Auto Service World
Feature   November 1, 2009   by CARS Magazine

Garage Of The Year Finalists: Roy’s Service Centre

Roy Hinbest has been operating his garage for 28 years. What first started as a two-bay operation and gas station eventually grew to a total of nine-bays, staff that adequately accommodates the garage...


Roy Hinbest has been operating his garage for 28 years. What first started as a two-bay operation and gas station eventually grew to a total of nine-bays, staff that adequately accommodates the garage’s growth and a used car dealership added last June. And the gas pumps? They were taken out nearly a decade ago.

The garage is located on Highway 10 halfway between Shelburne and Orangeville, which in itself presents its own particular challenges. “We’re rural. It’s bush all around and the work we’re getting from Shelburne and Orangeville means they have to drive to get to us, a good 10 or 15 minutes away. So that creates some challenges. How do you get people back into town? You have to drive them back and forth through a courtesy car, for example.”

Such courtesies go along way to developing long-term relationships with customers, resulting in ongoing maintenance business for his shop. But there are other factors to his success as well, one of the most important is Hinbest’s insistence his technicians and service writers always sign up for all available training to improve their technical and service skills. Their current training includes technical courses offered by NAPA as well as evening training with the people from Ideal Supply.

What comes across quite strongly in talking with Hinbest is that his service centre is very much a family business. His oldest son, Robert, has worked as a service advisor for several years and his younger son, Stephen, started working there last June as the manager of their used car department.

“My son is running the used car department after working as a lot attendant at Georgian Pontiac Buick,” Hinbest says. “He did his Commerce degree at Laurentian University in Sudbury and is working on finishing up his diploma in automotive marketing management. Part of this used car business is finishing up the time he needs to put into his co-op. So it was either working for somebody else or creating something. So he started his own car lot.”

His sons are in the midst of revamping their garage with a new Web site to advertise the news of their service centre’s recent expansion. In addition, his staff conducts mail-outs to their customer base periodically and follows up on people’s service by phoning them back to make sure their happy with his service. However, Hinbest attributes much of his success to his personnel, not to his marketing.

“Most of the success in whatever is going on in the business is because of my staff. You get good people working for you and everybody works together. That’s what gets the whole thing going.”

———

— Eight bays, in addition to one for tires

— Four licensed technicians, three apprentices, and two service writers.

— Door rate: $84.95

— Donates regularly to the Headwater Health Care Centre in Orangeville.

www.roysservicecentre.aaro.ca (519) 925-2847


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