When he set out in 2005 to build a new, ground-up facility for his South Jordan, Utah, repair business, GT Automotive, Tim Stapleton already had a clear vision of what he wanted in a new building.
He needed to increase his car lot and add an express lube—an entirely new business segment for him. So, when his friend found a property that would fit all of his needs, he acted quickly. Working with an architect for the designs, construction took roughly nine months. Looking at the results today, Stapleton says that was time well spent.
1. After being in other buildings that didn’t live up to Stapleton’s dream shop, he knew exactly what he wanted when he designed his 8,000-square-foot facility that has its expansive lobby and offices dividing the business’s general repair and express lube segments. “I decided I wanted the express lube for car count and attached it to the shop so that when people come to the express lube, they see the shop as well,” says Stapleton.
2. The shop has three quick-service bays with below-ground workspace and eight full-mechanical bays with a lobby in between. In the lobby, there are two counters, a long one and a square one. The long counter is for service writing and the square counter is for cashiering. The express lube and the service side both use the cashier counter to close out invoices and collect money.
3. The major attraction of GT Automotive’s lobby is its 300 gallon saltwater aquarium. Stapleton had some money left over after the build, and he wanted to use that to add a memorable feature that would help differentiate his business. The aquarium is filled with live coral and clown fish, among others. Stapleton takes full responsibility for the upkeep of the tank and its inhabitants.
4. The shop floor in Stapleton’s general repair segment has five out-of-ground hoists and four in-ground hoists; that’s one lift for each of GT Automotive’s nine technicians.
5. All technicians also have their own tablets with a messaging program that makes it easy to communicate with service advisors.
6. When building the express lube, the construction crew had to dig down to create the oil change pits—and Stapleton told them to just keep digging. The shop now has a full lower level that includes a large lunchroom for the staff to enjoy breaks. The room doubles as an area to hold meetings and training.
7. In the basement, a training room, complete with weightlifting and workout equipment (Stapleton is a former national armwrestling champion) was also put in. The facility is complete with a locker room with showers. After a full workout, the shop even has a bedroom, where occasional naps are enjoyed.
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