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Federated Shop Of The Year: Brighton Auto Service

In an age of social media and constant connectivity via smartphones, who you know can help make or break your business. Just ask Bill Wasylyk, Bobby Lee Keeney Jr. and Eric Muir, co-owners of Brighton Auto Service in Brighton, MI. Their long-standing association with Federated Auto Parts has played an integral role in the shop’s success.

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Debbie Briggs has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing for newspapers, magazines, and now for B2B and B2C companies online as a brand content strategist for Pole Position Marketing in Uniontown, Ohio. A contributing writer for Shop Owner since 2010, she previously served as a contributing editor for TechGroup publications, including ImportCar, Underhood Service and TechShop. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Kent State University. Connect with Debbie on LinkedIn for the opportunity to have your shop featured in an upcoming issue of Shop Owner.

In an age of social media and constant connectivity via smartphones, who you know can help make or break your business. Just ask Bill Wasylyk, Bobby Lee Keeney Jr. and Eric Muir, co-owners of Brighton Auto Service in Brighton, MI. Their long-standing association with Federated Auto Parts has played an integral role in the shop’s success.

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“Working with Federated member Motown Automotive Distributing has helped us ­remain competitive and offer our customers excellent prices on top-quality parts,” Wasylyk says. “Also, we belong to the ­Better Business Bureau, ASA and ASE. We are constantly striving to partner with any association that would ­increase our exposure and benefit our customers.”

It’s that kind of commitment to ­customers that has resulted in Brighton Auto Service being named the Federated Shop of the Year. The annual ­program recognizes a top shop with a demonstrated track record of excellence in such areas as ­customer service, quality repairs, knowledgeable staff and community involvement. Brighton has been providing top-notch ­repairs and customer service since 1986.

brighton auto team (l to r): technician tom summers; porter les jankowski; technician chris donovan; technician mark boon; technician alan abdella; technician/owner eric muir; owner bill wasylyk; owner bobby lee keeney jr.

Quality Repairs

Known for the motto, “We fix almost anything on almost any vehicle,” Brighton Auto Service has eight bays, with several having the capacity to double-stack vehicles for a total of 10 service stations. While its six ASE-certified technicians specialize in both foreign and domestic vehicle repairs, the shop is recognized as the import ­expert in the Brighton area, due to Muir’s continuous efforts in the area of education as the shop’s number one tech.

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“We specialize in all types of ­repairs, from the most difficult driveability problems, tuneups, engine and transmission ­replacements, to oil changes and other basic maintenance-related issues,” Muir says. “We really do fix almost anything on almost any vehicle.”

Advising Brighton’s six ASE-certified techs, Muir holds associate’s and bachelor’s ­degrees, in addition to his ASE Master Technician status, which he has held for 28 years. With the company since 1991, Muir is also certified in H-D Truck and maintains an L1 ­Advanced Driveability ­cer-tification. Not surprisingly, ­employee retention comes easily when you offer competitive pay and a pleasant, professional work environment. Having a reputation as a ­premier family-owned repair ­facility doesn’t hurt either.

“Typically, based on our reputation for being a top-quality, very busy shop, we maintain a very low rate of turnover, so our need to ­recruit new employees is very minimal,” Wasylyk says. “When, and if, a new technician is required, we have many technicians responding to an ad placement or a word-of-mouth mention.”

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Wasylyk and Keeney also make it a point to offer their technicians continual training from many different resources and, as a rule, encourage their employees to attend all training offered from various technical ­resources, using OEM scan tools and the latest in ­diagnostic equipment.

“This is the only way we can stay on top of the diversity of repairs that we work on across all nameplates, import and domestic,” Keeney explains.

Quality Customer Service

Brighton’s owners say they attract and maintain customers by offering them quality service at a fair price. What that means for customers is that they never have to worry about inaccurate ­work or paying for unnecessary ­repairs.

“We install quality, branded parts and participate in a nationwide warranty program that gives our customers assurance and confidence in our ­repairs,” Keeney says. “We also offer a free shuttle service and customer pick up and drop off when needed. We perform only the repairs that are needed and never oversell or recommend work that is not necessary.”

Word of mouth is the backbone of Brighton’s steady customer base, but the shop does advertise — and ­support the local community — by ­promoting various area children’s athletic programs. They also maintain a website, www.brightonautoservice.com, as well as ­actively participate in social media.

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“We continue to work diligently at creating a website that interacts well with our customers,” Wasylyk explains. ­“Recently, we contracted with a new provider to track and maintain customer feedback and to modernize our website so it is completely interactive with our customers. Our desire is to continue to improve our website and social media programs to increase our customer base and to keep them informed of all our monthly specials and quality ­initiatives.”

And it’s those quality repairs that keep customers coming back and telling friends and family about their positive experiences at the Michigan shop.

“We sustain our business by treating our customers fairly and limiting our comebacks to a minimum,” Muir says. “Our success is based on the word of mouth of our quality work and the high ­percentage of repeat customers. Our customers now span a new ­generation of customers who come to us for their repair needs ­because we repaired their parents’ and grandparents’ ­vehicles!”

Quality Parts, Fair Prices

Always neat, clean and inviting to customers, Brighton Auto Service ­features a professional atmosphere and relies on superior workmanship to set the shop apart from the competition.

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“We would rather offer fair prices than to have an extravagant facility,” Keeney explains. “The best strategy we know to boost shop profitability is to offer our valued customers ­excellent work at a reasonable price. This strategy keeps us very busy!

“This strategy also relates to how we boost productivity,” he continues. “We promote a professional attitude, with a pleasant work environment, and ­supply our technicians with the ­opportunity to learn and grow within our organization.”

Wasylyk sums up the shop’s success by going back to the shop’s core ­values: Providing its customers with the best value possible, using quality Federated parts that are installed correctly the first time and at fair prices.

“We are deeply committed to offering our customers the ­absolute best service possible at the best possible price, using only quality OEM or aftermarket parts,” Keeney says. “We are also committed to the latest, most ­advanced cutting-edge technology available in our ­industry. This ensures that we can fix almost any problem our customers may encounter.”

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With that kind of dedication, Brighton Auto Service is sure to ­continue to live up to its ­customers’ expectations and provide repair ­excellence for many years to come. 

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