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BRAINY EQUIPMENT MEETS HEARTLAND VALUES
❱❱ Employees: 22
❱❱ Service Bays: 17
❱❱ Four Service Buildings: Machine shop, Pickup truck building, Engine shop, Tire storage building (coming soon)
❱❱ In Business: Grandfather started in 1927
❱❱ Mopar® Parts Dealer: St. Mary’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep® Inc.
❱❱ Customer Accommodations: An office staff that knows the customer and makes them feel right at home
THE SEED TAKES ROOT
Chickasaw, Ohio, is a small farm town made up of up-at-dawn, work-till-dusk people. “My grandfather, Charles Huelsman, didn’t want to be a farmer, so he bought a building, leased his farm out and started the business,” said Tom Huelsman current co-owner (with brother John) of Huelsman Automotive. Little did his grandpa Charles know, the business he started in 1927 would end up harvesting a family legacy.
BUILT ON SOLID GROUND
In 1949, when Charles got his son Bob (now 84 and still working at Huelsman) involved, things really took off. “My dad built out the current location and added two more,” said Bob. He really embraced the family business and my brother, our wives, our mom and I continue the tradition. Our wives work in the front office. Without them, the place would fall down around us. They know every customer, what they want, and how to get it to them. They make each and every customer feel like they are the only person in the world.”
“It’s farm town here in Chickasaw, and everyone has a truck and works a lot of hours,” explains Huelsman. “We cater to that. We have a system where our customers can pick up their vehicle after dark and we bill them at the end of the month.” The Huelsman brothers also recently built a dedicated truck repair facility. “The huge bays let the techs share space so if we are waiting on a part, we can pull the next one in and start working – it has done wonders for our productivity.”
THE FORMULA FOR SMOOTH OPERATIONS
“It’s really a team effort here. We are family. We give our techs the most up-to-date equipment, we problem solve together and they give us amazing work. They are rewarded for it, too.” Huelsman splits the hourly rate with the mechanic and they make 10% on the parts. “It helps compensate for their time looking up and ascertaining parts,” said Huelsman. “Everyone is responsible for their own work. They can really bust their butt and make a lot of money and I give them everything they need to make them super efficient and fast.”