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!
Janice and Jerry Zister.
Name(s): Jerry and Janice Zister
Shop name: Jerry Zister’s Sales and Services Ltd. (Jerry Zister’s Napa AutoPro)
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Number of employees: 5
When did you open your shop? My father-in-law, Jerry Zister, opened his doors for business on January 1, 1967. His son, Jerry, and I officially took the business over on Jan. 1, 2000.
Specialty: Preventative maintenance and brakes and suspension.
Main parts supplier: Napa
What has been your biggest challenge as a shop this year and how have you navigated through them?
JZ: Our road in front of our business was under construction for five months this year. It took 1.5 years of lobbying the City of Kitchener to get them to put a temporary road from our neighbour’s parking lot and ran across our front lawn for us to have access to our business.
We have been really working on providing consistently great customer experience while incorporating safe business practices. We currently sanitize all vehicles before and after repairs. With our customers working from home and everyone not doing their regular driving, our car count has been down from previous years. We have been trying to push social media and get more Google Reviews.
What’s your biggest success story this year?
JZ: I had a serious health concern this past summer and our team really pulled together , as I was not working, and Jerry was working limited hours at the shop.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
JZ: We have no waiting appointments and we do not drive our customers home, but instead, pick up and drop off their vehicles from their houses. The added expense of PPE costs to protect our employees and our customers is another financial challenge.
What kinds of digital technology are you currently using/implementing?
JZ: AutoServe1 which is a digital inspection tool that integrates with our automotive software, Protractor.
If you could see one change in the aftermarket, what would it be?
JZ: I would like to see more consistent pricing amongst all shops.
Tell me an interesting fact about your shop?
JZ: Everyday, there are three generations of Zister’s working inside the building and every three days, there are four generations (our grandson, Zac) working at the shop.
Name a part/product you and your team are particularly enjoying this month?
JZ: The Tornado equipment we use to detail vehicle interiors.