Hi, my name is Aus Marburger.
A decade ago, my parents and brother went in on a gift certificate to Quadratec, and I used it to purchase a new exhaust system for my 1994 Jeep Wrangler YJ, distressed green (in honor of the original MacGyver), which I intended to install myself.
That became the first of many repairs and awakened a passion for auto repair. In the ensuing years, I became socially involved in the industry and got to know people in it.
5 years ago, I quit my career and developed an investing platform called "fiasys", the "fia" standing for "funds, investors, and assets". (It’s a fully automated full service platform that allows anyone without a financial criminal record to create a fund in which other platform members can invest. What makes it unique is its use of straightforward metrics, transparency through real time prospectuses and performance histories, an integrated communication platform, and a common sense set of rules and corrective measures that ensure a trustworthy investing environment without restricting legal activities).
While the prototype was completed, it became apparent that fiasys would require a large upfront investment just to prove the concept, so I decided to put it temporarily on hold (in the meantime using it to run trading algorithms for day trader friends) and find an alternate source of income.
That's when I started considering investing in a small business, and zeroed in on auto repair due to my growing passion (and tool collection, which became harder to explain away without going pro, haha).
When COVID hit, an opportunity to acquire the assets of a former Honest 1 Franchise in Malvern PA presented itself, so I decided to put fiasys on hold for the time being and work on closing a deal with the former owner.
What I saw in this opportunity was more than simply owning another auto repair shop. It’s an opportunity to share my values and vision for the industry and create something unique in the process.
My vision for the industry is to create an end to end customer experience that is uniquely awesome.
Where we educate our customers so you can make an informed decision regarding your vehicle, not upsell you on unnecessary repairs.
Where we offer end-to-end service. End-to-end service means you have convenient options for scheduling an appointment, renting a car, making a payment, etc.... and we come and get your car, service or repair it, and return it to you the same day.
We are already doing this as much as we can given our current staffing (we need to hire a full time driver!). Of course, our local shuttle and 24 hr pick up and drop off will still be around, and, for customers that like to hang out with us, our lobby has comfortable seating, some reading material, cable, and a Nintendo Classic game system, an awesome fish tank with 100% natural and sustainable environment, fresh spring drinking water, a work desk, high speed wi-fi, and a kids corner (and the lobby is set up for COVID).
Where we offer customers their information electronically, and can print it for you if desired. Where we provide pictures and videos of faulty and repaired parts, to help you visualize the information we share with you.
Making a positive impact on customers is half my motivation for getting into the auto repair industry. The other half is the people in the industry. I really like the people I've met and gotten to know, and I want to set a higher standard for compensation in the industry, to at least put it in line with other industries. These people work hard and give their minds and bodies to their work so that our cars and our roads are safe, and they deserve to be treated accordingly.
At ASM Auto LLC, we are providing healthcare, retirement, and profit sharing. We are also encouraging our employees to develop their interests, skills, and passions to their benefit and ours, are supportive of their ongoing pursuit of education and training, and recognize their achievements and advancements.
Coming from outside the industry, in order to pursue my vision, I needed to attract people who share my passion and values, and complement my background with hands on industry experience and unique talent and ability in their own right.
Through the course of the acquisition process, I had the good fortune to attract two such people, Joe McKenna and Chris Crescenzo.
Joe has been in the industry for 35 years, is an ASE certified master technician, has led technician teams at reputable shops, and has trained technicians at several shops in the area. Over the years, he's developed a similar vision for the industry and has lots of ideas he's been looking for an opportunity to implement. Furthermore, having mastered shop management, he's now getting exposed to other aspects of business management.
Chris was a career technician who used to work at Honest 1, and, due to his gregarious nature, was pressed into service at the front desk when they needed a service writer, where he quickly learned to swim under that regime. In meeting him, I saw his passion and desire to be a part of something different, something special. When our service writer quit right before we opened, Chris embraced the opportunity to take over the front desk, and has made a positive impact on our customers (and our fish; he is the architect of our current fish tank), while maintaining his technical skillset and knowledge base to their benefit and ours.
Having someone who really knows what they're talking about when it comes to your vehicle, and, on top of that, listens and communicates effectively with customers is a core part of our value proposition, and we are blessed with two such people in Joe and Chris.
So where do we go from here? Stay tuned.......