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March-April 2013
Making Sense of Success
Some people seem successful in nearly everything they do. Others constantly struggle, almost regardless of the situation. What makes the difference? What do the most successful people have in common that helps lead to their accomplishments? And here's another important question. In every period of human history, however challenging, there have been people who not only survived, but experienced great success. How then can we be among such people in our own time? I've come to believe that there is something like a personal and organizational toolkit for success. From Plato and Aristotle to the present day, the wisest people who have ever thought about life achievement have left us bits and pieces of powerful advice for attaining true success in nearly anything we do. I've put these great ideas together into a simple framework of seven universal conditions for success. Let me lay them out in the simplest possible way, and then we'll briefly look at what they mean.
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Playing the Technology Card
You've heard it all before. The automotive industry's number one gripe is that it is becoming very difficult to obtain quality salvage - thanks to the Internet. You've also heard that in order to expand your business and stay competitive as we go into the future, you'll need to embrace the age of technology and use it to your advantage. Whether you see technology and its constant changes as a friend or a foe, it's here to stay. So, you might as well make it work to your advantage and increase your business. That's exactly what Tom's Foreign Auto Parts in Waterbury, Connecticut has done.
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21st Century Business
About a year and a half ago, John and Holly Cahill and Mark and Joan Brown purchased Toy Town Auto Salvage, now known as Brown's Auto Salvage, in Winchendon, Massachusetts. The Cahills, who also co-own (with Tim and Carrie Cahill) Cahill's Garage in New York, have over 20 years of experience working for both of the major consolidators in the industry. John Cahill has observed first-hand the way business has evolved in the last 20 years. With their new ventures, he was presented the opportunity to re-invent a business that needed a new approach in order to move forward. “I feel like there are still a lot of salvage yards today that are operating with an 80s-type mentality," said Cahill. "We have an old joke in the salvage industry that if a part lasts for 30 days then it'll last forever. Yet, many yards are still inflexible in their approach to customer service and are reluctant to give lifetime guarantees.
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Making Sense of Success
Some people seem successful in nearly everything they do. Others constantly struggle, almost regardless of the situation. What makes the difference? What do the most successful people have in common that helps lead to their accomplishments? And here's another important question. In every period of human history, however challenging, there have been people who not only survived, but experienced great success. How then can we be among such people in our own time? I've come to believe that there is something like a personal and organizational toolkit for success. From Plato and Aristotle to the present day, the wisest people who have ever thought about life achievement have left us bits and pieces of powerful advice for attaining true success in nearly anything we do. I've put these great ideas together into a simple framework of seven universal conditions for success. Let me lay them out in the simplest possible way, and then we'll briefly look at what they mean.


Playing the Technology Card
You've heard it all before. The automotive industry's number one gripe is that it is becoming very difficult to obtain quality salvage - thanks to the Internet. You've also heard that in order to expand your business and stay competitive as we go into the future, you'll need to embrace the age of technology and use it to your advantage. Whether you see technology and its constant changes as a friend or a foe, it's here to stay. So, you might as well make it work to your advantage and increase your business. That's exactly what Tom's Foreign Auto Parts in Waterbury, Connecticut has done.


21st Century Business
About a year and a half ago, John and Holly Cahill and Mark and Joan Brown purchased Toy Town Auto Salvage, now known as Brown's Auto Salvage, in Winchendon, Massachusetts. The Cahills, who also co-own (with Tim and Carrie Cahill) Cahill's Garage in New York, have over 20 years of experience working for both of the major consolidators in the industry. John Cahill has observed first-hand the way business has evolved in the last 20 years. With their new ventures, he was presented the opportunity to re-invent a business that needed a new approach in order to move forward. “I feel like there are still a lot of salvage yards today that are operating with an 80s-type mentality," said Cahill. "We have an old joke in the salvage industry that if a part lasts for 30 days then it'll last forever. Yet, many yards are still inflexible in their approach to customer service and are reluctant to give lifetime guarantees.


Investing on Purpose
What makes us different? You know, there are a lot of good auto recyclers across the country and many of them, like us, are pushing to be better. We learned you have to think differently, and for us, we focused on quality processes and quality people," explains Steve Dykstra, owner of Valparaiso, Ind. based Metro Auto Recyclers. He and CEO Neil Samahon attribute their new way of thinking to their growth and recent achievements. With humble beginnings, this family-owned business launched in 1988 with Metro Recycling, launching sister company Metro Auto in 1998. Metro Auto continues to grow, adding acreage, new buildings, a growing staff, and additional locations in Illinois and Indiana. They recycle over 1,000 vehicles annually. Dykstra admits their focus on quality is what allowed them to grow and achieve honors including joining the PRP Network, ARA's Gold Seal Program, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Clean Yard Gold Status, and most recently completing the Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS) certification. Metro Auto is one of only seven Indiana auto yards to receive the IDEM gold status and is the first and only auto recycler to achieve the RIOS certification. Achieving these certifications was the catalyst for many changes at Metro, including not only workflow efficiencies, but also a new focus on their employees - the quality people that make it all happen.


Got Some Tread?
Some people stumble upon their destinies, but Ron Wilbert, of Wilbert's Inc. in upstate New York, rolled into his long before he was a teenager. His father and founder of Wilbert's Inc., Arthur Wilbert, gave him a job that no one wanted - to sort and organize the piles of tires at Wilbert's back in the early seventies. "In the late seventies, Dad never told me to stop so I just kept going,"said Ron Wilbert, now one of the owners of Wilbert's Inc. "We started installing tires which led to a new tire shop for installations and storage. We also actively started purchasing used tires from other recyclers and tire dealers. By the eighties we were also selling multiple brands of new tires as well."


 
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