Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Troy Webber from Yardsmart: Navigating the Auto Recycling Business

Welcome to the interview series with Jesse Samberg. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Troy Webber, the third-generation owner of Yardsmart, a family auto recycling business with locations in Central Virginia. Troy shares his journey of adapting to changes in the auto industry, overcoming challenges with creating a new business management application, and learning from the unique stories of his clients. Join us as we delve into the world of small business ownership and the constant evolution of customer trends in the auto recycling industry.

Interviewee Name: Troy Webber

Company: Yardsmart

Intervirew Host: Jesse Samberg

The Interview

Let’s get started. First, we’d like to know more about how you started your business journey

Troy Webber : I am proud to be the third Generation owner of my family’s auto recycling business. I grew up in the junkyard business and have seen it change a lot over the past 40 years. We started out with one location in Richmond Virginia and now have grown to three locations in Central Virginia.

Reflecting on your business history, what stands out as the single greatest challenge you’ve successfully navigated, and how did you overcome it?

Troy Webber : The old business management application that we had created in the early 2000’s was no longer going to be able to run on windows. We suddenly found ourselves needing a new application NOW and there were no viable options that existed for us. We had to create a new application from the ground up immediately before time ran out on our old system.

Businesses often face ongoing challenges. What does your business consistently grapple with, and how do you tackle these challenges head-on?

Troy Webber : The auto industry does to great lengths to make each years product better, or at least different. We have to constantly be adapting our business to those changes. When hybrid and electric vehicles started hitting the scrap stream, we had to figure out for ourselves how to create a end-of-life process for the batteries. They are extremely dangerous and cannot be handled like any other part we had ever dealt with. To make matters worse, there is absolutely no cooperation from the manufactures in the learning process. They are actively hostile towards our industry and do not participate in those discussions at all.

Can you share with us the most unforgettable story involving a customer or client? What made it memorable, and what lessons did you draw from the experience?

Troy Webber : All of our clients have very different stories and I am always amazed at how many ways there are to accomplish the same task. I learn from each and every client that I visit. They all have unique ways of running there business to varying degrees of success, but they all have different ideas and I am able to learn from all of them. That is what is so great about our industry; we all share our ideas with each other and learn from others in the business.

Looking ahead, what are your current plans for your business when you retire?

Troy Webber : I hope that maybe another software company will recognize that value of our application and have an interest in buying it!

Navigating the small business landscape can be both challenging and rewarding. Can you share a bit about the specific hurdles you’ve encountered in areas like sales, marketing, and adapting to changing customer trends?

Troy Webber : The customer has changed a lot in the 30 years that I have been working in the business. We used to get 1000 people on a busy Saturday whit a 50% close rate. Now we a busy Saturday may have 400 customers with a 95% close rate. Technology has given our customers the ability to view the inventory on our website before they come out to the store. Though we may have less foot traffic, the customers we do get almost always buy something. That is how we have adapted to our customers. They want to know that they are not wasting there time coming out to our locations.

Leaders Perception magazine would like to thank Troy Webber and “Yardsmart” for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

Interested in connecting with the host of this interview series? Feel free to reach out to Jesse Samberg on LinkedIn: Jesse Samberg’s LinkedIn Profile

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