Shop of the Week is a weekly column devoted to showcasing the efforts of automotive shops and their teams across Canada. Want your shop to have a turn in the spotlight? Send an email to email@example.com!
Name: Erol Yersel
Shop Name: Erols Automotive, Napa Autopro
Location: Cochrane, Alberta
Number of Employees: Not counting myself or my wife, 14. We technically are employees but I never count us!
Opening Date: Aug 4th, 1998
Speciality: We specialize in everything! We do it all, don’t ever turn work away. From old farm trucks to new Mercedes, to diesel trucks, but we don’t overhaul automatics.
Main parts supplier: NAPA
What has been your biggest challenge this year?
EY: It would have to be COVID-19. At the beginning of the pandemic when everything was shut down we were deemed essential in Alberta and we kept operating. From the end of March until June 22, we operated with doors closed and drop off and pick up via phone call. We implemented strict disinfection procedures for vehicles once they have been dropped and again when picked up. When we were allowed to open the doors again on June 22, we had a wall of Plexi glass installed in the office. Hand sanitizing stations were installed and social distance measures were implemented. It has been a constant juggle and change as this is new to everyone and there is no single set of procedures to follow.
What is your biggest success story this year?
EY: I would say we all still have our sanity (somewhat), haha, and the fact that we have been able to stay open when so many other industries have been forced to close. And of course, our amazing customers who trust us to keep them safe and mobile during these trying times.
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
EY: If anything, we are busier now than ever before. At the beginning, we definitely slowed down for the first month as everyone was unsure of the direction that COVID-19 and the government would take. Then, as people stayed at home and realized they were being confined to their own country and could not go anywhere, we started getting busier. People were home and wanted their cars and trucks for driving out into the country. We had snowbirds in the shop for the first time ever as they couldn’t travel south. COVID-19 has increased our business and we are currently up approximately 15 per cent from last year.
What kinds of digital technology are you currently implementing?
EY: We signed up last year with My Shop Manager and after a month switched our digital inspections over to their platform as well. We currently do all of our inspections digitally and are in the process of looking at digital work orders but not on the books to switch over yet.
If you could see one change in aftermarket, what would it be?
EY: I would have to say the right to repair. More accessibility to software and easier platforms to utilize. Currently, we reprogram the domestic 3 but if it was easier and more accessible (moneywise) we would do more.
Tell me an interesting fact about your shop?
EY: I’ll share a few with you! We have won the local “best place to have your shop repaired award” for the last six years. We always have an apprentice or two on staff. We started off as two bays with myself and one tech and have grown steadily over the years and are now 10 bays and 14 employees. We also own the property we are in.
Name a part or product you’re particularly enjoying this month?
EY: We do a huge amount of brake work here. Our town sits in a valley and has three large hills to descend as you enter which consume brakes rapidly, so I would have to say NAPA ADO brake pads.
I attached the group pic to a previous email but will attach it to this along with another couple opf photos too. Any Questions pls call.