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September 2006

 

A Closer Look E-mail the author

Brandon Auto Service, Inc.
Steve Holland
813-689-8131 • www.BrandonAuto.com

Brandon Auto Services, Inc. (BAS) may have started out as a typical auto junkyard, but it is a little more diverse and a lot more high-tech than what most folks would expect. Steve Holland likes it that way. “You’ve got to change with the world,” he said.

Holland’s father started the ball rolling, with a body shop, where Holland worked before he went to college. While Holland was away at college, his dad sold the body shop and bought Brandon Auto Salvage. Later, Holland and his business partner, Kenneth Anderson, bought the business and recently changed the name to Brandon Auto Services to better reflect what the company does.

Besides doing auto salvage work, BAS also services cars, including body work and collision repairs. It makes perfect sense to Holland – after all, he’s got the parts, and if he doesn’t, he can find him through the network of salvage companies he deals with. It was a natural next step to install those parts for customers. “We’re creating a one-stop business,” he said.

BAS works closely with insurance companies, allowing them to use BAS’s resources to price replacement parts and determine availability. That way, BAS’s parts end up on the insurance company’s estimate while it’s being written. According to Holland, it only takes three to five minutes to find the parts, determine delivery and warranty, and give the information to the insurance companies.

Also high-tech is the photo documentation of the salvaged cars. Photos are taken of the interior and exterior of the vehicles, as well as video of the engine running. All of that is available on the Internet by the next day, making it easier for customers close and far to see exactly what they’re buying. “We also sell new parts on our website,” he added.

But Holland isn’t tied to his desk. “You can’t just sit in your office,” he said. “You have to learn from others.” Holland takes that seriously. He belongs to both state and national associations and takes time to attend conventions related to his business. Holland said, “I love traveling and looking at other businesses.”

Holland is on the board of directors of FADRA (Florida Auto Dismantlers and Recyclers Association) and belongs to the ARA (Auto Recyclers Association) as well.

One thing Holland has learned is that service is the key to success for him, which is one reason he changed the corporate name two years ago. For another, it made the insurance companies feel a little more at ease dealing with a service company rather than a salvage one.

“We can do the whole process,” Holland said, and the name change reflects that. “We can give better and quicker service,” because his business has ready access to parts, where service-only businesses may not have the same resources.

“The biggest challenge today is buying the proper inventory you need, at the price you need to pay for it.” He noted that there aren’t as many car auctions as there used to be, and that often he has to rely on photos that just show the best side of a vehicle.

Holland is being pro-active in dealing with legal issues, having been involved in one way or another with legislation dealing with the industry for the past 20 years. One of his interests is in having VIN numbers condemned when cars are scrapped. As it is, it’s possible for multiple cars to be shipped out of the country under the same VIN number.

He is also involved in legislation regarding the mercury switches in vehicles. He would like to see manufacturers forced to recover the mercury, and the recyclers paid to remove the mercury. He noted that BAS is a “green yard” and that he’s serious about environmental issues.

Holland also wants to change the regulations regarding re-use of airbags. He has run tests of salvaged airbags and the ones he expected to pass the tests, did, which proved to him that the bags could be salvaged and reinstalled, saving consumers a lot of money compared to the cost of new airbags.

As far as autos and parts that aren’t needed for salvage, a car crushing company visits BAS three to four times a year to crush the cars, which are then destined for an auto shredder.


877-777-0737    •     Fax 419-931-0740     •     118 E. Third Street, Suite A   Perrysburg, OH 43551
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