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Shop View: WOW Auto Care

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SHOP: WOW Auto Care   LOCATION: Poway, Calif.  OWNERS: David, Nolan and Liv Pike   SIZE: 3,500 square feet  STAFF SIZE: 10 AVERAGE MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 390 ANNUAL REVENUE: $1.4 million 

1. From Mobile to Brick and Mortar:

David Pike, co-owner of WOW Auto Care located in Poway, Calif., opened a shop after working five-and-a-half years with his brother, Nolan, on Wrench on Wheels, which was a mobile repair business the duo operated out of the back of a truck. As business started to flourish, they decided to expand. Pike found a building to serve as the new home of WOW Auto Care. They moved in about two-and-a-half years ago.

He decided that the shop needed to have a different brand. He didn’t want to confuse customers about the type of work the shop does. Wrench on Wheels shortened to WOW. Customers and other shops were calling them that already, so it was an easy switch. They tacked on ‘Auto Care’ to clearly define the diverse portfolio of services the shop offers.

Within the first year of being in the eight-bay shop, they got new signage and developed the new logo.   


2. Streamlining Workflow:

Pike’s goal to improve his shop’s efficiency and workflow has led to 2–3 reconfigurations of WOW Auto Care’s layout.

Customers that are willing to wait on their vehicles are usually scheduled for appointments in the morning. Pike notes that the shop doesn’t take in waiters during the afternoon, unless it’s for alignment work.

To cut down the number of customers waiting and further streamline workflow, Pike developed a plan for scheduling and carrying out work.


3. Improving Shop Communication:

More than a year ago, Pike was looking for a way to improve his team’s mode of communication. He found that service advisors and technicians were losing time going back and forth just to ask each other questions.

Because of the way WOW Auto Care is laid out, Pike opted for two-way radios. Each team member has one.


4. Creating a Comfortable Experience:

There are three workstations for customers that are divided up into six individual cubicles. Each cubicle has a USB charging station and chargers for customers to plug in and charge their mobile devices. Pike added these workstations eight months ago.

WOW Auto Care also has a kid-friendly area within the customer waiting room that came with the building. In this space, Pike added a chalkboard wall, a table built by his daughter’s class and a flag made out of baseball bats. Both the table and the flag were made by Pike’s eight-year-old daughter’s class. He purchased them at her school’s annual fundraiser.  


5. Building Visual Appeal:

The idea of having a mural was something Pike had in the works since they first got into the facility. Due to the layout of the building, the shop actually faces away from the road. The mural would draw attention to the shop from drivers on the road.

After being in the building for one-and-a-half years, Pike came up with the concept and found a muralist.

The mural features his dog and numerous cars: Pike and his brother’s cars, two customer cars and his dream car.

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