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!
Your name: David Dansereau
Shop name: LADs Autopro, A NAPA Autopro and Tireland
Location: Calgary, Alta.
Number of employees: 11
When did you open your shop? My Dad opened the shop in 1985, I started with him then.
Do you specialize in anything? Customer service, all makes and models, all repairs.
Who is your main parts supplier? NAPAAuto Parts
What has been your biggest challenge as a shop this year and how have you navigated through them?
DD: I think the biggest challenge my shop has faced has been trying to keep techs engaged in training. The online world is extremely hard for a tech to sit through and watch someone talk. Our techs like to be able to ask questions along the way, while the topic is relevant, rather than at the end of a lecture. They like to see hands on testing and see parts and demos live.
What’s your biggest success story this year?
DD: I think a success has been the fact that we never had to layoff any employees during COVID-19. Our growth and the ethics of our team have always remained throughout this challenge.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
DD: It really didn’t, but December was a slower month after the second lockdown. We did create a valet service for our clients where we pick up and deliver their vehicle.
What kinds of digital technology are you currently using/implementing?
DD: We use Protractor for our POS software. We have also just changed from Autoserve1 to Autovitals for our digital inspections and communications with clients. We use Prodemand and Identifix for repair information. We subscribe to numerous online sources and forums for addition help when required.
If you could see one change in the aftermarket, what would it be?
DD: Changing the perception that the dealer is the only one who can repair their vehicle. We have all the domestic factory scan tools and subscriptions, we attend courses (now obviously online) every month at minimum and can program most European and Asian vehicles.
Tell me an interesting fact about your shop?
DD: We have had three generations at the shop: My Dad, myself, and my daughters help out. I have four daughters and all of them have helped. Currently, my oldest now works at a law firm, one is on maternity leave, and the two younger ones help out when they are not doing online university courses. My wife also helps with the accounting and payroll.
Name a part/product you and your team are particularly enjoying this month and why?
DD: We have been using a Homedics portable sanitizer bag (for key sanitizing) and an Autotool spray sanitizer gun and Environize dry mist fog sanitizer for the interior of the vehicle to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, amongst other safety precautions during the pandemic.
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