was to say ‘yes’ to any request they had and if that included five pounds of cotton candy, so be it! ... But please don’t send me on the magic mountain ride again, please?” “There is no other time in my life when the need to ‘Stop and Count your Blessings’ has been so incredibly true,” says Mary Poirier, Valley Automotive.


 
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